Brittany: Neonatal ICU (NICU) nurse, caregiver, child of God, intelligent, athlete. Many words can be used to describe me, but in-shape, fit or healthy has never been among my arsenal of amazing traits. Until now!
My story starts in a similar way to many people. In college, I was an NAIA athlete who played volleyball. Cruising along in my athletics, getting through the workouts and eating what I wanted when I wanted did not lead me to feel comfortable in my own skin. When my ACL and MCL gave out, claiming my senior year of athletics I suffered a motivational decline. After that, I chose to enter nursing school. What is worse for enthusiasm in someone who has a challenge with self-care? Full time night nursing after graduation, for one is worse. Twelve plus hour shifts in the Neonatal ICU. Tiny humans hanging on for dear life. My lifestyle revolved around my new career and the little lives I was getting to impact each and every day. I loved it but I also put myself on the back burner. I didn’t work out, I drank sugary coffee just to maintain the appearance of a functioning human being and I ate whatever was in the break room (junk food) that I could scarf down. You ask what happened? Life happened and something had to change!
As I was seeing the numbers on my scale continue to rise, my self-value depreciated. I felt disgusting. I walked on the treadmill two or three times a week because who could possibly work out when working twelve-hour shifts. The numbers on the scale didn’t go down, my energy level didn’t go up. All the benefits you’re supposed to get from working out were absent. So what did I do? I almost stopped going. This is when I met my Life Time trainer, Nicole Presley. She asked me to join her 60-day challenge team and I thought, “She must be crazy!” It took me a couple of days to realize that as a 25 year old with 36.3% body fat, battling with asthma, and working more than full time nights I wanted to fight like the scrappy souls I am privileged to care for at my work.
“It is only 60 days!” I thought to myself. “You can do anything for 60 days.” The idea of my lifestyle changing began to hound me. Preoccupied with the possibilities, I met with the amazing individuals at Life Time who would become the co creators of my new self and become some of my best friends.
I met with my trainers Nicki and Ben who pushed me day in and day out. The first couple of weeks were the hardest. I wanted to give up countless times. “One more rep” they would say with five more left to go. I would show up for my training sessions and TEAM Cut five times a week, even right after finishing a twelve-hour shift. It was a struggle waking up after a twelve-hour shift, just to go back to the gym for TEAM training. I had to dig deep for motivation. My habit of giving up when things got hard was a tough battle. But, I knew I had to finish for me! My motivation came from the girl I saw in the before picture 60 days ago. Overweight, exhausted, and not able to fit into anything in my closet. My classmates didn’t even recognize me. With those images lurking in the back of my head I pushed even harder. I didn’t give in like my body and thoughts told me to. I wanted this change bad. In 60 incredibly challenging days, I went from getting side cramps and winded after two minutes of jogging to having the endurance to run five miles in under an hour. I can lift weights that I never imagined I could lift. I went from not being able to do any push-ups, to weighted push-ups. My trainers taught me how to believe in myself again. They gave me hope.
Before this Challenge, I never stepped foot into the kitchen. Today, cooking and baking has become a great stress reliever for me. Sara Mains, my nutritionist created a meal plan that I stuck to for the entire Challenge. Before meeting with her, I didn’t know I was starving myself. I was “dieting” all wrong. I now eat 400 more calories than I did before and I feel the best I’ve ever felt.
So, you ask what’s next? TEAM Bootcamp, here I come! I’ve also signed up for my first 5k this October and I’ve inspired my family to join me on my journey to health. For me, it is a lifestyle change and the 60-Day Transformation Challenge helped me jump-start the best years of my life.
After sixty days, here I am. I am no longer the broken college athlete that had their senior season stripped away. I am no longer the nursing school student struggling to find time to shower. I am no longer the nurse that forgot to take care of the number one patient, myself. Sixty days later, I am the kick butt woman who told all those excuses exactly where they could go. I am Brittany: NICU nurse, caregiver, child of God, intelligent, athlete…. fit, in-shape, healthy AND comfortable in my own skin. Thank you Life Time for assisting me in reclaiming my life.
“Strength doesn’t come from what you can do. It comes from overcoming the things you once thought you couldn’t.” -Rikki Roger