Your Instagram account is @3yearsto40, can you tell us about this project?

Right before my 37th Birthday I started to visualize turning 40 and the life that I wanted to have and the things I wanted to do. I knew I needed to change my lifestyle and mindset in order to live the life I had always envisioned for myself. I created the account to not only keep me accountable, but to document the journey. I love looking back and seeing progress or figuring how to do better by not making the same mistakes. It’s like a diary to me but in pictures.

What got you started on this journey?

I started small. I started with walking and drinking water. My goal was to make 10k steps per day. I was 100lbs overweight. I’ve never been an athlete, but I knew I could walk. And one day those walks turned into running. My best friend and cousin, Khara, started running and I was immediately consumed. When I first started, I couldn’t run more than 30 seconds at a time and you would often find me limping and crying walking home from a “run.” I knew if I gave up it would be like every other time I tried to change. I felt I owed myself more than quitting when things got hard. I wanted to prove to myself that I could beat this… and eventually I did.

What are some of your biggest accomplishments thus far?

My biggest accomplishments would definitely lie in competitions. Only because it makes me so nervous and it takes so much mentally for me to put myself out there. I feel the fear and do it anyway. I’ve run four 5k races so far and PR’d in all of them. In CrossFit, I participated in the 2016 Open and in our Bellum Anniversary In-House Competition. Each time I stepped out of my comfort zone, it changed my mindset and my life. I can’t really verbalize how much the CrossFit Open changed me. I went into that 5 weeks and came out a completely different person. It makes me tear up thinking about it. Life begins at the end of your comfort zone and I try to live by that motto.

How did you know it was time for a change?

Not to get too personal but to be as honest as I can …. I was miserable. I was 100lbs overweight and stagnant. I was constantly overwhelmed with the thought, “There has to be more than this”. I chose to start with working on weight loss because I knew it would change me as a person. I knew If I could defeat my old ways of thinking that it would transfer into other areas of my life. I knew I was unhappy, but I had no idea how much so until I got into this journey. I’ve made serious life changes throughout this process and I’m telling you I feel absolutely amazing now. Life is good. It’s as good as you make it and I’m determined to live a good life. This means making myself a priority.

What have been the biggest challenges?

The biggest challenge has been fighting my self-doubt. That little voice in my head that tells me I’m not an athlete or not good enough, too old, too fat, to weak ect.  The voice that says “You can’t do one more rep or eat this pizza, you deserve it” I didn’t realize how poorly I was speaking to myself. One of my favorite things about Bellum is the encouraging environment. I love to see my fellow warriors do their best in workouts. I love cheering them on when it seems like they are giving all they got and are almost there. It’s amazing. It’s powerful. It’s life changing. When I realized if I spoke to them the way I spoke to myself, it would be awful. That’s when I changed the narrative in my head. I won’t lie, I still have to fight it daily, but now I know how.

What misconceptions did you have about health and wellness?

Nutrition, Nutrition, Nutrition. I had no clue. I thought I knew, but I didn’t. Before joining Bellum and working with my Nutrition Coach Ann, my progress was really erratic. It wasn’t until I cleaned up my diet and started fueling my body that I saw marked progress. I felt stronger, my stamina got better, even my mood got better! The weight was coming off and I was gaining muscle. It’s not about some crazy complicated diet that you starve yourself on, it’s about eating for your goals.

What do I wish I could tell the girl on the left?

I wish I could tell her, that on the other side of this process is a beautiful life she has no idea that could even exist for her. That the future is so bright because she believed in herself. I want her to know that she is smart, and strong and so capable of anything she sets her mind to. I’d also tell her to forgive herself.

What are your goals?

One of my goals is to compete in the Rookie Rumble in April RX.  This goal really scares me and takes me out of my comfort zone.

What’s next for you?

I am going to keep moving forward. I want to try to be the best version of myself for my children, girlfriend, family, friends and for myself too. It’s been such a journey to get to this point, and I can’t tell you how excited I am to see where life takes me. I know I have a lot of work ahead of me, but because of this process I now have no doubt that I can achieve the goals I set for myself. My faith is stronger than ever.

Can I just add, I wouldn’t be here without the unwavering guidance and support from my Bellum coaches. To my Bellum Family, it is a privilege to work out alongside of you. Each and every one of you inspire me, push me and support me. I couldn’t imagine life without you guys, we are like a little family. A very sweaty, little family.

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