I met Heidi when her third daughter was in my class. The next year I had her eldest son and it kind of sealed a bond. I like Heidi. She’s a lovely, generous, funny, kind-hearted person who is not afraid to reach out and touch you. Like, you’ll be having a teacher-parent conference with the woman and you suddenly realize you’re holding hands with her and have been for some time. And it’s not awkward. On top of being an amazing mom to her six kids, a dedicated wife to her husband, Ryan, and a dedicated volunteer in the classroom she’s also naturally beautiful. She has always made pretty look easy. Even when she dropped her kids off at school having just rolled out of bed- simply stunning. When I was beginning my body project to get healthy, lose weight and live longer and she told me she was also in the process of creating a midlife makeover. I nodded along but wondered why in the world she felt the need to change anything. Her life and body looked amazing to me. At my size and weight, I couldn’t even comprehend why she felt the need to change anything. Come to find out, I was not alone. Heidi posted this picture a few weeks ago with the following text:
“I’ve been debating posting this Transformation Tuesday pic for quite sometime. It has taken me a over a year and a half of maintaining my fitness to feel confident enough to do so… This picture was taken in 2007 when Seth (my 5th child) was 6 months old. I was the most unhealthy I had ever been. 99% of the time, I avoided having my picture taken and most of the time. I felt horrible about myself. I justified my terrible eating and lack of exercise habits on having a lot of kids (and being on bed rest at the end of each pregnancy), and just simply getting older. While I lost a bit of the weight before getting pregnant with my youngest, Lucy, and again after, before getting serious about my fitness just over two years ago, I realized that this was one of the hardest times in my life in regards to my confidence and self-esteem. I look at the picture on the left and remember exactly how I felt about myself (both physically and emotionally), those were not great feelings. I just wanted to say thank you to many of you who inspired me, gave encouragement, or even just smiled at me and helped me feel I have purpose- I only hope I can do the same for someone and let you know that you aren’t alone. I also want those who I’ve told that I have worked hard to get to this point, that I wasn’t just saying that and that I continue to work hard on maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Due to my maintained level of fitness, I have been able to try new things and pick back up sports/activities (both individually and with my family) that at one point I was sure I would never do again. I also want to acknowledge that part of being “fit” is fueled by how we feel; our emotional state is just as important (if not more important than) the physical aspect. Be sure to take time to have “you” time and to spend time with those who build you up and make you laugh… A lot! And ultimately remember that it is NEVER too late to be/feel healthy no matter how many years it’s been, how many kids you’ve had, or how many Krispy Kreme donuts you ate on National Donut Day!”
When I read that it was a wake-up call for me. Heidi didn’t feel good just like I didn’t feel good. The number where we both started was irrelevant. What was important was that we both had a need, but I was so tunnel vision that I couldn’t see that. I realized that I need to simply be accepting people at where they are. That my perception of how I feel and see myself and the satisfaction from that is really what is important and that’s the same for other people as well. When you don’t feel good about your outsides, your inside doesn’t have the ability to shine as brightly and vice versa.
Do you have a transformation you’d like to share? Contact me through my Facebook page and you can serve as inspiration for others while you also parade your accomplishment!