Nothing can stop us when we surround ourselves with the right people

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Like most Veterans, I lost my way a bit. I gained a lot of weight after having our second child. Having a cesarean didn’t help my case. It took me a full year to completely heal from the surgery.
My high school friend and Air Force Veteran was always posting all these hikes, fun Crossfit and running events with Team RWB on her Facebook page.
I reached out to her and asked what it was about. Getting out and meeting other veterans through physical activities was right up my alley and something I felt I needed. To reconnect with like minded individuals.
When I joined Team RWB I was overweight, but I wanted to run and get back into shape and I felt being around others who understood those would help motivate me.
Since joining the team in 2014, I have met so many wonderful and amazing people. They’ve became close friends and even other female marines. Who knew there were so many? And in my age range. It was awesome.
After a few years of feeling motivated enough to run in races I was still not losing the pounds. And that’s when I reached out to another Eagle, Christiana McCarty. Fellow Marine Sister and Eagle.
When I first decided to start my journey, like most, I just wanted to lose some weight. I wanted to lose 30 lbs. I wanted to be happy with myself and feel like myself the way I was meant to be.
I started at 163 lbs. Pushing a size 12 at 5 feet tall. I was uncomfortable and unhealthy.
Shopping for clothes was not enjoyable. (And I love fashionable clothes). I dreaded getting dressed in the mornings for work, because nothing fit comfortably.
It was harder to run with all the extra pounds. It hurt my body. (Still does, but not as much.) I would run and run and run (just like the Marine Corps taught us), Zumba and power classes. But the weight wasn’t falling off. Why? I was so frustrated. I was working so hard physically but wasn’t getting any results. I knew I wasn’t eating the best, but I also didn’t think I was eating that bad either. What am I doing wrong?  The Marine Corps way was not working.
I’m a Marine damn it. I shouldn’t be this way. I’m supposed to be leading by example. My kids look up to me for guidance. Diabetes runs in my family. My Dad just died from diabetic strokes. I needed to change something. But what? So I decided to get professional help.
I met Christina Rae McCarty through Team RWB. She was really fit and was competitive in the bikini division. I reached out to her and she referred me to Team ATP. That’s where I found my coach Brittany Conley.
I knew this was going to be challenging,  but I was ready to change and be the role model I am suppose to be for our kids and for myself.
I started off with a general 12 week weight loss program. And in those 12 weeks I lost 30 lbs. Just like I wanted. It was amazing. After 2 weeks I lost 9 lbs and the weight kept falling off. I fell in love with the grind. Not just because of the weight loss. But it felt good to do something challenging again. Marines like a good challenge.
I never lifted weights or did resistance training in my life. I couldn’t do a pull up to save my life. Even when I was active duty, with 285 PFTs and 300 CFTs. I am stronger and in better shape now in my 40s than I was as a young LCpl straight out of boot camp. Wish I knew all this then.
As I said, Marines like a challenge, so I decided to take it one step further and take the plunge to compete in a Figure Competition. I wanted to see how far I could go. I have always liked competitive sports and have been a competitive athlete since I was 5 years old. So it felt natural to train for a purpose.
With Coach Conley’s help, my husband’s devoted love and support,  Amantha and Ryan Wortman from RAW Fitness of Salem with posing, my Team RWB friends and family, I did it. But I definitely didn’t do it alone.
From the bottom of my heart – thank you to everyone for all your help, love, encouragement, support and guidance.
Nothing can stop us when we surround ourselves with the right people.
#TeamATP #TeamRWB #rawfitness #rawsquad #lifeafterEAS #lifeafter40 #veteransthatlift #EaglesThatLift