I am a 55-year-old homeschool mama with two kids still in school…a kindergartener and a sixth-grader.  I enjoy hand-crafts, charcoal drawing, and jigsaw puzzles.  Most of all, I love fitness, healthy eating, and helping others find success in becoming healthy and fit.

When life hits you between the eyes like a Mac Truck and you’re overwhelmed with stress, what do you to relax?

I do jigsaw puzzles…little ones, really big ones, electronic ones.  It doesn’t matter which.  As long as there is a puzzle around I can relax. But it wasn’t always like that.

I used to eat.  When my family celebrated birthdays, anniversaries, any family gathering…it always included dinner.  Meals were related to happy times, so whenever stress would hit, I would eat to feel better…to find my “happy place”.

Anything and everything was fair game including, I’m ashamed to say, mixing up a batch of cookie dough without the eggs and eating it straight from the bowl raw.  I ranged far and wide between salty and sweet “foods” (I use that term loosely).  A favorite quick meal was white Minute Rice with butter.  A snack might be a stick of string cheese.  2 slices of homemade white bread with butter and honey was my most common breakfast.  My healthy lunch was mostly salad with fruit and nuts.

Topping out at 180 pounds which is considered morbidly obese when it’s on a 5 foot-nothing frame, I was given the “gift” of a Weight Watchers membership by someone who loved me very much.  I learned that there was no bad food, and that I could eat whatever I wanted as long as I kept track of my allotted “points” for the day and didn’t go over it.

I would skip meals in order to have my nasty, comfort sweets and salts.  It was a very unhealthy way to lose weight, but I did lose 55#. Only because I became a jogger (again, I use that term loosely; an average sized person could walk faster than I ran), eventually working my way up to a distance of 5 miles which was basically 45 minutes of cardio per day.

The problem with this kind of weight loss program was that I couldn’t sustain the loss after suffering an ankle injury.  Without the daily running, I slowly put back on all of the weight I’d lost.  My injury became so bad that I couldn’t even walk around the block without hobbling home in extreme pain.

Much time and healing later, I was finally cleared to run again, but I found myself once again at 180 pounds and not motivated to start over with the same type of plan.  During my recovery time I had tried a personal trainer at our local gym working with me on all of the non-ankle related equipment, fighting with the other “gym-rats” for free weights, machines, and floor space.

The biggest problem?   My nutrition was not even close to healthy.  I would eat a salad every day, but then have pizza or fast food for dinner.  I was a big fan of any kind of bread, pasta, white rice, and cheese.

I understood the concept of portions, but I never ate enough of the foods that would fill me up and give me fuel for the day.  With the wrong food portions, bad food choices, and meal skipping, I was starving my body of the nutrition it desperately needed.  The result was that every calorie I consumed was being turned to stored energy (according to my children’s science class this is called fat).

Enter a dear friend who had lost about 30 pounds of post-baby weight.  She invited a group of ladies to her home to hear her “coach” share about how she had lost that weight and how we could do the same.

This was exactly what I was looking for.  A workout program I could do at home away from the criticism and jostling of the gym.  A meal plan to correct the way I viewed food.  Daily support and accountability from a like-minded group of ladies in a private setting.

I could begin right away and start my own home-based business helping other people just like me find their way to health and wellness through fitness and clean-eating.  I was definitely in the market for a business to do throughout my retirement years which are not so far off in the future.  I could start now building an income for my future.

This new life I have has been a complete lifestyle change for me.  I workout daily at home with my husband, adult daughter, and, sometimes, my 6 year old son.  I am eating better foods in the right portion sizes and the right combinations for losing weight.  And I am finding success on my weight loss journey once again!

I am downsizing my clothes, I have plenty of energy, and I feel great!  I have no doubt that this will be a lifelong change for me.  I have learned so much about nutrition and fitness that I can’t help but share my success story with others.

Today, I am a part-time coach, a homeschool mommy, a wife, a friend, and so much more.  Am I at my goal weight/size?  No…not yet, but I push “play” every day, eat clean meals, drink more water than I ever have, and feel so much more energetic and just plain well.  There is NO silver bullet, NO quick fix for life-long bad eating habits.

The key was doing the little things that would improve my health and fitness DAILY even before I could see any change in the mirror or on the scale because the change was coming.  Seeing how far I’ve come on my weight -loss journey, I am looking forward to each day’s challenges with a whole new outlook.  I CAN DO THIS!

Like compounding interest at the bank, small daily investments made over time will bring amazing results.  If I can do this at my age and with my lack of fitness in the beginning, anyone with the willingness to invest the time and energy in improving themselves can also do it.  I cannot express my heart-felt thanks to that friend who loved me enough to share a life-changing opportunity with the fat lady (me).

But what about my business?  Has it started bringing in enough to replace my husband’s income so he can be home with the kids and me?  Not yet, but it can and will.  The potential for income is limited only by my own efforts.

I hope this glimpse into my life will encourage you to take the next step to becoming the healthy person you want to see in the mirror each day.  God has made you in His image, but He only gives you one body to live in… take good care of it.  You’ll be glad you did!

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