Defining Moment

I recently listened to a sermon on defining moments.  At this moment I was left to ponder what my defining moments are. Of course, the birth of girls, my wedding and a fun Lollapalooza concert are some to suggest but what pushes a person in life to make you the person you are today? For me, a game changer was at the ripe age of 20.  It started with a 1996 Junior Fitness competition that aired on ESPN.  I was that crazy girl who thought, because Kelly Ryan, a fitness model at the time, could bust out a 90 second fitness/gymnastics routine then I could to.  Little did I know what hard work this was going to be in order to be successful?


This picture was taken around the time I started my fitness journey

My defining moment was not without challenges but I found 4 things to help me be successful.

First, was my allegiance to God.  I put my mind to changing my life, but not without giving all the glory to God.  At the beginning of each day, I give thanks to God for allowing me to be able to put my two feet on the ground and walk.  Think about it, walking is a gift.  Not everyone has the ability to get up and walk.  I would not feel right if I did not give that glory to God.

Second is Accountability.  I had to hold myself accountable in everything including down to the last morsel that I ate. It sucks when you have to leave yourself out of things like:  going to IHOP, Waffle House, and parties; knowing that those are just unhealthy choices.  Fitness can be a lonely place if you do not have friends that feel they can be Kelly Ryan too. I kept countless spiral bound notebook journals with my meals, calorie intake and exercise for the day.  You have to remember that back in the 90’s My Fitness Pal (which I currently use) was not accessible. To make my life easier I just ate the same things which were a lot of canned tuna, egg whites and raw veggies, yummy.

Align yourself with a fitness trainer or friend.  Mr. M was my first trainer. I met him at a cheerleading event. He was trying to whip a bunch of my sister’s cheerleading team into shape. Mr. M is about 5’4 but when he said give me 20 burpees those cheerleaders were on the floor.  I hired him on the spot. For two years, Mr. M showed up at my house every week, with a megaphone (just kidding) and weights. Mr. M pushed me to see past the word “I can’t”.  He also pushed me into running.  If you don’t have the money for a trainer, then find a friend who will hold you accountable.  Pick someone that will get you through those hard workouts and bad eating days.  Currently, most all my walks/runs are with my best girlfriends.


Fit body = eating right & gym time 

Pump that aqua.  Besides my Latte addiction I am also a water addict.  I fill up my water bottle at least three times a day.

I have not always been fit but I work hard to be the healthiest mom/wife. That ESPN fitness competition changed my life for the better.

IMG_1613        IMG_1616

Fitness is simple, but you have to put in the effort.  What is/are your defining moments?

As always,

Melissa Gayle

  • Disclaimer- I am not a personal trainer or a nutritionist. I am sharing my journey and what led me through my fitness journey.  Today, I would not consider Kelly Ryan a role model.  You can read her story: Kelly Ryan Story

2 thoughts on “Defining Moment

    • thehouseofhazel says:

      Thank you Lisa! I hope you will continue to read and keep me updated on any new fitness trends you would like for me to talk about. I’ve just about tried everything 😉


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