Long before I became notoriously recognized as the “No Excuse Mom” I was a young girl who grew up with a very unhealthy mother. I watched her become diabetic, experience heart attacks and strokes and undergo a kidney transplant. She represents my first love and my first fear – after all, pain is only present when you feel you’ve lost something of value. Watching her health decline because of lifestyle choices made me persistent about being healthy. I started teaching aerobics classes in high school, became a personal trainer in college and would later found a nonprofit, Fitness without Borders.
Despite my efforts, in my twenties I battled with an eating disorder and later struggled to lose weight because my metabolism shutdown from years of disordered eating. I began a website in 2005 and decided after giving birth to sons in 2009, 2010 and 2011, to post a fitspiration photo with my three young sons with a popular caption, “What’s Your Excuse?” The viral campaign was featured on major TV shows including Good Morning America, Today, CNN, Yahoo, Access Hollywood, Fox & Friends and Inside Edition. I filmed interviews in the Philippines, Germany, Ireland, Australia and Brazil. While the positive and negative criticism was at times, overwhelming, I was steadfast in my belief that we cannot fix a national healthcare crisis if we don’t start taking accountability for our health.
At the turn of the new year of 2014, I decided to take my new platform and create a space for women to connect online, meet up in their local parks and find motivational information. Immediately thousands of women congregated to take part in this cause and have created hundreds of meetups throughout the world. If it wasn’t for the dedication and volunteer work of many of our online administrators, regional managers and group leaders, none of this would be possible.