I was a focused, career-driven woman when I graduated from graduate school in 2005. I put my all into my corporate job, my new marriage and my friendships. In 2004, I joined Weight Watchers and went from 138 lbs down to 120 lbs. My high school and college weight was 130-135 and I’ve always been a coach potato, so this was new territory for me. I was thin and fit! I worked out regularly and was very careful to consume nutritious, healthy foods because that made me feel good. And of course, I looked good too.
Then we decided to start a family after I graduated, and it turned out to be a long, hard struggle. I dealt with infertility and miscarriages over several years. It was a very dark time in my life, and I turned to food for comfort. When I finally got pregnant from IVF at the end of 2006, I was over 140 lbs. My twin pregnancy was difficult with lots of aches and pains early on, then serious health problems, and ultimately a period of bed rest due to preterm labor. I never weighed myself at the end of my pregnancy, but I was 180 lbs a week after they were born.
Once we all came home from the hospital, I was on Coumadin for the blood clots I developed while pregnant, and I tired, overweight and out of shape. Within four to five months, I lost most of the “babies” weight just from being a harried mom to infant twins. But then the scale started to creep back up by the time they were 6 months old. I went back to Weight Watchers, my old standby, and got down to 135 lbs. Then when the twins were 12 months old, I made the decision to quit my job and become a stay at home mom. Being a 24/7 mom to toddler twins, at home with ready access to food and plenty of stress, led me to a cycle of yo-yo dieting. I’d gain 10-15 lbs, then turn back to Weight Watchers, South Beach or some other fad diet to lose it. After a few months, I’d go back to my old habits, gain it back, and then start the cycle over.
When the kids were 3.5 years old, I chose to go back to work full time. It took me some time to get into a groove as a working mom, and the first six to nine months were a struggle. I found myself questioning my decision to go back to work, questioning my family size (should we have another baby?), questioning my career and line of work (should I go back to school to do something else?). Needless to say, it did not feel good to feel so unsettled. I felt like I didn’t know who I was or which way was up.
It was during this time that I started to run. Now, I have never been a runner. I’ve never been athletic at all. But I felt like I needed something positive that I could just throw myself into — body and soul — as a way to quiet my mind from all that doubt and questions.
What appealed to me about running was the challenge to do something I’d never thought I could do. At a time when I was feeling so uncertain of myself, so unsettled about what was ahead and so unsure of how to be me, I decided to challenge my long-held belief that I couldn’t run.
In the spring of 2011, I started off slow, walking with short periods of jogging, never going more than a mile or two total. I’m not going to lie; it felt pretty awful at first, but I kept with it. Within a few weeks, my lungs stopped feeling like they were on fire and I could run for longer stretches.
A few months later, I signed up for a training squad for a local race and set myself a goal to run a 15k three months later. I knew it would be hard, but I also knew I could do it. Running had taught me that I was stronger than I realized and that my mind was in control of my body, not the other way around. I completed that 15k, and a half-marathon a month later, and I felt on top of the world. Amazing.
Over the past year, I’ve experienced first-hand how running and other fitness activities help me manage the stress that comes with a dual-career family and improve my emotional and physical health. And I’ve gotten to know, and fall in love, with myself in the process. I now know that I can achieve my goals if I am willing to do the work required.
From this positive place, I decided to give Team Beachbody a try. The positive energy of everyone I knew associated with Beachbody was contagious. I started with Shakeology and TurboJam in November 2011. I quickly realized why everyone raves about Shakeology — I saw improved digestive health and I felt good giving my body the nutrition it needs for my active, busy, often stressful life. I branched out and tried other Beachbody products like P90X, Results & Recovery drink and Energy & Endurance drink. Everything I tried worked just as intended, was extremely high quality, and I have never regretted a purchase.
Because my life has changed for the better, I want to help others change their lives too. I want to help people discover the strength that lies within themselves to live healther and happier lives. This blog and my Beachbody Coaching is a tool for me to accomplish this goal.