I am…  Not good enough, smart enough, pretty enough, strong enough, not enough.

My life was full of fear, insecurities, self-abuse, depression; you name it. I was a miserably unhappy person.
Today, I am proud to say that I have a deep love for myself, confidence, strength and so much more. I am full of life and happy to be alive.

For many years, I struggled with the value of self-worth. I always looked for my own ideal of perfection only to find that I was chasing an illusion I had created in my mind. To me, I believed perfection was what I saw in magazines and what the media portrayed, which led me to have issues with my weight and at times, taking drastic measures.

In 2011, I joined a gym and decided I would compete in my first bodybuilding, bikini competition in the spring of 2012. I set a goal, accomplished it and…hated every bit of it because I did not like myself. The athletes I looked up to were my idea of perfection, I mean, come on, just look at their bodies! I followed a meal plan to a “T” and was so scared of failing and gave up my social life. I was afraid that one mistake would set me back and all my efforts would be negated. In fact, I did not cheat once! I was that committed and determined, chasing perfection, I gave it 100%.

Throughout my training, I lost weight, body fat and built muscle; however, my mindset never changed. The whole process was exhausting and stressful. I overtrained my body to the point that I unknowingly had ruptured my L5-S1 disc, the week of my show. I chased validation from the judges. This was a competition, and I did not place.

After the competition, I had gained all the weight I lost, plus (a lot) more and the physical pain from my back injury was excruciating! After several months, and exhausting all medical options, I opted to have surgery on my L5-S1 to alleviate the pressure on my sciatic nerve. The procedure was a success, and the pressure on my nerve subsided. When I started my physical therapy, they told me I would never be able to lift weights and strength train the way I once had, crushing my hopes of any comeback. I was devastated! I lost everything, my new identity, my body, my back and now my love of fitness. I went into a depression and felt no one would understand or even relate. My mind became cluttered with negative thoughts, and I felt hopeless, alone and scared.

After what seemed like an eternity, I slowly regained my strength and was medically cleared to resume a “normal” life and “light” lifting. I returned to the gym but didn’t know where to begin due to my new physical limitations. I felt like even more of a failure no matter how hard I tried. I played the victim, woe is me and judged myself for being such a loser and failure for many years. After a series of pain, blame, shame and guilt, I sought help where my passion was most crushed and hired a fitness coach, and it was the best thing I ever did.

By doing so, it cut the learning curve and provided me a path of structure, accountability, balance, and encouragement. Once my fitness and the personal journey was in place, I sought help in my professional career by hiring a business mentor to help me understand how to use my struggles and grow into something bigger and greater.

I focused my energy on turning my fears into love and pushed through the obstacles. It filled me spiritually, and it became an addiction, a way of life and there’s no reason ever to go back. Once I surrendered, I made a significant mindset change, and everything started to fall into place. I have been able to rebuild myself from the inside out.

Today, I can honestly say I have found genuine peace and happiness. I am content with where I am; grateful for all I have, struggles and all. My passion for fitness has evolved, and I have discovered a new love and approach to dieting, strength training, yoga, and meditation. They have given me physical strength and mental clarity, which has empowered me to pursue my passion for fitness and lifestyle coaching.

Through my own pain and experiences, I have realized that I am not alone. Many people have and are going through their own life struggles, which has inspired me to share and write my story to give back and help others. I am living proof that change is possible and I too want the same for you. A life filled with self-love, self-acceptance, gratitude, and forgiveness.

Let go of your limiting beliefs, redefine who you are and Create your own Story.