My Story

Chapter 1 -

I will be the first to say I HATED exercise and hated healthy eating more. This was obviously before I decided to dedicate my life to helping others improve their overall health and well- being. Although I was very active most of my life, especially during my high school years, (basketball, volleyball, and cheerleading) I was never considered "small or thin". Characterized by my "big legs" I had what most would call an athletic-build, very similar to my physique today.

The summer of 1992 was most memorable not because I got my first job, but it was during my first job that I gained 25 lbs. by the end of the summer. I only have Hardees to thank for that. It was my senior year in the midst of a full-blown battle with weight that was going to take more than summer to overcome.

In 1995, my dad's Type 2 Diabetes worsened and he began taking insulin shots. My father was overweight but with a very stocky build. He developed diabetes in the early 80's. His mother, brother, and sister all had the disease. My father constantly told me I was overweight and often threatened that if I didn't exercise and "push the plate back" I would too develop Type 2 Diabetes. Although his comments about my weight were designed to deter me from following in his footsteps, I rejected his remarks and continued to put on weight slowly over the next year.

I will never forget the first time I saw him inject insulin in his stomach. Instantly I knew that I never wanted to experience that ever. I couldn't stand the thought of a needle going in my arm, much less in my stomach and I pledged to do my part to help end the cycle of diabetes that affected so many of my family members. Shortly after that incident, I started exercising and changing my eating habits altogether.

My first workout plan consisted of walking on the track 4 days a week for approximately 90 minutes or whenever my college football team would finish with practice. The track surrounded the practice field and occasionally I would hear "Go E" from some of the players as I made my way around the track. My nutrition plan consisted of counting calories almost obsessively. I learned to read labels and I forced myself to eat more fruits and vegetables. I practiced portion control to a science and I drank nothing but water. Actually today, I would never advise anyone to change that many habits at once. During that summer I learned the art of discipline and self-control and I realized that it had to be God's grace that carried me through it all. By the end of the summer I was 40 pounds lighter and I knew that my life had changed and somehow I knew that the physical change was only the beginning.