On April 1, 2013, I decided it was time for a change. It all started after I saw a photo and I hardly recognized myself. The past five years have been eventful as I’ve worked to learn the ins and outs of balancing proper fitness and nutrition.

One person who has been there almost every step of the way has been my personal trainer, Josh Nelson.

A longtime friend and teammate from high school, we rekindled almost 20 years later. The reunion ultimately changed my life.

“The goal is to get through those doors which is the hardest thing,” said Nelson.

Over the years, the workouts have changed. Not only to keep me interested, but also to challenge my short and long-term goals.

“I remember when we first got going, you lost weight doing cardio about 80 pounds. But when we did a plank for the first time you couldn't hold yourself up,” Nelson recalled. “You were very discouraged, and I told you-- this is the foundation where we build.”

Building is exactly what we did. Seeing both gains and losses along the way. Struggling to stay on track, all while working under a microscope.

“I give you the most credit for being transparent throughout this journey. There's a lot more to it than just coming into the gym and getting on a few machines and then you leave. You're trying to change a behavior pattern and a lifestyle change in a sense.”

When asked how he would grade my overall performance over the past 5 years, Josh was very honest.

“I would say working out wise would probably be a B. Nutrition would be a C to C plus but a B minus overall. If I would have told you that you would've been teaching spin class to help other people you wouldn't have believed me.”

Despite the ups and downs--the journey of 'Amped Up' living will continue. It's a choice I made to live healthier for myself...my family and my friends.