Everyone has a story

Everyone has a story.  And a journey.  And an ability to share in a way that will help others, and lift them up as they're going through hard times.

I was 98lbs when I graduated high school.  Tired all the time, jacked up on Diet Mt. Dew and happy, but totally depressed.  I moved to college and it didn't get much better.  Insomnia, anxiety, mania, an uncanny ability to shut down emotionally, and bouts of extreme exercise followed by lots of laziness.  Again, I was happy, but totally depressed.  Yes, you can be both!  My head was full of clouds, all the time, and the sun would peak out and shine every day, but the clouds always rolled back in and I just sat back and let them, believing it was normal and just what I was given in life.

Some of you knew me back then, and may or may not have known the extremity of the pain I went through on a daily basis, all while smiling and doing my best to help others and be the light in their day, even when I was struggling to see it myself.  Internal suffering is horrible, and after awhile you just start shutting people out.  It's just easier.  You can't hurt people who don't get close to you; you can't get hurt if you don't let them in.

It took a lot of years to get to where I am now.  It wasn't a sudden shift--there was no magic pill to "cure" me.  But there was a shift.  Day after day, I made the decision to keep trying, and chose to keep seeing that light.  There was good in people, and there was good in the world, but you have to want to see it.  Little by little I started feeling better.  I got married, and started creating a life!

When I got pregnant I was scared to exercise, and forced myself to eat more than I wanted because all I knew was over-exercising and under-eating.  It was a daily struggle, making myself care for myself because this time, it wasn't about me.  It was about the life we created, and it was my responsibility to bring her into the world safely, responsibly, and with as much love as humanly possible.  So yes, I gained a lot of weight.  And then got pregnant again almost right away, and gained even more.  By the time my second daughter was born I was a mess, healthwise.  My knees and back ached, I had no energy, it was hard for me to chase around my daughter while also holding onto the baby.  I never learned how to eat WELL, so I kept trying things and failing.

I don't remember how heavy I was when I was pregnant that second time, but I remember trying on clothes for my babies' baptism and hating it, and that scale showing a number I was horrified to see.  It wasn't the number so much as the way I felt--I wasn't comfortable in my own skin.  I know so many women feel this, and it's just horrifying to think that we look at ourselves and feel about ourselves such negative things that it affects our entire lives, our relationships, everything.

I'm not sure what it was that finally got me going, I suppose it was just a little at a time, but eventually I started to see that I couldn't keep going the way I was going.  Just like when I was pregnant, I had to care for myself for the sake of my family.  If a mom is the glue that holds the family together, she can't just give up and dry out!  So day by day, meal by meal, I got my act together and started learning.  Google can teach you a lot, but then I started watching my healthy friends on social media talk about clean eating and at home workouts.  I'd already lost about 15lbs on my own by then, and was ready to take it the rest of the way, safely, in the right way.

I was introduced to the concept of "eating in line with your goals", and eating "real food" rather than dieting.  If I messed up and ate a cupcake, I didn't blow my diet, I just had a cupcake.  I developed a better relationship with food, ate clean 80% of the time, and forgave myself for that 20% that wasn't.

So yes, I lost weight.  I lost inches.  I lost joint pain and muscle pain and the laziness.

But what I'm most proud of is what I've gained.  I just plain feel better.  I cleaned up my diet, started exercising in the right way, with the right mentality, and started a business that would allow me to constantly thrive on the motivation of others, and consistently become the light my client's need to get their own selves figured out.

It wasn't magic, and it didn't happen overnight.  But I thank God that I kept my strength, determination and HOPE that one day I'd feel better, and that I'd be able to teach my daughters to develop a normal body image and way of eating, because they do look up to me, imitate me, and trust ME to teach THEM how to see themselves.

I  became a Coach to help other people, but I had NO idea the impact it would have on my own life.  My story is far from over, but it's mine to tell, and I hope that some of you can relate, or feel better knowing that whatever struggles you're going through right now is just a chapter of your story--it's not the whole story.

"Keep your face always toward the sunshine and the shadows will fall behind you"--Walt Whitman

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