Growing up with a mom who ran, participated in local team sports, and taught aerobics, I was exposed to living a healthy lifestyle and learned the importance of exercise from a very young age. I played sports and was a very active child. I exercised because it felt good and because I enjoyed it. It was fun… I got to see my friends, run around, and play. I was happy and did not have care in the world.
But when I was in high school and I began to really struggle with my body image, I started to exercise for all of the wrong reasons. I ran more and worked out multiple times during the day. I exercised because I wanted to be thinner not because I wanted to be healthy. I struggled with an eating disorder for a couple of years and I finally came to a place where I knew I had to make a choice between my health or continue down the road of self destruction. I chose my health. I gained an all-new appreciation for my body and I realized that this is the only body I am going to have and I want to take care of it.
Today, I view exercise as I did when I was a little girl, I make it fun and I also do it to stay healthy and fit, not because of the number on the scale. I want to be around for a very long time and hopefully someday play with my grandbabies, go on a run with my children like I do now with my mom, travel and go on adventures with my husband, and live a long and healthy life.
I spent so much of my life obsessing over that number on the scale or fitting into a certain size jean. Negative thoughts about my body consumed me for far too long. I am hoping that by sharing my story and by talking about these issues, I can inspire anyone who is currently struggling with their body image or an eating disorder. I want them to know that they are not alone, and that recovery is possible and that it is never too late to be healthy. I would love to see girls and women start to focus on their health and happiness because that is what truly matters.
As I am hoping to inspire others with my story, I would like to introduce you to one of my role models, Jamie Len Cumbo, also known as The Jump Rope Queen. She has been such a positive influence and inspiration in my life and to so many others. Jamie’s life story is SO inspiring – she is a cancer survivor and has had other health problems including a chronic autoimmune she battles daily, and honestly is one of the sweetest and most genuine people I have ever met. Plus, you should see this girl jump!!!
She encouraged me to pick up a jump rope and I love it! Jumping rope is one of the best workouts I have ever done and it’s also affordable, and you can work out anywhere. Plus, for every 10 minutes you jump rope, you burn as many calories as running for 30 minutes! I jump in our bedroom and watch a movie or listen to music. Our kids have their own ropes and jump with me too! I love that they see me exercising, working hard and also having fun. Jumping rope is a total body workout and I love it! I would really love to encourage you all to try it!
I am so happy to be in a place where I enjoy exercise again and where I focus on my health and also the health of my family. I not only have myself to look after, but also I have little ones to set a good example for too. I feel blessed to have a mother whom to this day is healthy and fit, she is a runner and Crossfitter, and she sets such a positive example for me and for many others. I hope I can be the same for our children.
When you feel good about the person you are and about your health and happiness, that is truly beautiful. We all have to work on that daily, but I truly believe that is what makes a woman gorgeous is being confident, happy, and wearing her health with pride. If you get a chance, check out Jamie’s website, read her story, watch her videos, and get inspired!
Let’s all JUMP start our journey to healthy living and wearing our health and happiness proudly. Who has been a healthy role model in your life?