I hope that in reading my story, you are inspired to do the things you’ve always wanted to do, take your life back and be a champion!
A little more than two years ago I was a completely different person — I was the most selfish, negative and pessimistic person you’d ever met. I had zero interest in building relationships. I was a chronic quitter; I had no energy or patience for my family. I was a legit hot mess, desperate for balance — mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually.
I’m not sure why I was that person. I had everything in the world to be grateful for — a loving husband even despite my bad attitude, two healthy sons and countless other things. I was able to start staying home with my kids and thankful to do so but, let me tell you what, it is no joke. I learned real quickly — this was not like any Real Housewives I’d ever seen. The combination of the stresses of being a new stay-at-home-mom and now living off one income, I put on about 30 pounds over the course of 6 months. I was exhausted, frustrated and mad at myself for letting things get out of control.
I didn’t like the person I’d become — a wife with no energy for her husband and a mom with no patience for her kids. Everyone around me was suffering because of my issues. I felt both trapped inside of my own head and body and out of control at the same time.
All of this started taking a toll on my marriage big time. A healthy and strong family starts with a healthy and strong marriage, and we definitely didn’t have one of those.
I had zero interest in my husband because I was miserable in my own skin. I had no respect for him because I had no respect for myself. How in the world was I going to raise kids who would change the world if I couldn’t get it together?
I wanted desperately to be that “healthy, fit mom,” that “great wife” and to contribute financially to the family, but I didn’t know where to even start. I had the willingness to change but lacked the “how-to.”
What I wanted was someone to just tell me what to do, how to live that lifestyle I so desperately craved.What I needed was to find my passion that would eventually lead to me finding myself.
I started working on my personal growth and looking into some ways I could have my own “thing.” I needed more in life than just Dora the Explorer and diapers. I needed adult conversation; I needed to be challenged; I needed to be surrounded by positivity. I needed a lot if we’re being honest.
It’s so funny how God puts things in your path when you need them most. While looking for that something, I watched a friend’s transformation with AdvoCare. I thought, “why not; I’ll give it a go.” I hopped on a 24-Day Challenge and in 90 days I’d lost 30 pounds and 10.5 percent of my body fat. THAT excited me. But it wasn’t just the weight loss. I felt incredible— I had more energy than I’d had in years; I felt like a different person.
I no longer had complete breakdowns when I’d have to put on something other than yoga pants! I knew I was on the right path.
I was so proud of myself for committing to something. It became a part of my life, the catalyst for change and a framework for a healthy lifestyle leading to a healthy marriage and family. It broke the cycle of bad habits that were holding me hostage. It gave me discipline. It helped me overcome my weaknesses and build upon my strengths. It made me the leader in my own life. I started actually liking and respecting myself again. I was growing as a person, wife and parent.
I had finally found that missing piece of the puzzle.
I, like everyone else, needed something I was incredibly passionate about to help profoundly change my life.
For me, that passion is helping other people live a healthy lifestyle. But it can be anything. Finding that thing in my life gave me a new perspective; it helped me fill a void, a void that I knew if I had, other people had it too. I wanted to share that feeling, so I started focusing on helping others change their lives by sharing my passion and the importance to find that something in their life. I started making new and genuine relationships.
My life changed drastically when I started focusing on adding value to others. The change started with me; but fundamentally my purpose and focus was on others and more importantly, my family. I think that as women, we often times feel guilty for taking care of ourselves and have a tendency to put our own health and well-being on the back burner. All of a sudden five years later we look up and we’re driving a minivan and wearing mom jeans. (I drive a minivan but NEVER will be caught in mom jeans!)
I’m here to tell you — you can’t take care of others if you don’t take care of yourself. How you take care of yourself is up to you ultimately, but you really should do yourself a solid and DO IT and do it well! Don’t make excuses.
I discovered that if I focused on changing myself for my family instead of for myself, my mind and actions completely shifted. I was helping myself by helping others; it was making me a better person, wife and mother. I’d gained my self-confidence back; I started dreaming and doing again. I’d found my passion.
I feel so fulfilled, free and strong. I get to help people on their journey to being the absolute best version of themselves. I don’t have it all figured out, but I’ve learned how to not hold myself back and how to help others do the same.
It’s been a little more than two years since my journey began. It will never end but continues to evolve. Never in my wildest dreams would I have ever thought I could make a good income from home with three kids four and under doing what I am so incredibly passionate about — helping others get their swagger back, finding freedom and being a champion.
I’m still working on me and my life. I’m not the perfect wife, mother or friend. My marriage isn’t perfect, but it is a thousand times better than it was. That’s what it is all about — progress, not perfection. It took me a long time to realize that and learn the skills that it takes to keep going despite the struggle. Let’s be honest, the struggle is real, but if I can do this, ANYONE can do this!
I hope seeing my journey to find my passion helps inspire you to dream big again. Don’t ever let anyone (even yourself) tell you that you can’t do something. You can do ANYTHING you set your mind to.
Here are the steps I took, and I included my lists so you can SEE exactly what it looks like to make a change.
1. Identify your level of unhappiness.
What needs to change? How badly does it need to be changed? How is it negatively impacting your life?
2.Commit to changing it.
Now that you’ve figured out what needs to change and why you need to change you’ve got to truly say, “I’m going to do this!” and stick with it.
3.Make a list of all the things in your life you want and don’t want.
This may seem silly, but this process will help you see what you want and need and where you are going to find that thing to be passionate about.
4.Create a plan.
This is where the all of the thinking and talking about that passion, that change needs to become concrete. You’ve determined what needs to be done; now you need to figure out how you are going to do it.
5.Ask for help.
You can’t do it on your own. Ask for help; get a support system in place that believes in you and your passion?
You’ve decided what needs to change, you’ve committed to changing it, you’ve determined what that passion is going to be and you’ve even come up with a plan. Now you’ve got to DO IT! Don’t do all the hard work up to this point and then stop. Just do it; jump off the cliff.
Here’s the fun part, and it will happen naturally. You’ve made a change, found your passion and you and those around you will benefit. Celebrate it!
Here’s some recommended reading and resources that can help you on your journey to discover your passion:
Me! I’d love to help in any way I can. You can contact me here…
POWER SHEETS, by Lara Casey
The Power of Habit, by Charles Duhigg
Jesus Calling, by Sarah Young
The Good Life Rules, by Bryan Dodge
The Noticer, by Andy Andrews
by Niki Riat.
Niki is a member of One Life Church (East) and Crossfit Lion’s Pride
Edited by: Abbey Doyle and Stacey Godbold