Be Totally Fit for Life!

 For we are God's handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. Ephesians 2:10 NIV


I've been a Christian since I was 26 years old. Realizing my need for a Savior and Lord. I started attending church as a teenager and have continued ever since. Growth in my relationship with Christ is a continual process. God called on my life to ministry began in the late 1990's.Over the years, I've taught Sunday School classes and Bible studies and was the volunteer Christian Education Director in a church where my late husband was a pastor. He continues to use me to reach others for Christ and help them grow in their faith.


I was once overweight, out of shape, and very unhealthy. At that time, my children were young. I spent my time taking care of my family, cleaning, cooking, and eating very poorly. My weight rose from 110 to 140 pounds, taking me to size large (14-16, at that time) from the smalls (5-7 juniors, at that time) I had been wearing. My younger brother saw me one day and asked me if I was pregnant again! OH, NO!  At one point, my weight was 150 pounds.


One day, I saw an article in the newspaper about a Christian karate class at a local church.  My son had ADD/HD, so it was recommended to us that he get involved in martial arts to help him focus his attention. When I signed him up for the class, the instructor invited my whole family to participate by donation. I couldn't do a push-up or a sit-up and got winded very easily. It was the beginning of becoming healthy for me, as well as a start to my health and fitness ministry. My late husband and I founded Faith Fighters for Christ once we became instructors, and built our own martial arts system which was approved by two different martial arts associations.


Now I eat healthy foods and exercise. There are challenges I face, though, with fibromyalgia, celiac and food allergies. My current weight fluctuates between 115-120# and I wear sizes 4 and 6 clothing. Most of what I eat I make myself. My health benefits tremendously since very little of my food is processed and mostly organic. I exercise regularly through cardio and weights, functional training, PraiseMoves, swimming, and bicycling. My health has been redeemed by lowering my cholesterol keeping my arteries clear. I feel great today!


I am a nationally-accredited, certified health and fitness professional with over 20 years experience in gyms and churches through a variety of exercise forms: martial arts, water aerobics, Arthritis Foundation water exercise, swimming, personal training, and land group exercise classes. My education consists of a Bachelors Degree in Management with an emphasis in Exercise Science and Christian Ministry from Malone University (formerly Malone College). I am certified through NETA as a personal and group exercise instructor.  I am also certified to teach PraiseMoves, the Christian Alternative to Yoga. My background is in many areas of health and fitness through continuing education. Christian ministry is everything I do. My work is my ministry and my ministry is my work!


Pictured above: 115# size 4.

 

My Journey Continues


I don't believe our journey stops when we reach our goal. Mine certainly hasn't. Although I've been able to do more physically with fibromyalgia than many people, I've run into limitations recently. My health has taken a downturn over the past year and a half plagued with extreme fatigue, low blood pressure and heart rate, and hypoglycemia. These symptoms have escalated. I had a scary heart event in March of 2017 causing me to be hospitalized. I'm prone to coronary artery spasms, one which was considered a "heart attack", even though there was no damage to my heart or blockages to my arteries-- essentially I'm very healthy according to the doctors. However, I've been going through the process of diagnosis for an autoimmune disorder they believe may be Mixed Connective Tissue Disease. It has been very difficult to maintain regular exercise. I've had to sleep a lot more because of the episodes of extreme fatigue. I've gained only 10 pounds over this past year and wear a size 6 women's clothing. The few extra pounds aren't the concern as much as the concern about my own immune system attacking my body. I will post periodic updates for you so you can see that even health and fitness professionals are real people with real issues, too.