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    Posted December 3, 2012 by
    Lawrenceville, Georgia
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    CNN Fit Nation: 2013 Triathlon Challenge

    Help me be a better me, for myself and for my family!

    My name is Tiffany, I am 30 years old and live just outside of Atlanta. I am a mom to six amazing kids, and owner of a small artisan food business. I desperately want to be a part of the 2013 Fit Nation Triathlon team, because I want to be a healthier, happier person.

    I have never really been a “fit” person. Exercise has always been something that I make excuses about. I don’t have time, life is too busy, that being a mom to six and a business owner doesn’t leave me enough time—you get the picture. I just push it to the back burner, something for another day or another time. Unfortunately, I grew up watching my parents do the same thing. I see how hard it is for them now to try and reverse that, and their struggle to be fit and healthy and active. I don’t want to be in that same position in 15 years. I battle a lot with depression and anxiety, often to the point that it impairs my daily activities. I drink too much, I don’t sleep well, I’m frustrated and disappointed with myself and my health at this point in my life, and I need to make a major change. I worry that I am going to wake up one day and realize I’ve become this completely different person, and I’m afraid of that.

    At this point in my life, I’m always the party pooper when it comes to playing outside with my family. I can’t play with my kids at the park, or even take them for a bike ride, without being completely exhausted in a matter of minutes. They used to ask me to play tag, or a game of frisbee, and now they don’t bother, because they have become accustomed to me saying no over the years. My husband has become the one to take them out to play, and to run around at the playground, and it makes me so sad to miss out on those things. I’ve feel like I’ve become a spectator in their lives and in my own.

    With the encouragement of friends, I joined a local boot camp program about two months ago, and it has made a huge difference in my life. I have these dreams about running and being free and happy, yet never thought I would be able to do so. Eight weeks ago I couldn’t even jog a 1/16 of a mile, and now I can make it a mile without stopping. It’s a slow jog, but it’s progress, and it’s something I never thought I would be able to do. I think the biggest reason that I have been successful so far with that group is because of the accountability factor. I know they are there for me, cheering me on, wanting to see me succeed. It’s so inspirational to see others making strides towards healthier lives, and just having that sense of camaraderie has made a significant difference for me.

    When I saw that you were accepting entries for next year’s team, I immediately thought “I HAVE to do this!” And then I thought “oh my God, there’s no way I could do that!” I am really excited to have the opportunity to apply, and a bit terrified of actually being chosen, because I know this will be a big game changer for me, and that’s pretty scary. I am confident that being a part of this team will give me the accountability that I need, because frankly I won’t do this on my own, I learned that a long time ago.

    I want be a part of the fit nation challenge to change my life, to prove to myself that I am capable, and give my kids a healthy role model to look up to.

    Thank you for taking the time to watch my video and read my story, and I hope to see you next year as part of the 2013 team!
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