Have you ever been sad for no reason?
Six years ago, I had a baby, and little did I know I was experiencing post-partum blues. I was depressed. I wasn’t aware of it at the time, but I was definitely feeling it.
I believe I was pushing myself further into depression by the foods I ate. Vegetables were never on my plate. I drank tons of Dr. Peppers, ate tater tots covered in nacho cheese sauce, and barely drank water. I would socialize with friends, seem okay, then go home and all of a sudden I was sad again. It was the pits. It totally sucked. It took me a year to finally get through it. I hate that it took that long, but it did.
What was the secret to getting better? Working out and healthy eating. In my mind it was a huge task to accomplish, but in reality, it was simple. I had to look at it in small pieces. One day at a time.
Working out saved me. Eating better saved me.
Somehow, I quit Dr. Peppers. I skipped a day, then another, then another…I didn’t do it on purpose. I was just so busy that I never had a chance to drink one.
So then before I knew it, I was a week in. I was surviving without it. My taste buds wanted it, but I kept fighting through it. And here I am 5 years later. No Dr. Pepper and no desire for one.
That was the first step.
Then I started a food and workout challenge with a friend. We kept each other accountable and posted on Instagram what we ate and the workout we just completed. It was perfect. I went at my own pace.
Then, while at my neighbor’s house with a group of friends, they were talking about working out. I realized they were going to the same bootcamp I used to workout at when my oldest son was a toddler. I was so excited. I saw more hope. Knowing that these friends were going helped get me going again. And knowing the same instructor would be there made me excited.
Through this bootcamp, I gained so much. I gained strength, I gained endurance, I gained confidence, and I gained knowledge of healthy eating habits. I also gained a group of friends and a coach who encouraged us through each movement. We were a team and cheered each other on.
Here I am, five years later and I’m still working out 3-5 times a week, eating vegetables everyday and making better choices for myself. I’m happy. I’m confident. And I love working on new challenges in the gym. It might be painful in the moment, but I love looking back and being proud of myself for finishing.
My maximum for deadlifts is more than my body weight, I completed a marathon and still run half marathons, I can do a pull-up...all of these are things I never knew I could, until I tried.
This shoot was inspiring to me, because working out and making better life choices improved my life. The movements in these photographs are beautiful. The girls in the photographs encourage me. Their smiles make me smile.
It’s amazing what our bodies can do. We limit ourselves sometimes, but if we would just try, we could see how great we can be.
It's been a while since I've done a styled shoot. You can see my last one here. And this one is quite the opposite of my normal wedding and portrait sessions. This was a project I created for myself. Just something fun.
If anyone out there has ever felt like I did, I suggest asking a friend to start working out with you. Find a gym that suits you or workout routines on Pinterest. Keep each other accountable and have daily check-ins. Share your goals with each other and encourage one another through them. We can't do this alone. That's for darn sure.
I praise Jesus for the friends he put in my life back then, and who remain my friends to this day. I'm also so thankful my husband encouraged me through it all too.
Now my family eats veggies on a weekly basis (including my 6 and 10 yr old), and their mommy is happy.
And you, my friend, will you share some inspiration on how you get motivated throughout your day? Maybe someone is readying this that really needs to hear it.
A huge thanks to all of the girls who helped out and made this dream a reality.
Models: Meryl, Bri, Iwona, Samantha, Sasha, Sam, and Sydney.