About 3 years ago, our school insurance began to offer a “boot camp”, in which the school district would help to reimburse employees to attend and get physically fit. I was a little overweight, and knew I wanted a change. I signed up, and really changed my lifestyle habits. It wasn’t a diet, but just being smarter about what I eat, how much, and when. Part of the boot camp included challenges, and some of those challenges involved entering some small 5k races, and therein I guess you could say the seed was planted. I enter about 2-3 races per month, and since my husband and I have no kids, we have the luxury of being able to travel around the state and participate in various geographies. (He too is applying, so he will fill his own journey and “blame” me:)). About 18 months ago, I came home from a workout and felt like I had pulled a muscle in my side. That night after dinner, the pain increased. it subsided some overnight, and increased almost immediately after eating breakfast, and then would peak throughout the day after any food or liquid consumption. We knew something was amiss, more so than just a muscle strain. a sonogram picked up a mass, around my ovaries, and a within a month I was in surgery having an emergency hysterectomy. the doctors, all of them, were unified in the belief that my training and subsequent weight loss allowed my body to react in a more timely fashion to the mass, that had I kept my weight on (about 50 pounds) the extra fat would have hidden the pain as there was just more area to disperse the mass internally, so while I cant say it saved my life, my weight loss and fitness lifestyle change helped in a quicker detection and easier recovery.
My husband and I are cattle people, we belong to the Cattleman’s Association and I am currently President of the Highlands County Cattlewomen. Our combined weight loss is about 130 pounds, and a part of our healthy lifestyle change is beef. We are firm believers that beef is an integral part of a healthy lifestyle, and should be on every athletes menu. I have been selected Teacher of the Year twice, serve on the leadership team at my school, and currently enrolled in an Ed Leadership Doctorate program. I have pride in my faith, school, work, and my family. I believe in Team Beef, and would love to show my support and promote it to others!