My personal journey into wellness has been a long one involving lots of stop and go along the way. As a kid, I was not athletic and didn’t get involved in sports because we moved every 3-4 years thanks to the Navy. In high school I struggled with periods of not eating and periods of purging as a means of dealing with stressful times. Thankfully, I couldn’t handle either. And, I am also thankful for the amazing teachers in my life who helped me navigate difficult times as an adolescent. As an adult, I dabbled in spurts of working out and have tried pretty much every “diet” out there. My weight was always up and down up and down. For me, food was either a reward or a punishment, and figuring out that food is fuel has taken a very long time.
A TEACHER’S LIFESTYLE
Another challenge in the food department came from working in SCHOOLS. Let’s face it, the front office of any school is one of the WORST places in terms of food. Between the cookies, cupcakes, candy and countless other “treats,” there are always temptations waiting for us. Nevermind the fact that teachers have to scarf down lunch in about a 15 minute period of time by the time it’s all said and done. We are always eating on the go and getting in a bite here and there when we can. I can remember my first years teaching switching from drinking multiple “real” Cokes each day to Diet Coke and thinking I had done something good for my body. It was during those first few years of teaching that I also packed on about 30 pounds. For years, I yo-yo’d up and down depending what was going on. Between National Board Certification, two master’s degrees, and becoming a school administrator, junk food, “corn-dog days” in the cafeteria, and trips to Sonic became my way of dealing with stress. I look at pictures of myself from that time and realize that I look so much older than I do now because of how I was living. In the picture I was only 30 years old. I’m now in my mid-40s and feel better than ever because of the changes I have made.
THE WAKE UP CALL
The real wake up call for me was turning 40, moving from Hawaii to Massachusetts and realizing that my pants no longer fit. Two and a half years of living Aloha had caught up with me. I refused to buy new pants, so I started attending Weight Watchers meetings. I also started running. I set a goal to run or walk 500 miles in 2012 because I saw a girl whose goal was 1,000 and I thought, “I could NEVER do that.” So, I started with one small mile in my basement on the treadmill. One mile led to another and then another. Before I knew it, I had met my 500 mile goal that May and lost 25 pounds in the process.
In those few months, I started feeling better. My attitude improved. And, I started to feel a small voice inside me tell me that I needed to share what I was doing with other people, but I didn’t know HOW. My dad was also diagnosed with lung cancer that May, and it made me want to find a way to help others even more.
In addition to finding out about my dad’s cancer, we also moved AGAIN that May to Florida, where I discovered all things Run Disney. From the fall of 2012 to the fall of 2013, I completed three 10k’s, 7 half marathons, and a marathon. In 2013, I completed all of the Run Disney races with the exception of one half marathon in California. The highlight of the year for me was completing the Inaugural Dumbo Double Dare at Disneyland and getting my Coast to Coast Medal.
Unfortunately, the large number of miles caught up with me, and my knee and hip started to really give me problems.
It’s unfair to say that my first experience with Beachbody was in 2013. My initial experience with Beachbody was back in the early 2000’s when I was an assistant principal (in life B. C. —Before Children). A fellow teacher and I would go to her classroom and work out after school each day. We took before photos and after photos, and I had amazing results. My goal was to look “hot” for my hubby when he got home from a deployment. This was before the selfie era, so the one polaroid I had of my hotness has long been shredded. Doing the workouts WITH someone made all of the difference for me. I had no idea that my initial experiences with Beachbody on a dirty classroom floor would lead me to where I am today.
After the birth of our twin boys, I ordered Slim in 6 one night while up breastfeeding both (seriously—that alone deserves a medal). I had a c-section with the boys and wound up getting MRSA in my c-section incision, which made healing and being able to get active a challenge. Slim in 6 was the perfect level for me at the time, and once again, I got great results.
When the boys were two, we moved to Hawaii (I’m getting ready to go full-circle here!!). The stress of leaving the one place I had spent my entire adult life and career coupled with the “living aloha” life led me to gain weight. While we lived there, I ordered P90X in an attempt to get things under control. Because of the success I had with Power 90, I thought I would give P90X a go. I will admit, I did not complete the program. Yet, I still was drawn to Beachbody. In Massachusetts, I ordered Les Mills Pump. I even followed one of my upline coaches on facebook, but held off becoming a coach myself because I wondered, “What does she really do????” (In some ways I could kick my own butt for NOT doing it sooner!!! But I digress).
It wasn’t until Florida and my injuries and seeing that someone I knew in real life was now coaching that I decided to take the plunge with T25. I started coaching part time while teaching 3rd grade, teaching online for a virtual school and teaching at the community college (sheesh-isn’t it crazy all the things we teachers do!!!) All I can say is, WHY DID IT TAKE ME SO LONG???? Once I became a coach simply for the discount, I very quickly realized that this community is unmatched. There is nothing else out there like it. Sure, there are other workouts, and other products, but this team and these people that I get to work WITH and call friend—well they have changed my life. I’ve overcome anxiety, I’ve grown more personally than I could have imagined, and I feel better than ever.
Today, I live in Tampa and I am blessed beyond measure to be a part of this community. Being a coach allows me to teach in a different way, and it is my passion to help support other teachers on their journey to FEEL better! I am also loving learning about nutrition.
Because of my new passion, I completed Health Coach certification with Dr. Sears and can work with both families and “Prime Timers” like myself (a.k.a. those of us who are 40-ish). I love being able to have the freedom to take my job with me no matter where we live. I love knowing that nutrition–not physical appearance– is the key to health and happiness. I love being able to be here for my kiddos when they need me. I love not being tied to a classroom or an office. I love being able to create a life by design.
Most of all, I love supporting others on their fitness journeys, and I am thankful beyond measure for the blessings in my completely imperfect life (seriously–I have TWIN BOYS. Life is chaotic and MESSY!). But, the best part about what I get to do each day is that I get to help other people see things in themselves that they can’t always see, just like MY coach did for me. My goal is to never miss the opportunity to support other women along their journey while encouraging them to live their most HEALTHY HAPPY LIFE.