In 2010, I started training for my first contest. I knew nothing about competing- I just knew I wanted to do something outside of my box for my 30th birthday. Little did I realize that I would be exchanging one extreme for another. I went from being the mom that distracted myself from my own life by starving myself... to being the mom that loaded the kids up in the car every single evening for them to spend 2 hours in the gym daycare. I had tunnel vision and within 9 months of competing in my first NPC show, I won my pro card in the IFBB.

I continued with my tunnel vision and all I could think about was qualifying for the Olympia. Because if I qualify for the O then I could say I made it. As cliche as that sounds...that is what I believed. Two years had gone by and my kids were going from being in school, to pretty much going straight to the gym, to eating dinner and off to bed.

And then a bomb was dropped.

3 weeks before my pro debut my dad passed away from a massive heart attack at just 57 years old. I still competed at that show...I actually had tears as I walked onto the stage. It was the fist time my girls and my mother had ever seen me compete and I will never forget seeing their sad faces as I did my quarter turns. I was ashamed. I was lost. I was heartbroken. And yet, competing remained the priority.

Life is different now. I am present. I still love to train, but it enhances my life...it doesn't control my life. I took 16 months off from the stage and although I did 3 shows at the end of 2013- my kids were actively involved in my "hobby" and not once did I sacrifice my time with them. Losing my dad opened my eyes and there isn't a day that goes by that I don't thank him for his powerful message...

Time is the one thing I will never get back.

I am a better mom because of the gym, but I am also a better mom because I know what is truly important in life. I will most likely never qualify for the O or make it on the cover of a magazine- But it's when I'm standing on the sideline of a soccer game, helping with a spelling test or enjoying a moment like this~ I know in my heart... I've already made it.


I was getting my girls ready for school this morning and my oldest daughter says to me (as my back was turned)...mom is that bad? My response was, is what bad? And then I turn around to see this on my television.

I obviously completely disagree with this kind of advertising. But who am I? I am just a 35 year old mother to three little girls that has battled poor body image almost my entire adult life. Sadly, this ad campaign reminded me of a time when I had just given birth to my middle daughter (Keris). She was maybe 8 weeks old at the time when I saw a commercial for the Victoria Secret fashion show- I instantly felt fat and far from pretty- I am sure I wasn't the only female that felt that way. I am sure many women were rushing out to buy those tiny little panties and push-up bras... hoping to even slightly resemble .5% of the world population. Although the Victoria Secret models are very few and far between...that's what our advertising world deemed as the ideal body. And today, it is now considered the perfect body.

This is disturbing to me. Does Victoria Secret have the right to classify them as perfect... of course, we live in a free country (kind of). But to me this message is telling me and everyone else that looks NOTHING like these women... that we are FAR from perfect.

Thankfully, I don't have a desire to be perfect and I hope you don't either. I am 5'3" and weigh more than these women. I rock short hair, stretch marks, and leggings that are usually covered in child size cheese puff finger prints. I lift weights and chase my girls on the soccer field. I feel my sexiest in my workout clothes.

Dear Victoria Secret, I may be far from perfect, but I am enough.