“I am a phoenix.” We have all seen the commercials on TV where people are touting their degree from the online university. Well, I am a phoenix also, but not the university kind. I am like the mythical phoenix which was consumed by fire and arose from the ashes a new creature. This is my story.
I got married right out of high school and went to work. I had three boys, and with each pregnancy I gained an extra 10 pounds that refused to leave. After a messy divorce, the struggle of being a single parent, and the stress of an extremely intense career as a financial manager for a global automotive manufacturer, I was running on empty just trying to keep up. I was eating whatever I could get my hands on the quickest, and there was no time for taking care of me. After eight years of trying to do it all, God sent me a wonderful man who loves me and takes care of me. All of a sudden, I did not have to do it all by myself, and that in itself was an adjustment. However, I was still trying to juggle a career that caused me to put in many, many hours and deal with a teenage son who was determined to live every second at top speed.
Now fast forward to January 26, 2006 at 6:00 p.m. I was working late again when my husband came to the office. He told me that my youngest son, who was 17 and a senior in high school, had just been killed in a car accident three miles from our home.
My life as I knew it died that day. As I moved through the fog that was my life in those days, all I had to cling to was my faith. I knew without a shadow of a doubt that God had a plan, and all I had to do was trust Him. And that is what I did. As any parent who has lost a child will tell you, the pain was unimaginable. I went back to work a week after the accident, hoping that keeping busy would help with the pain. It did not help with the pain, but it kept my mind occupied at times. The worst part was coming home to an empty house each day, expecting to hear Trey’s footsteps and smell his sweaty ball clothes and hear him ask what we were going to eat. During those days, I did not care about anything or anyone, especially not about myself. I soon found myself 50 pounds overweight. I did not care.
Six months after Trey’s death, I left my job and went back to college to finish my Accounting degree. While there, I ended up tutoring most of the students in my Accounting classes. They kept telling me that I should be a teacher because I explained it to where they understood. I knew this was God opening another door for me, so I took the classes necessary and got my teaching license. I ended up teaching business courses at the very high school that Trey had attended. I slowly began to heal when I was able to help my students succeed. I loved the feeling I got when my students succeeded because I had taken the time to encourage and motivate them. All the while, I continued to eat junk food and get no exercise, and I felt awful. Finally, I decided to do something about it.
I talked to my sister who is a Beachbody coach. I had watched her battle her weight for years, and all of a sudden the weight was gone, and she was happy and looked great. I wanted that. She became my Beachbody coach. She helped me pick a workout program that I could do in the privacy of my home, and she helped me with my nutrition. She got me started drinking Shakeology. Best of all, I did not feel like I was doing it by myself, even though she lived two hours away. There were days that I did not feel like working out, and she never made me feel bad about it. She just kept encouraging me to keep going.
When I started back to school last year, several of the teachers were talking about wanting to lose weight, so I started a Fit Club for teachers after school. We worked out using my Beachbody workouts every day after school. They began to see results, and I loved the feeling of helping others reach their health and fitness goals. That is when I decided to become an active Beachbody coach. As a Beachbody coach, I help people reach their goals. Together we choose a program that will get them the results they want, get them started drinking Shakeology, and then I put them in a challenge group, a private Facebook group where they post daily accountability with others who are on the same journey to get healthy and fit. I coach them for free, providing them with support, motivation, and tips to help them reach their goals.
As of today, I am 10 pounds away from my personal weight-loss goal and am on Week 5 of P90X. P90X has been my Goliath for 2 years. I was always afraid that I could not do it; so scared of failure that I would not even try! Now I am showing everyone that your age does not matter (I am 50 years old!); you can do anything if you put your mind to it. Never be afraid to fail…be afraid of never trying!
Becoming a Beachbody coach and helping others has given me my purpose in life. I have been able to share my story with others through my Facebook FAN page and have started putting together a team of other Beachbody coaches who, like me, are using their personal stories to help others. A day does not go by that I do not think about Trey, but I know that he is looking down on me and is proud that I used the tragedy of his death to make good things happen. God has blessed me with this opportunity, and I owe it to Trey, and myself, to make the most of it.
I am here to tell you that just because you may have endured a tragedy, you, too, can rise from the ashes, like the mythical phoenix, and create a new life for yourself, a life better than you could have ever dreamed possible!