My journey is a little different than most. I was never overweight, however I could not stand to look at myself in the mirror. I had severe self image issues that were making me extremely unhappy and self conscious. I was very skinny, yet out of shape, you could call it “skinny fat.”
As a child I was put into the “normal” girl activities such as ballet, tap, and gymnastics. I even tried sports, but nothing stuck. Then one St. Patrick’s Day the Irish dancers came to my school and I just fell in love. I remember being amazed at how they danced, and the costumes that they wore and of course the curly hair! I wanted to be on that stage performing too. I started Irish dance a few months after this and began practicing daily and competing. It was my life for 9 years.
As I entered my teens, I also struggled with depression and anxiety. This was brought about by a lot of reasons, but manifested itself in part in my eating habits. I began watching everything I ate, which was next to nothing, trying to “get skinny”, trying to like the girl I saw in the mirror. I did succeed, but it was an “unhealthy skinny”. I was not toned at all and would still consider myself fat. To be honest, no matter the amount of cardio I did, the “chub” was still there, and all I wanted was a flat stomach. People would tell me how tiny I was but it didn’t matter to me I was unhappy with the person I saw in the mirror.
After a few years of “bad dieting” it began to really take a toll on my body. Irish dance was also taking a toll on my joints and practice and competing became a chore because I was in so much pain. I made the choice to stop dancing. It was a difficult decision but necessary due to the level of pain I was in. This left a terrible void which threw me into an even deeper depression. Days went by and I was lost, I didn’t know what I would do with all my time.
On a whim, I decided to step into the gym and start using my membership. I started taking spin classes for a form of cardio that had less impact on my joints. I felt like I found a new home. When I walked through those gym doors it was like the weight on my shoulders was lifted, and the gym became my release. It was almost like I was back at dance. One thing led to another and I began working with a trainer at the gym who put the idea in my head about competing. To me this was perfect. I missed working towards a goal, being on stage, competing and winning. There was one problem… I was too skinny(yes… too skinny lol) and was not fit to compete. I would have to start from scratch to build the body of a competitor. I decided to hire a competition coach, it took me about 3 coaches before I found the right one for me. After a year of kicking my butt into serious shape. Together, we (me and my coach) crafted an amazing package for my first show.
My love of fitness and nutrition grew throughout my whole journey and continues to grow. My passion is my own personal health and fitness and helping others reach their fitness goals. One of things I remember the most about my journey was the struggle of feeling lost and not knowing where to begin. I wished I had someone to turn to during these times of uncertainty. So that is my promise to you, to be your friend, to be a coach, to give guidance and support, to remind you of your goals and to kick your butt, when necessary. I will be that person for you.