I am 27 years old, married, with two children. Joining the Stephanie Keenan FitLife Challenge was one of the best things I have ever done for myself. Usually everything I do is for my family and friends, so it was nice to be able to do this for me. Growing up I had a wonderful childhood. My parents were fantastic to the three of us. I have a younger brother and a younger sister. I was always involved in sports and was always very thin and in shape. I couldn’t have asked for a better upbringing.
When you turn 21 you think it’s going to be the greatest year of your life, finally able to go out and drink and party. And that’s how my year started. My mom and dad threw me a huge 21st birthday party, then I and a bunch of friends flew to Vegas. My birthday is in January, the next few months were a lot of fun, until April hit. April 2006 had to be the worst month of my life. On April 14th my mother was diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer. The doctors told us there was pretty much no hope, at the best she’d live a year. Our whole lives were flipped upside down. I was just going into my senior year of college, my brother a senior in high school, and my sister was only in 7th grade.
The next couple of months seemed like a bad dream. I quit my job, so I could help take my mom to Fox Chase everyday for treatments. My dad was under a lot of stress and my mom was quickly weakening every day. On November 14th, my mother told us she had no fight left in her. We called in a hospice to help. My mother passed before the hospice even got things set up in our house. Losing my mother at such a young age has been very hard, but I always tried to stay strong for my younger brother and sister.
My high school sweetheart proposed to me a few months after my mother’s passing. We planned a May wedding, but planning a wedding without your mother is not much fun. I wish she could have been there for so many important things in my life, like my college graduation, my wedding, and the birth of my children.
After we got married things started to go back to normal. I was able to start a new life with my husband, who I’ve been with for 12 years now. Two years after being married we found out I was pregnant, we were so excited. Unfortunately, I had a miscarriage at 10 weeks and had to have an emergency D & C. It was the worst pain I’d ever been in and was so embarrassed to tell anyone about it. I am so lucky though to have such a supportive family. Within the same year I got pregnant again and found out we were having a little boy. He gave us quite a scare 2 weeks before he was due. He stopped breathing and moving so I had to have an emergency C-section. He was the best thing that ever happened to me.
Exactly two years later we were blessed with our little girl. Another C-section, but well worth it. I got very lucky with both my pregnancies. I only gained 23 lbs the first time and 17 lbs the second time. But having the second baby is what brought me to the FitLife Challenge.
When she was only two months old I just felt disgusted with myself. I had already lost all my weight from my pregnancy, but I was at my heaviest weight ever. That’s when I decided if I wanted to look and feel better I needed to do something about it. And it had to be for me, not to please anyone else. So of course I kept going back and forth between whether I should sign up or not. And at the last minute I submitted my form. Thank goodness I did!
I haven’t felt this great in my body since high school. I was able to lose 21 pounds and 5 1/4 inches off my waist during this challenge. Everyone kept telling me that I just had a baby and didn’t need to lose weight, I’m glad I followed my intuition and did it.
I am much happier as a person, now that I am happy with myself. I can’t wait to continue my life being clean and fit! Thank you Stephanie Keenan for all of your help and encouragement throughout these last 12 weeks. I know on my own I would have never made it.