I always hesitate in putting to much of my journey on here for all the world to see, not that
Little Ivan and I on a recent, professional photo shoot
I have many followers but for the few that I do have. In this day and age it is hard to know what I will be criticized for or who I will offend. I also don’t want to just use this venue as a place to talk about what I do, although I am very passionate about it and truly have a heart for it, but I also want to keep it family focused. I feel like what I am about to share is mostly about my family in the fact that it brought me to where I am now, doing what I do now. I love what I do, I love my career with this company…and yes, it is a career, I love who I have become through the journey which has given me more strength than most of you will know. My true strength is in the Lord, but I truly believe He has used the vehicle of arbonne to restore me. I want to share this for a couple reasons…one, I hope it encourages you wherever you are on your journey, and two…we have a new challenge group starting up and I wanted those that are considering joining to be able to hear what my story is on the path to a healthier life. This will be a little long but I hope it encourages you on your path to health and wellness. For those of you who don’t know I am 34 and a mother of three boys. I had Boyd, my oldest, when I was 20. At that age nothing phases you, life doesn’t even seem to sink in, your body seems to just kinda bounce into place and you have energy. Eight and a half years later I had Elliott at the age of 29. He was a horrible baby. Cried all the time, had horrible colic, never slept, nursing was a nightmare, he was constantly sick and just kinda a miserable baby. Now, I know you might be thinking I am a horrible mother for saying that, personally I think more mothers should be honest about those kind of days with their kids. I love Elliott and he is such a joy and blessing now, but he was not a good baby. That lasted almost a year at which time I was pregnant with Ivan. Ivan was born when I was 30. During this time I went from working fulltime, running a very successful business here in town to being a stay at home mom. Before I ran that business I worked full time and picked up shifts at other places also. I was always busy. I love being home with my kids but there are days that I
Boyd and I before a recent 5K we did together in Minnesota
want to pull my hair out. After Ivan was born there seemed to be a lot more of them than there are now. That first year was a very dark year for me. I couldn’t lose weight, I felt like I was failing as a mother, I couldn’t handle the constant crying and on top of that I had an older kid doing all sorts of activities that I had to haul him to without my husband’s support of me or the little ones other than a financial roll. Now I have never been a stick, my body isn’t designed like that. I gain weight from looking at bread and the thought of eating ice cream can add an instant 10 pounds. I gained over 45 pounds with Elliott and hardly any came off before Ivan and then I gained more with Ivan. I don’t have this perception that to be happy you have to be a size two…I just want to say that. Anyway, by the time Christmas rolled around Ivan was about 8 months old and I felt like I was going crazy. My husband was convinced I was mental and I was beginning to think I was also. I was constantly crying, it was hard to get out of bed, I would lock myself in the bathroom and forget about being around people…I became a recluse. Me, someone who loved people couldn’t stand being around anyone. Finally I had enough. I went and saw someone because I thought surely they could help me…they prescribed anti-depressants. Now, before I go on, I am not against anti- depressants…some people honestly need them but I also think a lot can be traced to food and exercise…I did not need them. I needed someone to help me, show me how to change my circumstances, my life, my size, my unhealthiness and just me pretty much. My sister took that on. In June, when Ivan was 14 months old, she said enough is enough…if you want your picture to change you will have to change it. She was so right. I had been an arbonne consultant for only two months at that time and didn’t think I would do anything with the nutrition. I didn’t like the taste of the shakes, I thought the fizz sticks were horrible…forget about the digestion plus…It just wasn’t for me. At the time I was taking melted peanut butter and chocolate chips, stirring them together and then adding powdered sugar to that and eating a bowlful..not a teaspoon, we are talking a cup or more…EVERY DAY!!! And I wondered why I had zero energy. I would get winded walking around my house…my house is very small…I couldn’t carry Elliott anymore, he was too heavy…I was 31 years old but had the physicality of a 70 year old. I remember when I decided to get healthy I had Boyd take my picture…I didn’t think there would be an ‘after’ picture…I was just going through the motions. I thought it would be a quick fix, a one month deal, a miracle worker. You know what? It was a miracle worker but in a different way. That first month my sister started a running group. I couldn’t even make it one block. I thought I would give up but she wouldn’t let me. The first week was miserable for me. I don’t think I can explain how awful it was and the second week wasn’t much better. By the third week I started feeling a little ‘normal’ again and by the fourth week the energy
After one of my runs recently where I am training for a 1/2 marathon
and focus had set in. I had caught the bug…the bug of wanting to change my health. It wasn’t about size, it wasn’t about a ‘quick’ fix anymore, it was about ME!! I decided to do the challenge another month. At the end of my first month I had only lost 4 pounds. I didn’t even take an after picture because I wanted to keep going. I didn’t want to stop. It wasn’t about becoming obsessed with my size, it was about the difference in how I felt. By that second month I was running a couple miles every other day and on the weekends hitting 5-6 miles. I would also incorporate yoga, some weeks I wouldn’t run but do a different source of exercise. My mood did a 180. I enjoyed people again, my husband could stand me and I found joy in being around my kids. I carried the challenge one more month but it didn’t even feel like a challenge at that point, it felt like a way of life. My kids and husband loved the new food I was preparing and I couldn’t remember a time I had been happier. I have people now who tell me that I don’t know what its like. That there isn’t anyway I can imagine the struggle or they ask why I run or want to do a challenge because they just wish they were my size. It honestly isn’t about a size for me…its about being healthy. I always tell people this isn’t a diet…it is a lifestyle change. Some people can see the change right away, others need to do it longer if they truly want to see change. It is HARD!! I totally get it. It is easy maybe for you to feel like I don’t know where you are coming from, but I DO. Please be encouraged. Know that I want each and everyone of you to succeed. It isn’t about dollars for me or a sale, it is about helping someone, YOU, be happy and healthy. It is about teaching you a lifestyle and being there for your support through the rough and dark days. Don’t give up!! Keep going!! YOU ARE WORTH IT!! Here is my before an after picture, some of you have seen this others have not. I changed size, I lost a lot of weight, but check out my face. I didn’t know at that point what I would gain…I feel like looking at my face in this before and after tells the whole story. What about you?
My first before and after photos. I do need to update them but they still speak volumes