It started off “harmless” enough.
A journey to reach a goal to get on stage and showcase “hard ass work”.. but what I didn’t know was, this was the start of the fast, well paved road of self loathing and destruction. I ignored so many warning signs that came up over and over in the course of my 5 years in the bodybuilding/figure competitions that ultimately, I am so happy I survived to tell the story. I was miserable. Day in and day out attempting to achieve “perfection.” Seeing myself as individual parts that were never good enough; instead of a whole, living, loving, human being. In this world, those of us in the industry are revered by others as the poster children for health, but when you look closely there is NOTHING healthy about it. Not physical: we are taught to deprive the body of vital nutrients and manipulate it to look a certain way, but function poorly. My relationship with food was one full of hatred. It was calculated.. it tasted horrible.. it hurt to eat. Not emotionally: as one must cut off most connections to life outside of anyone in "the sport." Not to mention how emotionally unstable and quite frankly, bitchy I was. My clients used to call an hour ahead of their appointment to see if I had eaten and whether or not they should bring me something. All of my relationships suffered.. especially the one with myself. And not spiritually: I found myself in a damn near life threatening accident and the only thought that passed thru my mind was how this situation would have impeded my progress in the gym instead of how it would impact all of the people who love and care for you shines a light on how fucked up my priorities really were. Then (fortunately) I hit rock bottom.. as if none of that was enough. It boiled down to the politics of the sport. No matter how hard I worked to be judged by a panel of people, if I wasn't in the "inner circle" or hadn't slept with a judge, then there was no way on this green earth I was ever going to win. Apparently, I barreled thru all of the other things as perfectly acceptable but this one thing was where I drew the line. It's been a long, windy, rocky road unraveling all of this.. I face my demons when they rise, as they are just messengers. I say "why are you here?" "What can I learn from you?" I make a pact with myself Every. Single. Day. to find joy and love in my world with food and body image instead of self loathing, body dis-morphia and control. I use yoga. Not just the physical practice but also the principals because I can not fix an internal battle with external things. To this day, I would still prefer to be recognized for my heart and intelligence. It is BEYOND difficult to accept compliments on my physical beauty. I really don't think anything renders me more uncomfortable. And this too, I work on each day by saying "body, I'm deeply sorry for our past. I choose to see you with acceptance and appreciation. I celebrate you and am very excited for our current journey together. We are strong, we are capable, we are beautiful and we are MORE THAN ENOUGH"