If I try to pinpoint when my interest in health and fitness started, it coincides directly with when my husband and I started dating. We met in the middle of my junior year at The University of Texas at Austin, which also happens to have coincided with when I was at the peak of my college weight gain and trying to lose the weight I had gained in the dorm and through a lifestyle that was much, much less active than I had been before I moved away from home.
Like my gymnastic-strong daughters now, I was never a skinny girl. I always had more muscular legs and than most and as someone that grew up doing ballet I was perennially frustrated with not being thin enough. But by my junior year of college, I was carrying 20 extra pounds and didn’t really know where it all came from or where to start losing it, except to workout. I started rollerblading.
After Jeff decided he liked me enough to share his gym time with me, he taught me to lift weights. Like a dude. I did so many chest presses, inclines and declines and so little cardio it was ridiculous in retrospect, but here’s the deal, I was good at it, so I liked it. So I kept going. I thought I would lose access to a weight room while was doing an internship in DC that summer and fall, so Jeff helped me to start running and I ran my first-ever mile and 5K. And I started calorie counting and restricting. In retrospect, I was WAY too restrictive and my energy level and workouts suffered for it, but it was working, so I did what I could and got down to a healthier weight.
Over the course of the next 10 years, my working out stayed constant with Jeff’s partnership, but gradually through work and lifestyle changes the weight slowly crept back on, so I slowly peeled it off as I got into doing triathlons. And then the cycle repeated when I got pregnant with twins and gained a healthy amount of weight through the pregnancy, but it took me a full eight years to get back to where I was pre-pregnancy.
Through all of this, I’ve read, experimented, cooked, tried new things, worked with nutritionists and learned a lot: What works with my body. What works with my family and lifestyle. What stress does to my eating. How to travel while sticking to smart choices. And what it means to me to feel good inside my body.
I know from talking to my friends and colleagues nothing I’ve been through in this span is unique. The stress, busy-ness and chaos of working full-time, traveling for business, parenting young children and trying to just enjoy life a little is exhausting and most people don’t have the added level of interest I have to try to figure this piece out. They have other interests and passions.
I decided last year to take my life experience combined with some additional education to start trying to help people either learn from me or from resources I could connect them with through coaching. As I see more people struggling with being pre-diabetic by the time they are in their 30s and watch as my daughters’ friends slowly add weight to their midsection before they are even 10 years old, it tears at my heart. I know people don’t mean to make choices that hurt their health or their kids, but most people don’t know any different or don’t have time to figure out an alternative.
With each person I work with, my goal is to help them do better for themselves, but also give them the tools and understanding to influence the people around them to make smarter choices, lead a better lifestyle and ultimately set up all of our children to have a future of health.