Welcome to my “About Me” Post!!
I will try not to tell you guys my entire life story, but to be honest there are so many different parts of my life that got me where I am today. My life has NOT always been about health and fitness and I actually didn’t really get serious about it until about 4 years ago.
Brief (kinda) Story of My Past…..
So I have 3 siblings, my older sister (Kristen), my older brother (Jimmy), and my younger sister (Lauren). I am lucky enough to have a great relationship with all of them, even though I don’t see them nearly enough.My parents were, what I considered, happily divorced since I was 5 and I feel I am 0% traumatized by their decision to separate.
I grew up living with my siblings and my mom, who was a single parent to 4 kids pretty much my entire life. (God bless her! I’m still not sure how she survived) She taught me how to be independent and not depend on anyone else.
Even though I am happily married now, it has not always been that way and I never felt that I could not make it on my own. She is now the best grandma to our 3 kids and my 2 nephews. My 2 boys love going to her house. Like, I’m not exaggerating! Her house is their favorite place to go on earth!
I was lucky enough to have 2 parents that taught me so much about life and have made me the person I am today. My Dad was the hardest working man I know. He did everything he did for us kids. He taught me that nothing in life is handed you me and if I want bigger things in life I have to work for them.
He taught me how to do stuff on my own. If I needed him to help me put something together he didn’t just do it for me, he showed me how to do it. I am so grateful for this, because I feel I am a little “handier” than your average girl. I had a special relationship with him that I can’t even put into words. He was my rock and always will be <3
Unfortunately, my Dad also struggled for many years with alcoholism. My older sister and I watched him suffer for so many years. It was the hardest thing in my life I have ever had to go through.
We watched him go from working 50+ hours a week, traveling the world, and being there to support us, to not even being able to get out of bed. I wouldn’t wish this terrible disease on anyone. I still feel so blessed that he made it to my wedding day in 2014, because he was hospitalized just months before.
One day at work in January of 2017 I got the most devastating call from my mom. We had lost my Dad. Even though we thought many times before that he might not make it, this did not make it any easier. If anything it made it more difficult to process. We thought he was invincible.
This was by far the hardest time in my life. It all just seemed so unfair. Why does this have to happen to such a great man. At his funeral the thing I heard the most was “your dad was the nicest guy” and it’s so true. This really made me think about what is important in life. Is there really anything better than that for people to say about us when we are gone?
I’m not perfect by any means, but I try to be a good person and treat everyone I see with respect. Thank you mom and dad for making me, me!
The reason I shared this story is, because it has greatly influenced my decision to better my own health and ultimately lead me here. I don’t ever want my kids to see me how I saw my dad. I don’t want them to suffer like my sister and I did.
Our Family of Five!!
We may look like your average family of five, but that’s not exactly the case. Although our day to day lives run like the average family and we still have the same amount of love and craziness as any other family, how we got here was different.
When Doug and I started dating 8 years ago we were both single parents. At the time Peyton (the oldest) was 6 and Kamryn (our only girl) was 4.
We pretty much went from single parents to a family of 4 within a few months. Although I don’t want our kids to grow up any faster than they already have, I look forward the the time when we can actually “date” without kids, even if it’s when we are in our 50’s.
I feel like as step parents we both stepped up to that role with no questions asked. Blending families is no joke, but for us it has been pretty smooth and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
In 2013 Doug took a new job and he had to move from our hometown of Sandusky towards Cleveland. At the time we did not yet live together, so we made the choice to become a family and we started house hunting. We ended up buying a home in North Ridgeville and we are still there now.
A month or so into house hunting Doug proposed. (luckily, because my mom was all “when the hell is he gonna propose? You guys are buying a house together!) I can’t blame her I had been down that road before and let’s just say it didn’t end well!
2 weeks after getting engaged and already booking our reception for the following summer, we got the surprise of a lifetime….okay we really shouldn’t have been that surprised. We were not being careful AT ALL, but we found out I was pregnant. My first thought was “what the hell am I gonna do?! I have to be in my wedding dress 4 months after giving birth!”
Well long story short, I did it! I ate whatever the hell I wanted while I was pregnant and then pretty much starved myself to fit into my dress. It was the best day ever and I really couldn’t have asked for it to be any better. Luckily, I have learned much healthier ways to lose weight and keep it off.
Now a days we are happy. Things a really good. Our kids are now 14, 12, and 6 and life isn’t as chaotic as it used to be. Our older two have been through a lot with their other parents, but we have always done our best to give them the most loving normal life we could. They are pretty great kids, so I think we are doing a damn good job so far. As far as Brantley, he is spoiled! He’s also the funniest cutest kid and we all adore the hell out of him, even if Pey and Kam may never admit it.
Doug and I have a great marriage. I feel considering our circumstances when we started dating, we have beat the odds. We aren’t perfect, but we love each other unconditionally and we really try to make the best life for each other and our kids. We try to get in a good amount of alone time and really make our relationship a priority.
Life is hard sometimes. Raising kids is hard. Marriage is hard, but I am so looking forward to our future together.
My Health and Fitness Journey
Let me start off by saying I have not always eaten healthy and I certainly haven’t always had a passion for fitness. When I was a pre-teen I was overweight and about as unathletic as you can get. I didn’t have the first clue about healthy eating.
When I was in college I would go to the gym sporadically and I was not eating healthy by any means. Honestly, I really didn’t care at the time. I was happy with myself and my life and I was more interested in my school and social life than anything else.
I guess when I really started to watch what I ate was after I had my oldest at 23 years old. I realized that my body changed and it wasn’t easy to lose weight. I also started to have more anxiety and stress, which lead me to binge eat to try to feel better about myself.
I went on a few different diets at the time, but the one that helped me the most was weight watchers. Weight watchers taught me how to portion my meals and how to get the most out of my calories. While I don’t stick to that currently, I feel it helped lay the foundation for me when it came to basic calorie counting.
I pretty much stuck to that for a long time without really counting my points anymore. My weight would fluctuate, but for the most part I stayed the same and I really wasn’t working out on a consistent basic and didn’t really feel like I had to until…….
When it all Changed
8 years later baby number 2 came…..
After my second pregnancy I quickly learned that I needed to start exercising if I wanted to feel confident in a bikini. Certain body parts just didn’t look the same!
I tried several different workouts and many different diets to try to achieve the “body of my dreams” and nothing really seemed to make a huge difference. I was also stressed more with having now 3 young kids. I found myself in a cycle of eating pretty healthy during the week and then eating ALL THE SHIT on the weekends.
I became obsessed with the scale and I was having frequent migraines, gut issues, anxiety, mood swings, and all kinds of other unpleasant feelings.
What really changed my life was when my husband and I went plant based!
We started it as a New Year’s resolution in 2017 and it actually stuck! We both never felt better. My headaches got better. I had more energy. I lost weight. I was in a better mood. My husband lost weight and his gut issues completely went away.
We both knew after about a month in that we were never going back! Since then we have added in eating eggs and fish (mainly so I could cut down on my soy intake) and I feel like this is the perfect balance for me.
I still consider myself plant based, because ALL of my meals are based around veggies. I try to eat as many nutrient dence foods as I can. This completely changed the way I looked at food. I do keep track of my calories most of the time, but almost all of the food I put in my body is adding value to my health.
I no longer eat frozen low calorie meals or much processed foods at all. I buy tons of veggies every week and I push myself and my husband to eat them all. (My kids are a different story and that’s a whole different post)
I am so confident in my current nutrition plan that I have made a 30 day weight loss challenge based on the super simple rules that I follow on a daily basis. Is it super easy? No, but it’s not complicated or expensive. It even includes dessert and alcohol! Click here to join!
When I first started working out on a consistent basis I was exercising for about a half hour every night after the kids went to bed. Looking back I don’t know how the hell I did this, because now the thought of working out at 9pm sounds awful!
I don’t remember what the turning point was for me, but I just remember I was fed up with making excuses as to why I wasn’t taking care of myself. My life was way more hectic back then and I knew if I kept making excuses I would never get in shape, because there were about 39293 in any given day that I could have used.
Once I started I fell in love with how I felt afterwards. I felt stronger. My mind was clearer. I had more patience with my kids. I was more confident and it led me to make healthier food choices as well. This was about 4 years ago and I have been working out 6 days a week ever since.
Since then I have fallen in love with getting in my workout first thing in the morning. I typically get up before everyone else in my house and this is my favorite part of my day. (Other than laying in bed at night scrolling aimlessly through Instagram and Facebook)
My Gym Phase
At one point I decided to try going to the gym and quickly realized it wasn’t for me. I didn’t like talking to people while I was trying to workout. I also didn’t like adding on drive time to my already super busy morning. The worst part of the gym was sharing equipment with other people. When I only have one hour in the morning I don’t have time to wait for other people!
Falling in Love with Home-Based Workouts
After my gym phase I learned about Beachbody workouts and I fell in love! This really took my fitness to the next level and I am currently still using some of them and I’m in the best shape of my life. I love having a video and other people to follow along with. It’s also so nice working out at home and I have a perfect workout room where I can go and have my “me time” every day.
I’ve learned so much about fitness along the way and I am excited to share my favorite workouts with you guys! I have fallen in love with lifting. Lifting has really helped me tone up and get stronger every day. I do limited cardio, because I hate it, and I’ve learned that I really don’t need much of it to be in great shape.
I am still working every day to improve myself in many different ways and I’m far from perfect. I still struggle with certain issues and I plan to share those along the way as well. I am excited to share my journey with all of you in hopes that I can help you get in the best shape of your life!!