I want to start by telling a bit of my backstory. A bit of how I found myself in a downward spiral. I am just going to share the basic details in this post. But, I will go into specifics in later posts when I share them in relation to my journey. It’d be quite a long post if I shared almost 35 years of detail with you now.
Going back to childhood, adolescent and teen years. I was always the tallest in my class and I was always the heaviest. As a kid that’s tough because when the name calling came it was hard to ignore. Kids are brutal and often times inappropriate. And, when I’d walk down the halls of school to hear other kids make noises or comments or whisper, it’d get to me. How could it not? I was in critical years of development. As I went through Middle School and High School years I struggled to find where I fit in. By 8th grade I had already been drinking and smoking. 10th grade came and I started a new school, joined the softball team (I had played summer league as long as I could remember and I was good at it…just slow) and used the opportunity to start over and figure out where I fit in. I smoked pot for the first time (it wasn’t my thing-did it 3 times in my whole life), drank and partied like nobody’s business, started to really notice guys….I just wanted someone to like me! I had friends…a lot of them. I always had. But, that didn’t mean the whispers or name calling ever went away. Fast forward to quitting college and a failed attempt to be independent and live on my own and I moved in with my grandparents.
Dating…man there were some winners in there….that’s my sarcasm font. Ayyyy! I don’t know what I was thinking…again, I guess I just wanted to fit in and do what I thought I was expected to do. I went through 2 relationships that were abusive…1 verbally, 1 physically (Cue the weight explosion). I’ll talk about those in another post. After that I met a nice guy who wanted to marry me. Sure! Why not? Ugh…imagine waking up the morning of your wedding and realizing how big of a mistake you were making but feeling like it was too late. So, you go through with it and spend the next 5 years trying to make the best of it. Cue the weight explosion…again. Looking back, I ate my feelings…it was how I coped. Anyway, another topic for another day. Next comes divorce and a new relationship. I can’t wait to tell you all about that!
I spent years searching for my purpose…a direction…a place that felt like home. Don’t get me wrong, Wisconsin will always be home. But, I just always felt like there was more out there for me. I needed to spread my wings…I felt like a caged bird. I moved a few times for jobs. I had lived in Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio again and then ultimately back to Wisconsin. I had decided that after 4 years of searching for a place to call home, Wisconsin must be it. After my divorce and needing a fresh start….oh this story is amazing…I can’t wait to tell you all about it…I landed in Maryland. HOME!
I started working on weight loss when I was 19 years old. I joined Weight Watchers and went to meetings with my boyfriend’s mom. It was working! Then came the breakup and I quit going to meetings with her eventually. I tried everything you could think of…Slim Fast, LA Weight Loss, Pills, Powders, Weight Watchers again, you name it, I tried it. Then I found a gym that was solely aimed at kickboxing classes. And, much to my amazement, I loved it! I was doing well at it and I was losing weight. I was gaining confidence. Then, I don’t know what happened, but I just stopped going. Years later I found one of those multi level marketing companies called Beachbody. A friend of mine was a coach and she talked me into trying the products. I liked them. I liked the support and I was seeing results. I was motivated. So, I became a coach and used my journey to inspire others. Eventually, I quit that because it was just too expensive. Here comes the part that was a game changer….years ago I had seen an episode of Dr Phil where he talked about a weight loss residential program called Structure House. I looked it up and I dreamed of going. But, once I saw the price I knew it was but a pipe dream. So, I had forgotten about it. Fast forward to 2014 and that program was on my mind so strong that I couldn’t ignore it. I needed to go. I needed to be there! So, I did everything I could to make it happen. February of 2015 was spent in Durham, NC at Structure House. I will go into details of my experience and how that was a life changing month in another post. But, let me tell you….this was where my eyes were opened. This was where I really started to understand how it wasn’t just about food or working out or feeling goo
d about myself or any other individual piece of the puzzle. It was just that…a puzzle and all the pieces
were needed to work together and make it complete.
And, that brings me here. I’m still on this journey, far from done. I’ve had set backs, struggles, successes, laughter, tears and pure frustration. But, I’ve learned so much about nutrition, fitness, the importance of taking care of my mind and spirit, giving myself credit and not beating myself up over everything. Going places and having people tell me that I not only looked thinner, but also that I looked happier…that was it. That was what I needed to hear….I looked happy! I was happy! I AM HAPPY!