Anybody who is a mom or knows a mom would tell you that raising children is like an adventurous roller-coaster—there are the highs and the lows, and all the experiences in between.
Add a professional career to that and it makes the ride a bit bumpier. But one successful woman entrepreneur has been able to jump into life’s front seat and drive forward… all the way to the international Vitality stage where she was crowned ViSalus’ 2015 Vi Model.
Meet Jody Bernhardt. She’s a certified fitness trainer, an on-camera host, a public speaker, business owner, Military veteran, 47-year-old mother of four children and now a Vi Model. And while she has the experience and credentials of an entrepreneur much older, she has the physique and fitness level of an athlete much younger.
(Fun Fact: Jody served on the same military air force base at the same time with Vi Royal Ambassador Tony Lucero!)
Yet Jody’s journey did not come without personal struggle. For example, it was only a few years earlier when Jody began to notice something unexpected (and most unpleasant) happening to her.
“About age 40, I noticed that although I was continuing to eat healthy and exercise, my body was changing and my metabolism was slowing down,” says Jody. “Emotional problems stemmed from that. I didn’t feel good about myself. I heard a lot of negative self-talk. I wasn’t confident in who I was.”
It’s then when Jody’s Vi story began.
“A friend noticed I was struggling and she gave me a sample of the Vi-Shape Shake mix,” says Jody. “I started using the product and I initially lost eight pounds. I was so excited; I told everybody. I tripled my income the first month promoting The Challenge and I use all the Vi products now. I love the idea that with The Challenge I can set goals.”
Jody’s first Challenge goal was to become a Challenge Champion in the Active/Fitness category.
“To get in shape I started training in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and at my first competition they put me in the Senior division,” says Jody. “There was nobody else in my age group, so I competed with those in their 20s.”
Jody earned the silver medal, proving that age was just a number. And then she set her eyes on the Vi Model competition.
“My dream was to be featured on the cover of The Challenge Magazine,” she says, “and I wanted to show the world that a mother of four could break out of the mold and set an example of physical transformation.”
“I’ve found that some mature women really struggle with their mindset about eating and they’re literally afraid to consume a balanced amount of food,” says Jody, “But it should be the reverse. Through The Challenge I learned I can eat more and lose weight—as long as I eat the right foods and maintain a healthy lifestyle.”
Jody believes it’s never too early to learn this.
“There are a lot of young girls obsessed with being skinny instead of being healthy,” she says. “I have two teenage daughters and I try to make the word ‘healthy’ a frequent word in their vocabulary. Whenever I hear them using the blender to make shakes, it’s literally music to my ears.”
Adds Jody, “I want women to look in the mirror and like what they see. There’s no perfect body, but we each have our own best body. If we focus our mindset on becoming healthy, our bodies will follow and look healthy.”
When Jody became Vi Model, she also became a symbol of hope for any woman who wants to reclaim her health.
“I love that I have a new platform that lets me meet these women and connect with them,” she says. “When I walked off stage at the event, there were so many women who I didn’t know coming up to me and saying what an inspiration I was to them. If I could tell them only one thing, it would be that they are so worth the effort to take control of their health and that it can bring them physical strength. It’s about getting rid of insecurities and transforming from the inside, out.”
“It’s extremely difficult for me to have lost my best friend and soul mate who was such a big part of our family for so many years,” says Jody. “And while it’s easy to drown in all that I have lost, I daily focus on all the blessings in my life and press forward. Motivating and supporting others helps me to do that.”
Although Jody’s own journey has brought challenges, she doesn’t see them as obstacles, but rather as opportunities for reinvention.
“I have to create a new chapter,” she says. “I’m going to continually draw inner strength and support from God, my family, friends and team, and use my story to inspire and help others on their journey. Just because transformation has already happened, it doesn’t mean it can’t happen over and over again.”
Watch Jody share her story!
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