The following is the extended version of my transformation story, which was read out loud on stage
Why Did You Decide to Make a Change?
From a very young age I received the message that something was wrong with my size and required fixing. I have spent my entire life trying to lose weight with dozens of different diet and exercise attempts. Five years ago I was at my heaviest weight; I was 350 pounds three months after giving birth. At that time, I began to work-out with a trainer quite regularly. I made some progress but with a raging sugar addiction, major hormonal issues resulting from PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome), and two years of unsuccessful fertility treatments I was the most uncomfortable and disconnected from my body that I had ever been. Almost two years ago to date (at over 300 pounds) I distinctly remember trying to convince myself that being overweight was something I would just have to accept. I felt defeated and exhausted. But then I decided to try one last time. I decided that I wanted more, that I deserved more. Above all else, I wanted my daughter to see first-hand what I was capable of. I wanted to show her how strong I was and that anything is possible and I wanted her to witness self-love in its purest form.
How Did You Accomplish Your Goals?
I created a team of supportive people that believed in me before I could believe in myself, which included a psychologist, a personal trainer and a coach. I began the hard work with not only exercise and nutrition, but the deep rooted soulful healing that I believe is imperative to changing your life. I did my best to focus on the day ahead of me and I stopped being so hard on myself. I forgave myself quickly for not being “perfect” and I put myself first without feeling guilty about it, which was exceptionally challenging as a stay-at-home-mom. I asked for encouragement from my team when I needed it and trusted the process. I learned to listen to my body and I worked really hard every day, always being mindful of my goals.
What Was the Most Challenging Part of Your Journey?
The most challenging part of my journey was learning to listen to my body and appreciate all that it had done for me and how hard it was continuing to work. Specifically managing a herniated disc in my lower back, caused by over training. Not only was I in debilitating pain and literally unable to walk, but it slowed my progress down to a devastating halt. I had to accept that I couldn’t rush the process and I needed to let go of trying to control everything. I am now grateful for the experience and what it has taught me and done for my relationship with my body. I am also grateful for the people that have helped me heal and be able to continue with my training. I receive nerve root injections every three months, and attend physiotherapy and massage therapy appointments every month. I am on the wait list for a surgery consultation.
Do You Have Any Suggestions or Advices for People Wanting to Make a Change?
You cannot put a timeline on changing your life! Embrace the process. I believe you need to heal your way to health; connect mind/body and soul in order to achieve and maintain the results you desire. Find people who believe in you and your goals until you are able to believe in yourself.
Is There Anything Else You Would Like to Include?
I shed the weight along with all of the painful experiences and hurt that I had been carrying with me. I strengthened all of the qualities I found within; my drive, discipline, self-confidence and more. I am not a new person, but I am now the best version of myself – healed, healthy and happy.
I am so grateful for this journey. It has given me the ability to motivate and inspire others to heal themselves and has manifested into more than I could have ever imagined.