Transformation: It’s Not Just About Physique

What a difference 5 years makes…

At 27, I was “skinny”…That’s really the only way to describe it…I wasn’t fit or lean. I wasn’t strong. I wasn’t healthy. I was just “skinny”. But, at that time, that’s what I wanted…It’s what I thought I needed to be.

I placed all my self-worth in the size of my clothing (those shorts were a size 0) and the number on the scale (I weighed about 118 pounds in that first pic, and that’s where I was determined to stay…at ALL costs!…And, yes, I weighed multiple times, daily) My health wasn’t my priority, my need to meet my own impossible standards was.

For me, fitness was an unrealistic image achieved only through extreme measures. Back then, I restricted food (I only ate about 900-1200 Calories a day) and I did hour upon hour of soul shattering cardio, as well as hundreds of sit-ups everyday (yeah, I used to think that’s how that worked😳) in an effort to achieve the “perfect” body. I had no idea what I was doing, and the worst part is, i didn’t even know that I had no idea, or care!…All that mattered was that damn scale and those size 0 shorts.

That was life throughout my later teenage years and most of my 20s…Then, cancer happened, and everything changed.

After I was diagnosed with stage 4 Hodgkin Lymphoma, my health started to matter.Numbers (my weight and jean size) became irrelevant…My focus shifted to healing…not just my body, but my mindset…I began learning how to nourish my body, to give it wha it needed to stay strong during chemo and radiation. Calories weren’t the focus anymore, feeling good and keeping my strength up was.

After I finished treatment, I started working out again, only this time it wasn’t for weight loss or to burn all the calories, it was to build stamina and become healthier. I decided to try weightlifting, and I fell in love!

The first time I picked up a weight with purpose was in January of 2016, a year and a half after that first picture was taken (I was 29-years-old). It was a set of 5# dumbbells , and at that time, they were “heavy”. I used those weights until I was ready to progress. Then, I moved up to 8s, then 10s, 15s, 20s, and so on. Progress has been slow and steady, but that’s how it should be. Consistency and dedication have changed my body, but self-love and self-acceptance have changed my mindset, and THAT is everything!

The past 5 years have been full of ups and downs. There’s been sickness, setbacks, accomplishments, and failures…There’ve been times that I’ve just been so on top of everything, and times I’ve questioned why I even bother…I’ve amazed myself by doing things I never even knew I wanted to, and I’ve fallen on my face (literally) a few times! I’ve evolved, I’ve grown, and I’ve learned…a lot! I’m proud of where I am today both physically and mentally, but mostly mentality…I’m at peace with my body, and I celebrate it daily by nourishing it, moving it, and loving it for all that it’s done and all that it will do.

We all have our reasons, and everyone’s Day One is different…My official Day One didn’t come until I was 29…It doesn’t matter where you are or what you’ve been through, how old you are, how much weight you’ve got to lose or gain, or how many times you’ve tried and given up. Starting fresh is always an option! Creating a new beginning is ALWAYS an option!

Age is just a number. Your weight, clothing size, BMI, body fat %, waist size, total of setbacks and failures are all just numbers! They don’t mean anything…unless you allow it!

Take what life throws at you and roll with it! You’ll never be able to control every situation, but you can control how you handle things…So, take control!…I promise, you’ll come out healthier, happier, and stronger than you could have ever imagined!

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