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I Am Strong and That Person My Family Can Lean On

“Our greatest glory is not never falling but in rising every time we fall” – Confucius

My journey to becoming a healthier, happier me started when I was looking online for a class that would get me motivated to work hard on getting back in shape. I came across the Slam BAM contest and thought, competition, this will get me going. So, I signed up… and then the very next day thought, I’m crazy no way can I do this, I just won’t go to the information meeting… no harm done. Then, I got a phone call from Amy; she was so excited that I had signed up for this opportunity. So, there is was, I officially had to do this, no way could I back out now, I did not want to be the loser that quit before she even began. I am so glad that Amy encouraged me to start this beginning to a new me.

I think back to why I wanted to start this journey… my mom Maggie was diagnosed with breast cancer and I wanted to take control of the things in my life that I had a say in. My health, both mind and body, is a determining factor to what I am going to accomplish in my life. A quote that was sent to me by our coaches, “Assume responsibility for the quality of you own life, “ made me realize I can be the strong woman I am meant to be, I can be the person that never says, I can’t. I need to make it happen. I can’t wait around for someone else or some miracle to do it for me. I am on my way to being this person. I took responsibility to commit myself completely.

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Confessions of a SLAM BAM Contestant

In order to be fair, I have to be completely honest, and make three confessions. I would ask for you to read on without judgment, but I recognize that I have put myself in a position for just that. Here it goes…

First, I have not eaten clean 100% of the time. Yes, it is true. I have strayed from the diet at various moments along my journey. I have done this because my goal for this competition was not to lose as much weight until the end. My intent was to start a new lifestyle, which meant that I wanted to learn the “how to’s” or what to eat but in the context of my life. My plan was to learn to eat with control, so when I took a bite of my children’s macaroni & cheese, it was a conscious decision that I controlled the when and how much. It prevented me from saying “I can’t” and allowed me to say, “Is that what I really want because I may eat it anytime as a treat?”

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I am Taking Charge of My Life and No Longer Merely a Passenger

I chose to be fat

I did not make this choice consciously…

But all my choices put me in that place – uninformed and unaware.

I have always been a people pleaser, this attitude led me to put others first and not evaluate priorities for the person who most needed my help – me. Through the years, I hid behind helping people at work and those in my personal life. I thought this would work – that I could have friends, excel at work, and god forbid, get a boyfriend – if I was always helping, even if I was unhealthy, overweight, and unhappy. When it was evident that this strategy was not working, I finally realized it was time to take control of my life. I got very lucky that Google pointed me in the direction of MABC back in February and the Slam Bam challenge soon thereafter.

When I chose to take on the challenge, subsequently making myself a priority, the reactions were not encouraging. Colleagues wondered how my work commitments would be affected, family worried that my grades would suffer, and I wondered if I was up to the challenge. Over the past 16 weeks, I have taught myself that I am more than up to the challenge. My days began at 4:30 am and end at 9:30 pm – bootcamp, work, graduate school four nights a week. I still wonder sometimes how I made this all work!! There is a thrill in knowing that I am taking charge of my life and no longer merely a passenger. If you were to ask what kept me so committed, I don’t think I would have an answer. Let’s be honest, the physical results were wonderful and the compliments were great. But I think overriding all of that was a new found respect for myself and a realization that I deserved more than I had allowed myself before.

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