Sunday, March 1, 2015

Strong at Heart 💪❤️

The story you are about to read is near and dear to me. Miss Brittney and I (and her twin sister and my twin sister) have been great friends since we met in middle school. We had sleep overs, played soccer together in high school, worked together as waitresses, parties, dances, all the good high school things 😊
Brittney has always been a huge supporter of healthy is hot, from the very beginning in 2009. She has always encouraged me to keep it up and let me know that the message was reaching people, inspiring people. 
When I did my very first challenge Britt signed up right away. I have always known growing up that Brittney had had several open heart surgeries, I had seen her scar and she openly answered our questions. It made her no different than any of us. Her heart never ever slowed her down or seemed to give her any problems. She kicked ASS in high school soccer and in our first challenge. I could always count on Britt, killing the workouts, prepping food, and most importantly, being an awesome teammate to the other girls. Always quick with a smile and words of wisdom and kindness. What a woman she is! As we completed our first challenge, Brittney and her hubby found out they were expecting a wonderful surprise, a baby boy! 💙 Even then, she signed up for the next challenge to stay accountable, eat well, stay active, and grow a perfect tiny human. 🙌 Her pregnancy went amazingly well, we talked at length about the lists of complications she could face, but she never seemed scared. She was confident and educated. Thats what I admire most about Britt, she doesn't lose her cool in the face of the unknown. She seeks answers, learns, prepares. What an amazing role model! 
After the birth of her son, Brittney did face complications that landed her in the hospital for weeks. With a newborn at home and herself stuck in the hospital, there were never pity parties. Her posts were, here I am, fighting this fight. Just wanting to get home to her family. 
Here we are now, months later, & Brittney is kicking ass in the healthy is HOT Winter Wonder Woman challenge. The road was long, but she battled all the way down it. 👊💥 & still is! 
This past year has really opened my eyes to how strong and amazing my friend really is. I asked her to share her story because it is beautiful. Our health is something we all take for granted. So many people who are perfectly 'healthy' wreck their precious gift of health by not taking care of themselves. Brittney, living with CHDs is striving to be as healthy as she can! She is doing this for her son and husband, her whole big amazing family, and herself. She is such a positive role model to anyone who knows her.  I know her story will touch many, and be a ray of hope for anyone. So please, read! Love ya B! 💜👯


Hi all! My name is Brittney I am 26 years old. Married to my best friend, we have 4 furbabies and a 6month old little boy! Iris asked me to share my fitness journey with you all!  Before I was born the doctors discovered I had Congenital Heart Defects (CHDs) they didn't know exactly which CHDs or how severe they were. One doctor even told my mom she should consider aborting me.. Thankfully she choose life. I've had 2 open heart surgeries. Growing up my parents didn't realize how important eating a balanced diet was for me but I was always an active kid even though the docs said I wouldn't be. After my last OHS at 11 I hit a big growth spurt and packed on some pounds .. I was used to being a tiny little kid, that was the first time I remember being uncomfortable with my weight. Fast forward to high school when I really started being uncomfortable with my weight. Thankfully Iris encouraged me to join soccer with her (not because I was uncomfortable with my weight) I loved soccer and made some great long time friends.  I started to lose some weight and was also happy because I felt like I could eat all the food I wanted . WRONG! As soon as soccer season was over, I started gaining weight. That's when my mom and sister joined weight watchers and so did I. I started learning about portion control and watching what I was eating. It definitely helped me lose weight and feel better about myself, but I was never consistent with it. Then came high school graduation and soon after starting college. Pretty stressful time and man am I a stress eater. I moved in with my hubby and all we would eat was fast food and massive amounts of junk food. That year I went to my annual cardiology appointment I've had the same cardiologist since I was a baby .. First thing he said to me was why have you gained so much weight ?! Wahhhhhh that was really hard to hear. So I joined weight watchers again and really tried to stick with it. But like before I let my busy life be an excuse to stop me from taking care of myself. 2011 I got married and started nursing school I noticed how one of my class mates was always packing her lunch and eating every couple of hours in class. I became friends with her and she told me about how she eats "clean" and her boyfriend is a personal trainer. About that time I really started following Iris's blog and her Helathy is HOT! FB page for motivation and tips. I was using Jillian Micheals work out videos  and feeling much better about my weight and myself. Graduated nursing school and of course fell off AGAIN :(! a fellow co worker and I would talk food and workouts and show each other our fav IG accounts. Mine of course being Iris's ;) of all the fitness pages I follow she has always been honesty and truthful with her journey and admits how hard it is to stay on track. I finally realized I needed to take control of my health make it a priority. I should have been all along. I do have CHDs and if I want to live a long happy life this is my best bet. 
My coworker started working out with a personal trainer and got meal plans from her. She then made me up a meal plan and workouts and the weight literally started coming OFF so easy. It felt so good to be taking care of myself. Then Iris started her challenges and I knew it was something I needed to be a part of. I did the challenge and really started understanding food my body responded best too and I felt fantastic & I freaking lost weight DURING the HOLIDAYS. I had hit my lowest weight since high school but more importantly I felt fantastic. Then in Jan 2014 I found out I was pregnant. A lot women with CHDs cant have children there hearts can not handle it. We sorta had an uh oh! :) I had to start seeing a high risk OB and switched to an Adult Congential Heart doctor immediately. I was happy, scared, nervous, anxious, but feeling extremely blessed. There were so many possible complications for my little guy and I. Miscarrying, blood clots for me, my CHDs being passed on to my little guy, delivering early, I was told typically at 30 weeks baby's growth stops & the list went on. All these things I new I couldn't control but I knew I could control what I ate and how I took care of myself and because of Iris I had all the tools to do so. She started a spring challenge and I joined. I wasn't very active in the group but logged in every day to stay motivated. We were closely monitored by the OB and cardiologist. I worked 5-6 days a week,gained 28lbs and at 36.5 weeks my water broke. Christian J.Patten Fields made his entrance into this world after 11hrs of labor at 5lbs 12oz 19.5in long and was heart healthy. Thank you lord! Literally the best day of my life! My heart did fantastic throughout pregnancy and the birth my cardiologist told me I was the best she had ever seen. Again thank you lord!  Then boom 2 weeks post partum I ended up in the ER with excruciating abdominal pain. I was kept over night for observation where they ensured my mom I did not have infection. The next day I went septic, which in turn did all kids of lovely things to my heart and I was in the hospital for the next month. I was pumped with so much fluid I gained about 25lbs an I went into congestive heart failure. Not to be dramatic but I almost lost my life- It is now 6 months later and I am feeling like myself again. When I saw that Iris was hosting another challenge I didn't care how sick I was I knew I needed to join in. I knew I needed to take back control of my health not just for me but for my little man. I am determined to stay happy, healthy and strong for him. Iris has given me the tools to succeed and the confidence to know that even if I screw up one day or hell one month I know I can get back on track. So believe me when I say if I can do it so can you!