My Dear Friend Donette

  Donette and I have been friends since the 5th grade.  We lived around the corner and I can attest of her interest in fitness.  She juiced, ran and did exercise videos.  All of which I was disinterested in.  She is also one of the most clever people I know! 

Life can be a challenge and the stones that have been thrown in her path have been those that can make you question your beliefs.  I’m so proud of you my sweet friend. It was definitely YOUR YEAR! Here’s to many, many more great ones! 

P.S. I LOVE the after pictures you submitted.  They show such power, strength and confidence!

Her Story

I was always interested in exercise and diet.  I was involved in dance and track through my school years and once I was in college I taught aerobics, ran, mountain biked and climbed.  I never really had a serious problem with my weight till later in life because I was so healthy and active.  I was living true to myself.

I joined the military and got married in 1999 and 2000 respectively.  Over the course of 12 years something happened to me.  Due to depression and abuse I began to lose myself.  It started out small.  I began to question myself.  The more unsure of my instincts and inner self I became the further away from me I got.  I began having kids and couldn’t seem to feel happy.  I assumed I was depressed.  I started taking anti depressants.  I stopped exercising and eating well and the pounds came on.

 I started to let my healthy eating habits go.  I was in the business of taking care of everyone else and not myself.  I didn’t want to fight about eating healthy in the beginning so I just caved and allowed more and more garbage food into my house.  Once I started eating this way my body craved it more and more.  It was like an addiction.  Weight came on with stress, low self esteem, lack of support and just sadness.  I tried everything to lose weight.  Countless times I did weight watchers, HCG, South Beach, Dr. Phil, Body for Life, etc.  I would try exercise programs.  I was always trying.  I would lose 30 pounds then gain 50 back.  I tried so hard but I was lost.  It was so much bigger than just eating right and exercising.  I had forgotten who I was.  I questioned everything.  I didn’t know who I was, I didn’t know what I wanted and I didn’t think I deserved any better.  I had given up.  The last two years of my marriage were the worst.  My ex and I were barely speaking.  I asked him for nothing and I expected even less.  I felt rejection from him but more importantly and more damaging, I was rejecting myself. I was slowly killing myself.  I remember having to buy shoes that didn’t have ties and that I could just slip into because I couldn’t bend down to tie them.  My knees were always swollen.  Clothes didn’t fit.  I was uncomfortable in public.  I wanted to hide from the world and my only solace was food. 

I found out that my husband had been cheating on me for three years of my twelve year marriage.  This was exactly the kick in the head I needed to give me the courage to leave this toxic emotionally abusive relationship.  The next few months were laced with much emotional pain but I didn’t have the luxury of giving up.  I had just started full time school and my kids needed me.  I got up every day and tried.  Sometimes it was a triumph to get out of bed but I did it.  I was under such stress that almost half of my hair fell out.  My appetite went away which was really new for me.  I decided since I didn’t feel like eating that I should just eat healthy.  I just juiced vegetables for a couple of months and then added in protein and dairy again.  In the course of that first 5 months after my divorce I had lost 50lbs.  I started to feel more comfortable with exercise so I started running again.  It was a very therapeutic thing for me to do and I would often end the run with a good hard cry.  The exercise was helping me sort out my upside down life.  I was figuring out who I was going to be.  As more weight came off I became more confident.  I got into rock climbing because I had always wanted to get back to it since I tried it in college after high school.  I signed up at the climbing gym without even a partner.  People came into my life to climb with and it became something exciting.  Exercise started to mean something different to me.  I was learning a skill and through that it was fun and challenging.  Also it was a great source of therapy for me.  Once I hit my 100 pound weight loss mark it had almost been a year exactly.  April had been right.  It was my year.  I was finally living it!  My job moved me to a new location and I noticed a Crossfit gym.  I didn’t know much about Crossfit but I decided to try something new.  This seemingly small change in my routine has blessed me immensely.  I have found a passion.  At 35 years old, having had two kids, I am an athlete.  I never thought I would ever get to call myself that but it’s what I am.  Crossfit gives me the challenge, the drive, and the will to treat my body well and give it what it needs for performance.  I have been able to compete in Crossfit competitions.  It has changed my body in a way I never thought possible.  I am in the best shape of my life and I’m not half done.  I’m excited about the future of my fitness and nutrition.  I still have 15 pounds left to loose but what I am doing and where I am going will get me there.  I will never go back to being 260 pounds, over medicated, and merely surviving in life.  Life is to be lived to the fullest in the healthiest body you can have.  Life is so good and is only getting better.  It only takes planting that seed.  You never know what you are capable of until you try.

April Thompson is 37 years old and lives in Houston, Texas. She and her husband have four children. She loves trying new things, including sports, foods, and crafts. She is a homemaker, blogger, hair and makeup artist, and personal trainer and currently serves in the Young Women’s auxiliary. She loves teaching the youth about the Word of Wisdom, health and fitness.

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