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Sarah Maness: Her Journey To Health Changed Her Life
December 26 2019
December 26 2019
My story isn't much but I love what Beautiful Disaster is.
I grew up with a divorced and remarried family. Father was an alcoholic for his lifetime and a drug user for a short time. My mother drank but married a wonderful man and they provided for myself and 2 siblings before anything else. My mother has always been super skinny, no fat on her nor muscle. She always would tell me I was fat or put me down somehow. Emotional/verbal abuse I guess you could say. She still does to this day and even to my daughter but, finally, at age 37, I figured out how to not let it get to me anymore and to ignore her. And for my daughter, I tell her to ignore her remarks as well. She would tell my sister also but she has always been thinner than me because she has more testosterone in her system and burns fat differently and never had a child. She had her moments of being large and my mom let her know about it too.
I started drinking at a young age. Needless to say, alcoholism runs in my family. I was still close to my dad and visited every other weekend. And when I was 17/18, he would get my friends and I alcohol sometimes. I graduated high school with average grades, did all the sports I could and worked. I attempted college but never finished. Worked in factories then in Customer Service. I still liked to party, tried a thing or two more than alcohol and was up to 235lbs at a height of 5'7. Around the age of 23 I met my later on ex-husband at a bar (go figure). We married and had a child within 2 years. After having my daughter i was 255lbs. A very picky eater and very unhealthy. My ex worked weekly shift change work and so you could say a lot of the time I was a single parent because he was at work or sleeping. I worked a full time job as well. Only took 6 weeks off for maternity leave.
My father was diagnosed with cancer which they said was from Agent Orange from Vietnam. He also had Hep C and Cirrhosis. He died 4 years after being diagnosed. This November marks 10 years since his passing. I still have issues because I believe he should have fought longer and that he gave up too easy. I will say it's getting easier though.
I finally decided, as my daughter was getting older, that being this size I wouldn't be able to do certain things. I wanted to be able to do anything/everything she wanted to do. So I started the fitness journey. I started with Zumba classes then I started to run while she would ride her bike. I was still an extremely picky eater. I plateaued so I found a Fitness class at a local MMA Gym. I found myself.
I wasn't happy in my marriage any longer, I was done. I had been done for a while but after 11 years, I couldn't pretend anymore. A year after starting the gym, I chose to start my divorce and to change up my eating habits and do better for myself. It was an extremely depressing, stressful and challenging time because he didn't want the divorce and my daughter would hear horrible, negative, untrue things when she was with him which made her hate me.
A couple years of taking all the classes I could and becoming fitter than I have ever been, I became an instructor at the gym. We started Self Defense training to add this as a class we could offer. I became a Black Belt in Krav Maga/Self Defense. I am a Blue Belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. I am a Certified Fitness Instructor and Muay Thai Fitness Kickboxing Instructor. I have trained with MMA fighters and stepped in the cage once to fill in for a teammate.
I struggle daily with stress, depression and eating. My full time day job as an office manager is very stressful. I teach fitness, kickboxing and self defense in the evenings. I do cardio workouts Mon, Wed & Fri and I lift on Sun, Tues, Thurs.
My stepfather was diagnosed with lung cancer in early 2018. He stopped smoking 8 years ago so he could see his only grandchild graduate high school in 2022. 4 of his 6 siblings have been diagnosed with lung cancer and 3 have died of it. He took chemo treatments and radiation over the summer and we are currently waiting to find out if it is gone, shrunk or grew. I have had to be the strong one in the family for this.
I turned 40 in April and currently weigh +/- 160lbs. I understand that I cannot look at the scale any longer because I am lifting and trying to gain muscle so I go by how my clothes fit and how I look. But again, I do not see what others see. Yes, I see some muscle but not what I want to see. Yes, I can workout 3 hours and not be happy with it because i feel like I could have done more. "I only burned 1,800 calories". It's nothing to burn that on a Mon or Wed night with the 3 classes I teach. I bought myself a weighted vest a week ago and am seeing if that will help.
I know I will not ever have the body I dream of without having the money to pay for it. I do not see what others see. I have met some very influential people along the way and some not so influential. I enjoy helping people start and continue their fitness journey and am grateful I have been given this opportunity.
I attached photos in some of my favorite Beautiful Disaster clothing!!
Thank you for letting me share this!!
-A middle aged Beautiful Disaster- 😊