From a young age I remember thinking that having a flat tummy with lines and a tiny waist would make me happier.
I felt that my body was never good enough.
I was always the kid who was more developed than everyone else, I just looked so much larger and I was round shaped. I was a total tomboy because it was comfy, I was an athlete, and I never fit into Abercrombie, Hollister, or limited too jeans like the other girls in school.
I prided myself on being an athlete, the ‘sporty’ chick. I tried to make up for my ‘not enough’ body with actin like a clown, practicing my sport for hours, or getting exceptionally good grades.
I judged myself on what I ate all the time.
When I was a young girl in elementary school, I remember some of my friends who were smaller and more healthy-looking eating carrots when I had my gogurt. This was when I began associating food with looks and being 'bad' or 'good'
I went over to someone’s house one time with my best friend and they told me I couldn’t jump on the trampoline with them because I was 'too fat and would break it'. I think I lost friends because of my size too. I was called ‘big foot’ in soccer.
I recall my last year of soccer, I wanted to get thinner, so I made a promise to myself to run the whole entire 5 minute ‘movement’ warm up, rather than doing what others did like walk and laugh and have fun, I just ran and ran and ran. And I was so afraid of failing the mile test going into middle school that I spent a whole summer running just to practice for it.
I would be poked by adults in the stomach warning me that I may be on the biggest loser someday. I would be asked what I am eating every time I sat down for a meal and would notice people look me up and down.
I went on my first diet at 9 or 10 years old. It was the same diet my dad did when he was little and husky like me, it was the bananas and milk diet. I remember learning about calories and being outraged that I couldn’t enjoy most of the foods I loved, and it explained why the Oreo cakesters and chunky soups every day were not helping me none.
I recall seeing these women around town, on the covers of magazines, running amazing companies, modeling, getting the guys in the movies, playing sports, or rocking it in a band and I connected this to having a tight tummy. I thought that fat was scary, bad, and should not exist on the body in copious amounts.
Oh, and I can clearly remember when grocery stores, media, and companies began popping up with sugar free this or fat free that. I began thinking this meant ‘healthier’ or ‘better’, but it wasn’t until I became more aware, educated, and opened my eyes to see that this is all about staying a certain size or shape, not about health.
When I got into high school, I discovered fitness.
I was suicidal most of my freshman and sophomore year.
Exercise became my outlet. I was playing volleyball year-round every day, if there wasn’t volleyball practice or a tournament, I would either be training for it or practicing. I started going to the gym at 5am before school every day and then fell asleep in math class before I went to volleyball practice or a game, and then to coach club vball and have a practice too.
I was obsessed with movement. But I also was hyperfocused and concerned about what I was eating. I stuck 110% to a plan unless it was a cheat meal or cheat day of course in which case I would just binge because I thought that's what all the best people in the industry were doing so I would too to get a nice body and be happy like them! That's when my unhealthy relationship with food began. I would even make sure to exercise after EVERY thing I ate because I thought this was a sure fire way to make sure I burned more than I consumed (probably why I became very thin with little muscle development).
I packed canned chicken and Ezekiel bread with me to school, I had canned green beans, ground turkey, and other smell ass food, I walked around with a gallon of water, ate lunch in my car most days because I felt so disconnected from everyone and everything around me.
I always wanted to be true to myself and would not sacrifice that for anything. I was never into what most people were soooo I never went to parties, I detested the thought of school dances, and every homecoming, winter formal, and even prom, I went to the gym instead. I met some seriously amazing people in the gym. I found such an awesome community there and made friends who I still see there to this day.
I started my Instagram account to document what I was doing, be accountable, and in all honesty to have a separate place to follow all the fitness accounts outside of my personal feed.
It wasn’t until my junior year, when I realized, despite all the physical work I am doing, I am still depressed, my anxiety eats me up, and one day I am the ambitious leader who kicks ass and the next I am the slug who cant stop crying in bed and wishing she was never born, why???
It was in that moment, I realized that something was missing...
But, I still didn't have it all figured out...I even did a bikini competition in 2015 to see how far I could take myself, how much I could push myself, how 'good' I could look, I thought it was my fast track to fitness success! It was my excuse for having an unhealthy relationship with food and exercise. It was easier to say 'I am prepping for a bodybuilding show' than to say, I am extremely afraid of gaining fat, eating certain foods, or looking big, or being the least fit athlete in the room.
I didn't get called out at that show after working months for it. But it was my first show, I had come so far. And then, I rebounded, I gained 30 pounds in 3 weeks, I didn't know what to do. Everything hit me because I was only using things to cover up the pain and the problems of my life rather than addressing them...
After that I became aware of the fact that fitness is about BUILDING MORE THAN JUST A BODY
From then on I dedicated my time to learning how to love myself, breaking through many of the strict food rules I created and was taught that were causing me to binge or feel guilty, I began to recognize ways I can make myself feel healthier and stronger rather than just chasing an aesthetic, I found ways to work on my mindset and I eventually even went to therapy for my mental health.
In the last 3 years I have been immersed in the personal development world. I switched my major from clinical nutrition and dietetics to Psychology because I didn’t want to write diet plans for people with diseases, or anyone at all. I wanted to approach health holistically and focus on the real problems.
The problem is never food, yet we keep trying to manipulate it. The problem is never exercise, yet we keep trying to force it. The problem usually lies in the identity, mindset, self-efficacy, and loathing patterns an individual has but are most often overlooked.
It became my mission 4 years ago to help others love themselves and feel confident in their body through fitness.
3 years ago, it became about aligning inner work with physical results to help people build more than just a body.
Today, I am still committed to this.
I spent all of last year competing in bikini after healing my relationship with food, my body, and even my goals and stages of shape change because I wanted to give bodybuilding another crack when I really truly loved myself, not when I didn't love myself and needed it to numb myself.
I competed the whole year because I was truly THRIVING on it. I seriously never thought I would fall in love with it but I did. I fell in love with it because it was ADDING to my life, it was ACCENTUATING my favorite things about myself and my personality, and it was GIVING me something to be even more excited about.
Here's the thing, now, when I have a flat stomach it is not what makes me happy, it is a result of my happiness. How does this work? I love myself so much that naturally I am inspired to enjoy nutritious foods, talk to great people, and eliminate anything that causes me stress. I love myself so much that I enjoy foods to their enjoyment, not to the point of discomfort or out of scarcity. I love myself so much that I am able to live more presently, moment to moment because I am committed to the conscious choice of doing so (in all honesty, it isn't always easy and I slip up a lot but I have the tools and practices in place to overcome it and snap out of it and into my higher self) and a higher vibration)
In my entire journey, I have found a system that works not only for finding peace of mind, comfort in one’s body, and in getting to a healthier feeling and amazing aesthetic shape, but also for making peace with food, embracing goals with love, and shifting identities so that everything we pursue is attained much more effortlessly because it is fueled with love above all other things.
Our story, our patterns, our experiences help to shape us, but we can rewrite our story, make a new pattern, and create new experiences by learning from our past and being present, in this moment right now.
We can become mindful, through every moment, breath by breath, to always always anchor into self-love, connect with our core soul codes/beliefs, and design our life through the accomplishment of our goals.
We only become limited, small, or unworthy when we choose to define ourselves this way.
Our base level is always free, expansive, loving, open, and changeable.
I have never felt more loved by myself in my entire life than when I let go of the box others wanted me to be in or defined me by or that I thought I should try to fit into and embraced my true needs, began living more intuitively, and asked myself;
What do I want?
Why do I want it?
What I am willing to do to get there?
You deserve to feel empowered in your own skin!
You deserve to feel loved by yourself unconditionally!
You deserve to live your life by your soul’s deepest values!
You are so much more than just a body, you are beyond capable of building more than just a body.
Are you ready to?
If so, I would love to see how we can work together to make this happen, if you read this and got inspired to work with me or see what we can do together... I would like to offer you a breakthrough strategy coaching call where I will dive deep with you, see what needs to be shifted within you, and of course create a breakthrough.
Then we will discuss if it is a good fit for us to work together moving forward and go from there. In order to get this call you must fill this form out and apply as I do not work with just anyone, chances are though, if you have made it this far, we are likely a great fit : APPLY HERE
some photos of my journey, fixated on the size of my stomach including shots when I never truly loved myself to when I was empowered by loving myself, can you guess which ones were taken when? :)