I first met Emily during my Junior year attending Indiana University-Purdue University of Indianapolis (IUPUI), and the rest was history. She is so kind, incredibly knowledgeable, and a beautiful source of inspiration inside and out. Read below what empowers this shining star the most in her life!
When Shekinah asked me to write about what empowers me, I knew I wanted to talk about a big part of my life – working out and eating right. Taking control of my health and changing things I disliked about myself has empowered me as a woman.
I’ve lost 27 pounds, but I certainly don’t look like a fitness model. That’s okay, because I do have more confidence, a newfound appreciation for fitness and nutrition, new workout buddies, and smaller sizes in my closet.
I’m also setting an example for my two young daughters. They know that personal health is important, and that exercise can be fun and rewarding.
My story is probably typical of many moms. When I was pregnant with each of my kiddos, I craved sweets. I ate cookies, brownies and cheesecake from time to time, and I drank a can of Dr. Pepper a day. I gained 60 pounds – whoa.
After I had my second (and last) baby in 2015, I made excuses for why I couldn’t get in shape: I was nursing and didn’t want to restrict calories. I was tired. I didn’t have time. I couldn’t possibly be away from my kids multiple times a week.
I was also an emotional eater. I was stressed with a new baby and a 4-year-old, and desserts made me feel better in the moment.
About a year ago, I decided I had to finally do something about my health. I was sick of feeling pudgy and tired all the time. I enjoy group fitness classes, so I searched online and found two boot camp-style programs nearby. Now it’s just part of my routine to attend these classes five or six days per week. Once working out became a normal part of life, an amazing thing happened – I didn’t feel guilty anymore. My kids don’t suffer from me exercising an hour a day.
Though I’ve accomplished a lot, I’m still a work in progress. There are exercises at the gym that I’m not strong enough to do (yet), and I struggle with craving sweets. Sometimes I get frustrated and just want to cry. But every time I step foot in the gym, I’m getting stronger.
Getting in shape takes consistency. It takes time out of your schedule. It takes HARD WORK. Almost a year later, I’m three pounds away from my goal.
I’m finally starting to feel like my old self, and that is empowering.
Images by Amber Photography