When the gym isn’t an option

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A full-time working mom just doesn’t have time for the gym, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have the body you’ve always dreamed of! In October of 2015, I decided I had enough with the excuses. I was ready to make time for my physical health. Did that mean I had to sign up for a gym membership and attempt to go two times a week before cancelling after three months with no results? Of course not. I did, however, get a personal trainer who works with me long distance. She’s located in my hometown of Greenville, so everything we do is online and over the phone.

I started with my diet. Never in a million years did I see myself on a diet. However, if you want to see results, you have to start here. I’ve never been overweight, but I’ve never been one to go on a run in a sports bra either. I want that confidence. So I started counting macros. This is a very flexible diet that really works for my sweet tooth. It allows for those sweet treats in moderation. It hasn’t always been easy. To be honest, I really sucked at it for the first three months. Now it’s rare that I don’t hit my diet goals. After diet, then comes exercise. Both go hand-in-hand and are a commitment, a life changing commitment. My trainer has started me on an at-home workout that usually takes 45 minutes, and I usually squeeze this in after putting my daughter down for bed. The most it has required me to purchase, as far as equipment goes, is dumbbells and kettle bells. I have three different workouts that I can spread throughout the week. This is perfect for me because every day is so different in my life, and I need that flexibility. I then run a total of two miles at some point in the week. Again, this is totally on my schedule and the weather, of course. Here in South Carolina, rain is almost always in our forecast.

Once I got both of these aspects of my life in-line, I broke my plateau, and I am seeing results every day. Not only am I looking leaner, I have more energy than I’ve ever had. With four jobs and a toddler, you just don’t hear that often. Having a trainer has been such a constant in my route to success. She holds me accountable, and even though she’s one of my best friends, she doesn’t go easy on me. She’s pushing me to goals I never thought possible, and I am loving every minute of it.

If you’ve been up in the air about getting into shape and living a healthier life, don’t put it off like I did for the past three years. There is no time like the present to get that fit mom bod you always wanted. Results speak for themselves, and they don’t lie.

 

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Meeting Ella

My daughter is my world. She, without knowing it, saved me from myself. I used to be such a carefree, nothing worse could ever happen kind of girl. I see the world from a whole new perspective, beginning the day I found out I was pregnant. I want nothing but the best for both my daughter and myself. Even though I work four different jobs, she gets to be my sidekick for most of the day. She attends the preschool I teach at and then tags along the rest of the day. She’s such a good sport and does her best to behave, but it’s just hard being three, I tell ya!

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I found out I was pregnant before finishing college. More specifically, a week before I was about to walk across the stage, so Evan and I kept it a secret until then. We were young and scared, but we knew everything was in God’s hands. Looking back, I think this was his way of saying the world didn’t revolve around me and life wasn’t about living for the moment.

Ella was born a month after my 22nd birthday, and she changed our lives forever. I didn’t know where my life was headed, but in that moment, I knew she’d be the one to show me. These past three years have been some of the hardest, yet most rewarding years of my life. I wake up wondering what adventure she plans to take us on. She’s a fireball that never seems to take a break. She can light up any room, and on any bad day, she quickly brings a smile to my face. I don’t think she’ll ever fully know the impact she had on my life. She is my rock, and without her, I’d be lost.

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Testimony

Everyone has a story to tell. We’ve all had dramatic life events that have taken us through the darkest of places. It’s how we react to these situations that determine the person we become. When I was 14, I was taken from my home and placed into a group home. In the midst of it all, I couldn’t stop questioning why God would do this to me? Why would he take me away from my family? I didn’t know it at the time, but he was saving me.

I spent two months in questioning and was then released into the custody of my best friend’s family. They took me in with open arms and without a second thought. They showed me love and what it meant to be a family. Growing up, I thought it was normal to be punished physically any time I didn’t do something right or because someone was having a bad day. My stepdad treated my sister and I no different than his two sons. We all got the same punishment. I didn’t know it then, but boy do I know it now. That is not normal. My mom didn’t speak up for my sister and I, which to me was just as bad as him hitting us. I had the choice to go back home after my mom and stepdad jumped through all the hoops for DSS. I was ready to live with my mom but not with my stepdad. My sister and I tried reasoning with my mom, but she just couldn’t leave him.

I then had to make one of the hardest decisions of my life. I chose to not go back home and pretty much lost my mom forever. She was crushed, I’m sure, but I was broken. I couldn’t understand her decision then and still don’t now, but God never left my side through it all. I got to see both worlds, and he gave me the choice to live in whichever home I chose. I could have fallen into a pattern just like my mom, but I chose a different route; one that taught me to think for myself and become my own person. I am strong and independent. There is nothing I can’t fight my way through.

While it might not have been a clear sign of God’s love, that’s exactly what it was. He has proven over and over again his love and grace. I hope I can reach others by sharing a piece of my story so that you too may be able to experience his amazing grace.

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Today I Choose Forgiveness

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Forgiveness. It’s such a simple word, yet such a hard thing to do. For years I’ve been holding on to a grudge against my biological mother. I felt like she didn’t fight for me, she didn’t step up as a parent when I needed her the most. I tell people I have forgiven her, but if I am honest with myself, I haven’t fully. Not yet. I’ve told myself a million times I should – I’ve wanted to. It just hasn’t quite happened. It’s easier to forgive a friend who has made questionable choices during your friendship, it just seems to cut a little deeper when it’s family.

I know that holding on to the past is only pushing me away from God, and that is the last thing I want. After a thousand Sunday school lessons and songs on forgiveness, I decided I wanted to be free of the hate in my life. So today, I choose forgiveness. I am going to reach out to my mother and let her know that I forgive her and that I want to mend what was broken. Not because I want to secure my faith, but to try to save hers.

She feels abandoned, much like I did. Even though we will never get back those years we spent hating each other, there is still time to heal wounds and to mend a few fences.

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