I needed to get into shape (or so my doctor kept saying). I’m very competitive, but not at all athletic. So why pageants? Well, Mrs. pageants generally have an age range from 19 or early 20s till….. whenever. So put my middle-aged, overweight self next to a 23 year old who just left the Miss America Organization, and well… I’ll get into shape. I am still working on it.
It’s not easy. My entire life (up until about 32), I was skinny. We’re talking 5’7″ and less than 100 pounds. In my late 20s, I was about 110 pounds – after two kids. I never tried to lose weight. I never exercised. And I durn sure did not eat healthy.
I have some wins though – I lost about 30 pounds. I went from osteoporosis to osteopenia. I came completely off Plaquenil and Methotrexate (considered lifetime meds once you go on them for Lupus / Sjogrens). Getting diagnosed with Celia Disease made me straighten up the nutritional plan, as did having a high A1C (shows blood sugar over time – diabetic….). My A1C is normal now. If I can do this, so can others with disabilities.
So I walk and I work out (I kinda fell off the working out, sorry, David Ashley, the Pastor of Pump). I eat healthy (most of the time). I have a hard time eating healthy when I travel, although I do manage to keep exercising.
But there is something else – the reason why I keep competing. The women (and men) I have met are in general, Fantastic. They get it. They are people of strength and beauty, goals and dreams. People that work to help others. I have met very few shallow, back-stabbing, pouting, shallow, what-you-think-are-pageant-girls people. Okay, there are some, but I am pretty oblivious to backstage politics. I just like everyone. And I try to help everyone and assume others do the same.
If you’ve every wondered….why does she do this? This is why. For my own health. To encourage others. To Live Out Loud. To be uniquely and unapologetically myself. To be among strong people who are helping the world.
Lots of love,
your Mrs. Arizona, USA Ambassador 2018