For years I struggled with my weight and battled body image issues and depression. After ending an unhealthy four-year relationship with a boyfriend all I wanted was to be happy again.

I hired a personal trainer and started making progress. He showed me how to eat healthy and lift weights. Soon I started noticing small changes.
The first thing I noticed was how much more energy I had. I started to see my waistline shrink, which made me excited to keep pushing forward. Before long, I had reached my 35 lbs weight-loss goal.

After a year, however, I began to slowly develop an unhealthy obsession with losing weight. I felt so amazing that I didn’t ever want to stop and nothing was good enough anymore. My new healthy life morphed into a crazy downward spiral of exercise addiction and calorie restriction.

My perception of myself became twisted and I started to suffer from depression. I completely lost control and it took over my entire life. I avoided social events with the people I loved most out of fear of “looking fat.” I could not do something as simple as watch a movie or spend time with friends without thinking about my weight and food. It consumed every thought I had and my weight was the one and only thing I cared about.Photo_MyStory_01

I was consuming an average of 500 calories a day, which I aimed to consume in vegetables and exercising for 2.5 hours a day. In addition I hid ankle weights under my pants while I worked at my serving job, walking around for eight-hour shifts. I was so weak that I had to take energy and caffeine pills to get me through the crashes.

This continued and grew worse over the course of a couple years and became so extreme that I lost my menstrual cycle. I felt that nobody understood what I was going through and it was extremely embarrassing for me to talk about.

When I finally realized I had a severe problem, I signed myself up for weekly counseling at a local eating disorder clinic. Over time I started to develop a healthier relationship with my body and that depriving it was not the answer. I went back to my 6 small meals a day consisting of complex carbs and protein and as my brain became healthier, so did my body. It was like I had been living in a haze and finally was able to come up for a breath of fresh air.

That journey was by far the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do. Overcoming my eating disorder was much more difficult than getting to my original goal weight.

What it gave me was an overwhelming feeling of compassion for anyone struggling or going through a difficult time. This is what prompted me to become a personal trainer, so that I can now help people on their own journeys to find themselves and improve their quality of life.

I share my story in hopes of showing people that no matter what you’ve gotten yourself into, there is always a way out. To me, it’s much more than fitness. It’s a total transformation of bringing balance to every area of your life.

I think that confidence is setting the foundation of a successful life that can bring you everything you ever dreamed of. I am here to believe in people because we all need someone to believe in us.

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