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Running was mainly what I did for exercise- something I felt I excelled and it made me feel a sense of accomplishment besides being a wife and stay at home mom to our two beautiful daughters. I had suffered an IT band injury back in May 2014 while training for my 2nd half marathon and felt really discouraged. I wasn’t going to the gym consistently or running. I didn’t feel great about myself. I wanted to feel strong, confident, and lead a healthier lifestyle by eating natural foods. I was encouraged to try FitMania and had been going 3 months prior to signing up for the challenge and during that time had seen some physical changes taking place. I wanted to push myself to achieve even more change to my body and hoped to get back into running again. I was afraid that I might not do well or stay consistent but made the choice to sign up for Challenge #7 anyway.  The goals I had in mind was to continue going to boot camps 5 days a week and eat 6 healthy meals a day.

I began the challenge with my original goal of attending classes 5 times a week but midway through I diligently went 6 times a week even with my husband’s busy work and travel schedule; Periscope was a great tool to stay consistent with my work outs. I don’t think I would have been that successful had I not had Periscope available during the times he traveled. I learned to be better about planning out and preparing healthy meals at the beginning of every week. I planned and packed healthy snacks whenever I would leave the house to make sure I didn’t go more than 3 hours without eating. I made a really conscious effort to make sure I was eating the appropriate amounts of protein, carbohydrates and fats in each meal. My husband has supported me so much this past 90 days and also has made efforts to eat healthy and whole foods (the kids are a work in progress but I’m confident they will come around). Changing our eating habits was one of the most important parts of this whole process. I felt my body could function better and more efficiently and I just feel I have more energy and am more productive in my day to day activity. I wasn’t sure I would see any significant physical changes in just 90 days but I was blown away by the muscle I have gained and the definition I can see now! This challenge was my first and it’s been hard but I feel I have done my best and more than the amazing physical changes I see; I feel really happy and confident in myself again. My endurance had improved so much and I’m even running again! I signed up for my first race since my injury and ran to finish with one my best times for a 10K back in September. Before the challenge, I was a person who was afraid to do things that were hard if I thought I might not succeed. I am not afraid to challenge myself anymore. This experience has made me a stronger person both physically and mentally. I found that I am stronger and capable of way more than I gave myself credit for in the beginning. From pushing myself in boot camps to being disciplined in my eating habits, it doesn’t stop now that the challenge is over. I have created a healthier lifestyle for myself and my family and plan to continue that the rest of my life.

Someone I hope I hope to inspire is my mother to try the Lean for Life Challenge. She is a beautiful person but I worry that she is not leading as healthy a lifestyle as she could be. I would love her to have the energy to keep up and play with her grandchildren. I would show her that the classes are a place where she will not be judged but lifted up because everyone truly wants to see one another succeed. I want her to love herself because she is an inspiration to me in so many ways.





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