I grew up living a very active lifestyle. As I mentioned previously, I was a professionally trained dancer which meant hours upon hours of time spent in the studio. After pursuing my performance career, I found myself teaching dance to the next generation. When my husband and I got married, we both decided that my energy would be best focused on our family business. And so, with that, I was full time at our insurance and financials office. As what seems to happen to many of us women, I settled right in to adulthood. Suddenly, I was sedentary. I spent eight hours each day sitting at a desk. I came home, fed the dogs, made dinner, threw in a load of laundry, and then parked it on the couch with my hubby. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining by any means. Some of our best times were spent sitting at opposite ends of the couch trying to toss gummy penguins into each other’s mouths. We have fun no matter what we’re doing. Life was good, but it had definitively changed.
Fast forward to July 2014. Tom and I decided that were going to rip our 1960’s kitchen out and start anew. The morning that demolition began, we were upstairs talking while Mocha (our puggle) and Klaus (our Golden puppy) wrestled. All of a sudden, Klaus let out the most horrendous sound I’ve ever heard and collapsed. Tom picked him up and rushed him out to our truck. I sat in the back with Klaus as we raced to the emergency vet, blowing air into his muzzle and performing compressions. We got there within ten minutes, but Klaus was gone before we arrived. When we started that morning, I never in a million years would have imagined we’d find ourselves deciding if we wanted our puppy cremated and in what type of box. Our family was jolted. The house felt empty. Mocha stopped eating and I started. I stress ate absolutely anything and everything. It was all I could do to numb the pain.
Life moved along, whether or not we were ready. Demolition had begun on the kitchen and so we had to push on. Just a few days into the project, Tom stepped on two rusty nails, which got infected and had him hospitalized. He was on crutches and antibiotics for what seemed like an eternity. It took us a total of four months to complete the kitchen. We ate carry out at every meal–three hundred and sixty meals total. It was sickening. But finally, we were done. The kitchen was everything I’d dreamt of and more.
We now had a new addition to the family, Berndt. He was a Golden Retriever just like our last, but he was nothing like him. He was such a pistol! Between him and changes at our office, we were swamped. Though our eating situation had improved, it wasn’t enough. I had neglected my body for far too long and it was going to take much more than some home cooked meals to get myself back on track.
In August, I heard about a 90 Day Challenge that was going to take place at our gym. I thought that this could be just what I needed to get my act in gear. My group was a transformation challenge, which meant losing body fat. This was perfect for me because my goal really had nothing to do with the number on the scale, but instead about how I felt. I was so tired of my clothes strangling me and searching for a person in the mirror who I couldn’t seem to find anymore. I also didn’t want to just drop a bunch of weight to win a competition. I wanted to create a healthy lifestyle that would not only get me to my goals, but that I could also maintain for the rest of my life. Let’s face it, life is ALWAYS going to seem crazy and chaotic. I needed a solid plan that I knew I could depend on.
And so it began. I needed a “before” picture, per the competitions requirements. Holy moly! If you ever want to really step back and assess your situation, take a photo of yourself in a sports bra and spandex shorts. I nearly cried when I had to have my husband take the picture. Sure, what I saw definitely scared me, but I think the hardest part was knowing what it represented. I had lost control. I had completely neglected myself, which ultimately meant I wasn’t being the best I could be for the people that I loved either.
90 days later, I am proud to say that I accomplished what I set out to do and so much more. I set out to makeover my body and somehow I ended up cleansing my soul. I never would have thought I’d share my “before” photo with anyone other than my husband. But I want you to see what I’ve done so that you can see what I know you can do too. In following posts, I will share with you what exactly I did to succeed. There’s no “skinny tea” or diet pill at the end of this story. Just good, old-fashioned hard work and caring. It ultimately comes down to taking care of yourself, the way you do your husband, kids, dogs, business, and everything else that you put first in your life.