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Why I Am Writing a Health & Fitness Column

Local Pulse’s brand-new columnist explains what to expect from her fitness reflections and why training for her isn’t just about aesthetics

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My fitness journey started ‘later’ in life when attending the University of Central Florida at the youthful age of seventeen. Here birthed a deep love for all things health and fitness. This love would evolve greatly. Ebbing and flowing as time passed and experience was gained, sometimes hard fought. The coach and trainer I am now is not the same coach and trainer that I was twenty years ago. The body I have now (internally and externally) is not the same body I had at seventeen. The mindset I have now is not the same mindset I had at seventeen. It is and can be BETTER!

I know, I know. Insert eyerolling here. Don’t worry, I am not going to start talking about how I can run five marathons in consecutive days or do 100 pull-ups in one set. I most definitely CANNOT and do not desire to. I am here to talk to the average person who is in a high-paced life, with responsibilities, who says ‘I just do not have the time.’ Well, you do. Keyword: priority.

Priority. My priority is to live to see as many days of my children as long as possible. To love my husband and enjoy his presence for as long as possible. To impact my community and enjoy it for as long as possible. To serve as many people as I possibly can for as long as possible. To do this, I need to be healthy, happy, and fit—internally and externally. Aesthetics are, of course, a great by-product of fitness, however, it is not the end-all-be-all goal! For me, I want my body to run as a high-powered Ferrari, as opposed to a broken-down Pinto.

After having my children, I was very much feeling like a broken-down Pinto. I felt sluggish and easily fatigued. I was not eating as well as I used to—sometimes only eating twice in a day due to time constraints. Training and fitness were nonexistent. I would maybe workout once or twice every couple of weeks. I was letting the rush of life dictate me. All classic signs that I would live a short lifespan.

I knew I needed to make a change. I am not quite there for the midlife crisis, but this had zero to do with needing to look younger or cooler. It had everything to do with needing to realize I am no longer in my twenties, able to easily lose weight and gain muscle. Life was too quickly passing by and I needed to make changes to add years, making the ‘end’ further and farther away. I want to live a great life, and I’m sure you do as well! The only way to do this is to keep ourselves in shape. When we are in better shape and mentally in a better place, everything else is a lot easier to deal with. Happy people do not hurt people! {Insert Legally Blonde quote here}

I needed a plan. I called Billy Kimbrel, a longtime friend and brilliant nurse practitioner with a scroll long list of accolades and accomplishments. Not only was he educated and well-versed in hormones and weight management, but I knew he would truly listen to what I had to say, in addition to having the science to back it up. After visiting him at his clinic, EliteRX, I had my blood panel completed and we went over it line-item by line-item. In doing this, we were able to come up with a plan for my internal mechanisms, and more importantly, I was a part of the process and fully understood the ‘why’ and ‘what’.

Talk about a eureka life moment! After only a week, I began to finally feel like ME again: upbeat, fast-paced, spirited, lively, and NICE. I know. Would you believe that I was slightly irritable and not as sweet as I would typically be?! No comments necessary from the Victor peanut gallery! In getting ‘me’ right internally, the external came that much smoother. I found myself wanting to workout, wanting to go for a run. I also found it easier to play with my kids, easier to dance in the kitchen with my husband, and easier to find kind words and joyful moments with my family. Feeling good was making life feel…well, lighter!

Since I am feeling better, I want you to feel better! What I went through and am going through is felt by so many. But while so many experience it, so many do not talk about it. Hear this: YOU ARE NOT ALONE! One more time: YOU ARE NOT ALONE! I am writing this column not only to remind you of this weekly, but to walk with you in this journey. Selfishly, I am also using this column to motivate myself. I cannot speak to health, wellness, and fitness, and then in 3-month’s time you see me on stage at Life’s A Dance: Foo Foo Fest Series looking unhealthy.

After two decades of coaching, two children—5 and 3 years old, respectively, a return to university during those pregnancies for another round this time in the medical field, high stress and high-paced jobs, a vast number of responsibilities that only continue to grow over time, and life’s daily trials and tribulations, I realize that my knowledge, mindset, and abilities have deeply grown, evolved, and progressed. But one thing that has not changed is that fitness gives me a massive feeling of fulfilment and therapeutic relief. Health is truly wealth. And I look forward to getting rich with you all!