My Health Journey

The summer of 2011 I found me just turning 30, overweight, and dealing with life as a young widow. I’d lost my husband to cancer a year and a half before, and now after months of healing, I knew I wanted more out of life. I was tired of living each day feeling like I was surviving, but not thriving.
I have tried many types of diets – counting points or calories or carbs or anything. This time, I decided I wasn’t doing that. I decided it was time to stop trying to just lose weight, and focus on getting stronger and healthier. I met Mindy Quesenberry and learned about her gym, Phases Fitness, through a health fair at my job in September 2011. I joined just a few days later and I’ve never looked back!

I started working out at Phases several times a week, making appointments to complete my strength training program and checking out the classes they offer. I adopted the “Eat Clean” lifestyle. I eat almost entirely following a Jillian Michaels’ motto – “If it didn’t grow from the ground or have a mother – don’t eat it.” I cut back on my portions and started eating clean, fresh foods. I use the MyFitnessPal app on my phone to track my calories and keep me on target.

Though I had been working out consistently for nine months, I found myself stuck at a plateau in June 2011. I couldn’t get past 40 pounds lost. Around this time, my gym started a team to train for the Men’s Health Urbanathlon in New York City. This was just the shakeup I needed in my routine. I began attending weekly training sessions and working on my running stamina. I was part of a 3-woman relay team.

When I started training for the Urbanathlon in June 2012, I couldn’t run a solid mile. But through hard work, persistence, and a lot of prayer, I completed my leg of the Urbanathlon with no trouble! This race revealed my “inner athlete,” and I realized that I could do anything I set my mind to.

With that attitude, the day after the Urbanathlon, I signed up for the 2013 Rock ‘N Roll USA Half Marathon in Washington, DC. I focused hard on the training, fueling myself with clean foods, and continuing to strength train. I crossed the finish line of my first half marathon in 2:36, without walking at all!

This race spurred me on to set my sights on bigger things! That same fall (2013), my 3-woman relay team returned to the Urbanathlon. This year, we did the entire race together - all 10 miles and 12 obstacles! I was so floored by this experience that I just kept going. In 2014, I ran 5 half marathons and crossed the finish line of THE BALTIMORE MARATHON!

Since crossing that finish line in 2014, I've had some major life changes. I got married, gained a stepdaughter, and have been recovering from a back injury. Thanks for following along on this journey of life!

 This story was featured at FitFluential

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