Never did I think that a conversation that took place in a small hallway at my son’s preschool would completely change the direction of my life. I had heard one of the moms talking to another mom about joining a fitness challenge. A fitness challenge was definitely not for me.
The mom began posting adds about the challenge on her wall. I checked out the website and still had my doubts that this was for me. I knew I needed something, after all it was January and everyone starts a new diet in January. I hesitantly hit the PayPal button and I was a member.
Little did I know that this was a challenge against myself that would change mine and my family’s life forever.
We all have huge milestones that we look back on that changed the course of our life, wedding day, The birth of child. For me Jan. 30, 2012 the day of my first SkFit challenge would change the path of my life in so many ways.
My weight issues started as a child. I grew up in a loving home, but two parents that had a dysfunctional relationship. At a young age I learned to grow up very fast. I believe this led to me using food as comfort and led me to eat during times of stress. Having two parents who had bad eating habits didn’t help either.
I was always a very confident child so I think my mom thought I was comfortable in my skin. When in reality my weight held me back from a lot in fear of being teased. I began avoiding those situation as much as possible. In elementary school I began having anxiety about gym class and the time of the year you would be weighed. I would have my mom write notes so that I could be weighed privately, so I would not be subjected to being teased about my weight. In third grade my weight was beginning to cause issues. This set a path for the next 25 years.
Over the next 25 years I would go up and down, up and down. In 1999 I was asked out on a date by the most amazing man. By 2001 he would be my husband and best friend. We were happy in love, going out to eat, enjoying our time with food. During that time my father would disappear for days at a time, and other things were occurring that embarrassed me and angered me. We suspected he was leading a double life, but stayed in denial. In that two years I put on 40-50 pounds. This led me to be 100 pounds overweight.
Shortly after my wedding in Sept of 2001, I was dealt a major blow. My dad had been leading a double life. In the next coming years I had to deal with a roller coaster of emotions from my own, to my husbands, to my mothers, to my brothers. My mom had to sell the house and moved in with us.
Helping my mom go through the divorce process was very stressful and again I used food as comfort. I would add another 90 pounds to the 100 pounds overweight that I already was.
Over the next few years I lost 70 pounds, had my kids and put 40 pounds of the 70 I lost back on, which put me at 160 pounds overweight when I began my first SkFit challenge on January 30, 2012.
I started my first challenge excited, loving the concept of clean eating. Little by little I began to transform. During my second challenge I walked out of my toxic retail job. It was taking a toll on me physically and mentally. With the support of my SkFit sisters and my husband I began a journey into molding myself into a career that made me happy, but what exactly was that??
During the second challenge I got the courage to share my super support picture. The swarming amount of support was overwhelming, but in a good way. After the posting of that support pic, I began helping friends and family change habits to lead a healthier life. They began cutting out processed foods, some of them even began increasing their exercise levels. They were actually listening, it gave me so much joy to help others regain their health. That was it, that is what I wanted to do. It’s what I had a passion for. In Sept I enrolled in at the Institute of Integrative Nutrition. My goal is to love what I do so it doesn’t feel like work. This is one of the greatest things Stephanie Keenan has taught me. My goal is to now have my own business as a certified health and wellness coach by helping families reach their health goals.
This challenge has transformed me not only on the outside but also on the inside. It has taught me to live life to the fullest, dream big, and set goals that are bigger and better. I have also became truly in tune with my body and my eating behaviors. I don’t regret anything about the last thirty-five years, it has made me who I am today. Time is ticking, so for me there is no turning back. My health, my family’s health, and the people that I will help in the future is too important.
Over the course of the last 3 challenges I have lost 60 pounds. Thirty of that sixty has been during the last challenge. It’s amazing how far I have come since January. With every challenge I become stronger. I thank God everyday for overhearing that conversation in my sons preschool, for Stephanie, for my SkFit sisters, and for giving me strength and determination to lead a happier healthy life.