A few posts ago I mentioned how great my sister is. I also mentioned that she has made some amazing changes in her life and is super duper encouraging and motivating, and quite the rock star. I may be a tiny bit biased though.
Well, I recently asked her to share her story with us, me. I want to share it not only to get her name out there a little more, but I truly believe there are many women out there who would really enjoy her story and find hope in it.
Emily was blessed with her first baby at the tender age of 16, and she has been a fighter, and my hero ever since. Enjoy:
“For the last two and a half years I’ve been what you would call a “caretaker”. I have been caring for my daughter, Madison, she was born with downs syndrome, and in January of 2011 she started to have a LOT of medical problems. Problems with her diet and from things I couldn’t control. This was when I started letting go of me.
I dropped everything to care for her. She went through two corrective brain surgeries. During her second surgery I went from caring for just her to being my husbands caretaker as well. My husband had left on deployment to Afghanistan shortly after Madison’s first surgery. On the day of her second surgery he was wounded in Combat. We spent almost a month in in-patient care, and roughly two months living out of hotel rooms close to the hospital after he was discharged. We didn’t have access to our own kitchen so we ate out everyday. Caring for him, and my daughter who was still recovering herself, got me completely off track. I began gaining unnecessary weight. I wasn’t “overweight”, but I sure wasn’t where I had been before I started my new role.
In October of 2011 I wasn’t really concerned that I was far from my ideal weight. Then we found out we were expecting! this was a very exciting time for us! As exciting as it was, I was sick. I was plagued with, never ending, morning sickness, and my cravings for processed food was intensified. We weren’t terrible eaters, but we were definitely not caring for ourselves like we should have been. This was especially true since two out of the three members in our family were still recovering, healing, and needed care. I slowly gained weight through the first part of my pregnancy and I was okay with that. I knew I wasn’t 16 anymore, like when I had Madison.
Well, my happy moods were quickly turned to fear and binge eating for comfort when I found out Madison had a brain tumor that needed to be removed. I believe that’s when I developed my addiction to sweets, caffeine, and other comfort foods. Long story short the surgery went well, and she healed well. What I didn’t realize is that I had obliviously blown through the remainder of my pregnancy ending at 40 pounds of weight gain. I was devastated. I knew it was going to be hard to lose. After giving birth I was so excited for the weight to just fall off with breast-feeding. This was not the case for me and my body.
To fast-forward a bit, December 1st 2012 I started my first round of Insanity. I hadn’t changed the way I ate at all yet. I slowly realized my whole family was stuck. We were stuck in a routine of quick and easy comfort food (from the stress of the events). We ALL had weight to lose. It wasn’t all that surprising to realize we were all sick and uncomfortable. I saw pictures of myself and was disgusted with how poorly I was treating my one and only body I’d been given. Although I had lost close to 7lbs I was still not happy.
THEN I found my coach, Stephanie. She worked hard on me. Supported me. Encouraged me. Told me my goals were 100% possible. Waited for me to come to her and say OK, I need your help. She introduced me to Challenge groups.
After moving to a new state, new town, I started fresh. I started thinking about myself again. I began my second month of Insanity in January 2013. I lost a good bit of inches and maybe a few pounds in that second month. I was getting very excited. Then February came around and this amazing product called Shakeology, became a part of my life 100%. I lost 6lbs and TONS of inches that first month! I was shocked! I looked forward to having it everyday. I kept doing Beachbody programs and Shakeology. I cleaned up my diet 100%, and to date I’ve lost over 25 inches around my body, and roughly 20lbs. It took me a year, and I never met a goal “on time”, but I met them! Even my husband has lost 25lbs, and my Daughter, Madison, lost ten. I felt fantastic. I had more energy, and wasn’t binge eating anymore. I wasn’t even craving comfort food. Most importantly I loved that I was losing weight, and feeling positive about my body. It taught me that eating healthy can be quick, and easy, too. No more grab and go foods.
I even jokingly told my coach that the Tony Horton Shakeology commercial must have been made for me because everything he said fit me to a “T”.
We were all very happy and finally healthy. I was so excited with my progress that I talked to my coach about becoming a coach myself. I wanted to help others make a positive change in their lives like I had in my own through the use Beachbody products.
The best part behind my own story is my daughter’s story. Back in January 2013 she was still having symptoms of Brain issues, got diagnosed with asthma, and just wasn’t feeling well. After about 3 months of feeding her healthier foods she was making steps in the right direction. It was during the summer that I decided to see what Shakeology would do for her. I figured it had worked great for me so why not try it for her too. I can’t even begin to thank, whoever created this product, enough because it has been a game changer in her life. Not only has her health improved in general, but her digestive track is functioning better too. She also hasn’t been sick in months, which is RARE. We have taken her off all her meds for sleep apnea, acid reflux, and are using eczema creams less often. The best part is she’s almost off her asthma medication, and is showing NO symptoms of brain issues. We are back in school, and she has yet to bring home a cold (Knock on wood). She has always had a pneumonia or lung infection, by fall, which usually lasts almost all winter long, but we have had NOTHING yet. She LOVES that she gets vanilla milk, or chocolate milk almost every day! She would never know that it’s really Shakeology. She even picks it out (sometimes) for herself when I ask her if she wants a snack, or something to drink. I can actually say that Shakeology has saved her from many more months, or years even, of medications, colds, terrible flu bugs, and many more health problems that children with downs syndrome face. Even if Shakeology hadn’t worked out for the best for me (I love the stuff!), I’m thankful for what it’s done for my daughter. Luckily, in my case, it has worked out for the both of us! I’m sure glad I made the decision to have it in my house for our family.
My role hasn’t changed, and it won’t with all the trials we’ve faced in the last two years, but I will say, that living a healthier lifestyle is what we needed to make a positive change for our family. If it wasn’t for Shakeology I don’t think I would have changed as much as I have, and certainly don’t think my daughter would be as healthy as she is right now. I plan on Madison and I drinking Shakeology everyday for the rest of our lives, god willing.
This is MY Why, What’s Yours?
To end, I stopped letting my role be my excuse, and realized I can use these trials and triumphs to my advantage and let it fuel my passion, my dreams, and push me to my final goals! “
This is just the beginning of her story. I know that once she started seeing changes in her body, it motivated her to become the best Emily she could be. This included changes in her spiritual journey, changes in the way she sees life, and raises her kids. It has all been very positive, and I am certainly proud of the woman she is becoming.
Today I asked her to share with me a few of her favorite verses. A few years ago, I don’t know that she would have been able to pick one, however, I am simply BLOWN away at the verse she sent me, and I know for certain now, that I am suppose to share them with YOU,
In him we have redemption through His blood,
the forgiveness of sins,
in accordance with the riches of God’s grace.
Behold, God is my salvation, I will trust and not be afraid,
for the Lord Jehovah is my strength and my song.
He has also become my Salvation.
If you are interested in knowing more, or visiting her websites you can contact her here:
you can also find her on FaceBook:
and Also Instagram:
This is where I insert my mushy gushy note:
I am so proud of you. I am amazed at the transformations in your life, and NOT just the physical. Although I am uber proud of that too! I hope you know just how deeply loved you are by me and by God. He has created you for such a beautiful purpose and I love watching you grow and use those talents and gifts that He gave you. You, my twinsie, are amazing. You are my hero. I love you to the moon and back, always!