Years ago I was a mess. My BMI was 40.8, which is obese to say the least. I hid from people. I hid from the outside world. I hid from life. My father was dying of cancer, I had a newborn baby, and I ate myself into oblivion. That was how I dealt with stress.
It wasn’t until my father died that I finally woke up to what I was doing to myself. I didn’t want to be ashamed anymore about who I was. I didn’t want my children to learn my bad habits. I didn’t want to be the fat mom that couldn’t keep up with her kids. I didn’t want to be overweight anymore. I had been overweight my entire life, but obese after giving birth. I had NEVER been successful losing weight in the past and fitness people annoyed the you-know-what out of me. They always seemed so chipper and perfect and that was NOT me.
The one thing my father taught me was to solve problems instead of thinking too much. I said to myself, “get up off your butt and STOP victimizing yourself!” and that is what I did. I got up and started walking with the baby every day. I cut out the soda, even though all I drank was Diet Coke. And that was my beginning. Small steps. Those small steps turned into bigger ones and slowly the weight came off.
Over the period of almost four years, I have lost over 160 lbs. Wow, can I say that again? I’ve lost over 160 lbs! Sometimes that number is unbelievable even to me. After my first child, I lost 104 lbs. and then had to do it all over again with my second having lost over 60 lbs. But I NEVER concentrated on the big numbers and that is why I think I was so successful.
photo courtesy of Mishelle Lane
How did I do this? Well, you aren’t going to like my response, but it’s the truth. I changed my lifestyle. I went from sitting on my bum everyday to being more active. I went from eating processed junk everyday to a cleaner diet with fresh fruits and vegetables. I changed my outlook on food and on life. My soul is different.
I’m still not perfect. (And thank God!...perfection is BORING!) I’m misunderstood at times, but I’ve been given the opportunity now to support and inspire other moms to change their lives. When they say do what you love to do and it will never feel like work, they are right. I’m the creator of the Mamavation campaign. And Mamavation is my way of helping other moms take back their life like I did.
What is Mamavation? Mamavation is a social media weight loss experiment. We set two moms up with a professional fitness team and support them as they lose weight and bring home healthy habits to their family. The team is comprised of a celebrity fitness coach, Tracey Mallett, a real doctor to oversee the diet, Dr. Mary Ellen Renna, a lifestyle coach, Tonya Leigh Williams, and an entire cheerleading squad for encouragement. The campaign plays out on several social media platforms: Bookieboo, Twitter, Mamavation and MomTV. The moms are put through the ringer during the process. Not only are they put through an intense fitness/diet program, but they become the faces of the campaign in the blogosphere. They post, tweet, and vlog about their experiences to inspire others to make the same changes. Because that is what this program is about—supporting one another.
Mamavation also has a great sponsor, Earth Footwear. Earth Footwear sends the Mamavation Moms two pairs of shoes so they can burn more calories with every step. The moms also receive additional swag based on their weight loss goals and compliance with the program. Nice perk for hard work and dedication.
If you would like to learn more about Mamavation, check out the site. You can support the program by attending the Mamavation twitter party launch on October 22nd from 5-8pm PST/8-11pm EST and tweeting support to the Mamavation family by using #mamavation. I’d also encourage you to stop by the site and vote for your favorite mom between October 15th and 22nd. The Mamavation Mom positions are based on democracy and that means YOU. They need YOUR vote! The next two Mamavation Moms will be announced during the launch party and you can congratulate them as soon as they hear. Make sure to RSVP for the party and enter the giveaway.
There are also additional ways you can get involved. You can join the Mamavation family! There are numerous women who are trying to change their lives OR already live a healthy lifestyle and want to inspire others to do so. Anyone who is supportive of healthy families is encouraged to join us daily on twitter by encouraging one another, joining us on Bookieboo, and on MomTV on Monday nights at 7pm PST/10pm EST.
Every child deserves a healthy environment and role model. You can help me inspire moms over the internet and change lives forever! I would love to see you there!
I have applied to be on of the Mamavation Moms, and Leah is an inspiration to me. I have inspired others before, and I want to be that person again. Please support me here if you'd like, and be involved in the Mamavation campaign!