While I have always thought of myself as an athlete and in good health, it wasn’t until I got pregnant with my first daughter that my nutrition and my body were truly tested. I went from 171lbs to 236lbs and felt like a stranger in my own skin. After delivery, I quickly lost 30lbs between baby and water weight. I felt a little better but still had a lot of weight to lose. When I went back to work, I quickly found myself exhausted and unmotivated to workout. The 30lbs I lost trickled back on over the next year. I kept trying to watch what I ate and workout any way I could but found it difficult to stick to any one thing.
When my daughter was 2, I got a great deal at a CrossFit gym, and I quickly fell in love with the community and the pure variety and intensity of CrossFit. Finally I felt excited and motivated to work out again and loved the challenges that each day and workout brought. A short time later we moved to Texas, and I got pregnant with our second daughter. At this time I was at 242lbs and was horrified to gain any more weight. My doctor put me on a strict caloric program that was healthy for pregnancy and gave me the tools and guidance to help me only gain the weight I needed for the baby. I gained 26lbs during my pregnancy and delivered at 268lbs. This was the biggest I had ever been, and I felt it in every part of my body. While I was pregnant, I knew that I wanted to go back to CrossFit as soon as I was cleared. I was determined to lose all the weight and be strong and confident in myself again.
I found Black Iron CrossFit and knew that it was the right fit for me. I was so eager to get going and started at 8 weeks postpartum. I was so nervous but knew that this gym and this community was where I belonged. I was committed to attending classes 4 days a week. I was so sore and it was tough, but I kept showing up and pushing myself through each workout. After 1 month of just exercise I felt like I was not seeing the progress I was hoping for. It was then that I knew I needed to take a hard look at my nutrition. Changing my eating habits was going to be the key to getting me to my goals. My progress was slow and steady as I ventured on - I averaged 1.5 to 2lbs a week of weight loss for the next few months. There were times where I felt discouraged and that I looked the same even though my clothes were telling me different. It was my community and my family that kept me motivated through the process. They would tell me how much I had changed and every time I was able to do a lift or perform a movement better, I felt stronger and more confident.
Our gym had a new year fitness challenge which had cash prizes for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place. I was determined to win and put my eyes on the prize. Over the next 9 weeks I didn’t cheat at all, I kept to the plan, and put 150% in. I even had to buy new clothes during the process because I was drowning in my current clothes. The results came in, and I had lost 14lbs, gained 2lbs of lean muscle, and lost 3.9% body fat. I was ecstatic and felt as though I had already won. It was a close race between myself a friend of mine. I took 2nd place and was not disappointed because I had won so much in the process. My weight loss didn’t stop there as I finally got under 200lbs just 2 months later and continued to lose weight steadily. By 9 months into my journey I was at 186.6lbs, had gained 19.5lbs of lean muscle, and had lost over 20% body fat. I was the strongest I had ever been and finally was wearing shorts and a bathing suit again. I wasn’t ashamed of who I was and knew that I was a force to be reckoned with.
Over the next year I worked even harder on my mental game and continued to build my strength and expand my eating habits to help me perform better in the gym. It was just after I hit my 2 year anniversary that I started to consider coaching and making fitness and nutrition my career. My Black Iron family was so supportive and welcomed me with open arms. I started my internship in January of 2018. I then passed my CrossFit level 1 trainers course in February of 2018. I have loved my journey and the mentorship of Coach Mike and Coach Heidi. After 6 months I started on the schedule as a coach! Coaching makes me feel so alive, and I am thrilled to be able to share my passion with others. God has given me a gift and a platform to be able to impact the lives of others. This community fills my cup, and I truly love to celebrate all of their victories, and be part of their unique journeys.
In June, I got the privilege to take over and revamp our Black Iron Kids program. It has been a long time dream of mine to be able to work with our youth and teach how FUN fitness is. I truly believe that we can change the world through our children. My Black Iron kids keep me on my toes, and I enjoy them and all they teach me each week. Each week I am shown how together we can build strong kids! I thank God for this journey he has put me on. Many days I felt defeated, I had the enemy in my ear, and knew that I could make excuses to give up. God was there to pick me up and help me carry my burdens so I could move forward. I now know that I had to struggle and fight to truly appreciate and understand this calling. I now am working towards goals bigger then I could have ever dreamed. I am competing as a Masters weightlifter and have settled into a weight at 173lbs with my body fat at 21%. I continue to work hard towards building more muscle and developing my body composition. With continued faith, I know all things are possible.
“My Precious child, I love you and will never leave you. Never, ever, during your trials and testings. When you saw only one set of footprints, it was then that I carried you.” - From the Poem Footprints in the sand. This has always been my favorite poem and has helped me get through many trialing periods in my life. So my words to you are, work every day to be the best version of yourself. Don’t let the scale or others define you. We are all beautifully and wonderfully made!