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story.lead_photo.caption Pam Buettner

As a busy mom with three teenage children, I will be the first one to say I stopped focusing on my health and wellness years ago.

My goal every day was to make sure the children were taken care of. Everything from making dinner to getting to practices on time to making sure their laundry was clean and folded.

Somewhere in all that chaos, I completely lost control of my own health.

Fast forward to fall 2018 when my daughter asked me to practice cross country with her. Of course, I said yes, but I was thinking to myself, 'What are you doing? You are going to embarrass yourself. You really want your daughter to see you fail?'

And fail I did. About a quarter of a mile in, I had to stop.

In that moment, it clicked.

I had to take better care of myself and not just for me, for them. I needed to be a positive example for my children.

I started going to the gym and eating better. In the spring, a local gym was offering a "Summer Meltdown," and I felt it was the next step in becoming a better me.

That eight weeks completely changed my life.

I started scheduling my workouts. Every Sunday, I sit down with my planner and schedule my entire week. Everything from child events, workouts, work meetings, etc. I make a promise to myself to get those workouts in, and when I break that promise, it weighs on me.

Another thing I do, and this one may sound silly, but every time I work out, I post a sweaty selfie on social media — not for praise or to brag, but to have accountability. Most of my friends know I am on a journey to become the best me I can be, mentally and physically, so to have them pushing me is fantastic. I even get messages asking me where my selfie is for the day or if I worked out. It is great motivation.

I carry this gigantic water bottle around with me, too. My children call it my chug jug. My goal is to drink two per day and everyone asks me about it. I mean, it does look silly when I am carrying it through the grocery store, but hydration has been key to staying active.

I am five months into this routine and have never felt better. I recently decided I want to help others in this same situation, so I started school to become a personal trainer and am looking forward to motivating and helping others realize their potential. I finally understand what having a full cup means and to have one means giving so much more to those around me.

Pam Buettner is an active mother of three who grew up in Jefferson City. She is a licensed mortgage banker and front desk clerk at Elevate Fitness who is working on her personal training certification through the National Academy of Sports Medicine. She's also a dog mom, nature lover (except frogs) and baker of all things chocolate.

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