Sharing our Successes….Meet DAWN!

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Today I have a different kind of success story to share with you, but one that I know you will love. I first connected with Dawn through the Wellness Witness Facebook page, and she shared with me about an upcoming fitness challenge. I told her I would share it with each of you, but then decided you may want to hear her whole story. So meet Dawn, my new friend, and another person trying to teach Biblical wellness and health through the only source that will last- JESUS!
Dawn wrote:
“So this will likely be one of the most unique “Sharing Our
Successes” stories you may ever read…
My name is Dawn. I’m a former 5th grade
teacher/turned stay-at-home-mom of two energetic little boys. Wife of the most
kind-hearted, hilarious sports medicine physician you’ll ever meet.
Farmer’s daughter, runner, fitness instructor,
personal trainer – and now blogger at Everyday Faith and Fitness
who strives to live a simple, somewhat eco-friendly life while loving God and
loving others.

I don’t have an amazing weight loss story; I‘ve never
had an eating disorder or exercise obsession; and I’ll never compete in a
bikini/bodybuilding competition.  But I
still think there’s a bit of a “success story” here to share.
I’m just an everyday girl who wants to help people
take care of the one thing that God gave to them – and only them – their bodies.
You see, I grew up on a farm in central Illinois –
riding bikes, climbing trees, and playing sports (including volleyball,
basketball, softball, track, and even cheerleading). My identity was certainly
as an athlete.
I’m not sure if it had to do with growing up in a
different time or a different place, or if I was just blessed to have parents
who supported my desire to be active, and never once gave me cause to critique
or even consider the look or shape of my body.
While I loved being an athlete, I really disliked
running and I had never lifted weights. During college, I overcame my
trepidation of the weight room, witnessed my first road races
(and realized I didn’t
hate running after all
), and worked at a summer camp for kids and
adults with special needs that ultimately changed my life.

As a 5th grade teacher, though, I came to
realize how confused even young girls are regarding health, fitness, and body
image. I wanted them to see the dangers of “dieting” and learn to love their
bodies by always treating them well. I started a group called FINS (Fitness, Image,
Nutrition, and Self-Esteem)
, where we’d meet at lunch once a month for
conversation and also take frequent afterschool field trips highlighting
various fitness experiences around the community (yoga, boot camp, dance,
self-defense, etc.).
But then I began a new chapter in my life as a
stay-at-home mom, which I L-O-V-E! (but totally admit is H-A-R-D!) During this
time, I realized I could combine my passion for fitness and my desire to help
others into roles at the gym, but still be home with my baby for most of the
I started teaching BodyFlow (the Les Mills tai chi,
yoga, Pilates-based class), CXWorx (the Les Mills 30-minute core class), and Body
& Soul (a total body workout set to Christian music). Plus, I also became
an ACE-certified personal trainer. Nothing is more gratifying than helping
others achieve their health and fitness goals.
This, my friends, is my “success story.” In a very
simple, real-life sort of way, I get to help people see that – in the same vein
as Kara here – your WELLNESS can (and should be) your WITNESS. 
I know that there are much more professional options
out there, but I think seeing health from an eternal perspective helps so much!
And, don’t get me wrong, I certainly don’t have it
all figured out. I struggle too – for instance, I eat an inappropriate amount
of chocolate chips (like a handful almost everyday!) But I think finding a
balance, deeply rooted in the love of Jesus is key.
One of my absolute favorite movie lines comes from
“God loves you just the way you are. But He loves you too
much to let you stay that way. “
Fitness should not consume your life. But neither should
Starting September 22, I’m going to be running a 4-week
fitness challenge
on my blog. There’ll be a weekly at-home workout (intense
but modifiable to any level) including a printable chart and video demos,
nutrition tips, a weekly Scripture devotional, and online accountability
through a private Facebook group.

The goal is to find consistency through accountability
exercising three times per week. (If you already have a different workout plan,
that’s great! You don’t have to use the one I post). For every time you meet
the goal of exercising three times per week, you’ll be entered into the drawing
for a $100 cash prize.
Cost to enter is $10. Plus, the more people that
enter, the more prizes I’ll give away, so feel free to share with your friends!
(Registrations closes Friday, Sept 19).
I know that my success can’t be recognized in pictures or
counted in significant pounds lost. But I do feel that having a peace about how
God fearfully and wonderfully created our bodies, as well as having a simple
respect for maintaining these temples, is indeed a success story that many
people are seeking to find.
Praying you’ll be inspired….”


How fun does her fitness challenge sound?!?!

Thanks for sharing with us, Dawn!

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