Been there, done that, have a closet-full of t-shirts

I know. I’ve been there. I had always tried to find time to run on weekends or hike with my husband or my kids. For a while, I was able to maintain my weight, but a career move and a change of work location and, for almost three years, I hardly found time to do anything. What was worse, by the time I made it past dinner and all the extracurricular activities with the kids, I would choose to sit in front of the TV with my fair share of comfort food, simply exhausted. In no time, I began to change into something I didn’t want to be. I couldn’t fit into the jeans I used to wear and the skirts were feeling uncomfortably tight. I’d have to buy the next size up in work clothes, only to find, six months later, I was going up again. I would immediately change into sweat pants and over-sized sweat shirts whenever I was home, just to feel comfortable. Wearing all the baggy clothes helped to hide what was happening to my body underneath. I started to feel down about how I looked and would find excuses to avoid certain social situations because I was embarrassed at how I looked in the mirror.

I had reached the point where I was going to DO something! As I looked around at local gyms and for a personal trainer, I found myself looking at people who live in the gym, eating and sleeping fitness to the point where many were competing in body building contests. I admired how they looked and respected their drive and determination (both male and female alike), but I could not help feeling self-conscious every moment.

I decided I would have to learn everything I could about personal health and fitness so I could not only apply it to my own life,  but also help others just like me do the same. I gathered as much information as I could and spent time in the gym, learning how to group exercises and create customized fitness routines. I then enrolled in the National Academy of Sports Medicine, getting my certification as a personal trainer with additional emphasis on diet and nutrition.

As the pounds slowly melted away, I noticed my arms and legs becoming more toned and I began to not just look more fit, I felt it! I was having to buy new jeans and work clothes, but this time, it was because I needed to find smaller sizes — not bigger. I was gaining back my personal confidence and did not mind being invited to formal events where I could slip back into a classy, yet alluring dress and feel good about myself. It was at that point, I knew I needed to change my career. I had found a way to make personal health and fitness a priority in my own life and I found a calling to do the same for others.

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