7 years ago I competed in my first ever bodybuilding show.
Maybe not a big deal to some people, but here’s a little background info on myself.
I was shy and quiet. I NEVER put up my hand in class to answer questions in both high school and college (even if I knew the answer) because I lacked confidence.
I stopped trying out for sports teams in grade 10 for fear of judgement and lack of confidence even though I was a great athlete.
I skipped school on days that we had to present in front of the class because the anxiety of standing up in front of people... being seen, was so overwhelming.
When we had to read out loud in class, I would count how many kids were ahead of me so that I could recite my paragraph over and over.
Now, I hadn't always been this way. I was confident in elementary school and junior high, but no one had warned me about the bullying that goes on in high school. Four years of rumors and being picked on by complete strangers left me feeling completely deflated and worthless.
I carried the weight of these beliefs with me through college and by the time I had graduated, I was 25 lbs heavier than when I started classes.
I was excited about started my career as a Registered Massage Therapist. Everything was going great until..... the return of a high school bully! After reading all of these hateful facebook messages from this girl, I decided I'd had enough...
No longer was I going to allow others to make me feel unworthy.
I would not, for another second, allow the judgement of others keep me from pursuing the things that I desired and deserved.
With a "Fuck that bitch!"
I picked up the phone and called a bikini prep coach and signed up immediately.
Now...Let me be clear!
I had just finished college (which I paid for by myself by the way). So I was broke as a joke.
I did not have a ton of extra cash kicking around, in fact, I was still living at home with my mom, saving up for a down payment for my first home.
I was so unhealthy, however...
Eating at restaurants 4 days a week minimum.
Drinking alcohol 4 days a week (because that is apparently what you do as a 20 year old in Saskatchewan).
I was far from a clean eating bikini babe and "I couldn't afford it."
But I couldn't keep living the way I was living.
I took a chance, I maxed out my student MasterCard to pay for my coach, bikini, spray tan, and athlete registration fees.
I worked my butt off for 6 months.
Living off tilapia, chicken, and broccoli.
Going to the gym for 2 hours or more 6-7 days a week.
I was a woman on a mission and I was letting absolutely NOTHING stop me from getting on that stage.
And then tragedy struck. I received a phone call from my crying aunt telling me I need to get to the hospital asap. Once I arrived, I had learned that my dad at 45 years old, had passed away.
I don't remember much from that week, but I do remember making the decision not to compete, but as soon as those words came out of my mouth, it didn't feel right.
My logical mind told me that I should stay with my family and help plan a funeral, but my heart told me that I needed to be on that stage in two days so I better pack my bag and get going.
I stepped on stage for the first time 7 years ago and I know, if I would have stayed back with my family... with the fear, the feeling of obligation...and guilt, my life would look very different.
Since this day in 2013, I have competed 10 times and earned a pro card in a drug tested federation.
I then went onto compete in power lifting, setting two canadian bench press records.
I pushed well out of my comfort zone over and over again. Seven years of big leaps and a whole lot of faith in myself. With every obstacle that I conquered, I was building evidence that I CAN accomplish anything that I am willing to work towards, without any doubt in my ability or worth.
This tenacity led me into my role as a coach and because of the belief in myself.... because I constantly invest in myself.... I have been able to help thousands of women over these past 7 years to feel confident in their bodies again. To feel healthy, energetic, and empowered. To feel free around food, and that is my biggest accomplishment to date.
I encourage you, if there is something that you have always wanted to try, something that you have always wanted to achieve.... go after it. If you fall on your face, so what? It is better than lying on your death bed with a pile of "what ifs".