Tuesday, September 19, 2017

How I got started in NPC Modeling

Even when I was a young girl, I always looked up to the NPC models.  I always loved the way they looked; the muscular tone in their body and how fit they were always made me want to be one of them. I thought they were so beautiful.  I know not many people think that women look good that way, but to each their own. I always had it in my mind that I wanted to achieve that body. I know that they worked hard to achieve that body and I’ve always admired people that worked hard to achieve their goals.

Through different situations in life, I believe that God puts us through random things and situations to show us where we belong. I was a new mom and I knew that I had to find a job in order to make money for my family. I went to cosmetology school for two years. It wasn’t where my heart was, but like I said I had to make a living somehow. I called 25 salons in my hometown and none of them had open spots. I kept persevering and got ahold of a salon in the next town over. It was inside of a gym and the salon itself was slow businesswise. The owner of the salon was also the owner of the gym. I remember she would walk around in heels with this rock-solid body. I thought she was so beautiful and you could tell she worked hard for her body. She was an NPC model and once she told me that she was my role model. There I was cutting hair just wishing I could do what she does.

One day I mustered up enough courage and told her that I was interested in NPC and wanted to create a name for myself in that industry. Through hard work and determination, I got my name into the NPC world. Now years later, I am currently training for my fourth show and the woman I looked up to helped me through the whole journey. Her name is Kris Smith and she is a very respectable lady. She took me under her wing and I have set goals for myself that I am now achieving. Never in my life did I think I could drink a gallon of water a day but now I drink two a day. Josh even created a pee cup for me in the car because on our way to rodeos I would have to pee so bad from how much water I would drink. Counting macros, weighing, food and realizing how difficult the diets were tricky to me at first, especially as a Type 1 Diabetic. However, I set a goal for myself and I plan to stick to it.

Now that I am training, I will practice my poses in the mirror and sometimes Josh and the kids will look at me like I’m crazy. But they know that mommy has worked hard and that this is a dream of mine. Being an NPC model is not easy. Sometimes I will literally look at myself in the mirror and wonder what part needs more work. I look at every square inch of my body. You can look fantastic if your makeup and hair and nails aren’t on point you’re not going to win. This is something where you have to be 100% with yourself in the training portion of it and in the competition portion of it. You have to have a positive mindset or you won’t do well.

I believed in myself to get to where I am. I knew that NPC modeling was something that I wanted to do. I set goals for myself and I achieved them. They weren’t easy goals by any means, but the journey has been worth it. If you have always dreamed of going for something that you have backed out on, I’m telling you to go for it! You never know where it might lead you!

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

The Day my Life Changed Forever

I grew up in an active family. I loved playing sports and eating healthy. Those of you who have followed my journey know I love working out as much as I can. My whole family is healthy and we encourage each other to be as healthy as we possibly can. My mother and sister are marathon runners and my brother is a personal trainer. Health and wellness are important in our family. All of this being said, it still wasn’t enough for me when I was 11 years old. I remember the day I was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes, it was a day that changed my life forever. I remember not feeling good that whole day. I asked my teacher several times if I could go to the bathroom. My teacher kept telling me no so many times that I ended up getting in school suspension because they thought I was acting up. When I was in ISS, a nurse and my family came to read my blood sugar and it was so high that the monitor literally just read “high”. No numbers, it just said “high” (which means it was so high that the monitor couldn’t even detect it). All I said after that was “I know it, I’m going to be a diabetic”. My family tried to calm me down and tell me it was going to be okay. I already knew in the back of my mind that I was going to have this disease forever.

After I was diagnosed, I remember crying often and asking “why me” and “I am so healthy, why did this happen to me”.  It took me a while, but after I got over the sadness, frustration, and anger, I realized that God gave me this disease for a reason. I realized that I needed to learn to cope with this disease and move forward. I didn’t see God’s purpose for me having the disease at the time, but I knew that I would learn it in the years to come.

I didn’t tell many people about my disease for a long time. I would not tell my friends and Josh didn’t even know for the first few months that we were together. I finally started coming clean about my disease after years of having it and suddenly I was able to connect with people on a more personal level. For those of you who follow me on Snapchat, you see how my life is affected every day by this disease. I am constantly checking my blood sugar and constantly trying to make sure that my body is reacting well to the food that I eat. The hard part of living with this disease is being sick and still trying to live a healthy life. Anytime my body goes through a change my body goes into a sick mode. My body is very different from the average 22-year-old female, but I strive to work out, eat healthy and maintain a very strict diet. I keep telling myself, I may have Type 1 Diabetes, but Type 1 Diabetes does NOT have me. 

My Type 1 Diabetes was so frustrating at one time that when I was pregnant with my first son, our doctors told me that I would either lose my baby or lose my own life if I continued the pregnancy. They actually recommended that I get an abortion because they thought that it would be that high of a chance for him to not survive. I am so glad that I listened to my heart and decided not to go through with it because Gannon is now 5 years old and healthy as can be.

I had to learn to take care of myself and I knew I wanted to make an impact on this world. I strive every day to motivate others. I am living a sick life and I get messages daily about how I am impacting other’s lives. It’s a high for me for me to know that someone has lost a pound on my program, Body by Mac. It makes me happy when I get a message from another Type 1 Diabetic who is struggling with the same issues that I am. I want to make everyone realize how important their health is. That all started for me when I realized that I had diabetes. If that was God’s will for me to have diabetes, then I am thankful for it. I didn’t realize at 11 years old why God wanted me to have this disease, but now I do. I am able to share my life and my health with everyone so they can see how hard it truly is for me to live life as a Type 1 Diabetic.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

My Three Little Blessings

My children are my world. Before I had them, I had no idea what life was about. All I focused on was cheerleading and having fun with my friends. When we found out that we were pregnant for the first time, I was nervous, but I was also excited for the new adventures that lied ahead for us.

Gannon was our first child and he changed my life forever. I’ll never forget the first time I held him. I remember holding him and thinking that I have never loved someone as much as I loved him. He is very special to me and Josh because we almost feel like we got to grow up with Gannon. He has been around for all of our big life changes and it has been special to have him by our side as we have evolved over the years. There’s something special about having your first child. I remember feeling scared for if we ever did have any future children because I was afraid that I could never love someone as much as I loved Gannon. Watching him grow into the young man he is today has been such an exciting ride. This little boy of mine loves anything to do with hunting, fishing, and rodeos! He is like a mini version of Josh and it is so fun to watch them together. There are times when I think back and realize how unbelievably immature I was raising a child at the young age of 16. However, he changed our worlds for the better. We became a family and we got the chance to grow up with Gannon.

When we got pregnant with Jaxie, I was nervous because I did not know if I was capable of loving another child as much as I loved Gannon. I was also nervous about having a girl. I had always imagined myself only having boys. I was nervous that maybe I wouldn’t be a good enough mom to a little girl. Josh fell in love with her from the start. Part of my fear was looking back and realizing how tough it was for my mom to raise me. I was nervous that having a girl would be my payback for how much of a pain I was to my mom. I was also nervous about having to dress her up and having her be a girly-girl. Much to my surprise, Miss Jaxie is quite the opposite. Let me tell you, she is such a tomboy! She loves to go hunt and fish with the guys. Sometimes she will run around without a shirt on just like the guys do! She will do everything with the guys and acts just like a guy sometimes, which is funny to watch. She rarely plays with dolls or girl toys. She would much rather play with Gannon and her daddy. This little girl has changed my world. She loves horses, loves running around and rarely dresses up.

Broncs was our third and final child. My two pregnancies prior were pretty easy. Gannon and Jaxie were big babies (both around nine pounds) but that comes with the territory of being a Type 1 Diabetic. Broncs' pregnancy, however, was a different case. He was by far my hardest pregnancy physically, mentally and emotionally. I remember being in so much pain and I would scream for help sometimes. People thought I was being dramatic or having anxiety attacks but I was just in so much pain throughout the whole pregnancy with Broncs. I knew something was wrong all the way through the pregnancy. We also were saddened because Josh and I both had a lot of opportunities before us when we found out we were pregnant again. I had my heart set and was training for NPC shows. I had modeling gigs lined up and I had competitions to prepare for. But once we found out we were pregnant again, all of these opportunities came to a crashing halt.

I went to the doctor for my 36-week checkup and they told me that my baby had a bad heart. My parents ended up taking me to the hospital and Josh met us there. I remember walking into the hospital and there were nine nurses with trays of needles and scissors. I remember being wheeled back into an operating room and within 30 minutes, Broncs was out of me. I remember lying in bed and my family was around me. I remember being extremely confused, wondering where Josh and Broncs were. At this point, everyone knew more than me. My mom had walked in and everyone thought that she would be telling us that the baby didn’t make it. I remember my mom saying that they were letting Josh see Broncs, but that Broncs was not okay. Josh ended up being kicked out of the room because of Broncs’ condition. Josh informed us that he had heart problems.

I remember nurses kept coming in to check on me over and over again. Every time I told them I was fine and that I just wanted to see my baby. For 8 hours, they didn’t tell me anything about my baby. Any questions that I asked about Broncs their answers were “I can’t tell you”. I was beyond frustrated, scared and angry at this time because I thought they would say that my baby was dead. Josh finally snapped and told the nurse that he would break down the doors in order to see if his son was okay. She finally agreed and said that she would go get some news on Broncs’ condition. I remember dozing off and around 3:00 am I woke up crying because Josh wasn’t there and I still hadn’t seen Broncs. I cried out to my nurse to have her take me to the room where they were. The nurse rolled me back and warned me of the equipment I would see around my baby. She also told me that neither me or Josh were allowed to touch Broncs.

When I walked into the room Broncs was in, my heart instantly broke. He was in an incubator with so many wires and equipment around him. It was a horrible sight to see and I had never experienced anything like that. Any mother will know that seeing your baby struggle and be sick is one of the worst feelings to ever have. I remember Josh would not leave his side. Josh prayed and cried over Broncs. That was a side of Josh that I had never seen before. Going through our struggles with Broncs together helped our marriage grow into what it is today. Broncs stayed in the NICU for about a month and then we finally got to bring our perfect baby home.

Broncs is a blessing that we did not know that our family needed. I’m actually having a hard time letting him grow up because I know that these will be the last baby experiences that I get. I got my tubes tied after him, so I know that I need to cherish every moment that I have with my last baby. I had a really hard time after I had Broncs and getting my tubes tied because I had the worst case of post-partum depression after having him. Thankfully, with the help of Josh and my family, I have gotten a lot better. 2017 has been the best and most successful year of my life. I have a happy husband, happy kids, and a happy life and I am so blessed with the family that I have!