Monday, May 18, 2015

My Journey Back to Health

This post has been a long time coming. There was so much in me that did not want to share the photo that I knew had to accompany this blog, and yet the truth is, I feel I need to share it and just be real about the past year and a half and the struggles I have been dealing with during that time. My prayer is that perhaps my story will encourage someone else who may be dealing with something that seems insurmountable in their life.

For a little over two years, I had the privilege of being a part of a Radio Morning Show. Yes, it had it's benefits and I definitely enjoyed the job - but the part that was hardest on me was the lack of sleep. With two teen daughters who like to talk late at night, a full time job of being a wife and mother and my getting up at 3am Monday through Friday, life really began to take it's toll on my health. I gave all I had to the morning show, and by the afternoon, I was running on fumes. My family got my left-overs.

I would always promise myself I would nap during the day, but I'd get busy and never would. As a result of my lack of sleep, I lost motivation and desire to go to the gym. I was totally exhausted. My blood pressure went up and I was even put on a blood pressure medication, which then resulted in my needing a potassium supplement (I ended up in the hospital with heart issues as a result of low potassium). I began to struggle with anxiety and was put on anti-anxiety medication and my brain began to literally shut down. I lost my memory, I was constantly in "fight or flight" mode and as a result, I put on about 30 pounds and began to fall into depression.

What is so ironic is that after the birth of my son in 1992, I began my first fight against obesity and poor health. I began taking fitness classes and then got hooked and began to study to be an instructor myself. I loved the progress I was making physically and wanted to share my enthusiasm with others by helping them achieve their goals, too. I instructed fitness classes, trained, coached and encouraged people for over 20 years. I even wrote a book about fitness! I didn't stop doing this until I quit working in the fitness industry in order to focus on my radio career. What I didn't realize was that my exhaustion and lack of sleep would lead to the exact same fight, just a little over 2 years later.

I remember having the thoughts, "Well, I guess this is it. I'm going to be overweight now for the rest of my life." I sort of gave up on myself and resigned myself to living this "new life" I'd created for myself. It was such a hopeless feeling. I began to pray for God's direction in my life. I knew something had to change. And I knew He would help give me the courage to do what I needed to do to reclaim what I had lost. Not only was I suffering physically, but also spiritually, emotionally and mentally.

After swallowing hard, trusting God and stepping away from the morning show, I decided to try to get back into fitness. I studied and became re-certified, went to Columbia and received my Zumba license (after being licensed in 2003, I had let it lapse) and I began to teach classes at HUB Fitness last summer. I began to get at least 8 hours of sleep at night and started eating more carefully. I noticed my cravings for carbohydrates went down when I began sleeping more. I also noticed that my brain fog lifted and my memory was getting so much better.  Within a few months, I was taken off my blood pressure medication and of course, that allowed me to go off my potassium supplement. I was also taken off my anti-anxiety medication. It was such a great feeling!

One of my classes at HUB Fitness! I LOVE these people!
Today, I have gone from a size 16 to a size 8 and I've lost 20 inches - but more than that, I feel so much better. I am enjoying instructing fitness classes and encouraging people to meet their fitness goals at HUB Fitness in Travelers Rest and I can finally, after a year, say that I feel like I'm getting my old self back again. It's not so much about the weight as much as it is about the way I feel so much better! No more medications, no more brain fog, no more feeling like my family is getting my leftovers.

I'm so thankful to God for leading me to Jennifer Arends, the owner of HUB Fitness and Coaching, who gave me the opportunity to return to what I love to do and allowed me to be a part of this incredible community at HUB. I know having this facility here in Travelers Rest has made a huge impact on my life! I've always believed that commitment, consistency and community are the KEY ingredients to success when it comes to life-change.

I'm not sure what it is you're facing, but I know we all have things in our life that seem insurmountable. I want to encourage you to press on. God may ask you to do something hard in order to achieve something that seems impossible. I know leaving the morning show was a difficult decision, but it was the right one for my health and for my family. I also see how God used that time in my life to grow me, teach me and humble me. Hard lessons, but ones that have built my spiritual muscles, for sure!

If you are struggling with sleep deprivation, I want to encourage you to read this article: Lack of Sleep and Weight Gain (WebMD)  Educate yourself on the importance of sleep and exercise and ask God for direction. One thing I specifically asked Him for was: Please God, help my "want to's" to change! I didn't realize that in order for my "want to's" to change, there were some difficult changes He would ask me to make in my life. But I trusted Him and now I see what He did there. (smile)

If you want to try a class at HUB Fitness, your first class is FREE and we'd love to see you there! Find our schedule at www.hub-fitness.com. The first step is the hardest. But I promise you, it is worth it!

1 Corinthians 9:27 – I don’t know about you, but I’m running hard for the finish line. I’m giving it everything I’ve got. No sloppy living for me! I’m staying alert and in top condition…
Some of the awesome team of instructors at HUB Fitness!




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