Becoming a mother at the young age of 21 faced major challenges for me. I was starting my first career as a hairstylist and was just starting to build my clientele. The thought of having kids was definitely not something I had envisioned until I was well into my 30s. God had other plans for me.
My daughters have definitely become my saving grace. They are the two reasons in life that continue to motivate me to push on for greatness. But, I wasn't always so driven in the health and fitness department of life. Becoming pregnant at 20 rocked my world in ways I can't even begin to put into words. I was not prepared to raise a child, my husband and I were not married at the time and just moved in with one another, and I was definitely not looking forward to my body changing. Just a few months before I got pregnant with my first daughter, I purchased my first gym membership and I was devoted to trying to make that a focus in my life in my 20s. It definitely was not the case. I spent my 20s raising children, creating a family, and developing my career. Fitness and health was NOT in my priorities then.
As my kids got older and life became busier, I began to become more out of shape. I slowly fell into depression over my self image. My lack of self acceptance and self worth affected everyone in my life. None of my husband's compliments connected with me and even when my 10 year old daughter told me I was beautiful, I snapped back at her telling her I was "fat and ugly". It was in that very moment last summer that something had to change. It took me almost 10 years to realize that in order for me to become a happier wife, a good role model to my daughters, I needed to change some things in my life. I needed to stop making excuses that I had no time and no capacity in my life to make a shift in my priorities.
Placing my health as a priority and making time to workout has made me the happiest ever. It's allowed joy to overflow into all areas of my life especially with my family.
A few weeks ago my good friend Athena spent the weekend with us and photographed some of the most beautiful family portraits we have to date. The best thing about these portraits is that they represent our family in the truest form and our happiest. I know one day these kids will no longer want to snuggle, they will be too cool to hang with their parents, and soon these moments spent pillow fighting will fade away. I'm so grateful that we have these portraits to freeze these memories forever.