Linda Nelson- February 2016

As a woman, wife and mother I think I’m fairly typical. However, motherhood changed me in many ways. I believe my son is the reason I was born. For almost 2 decades I was a mother without a child. It took me a long time to meet the father of our son and many more years to even conceive. I never imagined I’d be a 40 year old first-time-mother! I made the choice to become at stay-at-home mom and waived goodbye to my executive career. With that, something odd happened. It’s as if a switch had been flipped and my self-worth took a nose dive. My perception was that because I didn’t contribute monetarily to our family’s needs, I personally had lost value. With that came a spiral of my not caring for myself. I was quick if not urgent to meet the needs of everyone around me but I was very low on the priority list. I found comfort in food. Food was a companion. I lived to eat. Six years ago I managed to grow my stature to 244 lbs. I worked at losing weight exercising portion control when eating. I got to 180 lbs and got a wild hair to run a 5K. So I started training and injured myself. My injury went undiagnosed for 3 years and 3 different doctors. End result…a total hip replacement! Those three years I had become very sedentary as it became difficult to walk more than 100 ft. at a time. Food was there. A tin of Pringles I could down like a shot of jagermeister from my 20’s. Oh and everything was better with butter, lots and lots of it. I was addicted to food and the envelope of comfort it provided while I felt like crap. Sprint forward to 14 months ago…While on a school tour with my soon to be middle-schooler, we had to climb 2 staircases to the second floor. I felt like an 80 year-old prior to even starting my ascent. My failing hip and weight, oh I had gained back the weight that made stairs so difficult. Here I am with a dozen parents climbing my Mt. Everest and in my head I am screaming, “I can’t freaking even speak to tell them I’m having a severe medical situation and need a paramedic!” “I’m going to die right in front of my son!” This all sounds so very dramatic, but I really did think I was going to die! That was my rock bottom and thankfully my rock bottom wasn’t death. I had my hip replaced the next week.

Brock - linda and nicRecovery was slow and arduous. Feeling sorry for my sloth-like self I indulged even more in the gratification food, bad food provided. By August 2015 I weighed 270 lbs. ! Just 30 pounds away from 300 and that freaked me out! I wondered if at 320 I’d rationalize that at least it wasn’t 360? I had a very serious discussion with myself and I asked this, “What do you want?” I wanted to be fit and healthy. I decided to move myself up way higher on the priority list. Thankfully with encouragement from friends, Terri who recommended I give the Whole30 a try, to find My Fit and Michelle who said “Let’s go try a water aerobics class together, the first class is free.” Weighing more than a lot of professional football players I embarked on a mission to Find My Fit. I don’t expect to be a size 8. I just want to be able to move without pain and discomfort, be able to breathe when climbing steps and to look in a mirror and like what I see. My epiphany is that I’m a liar! Every time I gorged on food, I told a little story in my head that would allow me to partake in very unhealthy eating behaviors. I got real. I got very honest. I eat more whole foods now and I haven’t eaten anything with added sugar for almost six months! The Whole3o and how I Found My Fit led to the discovery that dairy was the culprit of the majority of my linda2inflammation and severe joint pain. I watch my portion control. I indulge from time to time but make sure that the next 2 days are clean eating. For activity I do water aerobics, bike and walk. I have a unique gym that involves miles of walking and weights in a day. I’m a part time Shipt Shopper. I shop and deliver groceries. Ironically, daily I’m around so much food. But our relationship has changed. I eat to live and I Found My Fit. Since I started this path to finding the best version of myself I have lost 64 lbs. so far and 7’9” off of my body! I’ve gone from a size 24 to a 16. The journey is not over. I want to live, I want to love the Fit Life!

If you’re inspired at all by Linda’s journey, please consider helping her to raise money for St. Baldrick’s pediatric cancer research. She’s going to add to her weight loss by shaving her head bald! Here’s the link to donate: