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Health Hero Spotlight on Kelly Meads

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Once I conquered quitting soda, I was feeling really good. I was clearheaded, had more energy, was sleeping better, and all around felt more capable of making decisions calmly. I took the next step and started going to my community gym every night after my kids went to bed. This was usually a time that I took to clean up the house or watch some TV to unwind, but I decided that there were better ways for me to spend that time. I was a runner and very active before my first baby. The fact that I didn't do it anymore had been haunting me. I slowly worked my way back to the pace and distance I had been at before I stopped running, and I felt like I was on top of the world! The trials in my life weren’t getting any easier—they were actually getting harder—and my stress level was through the roof, but I was handling it all so much better than I had three previous months. I felt like I was in control of the things that mattered most.

Because of all the little triumphs I was having, I was equipped to keep making more. I switched my diet almost 100 percent, and I was emphasizing a lot of fresh produce and clean eating. I was finding more time for myself to go out with friends or take little mini vacations where I had some “me time.” I was finding joy in going shopping and treating myself, when before I wouldn’t even go to a store for myself. But most importantly, my kids saw the difference. They had a lot of curiosity about what a gym was, what people did in a gym, how did I use all those machines, and how fast could I actually run. They also wanted to know why l loved vegetables so much! My son would wake up in the morning and the first thing he would ask me is if I went to the gym after he went to bed and how many miles was I able to run last night. It really motivated me to go to the gym on the nights where I just didn’t want to, because I didn’t want to tell him the next morning that I hadn’t gone!

The last year has been one of the worst and best of my life. Because I built myself back up again and re-learned how to LiVe Well (in all dimensions), I know that I can do hard things, and I’m not fearful of what may be coming my way. Becoming healthier wasn’t just physical for me. It was first and foremost mental, then emotional, and then physical—this became the dimension that helped me most. I am a better mom and person because I remembered that I matter, and I hold that very close to my heart now!

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Kelly Meads