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Before I made health and fitness a priority, I was burning the candles at both ends running a busy household with four kids. It was a vicious circle of not enough time, not enough sleep and poor food choices. The poor eating made me feel tired…the more tired I felt, the more sleep I needed and the less time I had to do what was right. Exercise was clearly not a priority at this point in my life. During this time, a routine cholesterol check revealed that I was predisposed to high cholesterol in part due to my family’s history of heart disease. As a result, I was put on statin medication to keep my cholesterol in check, but I failed to take any additional measures.
It wasn’t until 2008, in my thirties, when my life was forever changed. I had a freak, albeit minor, heart attack caused by a random blood clot. Although the clot was not a result of any kind of heart disease, it served as a signal to the identification of a dangerous lipid protein marker that I carry. This marker is serious and requires that my cholesterol is managed to an extremely low level, something more than just medication could resolve. This experience was the catalyst to changing my lifestyle. To the extent that anyone has control, I knew that I had to take whatever control I could of my life to positively influence my future. I simply refused to accept that my family history of heart disease could beat me and so I made the choice to weave health and fitness into the fabric of my life. I found healthy food options that replaced my previous diet and I made fitness a normal routine. Excuses were no longer an option…If going to the gym became stale, then we had to find alternatives to jazz it up. That’s when my husband Paul and I signed up for a community education boot camp where we met for the first time our fearless fitness leader, Nickie Carrigan. Exercise suddenly became fun, it was engaging and it was something that we couldn’t wait until the next class to go. Although the boot camps were challenging, and quite simply hard, the rewards were instantaneous and the drive to push harder against myself became the lure. The results were amazing…everything transformed…my confidence, my body, my clothes, my outlook, my energy and of course…my health. Another draw was the social aspect of group fitness; it was a program that worked for me. We met great people and made new friends and to think that working out could be so fun. As part of this new regimen, I added Shakeology to my diet about three years ago. During this time, every critical measure of health improved dramatically for me and has made me feel younger and more energetic than I did when I was in my twenties. I can do more now than I could have ever imagined. My kids no longer tire me out…in fact; it’s the other way around! I love how fitness has changed my life and I know it will remain a central part of everything I do. It is important to always push yourself to do more…I am doing things that I never would have imagined. I started running for the first time two years ago and completed the twin cities 10 mile. I became a certified fitness trainer and started teaching PiYo this year at the warehouse. The real key here is that you don’t want to wait for something to happen before you make health and fitness a priority, start now and step out of your comfort zone and be an example for others.