Well, where do I begin? I grew up as an active child and teen being involved with gymnastics, cheerleading, and running and ate a balanced diet at home. I never really experienced weight struggles and was never uncomfortable with my body. Then, I went to college and my freshmen year started being less active and eating the campus food didn't help me. Yet, I still didn't feel too poorly about how I looked. My sophomore year of college I moved home for money purposes and because I was doing substitute teaching at the schools of that area. The work, commute to college, and continued habits of eating more poorly, as well as picking up a daily dessert habit, really started to wreck my appearance, health, and confidence. I had a true wake-up moment when I started my college PE class spring semester that year. Our first day of class was a fitness test and measurement/weight tracking to see what progress we made over the semester. I quickly realized I was a) not near as fit as before and b) almost 20 lbs heavier than I thought I was. Ouch!
So, then started my fitness quest. The class was an aerobics and weights fitness class - similar to the types of things you would see in a gym fitness group schedule. It was fun and really got me motivated once I started seeing small changes in my body. After that class ended, the following summer my mom, sister, and I invested in some Tae Bo, Cathe Friedrich, and Turbo Jam DVDs that we started doing religiously 5 days/week at home. The exercise was fun and challenging but after awhile I felt like I could do more.
In January of 2005 I discovered Tom Venuto's E-book Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle. I began reading it and dove headfirst into applying his techniques. Around that time I also found Oxygen magazines and was inspired by the fit bodies of those women. These 2 discoveries led me to a passion in working out at the gym and eating a relatively clean diet. I got in the best shape ever at that time....up until now of course ;)
Well, in late 2007 my husband and I started talking about starting a family and I knew I needed to get in control of myself. I finally shared with him my battle (I had kept it a secret until then, which was a HUGE mistake) and we really worked on getting me through it. I decided to turn it over to God at this time. Every day I would wake up and say a prayer of thanks to God for blessing me with health and the ability to care for myself and would decide to honor Him by eating healthfully. I didn't lose weight at this time but I really started regaining control and although it was hard - I made it through weeks and then a couple of months binge-free. Then, I found out I was pregnant in late February 2008! What a blessing! Being pregnant and then nursing totally changed my relationship with food. I had to eat for health and be an example to my baby girl. I HAD to eat more for the pregnancy and then for my milk supply and in that time I realized it is still possible to achieve fitness goals with a more moderate approach. I lost weight MORE easily and consistently during that time because I was able to stick to my diet. I wasn't overly deprived, I incorporated foods I enjoyed, and saw the progress. I learned it really is about consistently making better choices.
Once I made some great progress post-Makenzie, that old competition bug started to bite again and I couldn't quite get it to go away. I kept trying to convince myself it wasn't for me, but I KNEW in my heart that if I didn't go for it I would always regret it. Fortunately, while pregnant, I saw some friends compete under the guidance of someone very knowledgeable who didn't enforce such strict training and dieting techniques for a comp. And they had amazing results with such an approach. I knew then, if they could do it, then so could I and I just HAD to. So in late July, early August of 2009 I set out to finally achieve the goal of my first figure competition. I decided to prep myself so I could truly listen to my body and do what worked for ME. I am currently enjoying the process and cannot wait to get to show day and see what I have achieved.
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