My search for self-love, acceptance and happiness began in a moment in time, but my journey of achieving it was many years in the making. However, it was those tumultuous years of heartache and struggle that empowered me to overcome my challenges, become the confident vibrant woman I am today, and finally live an amazing life filled with love, joy, happiness, and success.
My childhood was idyllic until age 10 when my parents divorced and my Mom, sister, and I moved to another state away from the only life and people I had known. A sense of great loss set in and I felt disconnected as my whole world dramatically changed.
In my new life I tried extra hard to fit in and be liked and accepted. Because I was always a bit adventurous and a risk-taker, I naturally gravitated towards men who were exciting and fun to be around. However, these were also the men who tend to be emotionally unavailable and lacked commitment. I found myself trying to do everything possible to make them happy so I could hold on to them and be loved. Unfortunately, it seemed that no matter how perfect I tried to be or how much I did it was never enough. I just kept reaching out and coming up empty handed and eventually I felt like I just wasn’t good enough or worthy of true love and happiness.
My emotional roller coaster ride with relationships continued for decades and it took a huge toll on my confidence and self-esteem. I was living to please others and helping them live their dreams while dismissing my own needs, desires and dreams in the process.
I felt trapped! I eventually turned to drugs and alcohol for relief and comfort. And for many years my self-medication regimen “worked.” However, eventually I smartened up and let go of the drugs and alcohol but immediately chose food as my new drug of choice. My weight increased while my health declined and being overweight only added embarrassment, shame, and guilt, to the list of negative emotions I was already experiencing.
I came to realize how bad my life had gotten in 2011. My family and I were going on a trip and we had to reveal our weight for a helicopter ride. If my weight was over 250lbs., I would have to pay for another seat at $650. Because I feared the scale and chose to live in denial about my climbing weight, I didn’t really know how much I weighed. I was scared and anxious as the result of all my bad decisions and behaviors were about to become real and quantified right before my eyes.
I stared at the scale in horror, knees shaking, palms sweating and wishing with all my might that I didn’t have to acknowledge that number that was going to be staring back at me. It was my moment of reckoning! I reluctantly stepped on the scale and was horrified to find out that I weighed a whopping 248lbs. I had gained 128lbs! Tears filled my eyes as a whole new level of frustration, shame, and guilt overwhelmed me. I stood there numb and in shock; my self-confidence and self-esteem had plunged to an all-time low.
At that moment, I felt helpless and hopeless and such deep despair that I just wanted to throw in the towel. Fortunately, because of my faith, I knew that “checking out” wasn’t an option, but it did cross my mind, and that in itself was a real wake-up call. After a good long cry, I finally surrendered and accepted that I could no longer continue on the path I was taking.
After some soul searching on my trip, I was hungry for change and made the conscious decision to step up to the plate and improve my situation. I knew if I didn’t make some serious changes soon, it was only a going to be a matter of time before life would make the changes for me, and probably not in a way I would like. I needed to know what was driving me to dishonor myself. Why did I abuse my body in such a destructive way? What was the source of this deep despair that was bringing me to the point where I didn’t want to live anymore? These were questions that need serious contemplation.
A few months later, I made the agonizing decision to end a 20-year relationship and to focus on me and my needs. That was the moment I realized I had the power to change my life and I started my extraordinary journey of self-discovery and personal growth. That was the day I decided to take control of my situation and become the empowered woman I was meant to be while creating the amazing life I was meant to live.
Since my obesity was starting to cause health issues and doing a real number on my confidence and ability to feel desirable, accepted and loved, I decided that was the place to start so I decided to return to school to get my Certification in Holistic Health & Nutrition. I also started working with a health/life coach to help me develop my confidence and claim my power so I could break through the barriers that were keeping me stuck and finally take charge of my life.
Working with my coach was the key to my progress and success. She supported, motivated and guided me step-by-step to see where I was going wrong and why. She then provided me with the insight I needed to see what actions and steps I needed to take to keep me moving forward in a positive direction. I adopted a strong mindset, healthy habits, positive behaviors and targeted actions that quickly improved all areas of my life.
I started feeling great from the inside out so I decided to take my confidence and fitness to the next level and enrolled in Tae Kwon Do classes at the age of 51 (and still 220lbs). That was a game-changer! I no time at all I lost 40lbs, increased my energy, improved my endurance and flexibility, and let go of 3 prescriptions medications.
Now, almost 5 years later, I’ve advanced to a 2nd degree black belt and I became a kickboxing and martial arts instructor, and a personal trainer! I feel strong, confident, empowered, and love myself and my life.
But my greatest achievement is that I’m no longer that lost little girl who was so desperate to be loved and accepted by others that she was willing to compromise her values and give up her dreams to get it; because now she has found that the deepest most special kind of love comes from within.
That scared little girl has fully developed into a confident, empowered, fierce, vibrant woman who trusts and values herself, believes in her abilities, and stands up for what she knows is right. She loves, honors, and respects herself and accepts no less from others. She asks for what she needs, goes after what she wants, and creates what she desires. And from here she knows all things are possible!