This blog is extremely personal. I want to bare my soul in regards to my body and mind transformation process with all of you.
Before I start, I’d like to ask you: What drives your food decisions? Why do you eat certain foods? I
Is it out of fear of something? Fear of gaining weight? It is emotionally driven?
or Is it because you’ve learned about specific nutrients that your body needs and enjoy the process of fueling yourself with healthy choices?
My personal development and weight loss journey has not been easy. I’ve been learning about my body, fitness and nutrition since I was 16 years old. I had always struggled with body image acceptance and loving myself for how I am. I grew up overweight, with braces, headgear, and acne. Middle and high school were very rough years for me.
Before photos: Bottom photo age about 15, my deepest darkest year. Top right age 14.
Top left I am about 16 or 17 years old & this is within my first few months of beginning to workout. I developed an eating disorder termed “non-purging bulimia” where I purged in the form of over exercising at least twice a day. I was taking ephedrine pills, forging notes to get out of school early to work out. I wrote down everything I ate and only allowed certain foods at certain times, if I missed the window, I wasn’t allowed the food.
Here are two short sections from my essay written freshman year of college 2003
“My eighth grade year was my all time worst. This was when I was the biggest of my fat stage. I had grown to the size of 14/15, and felt like I was the biggest girl in my grade. Boys in my Earth Science class would call me names, make me put my head down in tears and not want to show my face until the end of class. One boy told me that if I died he would throw a party and everybody would come. This struck me so hard and it later led me into making one of the biggest mistakes I’ve ever made. The emptiness and hatred I felt inside was unforgettable. I got braces the spring of eighth grade and those made me feel uglier than ever. I would look at myself in the mirror, smile, and then cringe at the site of the metal junk that covered my teeth. My self-esteem had reached rock bottom.”
“I started playing soccer for my school and working out regularly. I lost my weight over the years, and by senior year I was the size I had always pictured and dreamed of being. One thing was still missing: satisfaction. I would still look at myself and still see that “fat girl” that everyone used to call me. I would workout harder and harder and eat less and less trying to conquer my weight situation and still I would never feel satisfied. I would go to stores, find a pair of jeans, try them on and look into the mirror. In disbelief, I would still look extremely fat. The pain inside was still there. The disappointment every time I looked into the mirror was still there. My distorted body image of myself will probably never change. The torture of the students throughout my middle school and beginning of my high school career will always stick with me.
As a person, I am still affected by my early years. My self esteem still suffers. I still find myself comparing my body to other girls’ at the gym. I continue to look into the mirror and criticize myself. I truly believe I will never be fully satisfied with my body image. Whether or not it was the ridicule from my fellow classmates, or my own self not accepting my body structure, it is a personal situation I will have to live with for the rest of my life.”
I carried these obsessive eating, exercise and negative self talk habits to college with me. Not until end of freshman year, when I began an intro to Nutrition class-did I realize how fear driven all my actions where. This revelation also inspired me to become a certified personal trainer- my thought: if I wasn’t eating correctly I probably wasn’t exercising the right way either.
I had turned a new leaf. Motivated through the desire for knowledge I applied it to my current dedication and this is where things began to blossom.
The three biggest influences in my development would be learning the art of hoop dance, receiving an educating in biochemistry of human metabolism and finding the Isagenix nutritional super food system.
When I was 20 years old, my mother gifted me the hula hoop. That was a huge blessing and awakening for my confidence and believe in oneself. Once I mastered the motion of keeping it going around my waist, I begin to watch YouTube videos and the obsession was clear. Learning new trick after new trick and connecting with the community allowed for me to fall in love with what my body was capable of doing for me. Now at age 32, I’m on stage in little britches and tops, feeling confident and rocking audiences. It’s incredible to witness honestly. I feel a since of a pride- and coupled with pride seems a bit of shame. Where does that come from? What story has me telling myself that its embarrassing to be proud? I’m grateful for The Healthy Mind and Body mindset coaching program I went through that helped me find this self limiting belief around sense of Pride.
Now, I feel confident to declare: I am SO proud of myself for my accomplishments with the hula hoop and as a performer! and with this statement I hope to give you permission to be proud of your accomplishments as well.
Second largest influence was receiving the education in Foods and Nutrition. Through understanding food and how the body processes specific macro-nutrients for specific activities, I learned how to eat foods that work for my body type and activity level. Now food is not the enemy but one of my favorite things to do several times a day. Mindful eating practices such as slowing down and chewing each bit 20-30 times and practicing gratitude for all the effort that went into creating the meal.
The most recent influence on my journey to loving oneself is the introduction of Isagenix super foods and the Healthy Mind and Body Coaching program. I’ve been on the products for over a year and 3 months and I am so grateful to Laura and Scott St John for sharing them with me. The no compromise quality nutrition provided in their shakes and bars have help me maintain my daily protein requirements and reduce the amount of meat I am consuming. Also the nutritional cleansing aspect has help me reduce my BF % and have body confidence like never before! The Healthy Mind and Body program helps empower the mind and achieve your visions by:
- Habit-forming process designed for long term healthy success
- Identify patterns holding you back from your ideal health
- Intelligent, simple, and important daily activities that, if done everyday for 15 minutes, are guaranteed to change your life forever
It wasn’t easy, it took a lot of time, patience, self-compassion, guidance from my mentors, and lots of education. It is possible to re-frame how you view yourself, life and your body. It is possible. You are capable. The beginning might be the hardest part, but if you reach out for support and make sure you remain compassionate with yourself I believe you can achieve whatever your heart desires.