Starting in 2005, my body stopped being mine. The day I walked into the fertility clinic, I literally handed over my body to doctors and science. For the next 6 years, I was bombarded with daily hormone injections, and was strongly encouraged to adhere to a sedentary lifestyle. That advice laid the groundwork for subsequent years of poor eating habits and inactivity that weighed me down physically and emotionally. After finally becoming pregnant, I was deemed high-risk. Once again, I was closely monitored and therefore, my body was not technically mine. I was the landlord, but my new tenant called the shots. I put on weight and did my best to provide the most advantageous physical conditions for a viable pregnancy. I did succeed, but not without the sacrifice of my own physical health. Two years later, I became pregnant again with multiples. My weight at 37 weeks topped out over 200 lbs. Much to my surprise, within one year of giving birth to twins, I found myself pregnant again and still up 30 lbs. from my pre-pregnancy weight. That body was not mine. In fact, I didn’t even recognize the person in the mirror.
7 Rounds of IVF, 3 miscarriages, and 4 babies later, it was time to take control of my body. I was in need of a transformation. Lack of exercise, carrying extra weight, and challenging pregnancies wreaked havoc on my spinal health. I experienced chronic pain from my shoulders down to the tip of my tailbone. My diet of “convenience” was not sustainable. I was completely checked into survival mode. I was dangerously low on sleep and gave no thought to what went into my body. I was addicted to sugar and diet soda. I was convinced that healthy, nutritious, meals took too much time to prepare. That was simply not an option. I had enough mouths to feed.
I finally said enough. I had no choice but to succumb and take control of my health. A friend strongly encouraged me to meet with Todd and get in shape. At first, I dismissed her suggestion because I felt that only runners could be in good shape. I hated to run. That couldn’t have been further from reality. When I arrived at Todd Smith Fitness, I had lost most of the pregnancy weight but was severely under-conditioned and needed serious help.
My misconceptions were proven false the day I walked into the Nutrishop for my initial consultation with Todd and Corey. I learned more about health and nutrition within that first hour than I had in 34 years of my life. They didn’t make me feel fat, and they didn’t make me feel stupid. They were honest and compassionate. They armed me with the tools to be successful in taking control of my health. The Nutrishop and Todd Smith Fitness Team made me feel like family and provided me with daily encouragement. Todd took me under his (giant) wing and worked with me on my training. Although, very difficult for me at first, soon I was well on my way to my transformation. I was even having fun.
This past February, things got serious …
During one of my weekly carve sessions, one of the Omaha Challenge signs lining the parking lot caught my attention. The marketing campaign was in full-force. The possibility of winning $5,000 was all the chatter in the gym. I thought to myself, winning this thing has got to be impossible, but being a participant and working the recommended program is not. Winter was winding down, my family’s routine was stabilizing, and conditions were ripe for me to accept this challenge.
February 21st was the day I formally accepted The Omaha Challenge … my transformation … the day I took control of my body. With the help of Corey and the Nutrishop, I purchased the supplements to assist me on my journey to improved nutrition. Richie knew I was on a mission and pushed me harder than he had in the past. My weight training sessions were actually paying off. I was no longer that hamster spinning away on that wheel. My increased effort allowed me to see my physical strength and my weight loss. My clothes looked and felt fabulous. My husband and I enjoyed planning out our meals for the week. We grilled lean protein every Sunday night and loaded the fridge with fresh vegetables. This girl was on a mission. Entirely cutting out processed foods, sugar, and even alcohol … yes alcohol, fueled me. I felt the best I had ever felt and was beginning to look the best I had ever looked.
Week by week, pound by pound, inch by inch … slowly but steadily I was achieving my goal. Just when I thought I couldn’t get through another weekend without having a cocktail … I did. I surprised myself in social settings by making healthy choices and still having fun. I woke up in the mornings with a fresh slate … rather than the pressure of working off the debt of the last night’s sins. I was seeing the fruits of my labor. When my weight loss plateaued, I challenged myself by layering on another activity such as cardio.
My healthy choices were contagious and sustainable. My family was sleeping better, eating better and happier. We were feeding the kids meals that incorporated protein and vegetables and cutting out empty calories and sugar. An elemental approach to meals was quickly gaining the approval of our four picky eaters. My husband and I were leading by example. The Omaha Challenge was proven powerful and effective.
I know one thing for certain, by not winning $5,000 does not make me a loser. I am a wiser, stronger, healthier person than I was 12 weeks ago. I have the knowledge to maintain a healthy lifestyle. The decision to partake in the challenge transformed my entire family. In fact, there are 6 winners. I look my best and more importantly, I feel my best. That in itself is the grand prize. I have already won The Omaha Challenge. The deadline has come and the goal was achieved.