I spent most of my life envying other girls. I envied their flat bellies and their ability to wear and look good in anything they put on. I especially envied the way that they didn’t have to pull their pants over their tummies when they sat down, and neatly arrange their shirt over their jeans to mask their muffin top and belly pooch. An adjustment I had to make to my clothing multiple times per day, every day.

Growing up, I was the funny friend. I wasn’t the fit friend, or the confident friend. I was the funny friend. I didn’t have boys and girls clamoring to be with me or dress like me. I was in the background unless I was making a joke. I made jokes about being overweight, and used my envy and lament to make people laugh. I always felt that as long as I could make people laugh, maybe they wouldn’t notice that my jeans were getting holes in them from where my thighs rubbed together when I walked.

There came a point in my life where I just couldn’t be this overweight person anymore. I was unhappy. I struggled with depression and anxiety. I woke up tired and cried in dressing rooms. I avoided events so that I wouldn’t have to think about how fat I was all night. Do you know how exhausting it is to spend hours analyzing and keeping track of every part of your body, to make sure that no one around you has the unfortunate experience of seeing your fat arm or your fat
this or fat that?

At 24, I decided that I needed to change my life right then, or this was going to be my life, for the rest of my life. I emailed Lindsey and Carmelo about 95 Nutriton. After I talked with Carmelo on the phone, I was convinced that it sounded good, but I just wasn’t ready to put in the hard work. I had to want it. More than I wanted a Kit-Kat or a burger. More than I wanted to sit home and watch Friends on Netflix. I had to find my “Why?”, and I just wasn’t willing to move out of my comfort zone.
It wasn’t until about 6 months later that I found the courage to stop the bullshit excuses. I looked in the mirror one morning and found my answer. “Why?” Because I didn’t want to feel ike shit anymore.

I contacted 95 Nutrition that afternoon, and they set me up with a meal plan, and helped me with a gym routine. My first “Wow” moment didn’t come from looking in the mirror. There was a point where I was 20 lbs. down, and my brain still saw the same fat person looking back at me. My first “Wow”moment came from when I put on a pair of shorts and went on with my day, without a second thought. Back 20 lbs. ago, the thought of wearing shorts would have been worse than telling me that I had to play the spoons in front of Oprah.

If I mustered up the courage to wear them, I would spend the day thinking about them. I spent the day thinking about shorts. Did I need to pull them down, pull them up, were they too short, too small, were they made for someone else that wasn’t me?

That day I wore shorts. I wore them like I belonged in them. I was comfortable, and conducted myself confidently. It wasn’t until I got home that evening that I realized that I hadn’t thought about my shorts at all that day. I started to cry the happiest tears I had ever cried. Being elated to spend a day in a pair of shorts sounds trivial, I know. But when you’re unhappy with yourself, you can find a million reasons throughout your day to pick yourself apart and find reasons why you’re not good enough.

Despite what I thought almost 5 years ago, my life is not perfect now that I can fit into a size whatever. My life is not all figured out, my problems are not all gone. But I built more than muscle and shed more than fat. I built confidence. I can do anything that I want, achieve anything that I dedicate myself to. I shed my willingness to be in the background; the want to hide. I shed being okay with settling for what I have, and instead am hungry for how I can grow.

My journey with food and fitness has been slow, steady, and far from linear. It took time for me to learn and make changes. I didn’t want another quick-fix that would deteriorate as soon as I got off the program. With the help from an incredible support system like 95 nutrition, I learned portion control and what healthy foods looked and tasted like. I learned to eat when I’m hungry, and stop when I’m full. I learned what the hell a macro is. I watched YouTube videos explaining different aspects of nutrition, and looked up new workouts to do in the gym. I wanted to change my life and change the trajectory of my future.

It is almost 3 years later and I’m now becoming a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist, I have a fitness Instagram, and I’m taking on clients as an Online Fitness Coach. My life now looks nothing like what I thought it would years ago, and I am so incredibly proud of that. I dove hard and deep, and that’s what it takes. Dive in with all of your might. Learn so that you can change what your life looks like, not just what your body looks like during bikini season.

Start now, not tomorrow. Start when you’re unsure. I promise that you will grow in more ways than you can even fathom.

I can promise you that at the very least, you won’t have to think about your shorts. Unless it’s how damn good you look in them.

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