WEIGHT 198 lbs
BODY FAT 36%
WEIGHT 115 lbs
BODY FAT 12%
My journey started nine years ago after the sudden loss of my 49-year-old brother. I was age 46 at the time and knew my time could come quick if I didn't make some lifestyle changes. My story is unique because I sustained a significant weight loss for a long period of time, and my determination to continue is just as strong as it was nine years ago, if not stronger.
I feared the gym. I was bullied about my weight as a teen and the memory carried into adulthood and held a powerful mental presence in my head. I had no idea where to start, but knew I had to figure it out quickly. I didn't want my children to lose their mother and feared I may never see my grandchildren grow up. My brother, who I know is with me, and my family, are my motivation.
I started at a local gym under the direction of trainer Mike Bustillos and did plyometric high-volume training for seven years. Over time, I found myself hungry for more, read about CrossFit, and decided to give it a try.
I was 53 years old and scared when I took the first step into CrossFit One World (it's literally two driveways down from my office, so I knew there would be no excuses). I ventured out of my comfort zone, but this wasn't the last time I entered unchartered territories. It was time to challenge myself, so I fully embraced CrossFit and signed up for the Nike Women's Marathon that same year and raised more than $6,000 for Team in Training.
The following year, I signed up for the Nike Marathon again and raised $4,000 for Team in Training. I felt an amazing sense of pride to know I raised more than $10,000 to benefit those suffering from leukemia and lymphoma. Running has always been hard due to my self-conscious problems with weight and the memories I carried from being bullied. It was scary, but with more than 20,000 people in the marathon, I felt surrounded by others on a similar journey that made me feel empowered. It was time to kill the running goal and CrossFit training helped me tackle the brutal hills in San Francisco and finish strong.
I continue to train hard every day and am surrounded by amazing coaches who constantly push and encourage me. I also work with my personal trainer, Christopher Robinson, who takes me to places in fitness I never imagined possible. Not only does he train me to be strong, he instills strength and youth in me.
I hope my story inspires those who are scared to try something new, or those who don't have a clue where to begin. Age is just a number. It's never too late to make the first step, and after you do, don't look back. I have three children and six grandkids. There are almost nine years between the two photos and the thrill of waking up every morning and going strong makes me strive to stay young. My youngest daughter is also an avid CrossFitter and does an amazing job. Running an event and crossing the finish line with her, hand in hand, is on my bucket list.
My focus is stronger today than ever before. My investment in fitness and nutrition has paid off. People on this same journey need to remember that you're with a trainer one hour per day; the other 23 hours are on you. Make each day count. If you have a bad day, look to tomorrow as a new day to start fresh. Learn to prepare your meals for the week. Lack of preparation can attribute to failure in your eating choices.
This is not a lifestyle change or a diet; this is a life-changing commitment. I have to work hard daily to maintain a healthy lifestyle and it doesn't come easy. The biggest challenge is not being able to share my experience with those who deserve the same opportunity extended to me. I hope to continue helping others and paying it forward.
Planning is the key to success. If you're going out and know the food choices will be difficult, have a light meal at home prior and try and be creative and find something healthy at your event. Be creative and think outside the box. I always keep a snack-size baggie of nuts and a water bottle in my car. Nuts are an easy item that you can keep in your glove compartment as a go-to in emergencies.
Always believe in yourself and follow your dreams, no matter how far-fetched they seem. There is no reason you can't make your dream a reality. My dream is to have the ability to reach out and help as many people as possible. People are my inspiration, especially those in need of help.
I constantly feed my hunger to learn as much as possible. I'm a fan of Jamie Eason (Middleton) and love her LiveFit program and amazing protein bars. Bodybuilding.com has a wealth of information on everything fitness. I enjoy seeing Jamie at the fitness expos and love hearing new ideas.
I want to give a big thank you to CrossFit One World in Union City, California, under the direction of Brad Medeiros and Freddy Camacho. They provide an amazing coaching staff and I want to thank them for making their home my second home. A big thanks to my trainer, Chris, for believing in me and always pushing me to new heights.
Shout out to Tom Gaughan for capturing such amazing shots in my photo shoot. To my family and friends, who have stood by me through this incredible journey and supported all my levels of craziness as I find new and exciting ways to live fit.
- "Dog Days Are Over" by Florence And The Machine
- "Pumped Up Kicks" by Foster The People
- "Not Afraid" by Eminem
- "Love On Top" by Beyonce
- "Young Forever" by Jay-Z