Unfortunately, at the age of 16, I began a 10-year battle with anorexia nervosa where I got down to 86 pounds and had to be hospitalized. After numerous years of counseling and being miserable, I finally got to the point where I was sick of being sick. I finally believed that I was worthy of being healthy, happy, and loved. I made a conscious decision to quit weighing myself and documenting everything that went into my mouth. I also quit exercising obsessively. It was during this time that I truly started LIVING and LOVING myself! It was also during this time that I graduated from college with a degree in Social Work as I had a desire to help others. Upon getting pregnant with my first child, I put my career on hold to stay at home to raise my children. It was during these years that the gym was my only outlet and the only thing that I did that was just for me.
I started weight training approximately 8 years ago. Before that, I mainly did cardio exercises. Weightlifting has helped me feel stronger mentally and emotionally and has transformed my body. I used to only care about being skinny; now, my focus is on being strong and healthy to reflect how I feel inwardly. Women used to come up to me at the gym and say they wanted to look like me. It was at this time that I decided to get my personal trainer certification so i could help others reach their fitness goals. For the past three years, I have been able to do what I am passionate about for a living--teaching, motivating, and encouraging others to take care of themselves.
Last year I was asked by several people why I didn't compete in bodybuilding. I had dreamed of doing a competition, but fear and insecurity had held me back. Thanks to the encouragement of several friends and their belief in me, I decided to sign up for my first competition (Texas State Naturals-NPC) in November 2011. I placed third in Masters 35 and up in bikini and seventh in Masters 35 and up for figure. The highlight of that competition was hearing my two proud boys cheering for me!
The day after my competition, I did my first fitness photo shoot and chose The Durga Bra and The Durga Booty Shorts for one of my outfits. I loved how this outfit fit, felt, and looked on me. Needless to say, I felt quite strong and sexy during that photo shoot and am looking forward to doing another one in April 2012.
I "rock by body" in several ways, but my first love is weightlifting! I also enjoy doing plyometric intervals and Zumba. My favorite workout is one where I push myself hard and am in "the zone" with some energizing dance music. During this times, no matter what else is going on in my life, I feel there is nothing I can't handle.
The struggles I have been through have brought me a sense of empowerment as I know there is no trial that I can't get through. The most difficult one is the divorce I went through this past year. The gym was my outlet where I was able to think and work through a plethora of emotions. Overcoming anorexia and being healthy and strong has brought me a tremendous sense of empowerment. Walking across that stage for my first competition and posing for my photo shoot made me feel extremely empowered and victorious. Anorexia didn't win!
Lastly, I feel empowered by helping others reach their health and fitness goals and by being a positive example of health and wholeness. It is such a blessing to be able to do what I love each and every day!