Have you ever been told that you can’t do something and found that it only fueled your desire that much more? Been told no so many times, you decided to finally stand up and say yes? My life completely changed when I decided to believe in MYSELF, stand up, and live the life I knew I deserved. Taking control of my health and well-being is the single greatest gift I could have ever given to myself. And by INVESTING in myself first, I found that all areas of my life turned for the positive. What is holding you back from reaching out and taking the life you want and deserve?

I was diagnosed with Type 1 Juvenile Diabetes at age 5. No, it wasn’t because I ate too much candy or didn’t exercise. I was a healthy, active kid who happened to come down with double pneumonia that would shut down my pancreas and leave me with a chronic condition I would struggle with for the rest of my life. There are so many misconceptions about Type 1 and a social stigma around diabetics that would make the next years of my life extremely difficult. Over the next two decades, I would deal with medical issues, disordered eating, and a shame associated with being chronically ill.

I had always been active, I played sports, rode horses, and was a cardio bunny, but nothing seemed to work. For the life of me, I couldn’t get my blood glucose stabilized or a handle on my medications. I tried desperately to achieve my goal of being as thin as possible – even manipulating my medications. Nothing else mattered to me but being skinny. I truly thought it was the key to happiness.

Fast forward to five years ago when my life completely took a 180. I fell in love with the body building lifestyle. I saw women like Ashley Horner and Amanda Latona kicking ass, taking names, and living a life they loved. I decided that day I was going to do whatever it took to find that happiness. I started to teach myself everything I could about lifting and nutrition. Very quickly I saw that my health condition because so much better. I was using less medication, feeling better, and FINALLY seeing the body changes I always wanted.

Today, I am a natural bikini competitor, fitness coach, personal trainer, and sponsored athlete with 95 Nutrition, which has been such a lifesaver. Life is hectic and having your meals and macros set eliminates much of the stress of living this lifestyle and allows you to have your cake and eat it too! I am living a life that I truly love and can’t wait to wake up and work towards my goals every single day. Through consistency, dedication, and an irrefutable pursuit I live my life in a mindset of continuous improvement. Every day should be a little bit better than the last. Set a small goal, keep pushing forward, and you’ll be amazed at what you can achieve.

So what’s next? My next goal is a pro card with the WNBF, a natural body building federation in the bikini division. I have a solid season lined up for 2017 and am working under Jules Chapleau, coach to some of the world’s top WNBF athletes. I am working every day to bring awareness to Type 1 Diabetes, eliminate stigmas, and show that with a little heart, nothing can hold you back from your wildest dreams! I have big goals and can’t wait to see what the year brings!