I have always been weight conscious since all the women in my family were very overweight and unhealthy. But as I married, had children, the weight would creep up and I would lose it by watching my food intake. This awareness increased when my mom died at the age of 54.
Fast forward to 2012, I was 56 and I had gained more than the normal 10-15 pounds. I started running a little and for the first time ever, lifted a weight. It was slow going, but I started losing some and feeling better. Two months after I started my fitness journey, my husband had a heart attack and our eating habits took a drastic change. You could say, and my family does say, that I became quite obsessive about nutrition.
In 2013 our adult daughter became seriously ill with an unknown illness that no doctor could put a name to. I had a tremendous amount of stress in my life. I was determined to be not only mentally strong, but physically strong if the time came that she needed to rely on my strength.
I joined AFBC in 2014, taking 3 to 4 classes a week. I had hit a plateau and asked for a meal plan and finally lost that stubborn ‘little extra’. In 2015, Jena suggested that I do a fitness competition. I told her she was crazy and not in a million years! She periodically mentioned it and the seed she had planted took hold, maybe I could do it. It was something that gave me a purpose outside of my daughter’s still unknown illness. When I was training, thoughts of all the scary unknowns were replaced with what I needed to do and could control in that moment to get me across the stage. In April 2016 at the age of 60, I did cross that stage and I felt such a huge sense of achievement. Not because I looked that great or anything, but because I accomplished something I never believed that I could, walk across a stage in front of so many people!!! My next goal was to complete a Spartan Sprint and that goal was met in the fall of the same year with my husband who had lost 64 pounds by this time.
I had to take some time off for some “age related” back problems. I saw a spine specialist and with physical therapy and some gentle exercises, I found my way back to doing what I love, lifting weights.
My journey took me on a path to Whole30 which helped alleviate the inflammation which causes so many issues, mine being arthritis and migraines. I saw huge changes and can’t thank Christie Williams enough for researching and sharing her knowledge of this life changing program. I continue to use this knowledge every day.
And to round out my improved health, I started practicing yoga twice a week when AFBC offered the classes. I don’t care who you are or what type of exercise you do, or don’t do, everyone can benefit from yoga. It helped ease the arthritis in my back and in general helped me relax both physically and mentally.
I have competed in 5 fitness competitions and am currently training for #6 in December. This sport for me is a journey of discipline which I love much more than the actual competition. AFBC has helped me realize so many things about myself, some good and some that needed a lot of work, but their main concern has always been for my total well being. My goal is to be as fit as can be for as long as I can.