- Specialist in Sports Nutrition by International Sports Sciences Association
- Certified in Exercise Nutrition by Precision Nutrition
Convenience Food Discovered
I had a seemingly normal childhood with no weight issues. In high school, I developed some really poor eating habits, for example soda to start the day paired with some fried deli case item from the local gas station and a sweet treat. Somehow in spite of these daily bad habits I maintained a healthy weight.
I then went on to college and put on the “reshman 15” … (in reality more like 25#), I am sure this weight gain came from the horrible eating and the copious amount of alcohol consumed . While still carrying the extra weight I got married and gained about 20 more pounds with the newly-wed bliss. I was not concerned about my weight at that point I had convinced myself it was fine, I was large boned, I carried the extra weight well and my husband loved me as I was.
No Family, No Friends and 2 Small Boys
The next chapter of my life was motherhood, my first pregnancy I gained the normal pregnancy weight and delivered a healthy baby boy. The 20 pounds I gained was coming off at a steady pace, however just 4 months after having my first son I found out I was pregnant with my second son which halted the loss and my body gained about 30 pounds more. I had lost about 30 of the 50 pounds of pregnancy weight when my world as I knew it was turned up side down.
I had grown up in North Idaho where I had lots of family and friends in my support network, however when my husband lost his job in the mining industry forced us move to Northeastern Nevada away from all familiarity. So as a young mother with 2 small children I found myself, in a strange town where I didn’t know anyone. My husband had a great job but worked long hours so I found myself feeling alone and soothing my emotions with food. I steadily gained weight over the next 3 or 4 years. I was in deep depression and complete denial about my weight and health. I had gotten to the point that I cut my own hair after watching online tutorials because I was embarrassed to go to the salon. All the while convincing myself it was a cost saving effort to build savings.
In 2004, I had a hysterectomy, I remember thinking the doctor’s office was all screwed up, there was no way the scale was calibrated right I didn’t weigh over 300 pounds. After my surgery and recovery, I finally stepped out in to the social world, partly because my kids were becoming pre-school and of age to play sports so I was forced to engage in conversation and contact with other parents. This contact started to fill a void and I was slowly gaining some happiness back. Forming some great friendships made me happier but not healthier person. My health continued to decline as these friendships led to many social settings that revolved around eating and drinking.
I tried every fad on the market: Weight Watchers, Curves, Phen Fen, Atkins, Nutrisystem, AdvoCare, Plexus Slim etc. with these I lost and regained the same 30 to 50 pounds dozens of times. I had several roles to fulfill as a wife, mother and company employee. Like many mothers out there, I managed the household, shuffled kids to activities and found myself making everyone and everything a priority but myself. I had gained to an all-time high of 353 pounds. I had borderline high blood pressure, pre-diabetes, my BMI was 39 and I was categorized as severely obese.
There was an incident with a co-worker with hurtful actions that echoed in the background of my thoughts as I was deciding whether or not surgery was an option. This co-worker had fallen and was pretty immobile from the injuries of the fall, we had left the office one day she realized shehad left her phone in her office. I offered to go get the phone for her, not finding it right away I took my phone out to call it. As her phone rang the caller ID for me came as “mucho gordo” meaning very fat. Finding this was hurtful and angering. I was hurt that she would identify me by my weight and angry that I had gone out of my way several times in her through her injury to help her .
Enough is Enough
Married 18 Years and 2 Teens Boys
I consulted my family practice physician and we started discussing the possibility of weight loss surgery. This led to a consult with a bariatric surgeon and after weighing out all the surgical options and recommendations, I had a Duodenal Switch on September 30, 2014 in Salt Lake City, UT at the Bariatric Medical Institute with Dr. Cottom. Having surgery was one of the best decisions that I have ever made for myself, I am happier and healthier than I have ever been in my adult life. I can finally actively participate in instead of cheering from the sidelines.
In early 2015, I was still in the instant gratification phase of my journey where the weight was just falling off, I did not realize the commitment it was going to take to achieve the “look” I wanted. My family was offered another huge move, this time from Nevada to Michigan, as we pondered this opportunity in the back of my mind the fear of depression and excessive weight gain kept rearing its ugly head. We took the offer, which left me and my teen boys in Nevada for six months while my husband started his new job in Michigan. I made the commitment to the “WHY?” Why was I really doing this? During this six month period I made a commitment the why which for me was permanent behavioral changes and I finally began to understand the commitment it was going to take to achieve the athletic look and keep this weight off for good. I signed up for and started following a program from the exact trainer that helped Tosha found Bari-Fit. I obtained a gym membership at Anytime Fitness, printed off my assigned workout, watched the videos at home and then would go the gym at vacant hours and no one to laugh and critique me. I have come to love being pushed beyond my comfort zone and have continued to live a healthy happy lifestyle despite the constant fear of re-gain.
After following Tosha and watching her build Bari-Fit from the ground up, she asked if I would like to work with her, so I obtained my first certificate in Sports Nutrition in March of 2016 and found a passion in helping others. In October of 2016, I received my second certification in Exercise Nutrition. I love seeing people incorporate the tools and setting themselves up for long-term sustainability. Working for Bari- Fit is very rewarding we are always researching and implementing new things to improve the programs that we offer. I consider myself an open book if there are any questions you have about any phase of your journey. We are all amazing in taking back our lives one day and one goal at a time and I would love to hear your story!