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The short version.....
31 year old born and raised in a small country town.
Full-time stay-at-home mother to a 2 year old girl (megan)
I market and promote nutritional supplements with a twist.
I run my business from my home, and have child friendly weekly business reviews with my team members, where we swap stories and tips and keep each other motivated.
I love the fact I get to work with my friends, still be with my daughter and make money at the same time!
OK, here's the long version.... I love the country life
Born and raised in a small country town in South Australia, I feel blessed. I can go shopping with my daughter and catch up with people I know and have a chat in the aisle of our local supermarket.
Driving down the street, I can wave to every passing car and get a smile and a wave back.
Its safe to walk the streets at night.
I can take my daughter to the local park, watch her on the play equipment and know she is safe.
I worked 6 years in the steel industry as a boiler and alternator attendant. My work was sitting in a tiny room for 12 hours keeping an eye on oil temperature, steam temperature gauges, etc.
(If you are imagining Homer Simpson at his work - then that is not far from the work I used to do!!)
It was a boring job, but it paid the bills. Night shifts were the worst. 7pm-7am. The works canteen opened at midnight. This is when I would eat fries, greasy hamburgers, chocolate milk, etc. Needless to say, my uniform became tighter and tighter until I had to resign to the fact that I needed a bigger sized uniform!
Heading for the States
I left this job in 2000 and headed for America, residing in Florida for a year on a tourist visa. I fad dieted the whole year, not eating much and walked where ever I needed to go. At the end of the year, I came home skinny and very unhealthy.
Working in a pub
Not long after coming home, I scored a job in the local pub as a waitress. I was curious to learn how to cook, so on quiet shifts I would go up and observe the chef, ask questions, and eventually he let me help him cook. I then became his assistant.
Without much notice a few months later, he resigned and moved to the city. The pub was desperate and there was no chefs in town. I was given the opportunity to become the head chef until they could find one to replace the guy that had left.
It wasn't hard work, the meals weren't hard to cook, but the hours were long,and mealtimes were busy. I was working during meal times and had no time to eat properly. I had no energy to go home and cook a decent meal for myself after cooking all day, so I would eat the deep fried food from the pub.
Again, my waistline grew and grew.
I had put my body through years and years of neglect and lot of turmoil - eating junk, fad dieting, then back to eating junk.
A big decision that would change my life forever
Growing up, I always dreamed of becoming a mother. My partner and I discussed it and both decided that our biological clocks were ticking, we weren't getting any younger it was time we tried for a baby. After 3 months, I fell pregnant. Not only was I excited about the baby, I had an excuse to be be fat!
I lived by the saying 'eating for two' all the way through my pregnancy. Although, I was eating healthier for the baby's sake, I was still eating way too much.
Becoming a mother for the first time
I became a mother on the 3rd of May 2005, and my life has never been the same since. It certainly hasn't been as easy as I thought it was going to be or dreamed of.
Up until I had Megan, I considered myself a semi-intelligent person. I'd always been dependant on my own wage to pay my bills, and been PROUD of that fact. I've never had to rely on anyone else to pay them for me. I worked hard for my money. My partner and I both agreed that I should have the opportunity to be a full time mother and give up my work. Work pressure, I could handle - pressures of being responsible for a little human being - well that is an entirely different story.
Doing the research
I researched all the baby magazines and books I could find, so I was prepared for what was to come in being a mother. Only problem was, Megan hadn't read them!!! She wasn't behaving like the books said she was meant to, she wasn't sleeping all night and she wasn't feeding properly. I was spiralling into depression - I had 1 simple job and that was to raise my daughter, and I felt like I couldn't even get that right.
I was sleep deprived, depressed, had no energy, my entire focus was on raising my daughter. My world revolved around my duties of a mother. My relationship suffered, my friendships suffered and so did my self-esteem. Most days I wouldn't even get out of my pyjamas until I needed to go shopping or go out in public.
Getting back on track...
When Megan was 10 months old, I got involved in a Strollercise Course (an exercise course for new mums to exercise with their babies in their strollers) This was the beginning of my new outlook in life.
I began researching healthy living, joined a free website with forums for other people wanting to lose weight and be healthier.
I learned the value of learning how our bodies react to food and exercise. I kept a food diary, entered my foods in a database on this site every day, read articles, posted blogs, made new friends.
I learnt to lose weight and be healthy the RIGHT way, instead of fad dieting, skipping meals and taking horrible meal replacement shakes.
I can proudly say, that in a year I lost 20kg through healthier food options and exercising. I have maintained my healthy weight for almost 2 years now.
Being healthy is an ongoing effort, and needs constant re-evaluation and daily motivation. Its so easy to fall off of the bandwagon, but I know now not to beat myself up. I hope to inspire other people with my story and experiences.
Knowing what I know about living a healthy lifestyle, I would never diet fad again or abuse my body with starvation.
I love my food, I love making a healthy, but tasty meals that the whole family can sit down at the dining room table together and enjoy. I love experimenting with different flavours and ingredients and their textures, I love to cherish eat bite that goes into my mouth. I personally don't agree with meal replacement shakes and diet pills.
I live by the saying that goes along the lines of give a man a fish - feed him for a day, but teach a man to fish and feed him for a lifetime.
Diet pills, meal replacements, weight loss programs that provide your meals for you are all fine short term, but they dont TEACH you to eat and live healthy. You become dependant on these for your weight loss, so if you were to stop taking them, you'd put the weight back on.
Finding my passion
As much as I learnt from researching food and health, I still battle to stay on track. Being a mum to an active toddler can certainly take its mental and physical toll on anyone.
I love being a mum, but I still felt like I was missing something in my life. I needed something else to be passionate about. I needed to find my self worth as a HUMAN, not just a mum.
I still couldn't bear the idea of not raising my daughter myself, but wanted to contribute to the finances of my family.
How could I do this?
Through a friend of a friend, I was offered an opportunity to join a MLM company. Not only was this my solution to earn some money without sacrificing hours on end away from my daughter, BUT it also included my other passion - health.
I'm not a millionaire - far from it, but I LOVE what I am doing, I love my products and it's something I am passionate about. I have my zest and spark back.
I now combine my family, friends and work life all into one. A group of my friends are also in the same company, so we decided to work together and have meetings at my home. Megan and my friend's children can all play together while we have our business meetings. We motivate each other, learn together and swap ideas and have our children with us at the same time.
I truly feel blessed that I can help with the family's finances while still being there for my daughter.
My mind is a sponge and I'm soaking up every ounce of information about multi-level marketing that I can find. I love what it is and what it offers - especially to the average person.
There's so much more for me to learn, so many inspirational people out there to learn and be motivated and inspired from.
As a newbie to NM, I hope to learn as much as possible and in turn, teach and inspire others to do the same.