The High School Years

Ever since I can remember I have always been a little chubby, but I have always been very active. I was a cheerleader in 9th grade and then quickly switched to cross-country and water polo because I didn’t feel comfortable in a short skirt! My mother and father have always taught me to be health conscious, but in high school I made my own diet.

I ate what I wanted, when I wanted. I figured I was running or swimming all the time and burning so many calories that this would be OK. Well, I was wrong. I always felt like the chubby friend especially since I had two of the most beautiful skinny models for best friends. They were so tall and so thin. I envied them for being able to eat whatever they wanted. Why wasn’t my metabolism like theirs?!

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The College Years

I went into college at 5’5 and 155 pounds (I lied on my driver license and put 150 because that seemed smaller to me). I started my college education as a Kinesiology major because I wanted to be a PE teacher one day and this was how I thought I would lose all the weight. Well, I was partially right. I began to exercise a whole lot because all my classes were exercise classes. I had yoga in the mornings, Akido in the afternoon and kickboxing in the evenings. I was also taking nutrition classes and learning a little about what the right things were to eat. I slowly started knocking the weight off, but I wasn’t doing it the healthy way.

I remember people saying to me, “Man you look great, keep it up”. I was so happy, but started to get depressed. I knew that I was messing with God’s temple. The breaking point was when I got down to 10 wheat thins and an apple a day. I was starving myself. How could have I have gotten this far? How was I justifying this? I was falling apart. I got some help and started developing a better relationship with food… better, but not great.

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The Move

My sophomore year of college, I moved to Memphis, TN, a state ranked 3rd in highest obesity. Don’t get me wrong, they have some great food in the South, but a lot of it is full of grease and salt. I knew what to eat and I tried to stay healthy, but college got the best of me. I had one too many beers and free pizza dinners. I gained all my weight back plus some. I was in a size 12 and still fighting to get down to 15o lbs (which I thought was fine for my frame).

I finally decided to bust out the old running shoes and start running again. I took it easy and got back in to running shape… well, at least I could do a good three miles without dying. I then started to get inspired and motivated. I loved the way I felt when I ran. I was born to run! I have and will always love it. I knew that I was going down a path to freedom. 

My senior year of college I decided to do my first marathon, The St. Jude Marathon. I started training with a friend, who had to drop out, so I finished the training on my own. I didn’t have any kind of plan. I just ran when I could and did long runs on the weekends. I had no idea that I should be taking “goo” or doing interval training and yoga was out of the question. I still ate OK, not great. Had those late-night Chili’s runs and the oh-so-often Happy Hour margaritas!

I ran that marathon the best I could and hated it. I remember hitting 18 miles and wanting to run off that road and go home! I ran the whole thing and got a 4:20 and was proud of myself. Never thought I could do any better.

The Post College Years

After the marathon, I developed a bad case of foot spurs (probably from those cheep shoes I wore). So I got a gym membership and started doing kickboxing four or five days a week. This was it! I was shedding weight like crazy. I quit the alcohol consumption and started eating real healthy food. I didn’t need free meals anymore because I got a job and was making real money! I gave up all white breads and sugar and I couldn’t believe how much weight was falling off. I got a personal trainer for two months and he taught me how to use free weights at home and how to eat at least five small meals a day. I had gotten down to a size 9 and I was so happy.

Later that year, I met and got engaged to my hubby. He fell in love with me at first sight. He never thought I was overweight, but I knew I still had a couple more pounds to lose before the wedding. I got down to a size 6-7 on my wedding day and can you believe I had to get my dress taken in 3 times?!? I looked stunning!

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Today

It’s been several years since the big day in 2007. I am now TEACHING kickboxing, personal training, running on a regular basis and completed my first Half Ironman! I am down to a size 4 (smaller than I was in high school) and for the first time in my life have stepped on the scale and I am in the 120’s!!!! I never thought I would be here, writing about health and helping others get in the best shape of their lives.

I have friends from high school that don’t recognize me because of how much I have changed. People ask me all the time, “How did you do it? How did you get so small?” It’s because I treat my body like God’s holy temple. What goes in my body is very important to my spiritual walk and how I take care of it is an example of how much I appreciate this gift of life. I want to continue helping others discover the beauty in a healthy mind, soul and body.


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My Advice

Mix it up! Work out at least four-to-six times a week and do what works best for you! My body did not change when I just ran. I had to do something that brought my heart rate up and back down. 

Eat REAL food. Get rid of all the processed crap! Lots of fruits & veggies and get rid of the white breads. Make dinner at least four-to-five days a week and when you go out, don’t order anything you couldn’t make on your own. Plan your menu for the week on Sundays; you are more likely to stick to good foods if you have a plan! 

Quit the quick diets. They don’t work in the long run. I did weight watchers points and that was good, but it was a way of life diet and takes off the weight slowly. It helps you develop a better relationship with food instead of seeing food as the enemy. Don’t do anything that guarantees quick weight loss, slow is good. 

Have a training buddy and a goal. It can be anything from a 5k’er to a marathoner. If you have a goal and a buddy, it will be more fun for you to get out there and do it!

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Comments (33)

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Sigh.

I’m so glad to have come across your blog.
I needed this motivation.
I’m 5’5 as well and 154lbs.
I feel awful- just terrible about how I’ve let myself go.
After having Irish twins (my youngest will be 10 months next week) and having lost a family member I’ve struggled with emotional binge eating.
I can’t imagine ever getting back to 135 again… and in the 120’s like you- what?! That seems like a pipe dream.
I look forward to following you and starting to take care of myself the way I should.
Thanks for the inspiration!
V

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Wow!!! This is very helpful to me and gives me plenty of hope to continue on my lifetime journey. I really enjoyed inspirational story. Thank you and you really look fabulous…. Congrats to you and your love one

Just found your blog and I love it! Your joy and enthusiasm for being healthy and for life jump through the page. Excited to follow 🙂

You have such an inspiring and relatable story. I loved reading about your journey!

This is a very inspirational journey… I obtained an amazing job with a vitamin company, I turn 30 this month, and my boyfriend proposed to me two weeks ago. My life has been better then ever, now time to work on my body. I’m ready to change my life for the BEST! Thank you for sharing your story.

This is such a great journey! And I can totally relate to you. I wish I would have had a chance to meet you at FitBloggin this past weekend. I am looking to head in a similar direction with blogging full time and fitness. 🙂 I followed your blog via BlogLovin, so I will be “around”. 🙂

Loved your journey and resonated with yours truly. Was a Kinesiology Major, graduated and started training others while in school to help develop their self esteem through athletics. Incredible how when we believe in ourselves, find our how incredible we feel moving our bodies and eating well that the weight falls off while the smiles get bigger and brighter! keep on motivating and being you! Cheers – Erin

That was a really good post, I enjoyed reading your story and seeing the pictures. x

I read this and thought it was amazing. Do you have an advice for a teenager who is 5’2″ and 168lbs? I just don’t know where to start. I know I should eat healthy and I usually do but I live too far from a gym and I don’t know what types of fitness besides walking I can do at home. Any advice??

Loving your site and looking forward to your class! My journey sounds very similar. I am still working on it!

Would love for you to join my program at http://www.fitmom.co.za I created a 3 month plan in which I lost 66 pounds. It is not a diet, it is healthy eating and exercising. The complete website and training is all for FREE. Please check it out and please join us moms in getting our bodies back in shape.

Wow, such an amazing story! I have always known you as the skinny healthy girl from instagram so it was amazing to see your journey! You are such an inspiration. I love your blog and “choose joy” attitude. <3

Thank you for sharing. I need the dynamite to start excerising. I lost 70 lbs at one time and felt great kept it off 10 yrs and than wham bamm it was back. I am happy for you. Janice

Thanks for sharing your story. My favorite part is that it appears you changed when your heart changed for God’s plan for your life including how you treat your body. Thank you for the insight 🙂

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