It’s fitness Tuesday and today I’m reaching out to one of my former students, Rebekah Duvall, to join the blog. I asked Rebekah if she would share her story of fitness & health and why it was important for her to make some changes. Here’s her story, I hope you enjoy it:
Fitness Story (Rebekah Duvall)
Hey there! Thank you for taking the time to read this in advance. I was asked by Terry to write a blog for his site in regards to fitness and living a healthy lifestyle. I’m excited to share my journey with you, and I hope it will inspire you to make a change for yourself. Change is good and refreshing!
My name is Rebekah, and I am a graduate from Broadfording Christian Academy where Terry used to teach. I have been married for 7 years, and I have a 2 year old daughter and a 12 year old step-son. I work full-time in the Air National Guard in WV as a supply technician. So I definitely stay pretty busy.
Growing up I was active with sports, but that was the extent of my exercise. It’s amazing how the body changes as you get older. Metabolism isn’t as strong as it once was (can definitely not eat half a pizza anymore without consequences. Lol). I used to go to the gym here and there after I graduated high school (basically for something to do), and I continued to pretty much eat how I wanted. Guess I was just maintaining.
I enlisted in the military (Air National Guard) in 2005. I would say that was probably the start of being more active. Getting up at 0400 every morning for PT was a real treat. Lol. Once I graduated basic and went back to work, things got more mundane every day. Went back to my old eating habits, gym here and there, and maintained my weight (or so I thought).
I took a new full-time job (at my base) in 2008. So I had to go away for about 7 weeks for training. After class, I had my evening routine that included the gym (didn’t have much else to do other than that). That’s when I got into running. Not because somebody was making me do it (i.e. basic training or just “dragging” myself to the gym), but because I was actually starting to enjoy it. I ran, and started incorporating strength training into my routine. I bought healthy things to eat in my room, and I started to feel good. Once I came home, I continued to work out and eat better. I am so fortunate at my job to get an hour to work out every day. So I was taking full advantage of that.
I was going through pictures one day, and came across one of me in 2007. Wow…I had really put on weight since my husband and I first started dating. I had never noticed it before. I was not happy with what I saw. So seeing that just drove me forward to keep up with what I was doing right now. I started watching my portions, and also drinking more water. Leaving the “cheat meals” for on the weekends. The weight really started to come off. I lost about 25 lbs over the next few years. I felt great.
I got pregnant in 2011 with Ava. I exercised throughout my whole pregnancy. I was 8 days late, and I exercised right up until the day before going into the hospital to have her. It alleviated all the nasty pregnancy symptoms. Once I had Ava in Jan 2012, I only had a few lbs to lose from the pregnancy. I waited 4 weeks after having her, and then I slowly started running again. Six weeks after having her, I started the program INSANITY. Ava would sit in her little swing every day and would watch me while I worked out. I made it a point to do it first thing every morning so I would get it out of the way. I lost all my baby weight on that program, and got into better shape than I was in before getting pregnant. Once again, this continued to drive me forward.
My husband had competed in a USBF (United States Bodybuilding Federation) competition in OCT of 2012. Watching him and the other contestants made me want to do it too. I figured if they can do it…So can I! So I signed up to compete in my first USBF bikini competition. I started training harder, and went on a very clean competition diet. It was the hardest thing I have ever put myself through. Our life revolves so much around food. It was so hard being around other people when we were out to dinner or over at friend’s house. They would eat all the things that I was just dying to eat. Lol. I pressed on. April 2013 came around, and the day was finally here. I felt great. I worked so hard to get to where I was at, and all my hard work was about to pay off. I took home 2nd place that day. What an accomplishment! I couldn’t believe that I was a mom of a 14 month old and that I had just competed in a bikini competition and placed. Having my husband there with me was great. It’s so great to have someone else in the family that tries to stay healthy as well.
Will I compete in another competition? Maybe…It’s not unattainable. I’m glad I can say I have that under my belt, but I do know that being fit and active is a part of my lifestyle now. I choose to do it not only for me, but for my family. Staying fit and healthy allows me to be a better mother to my children. I have more energy to keep up with them, and I love setting an example for them to follow.
I’m not the world’s greatest writer. I hope that by reading this you can see that if you put your mind to do something, it can be done. It won’t happen overnight. Consistency is key in any weight loss program you do. You will get discouraged, you will fall, but get back up and keep pressing forward. God bless you, and you can check out my fitness page I created on Facebook. It’s called “Fit, Healthy, & Fabulous”. It’s an open page to get healthy recipes, workouts, and to help encourage each other. You can post pics of your success, and anything fitness related you’d like.
Thanks Rebekah for sharing your story of fitness and health. I hope that your story will encourage others to take their fitness/health seriously. God has given us one life and it is our responsibility to manage our body well!