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I binged, I purged, I was stressed, I was unhappy, I was unhealthy, and I failed at other gyms and other workout programs. Then I said never again by joining Be Strong!!! 

My friend Jody once told me that every weight loss journey begins with a “never again” moment.  The first picture here was my “never again” moment.  This was taken two weeks before I walked through the doors of Be Strong.
Maintaining a healthy weight has been a struggle for me since Junior High.  I grew up in a very small community where class sizes hovered around 10 students. That was right around the time where sports stopped being about having fun and became more about serious competition and being popular. While I enjoyed playing sports, I wasn’t particularly good at them, so I found myself kicked out of the “popular” group. In a school that small, and being 13, getting kicked out of the popular group is pretty much the end of the world.
I dealt with the stress of these changes (made worse by 13 year old girl hormones) by eating. I ate a lot of junk food and drank a lot of soda. I was also a sneaky eater.  

I dealt with the stress of these changes (made worse by 13 year old girl hormones) by eating. I ate a lot of junk food and drank a lot of soda. I was also a sneaky eater.  I would walk into the kitchen, open the refrigerator, and stick food underneath my shirt to take back to my bedroom to eat later while alone. The unhealthy eating and decrease in physical activity caused my weight to skyrocket, which did not make things easier for me at school. The teasing and name calling was at its worse when I was in 8th grade.
High school opened up a lot more opportunities to make friends with common interests. It didn’t matter as much that I was not good at basketball or softball because there were a hundred other kids who weren’t either! I was happy and healthy until my senior year. The stress of getting into a good college took control of my life. I reverted back to my old ways, but didn’t want to gain the weight like I had before. To ensure that didn’t happen, I started binging and purging. I was diagnoses with and began treatment for bulimia right before my senior graduation.
These ups and downs in my weight continued to show up every time I went through a stressful event- quitting a job, moving, divorce, getting married again, trying to get pregnant, having a 7 month old and finding out I was pregnant again….
While pregnant with my second child, it was discovered that my gallbladder was not functioning at full capacity and my liver was failing. My doctor told me that the numerous weight fluctuations I had experienced increased the severity of something that was not uncommon in pregnancy. To avoid having surgery to remove my gallbladder while pregnant, I had to completely change my diet. No more ice cream for this pregnant woman!
After my second son was born, I started working out at a local gym to lose weight before my gallbladder surgery. While I was going through the motions of showing up and working out, I did not feel motivated and eventually stopped going.
I planned to return to the gym after my surgery, but became very depressed. I did not want to leave the house, I wasn’t sleeping, I cried all the time, and I ate everything in sight.  We decided that a trip as a family doing something fun may be just what I needed, so we went to an indoor water park. This trip was the true beginning of my current journey. My husband took pictures on my phone of me and our boys playing in the water. I came across the picture here while we were driving home and started crying. I realized then that I had hit my own rock bottom.  Not only was I unhealthy and unhappy, but I was projecting that onto the people I loved the most in the world, my husband and my boys.
I spoke to my surgeon and received medical clearance to go back to the gym. My husband told me he didn’t think I should go back to the other gym and should try something different. He had driven by the old outlet mall early one morning and found this gym called “Be Strong”.  Apparently the people there were throwing around big weights and he thought that looked like fun!  I looked the gym up online, filled out the form, and came in for my fitness evaluation with Drew.
My focus had always been on what I wanted to lose. What I didn’t know in that first week of training was all the amazing thing I would gain instead. Walking through the doors of Be Strong totally changed my life.  Sure I have lost weight. More importantly, I have gained a family that is helping me stop the cycle of weight loss and gain. I am working to be the best version of myself. I am healthier, I am happier, and I have gained self-confidence, which I can’t remember ever having. Bonus points are that I am showing my boys that women can BE STRONG!