Where am I coming from?
Fitness is something I come by humbly and honestly. Growing up I was not athletic in any way, shape, or form. Team sports eluded me, gym classes terrified me, and any physical activity disinterested me. And, while my weight was never a ‘struggle,’ it was definitely something I was always very aware of and uncomfortable with.
What was the tipping point?
In my late teens I got a gym membership to help me stay somewhat motivated (if you’re paying for it, you’ll use it, right?). While I stuck with it over the years, taking classes and following exercise routines from magazines, I never really whole-wholeheartedly invested myself into an overall healthier lifestyle.
Slowly, however, I started learning more and more about nutrition, health and wellness, and then I found Tosca Reno’s Eat Clean Diet series and my whole perspective on food and eating changed. Even so, implementing all of those changes and keeping up with it over the long run (especially when faced with a glass of wine, piece of chocolate or a night out with the girls) was difficult. I understood many of the concepts, but couldn’t make it happen.
I had nothing specific driving me or inspiring me.
Then, in March 2009, a close friend was diagnosed with breast cancer. She was young, fit and seemingly very healthy. To say it was a shock is an understatement. After months of various treatments and false hope, watching her lose her strength, her body and eventually her life was difficult, but also set me on my own path to fitness and health.
This time it was for real. I was going to do it. I realized many things were now or perhaps never. It was a great reminder that no day should ever be taken for granted.
Since her passing in August 2011, I ran my first half marathon in November 2011, and second one in June 2012. Knowing that I finally followed through on a training program and accomplished a big goal, I used the time during that second race to convince myself I had what it took to compete in a fitness competition. I started training for my first bikini competition in July 2012, competed in November 2012, and two times since. I am hooked on this new lifestyle!
What keeps me motivated?
Movement is a blessing. The thought of not being able to do what I do terrifies me and motivates me to make every day count.
I also always try to have a goal (or two!) in mind. Something to work toward, whether it be a show, a shoot or an event, to help keep me on track and stick to it when temptations pop up. Making the right choices when you are working toward something positive empowers you, not deprives you.
What’s up next?
On a personal level, I will compete again in the Spring and Summer of 2014 and blogging about that experience throughout to give others an inside, day-to-day look at what goes into competing (it’s not all egg whites and asparagus!). Now that I have done a couple shows and have been training longer, I am excited to see what I can bring to the stage next year! I am also always looking for new opportunities and projects that will allow me to get more involved in the fitness industry and have a few exciting things coming my way.
I also want to coach other women who want to make changes to their lifestyle but need help to make it happen. Often we know what we should be doing, but that doesn’t necessarily always translate into doing it. I would love to provide that support and guidance to help others commit to this lifestyle change.
Come follow my journey and inspire your own!
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