If you don’t like something, change it

How many times have we looked at something in our life and secretly (or not so secretly) said we want to change it. As humans, we are creatures of habit. It is so difficult to change, especially without a truly motivating reason. Below is part of an article I wrote for El Imparcial Newspaper earlier this year (link to full article here). It was the first time I wrote about my struggle mentally and when it came to body image/my health. Having always been the “sporty” type, it was hard for me to admit publicly how much I was hurting at the time.

October 2006, 21 years old… gosh I hate this picture.

“Over 10 years ago I sat in my dorm room on a Friday night. I had just bought a weeks worth of groceries plus a few “cheat items” such as Oreo’s and dinner rolls. Instead of going out with my friends and having the time of my life, I binge ate, the entire week’s worth of food, in one night! I had over 200 lbs on my 5’6 frame. I was depressed and both mentally and physically sick but didn’t really know how bad I was, at the time. I would try anything to become “skinny”, including hurting my own health by trying to take shortcuts.

Right after I graduated, I told myself enough is enough. I ran across women in fitness bodybuilding competition. I remember thinking how strong, athletic, feminine, confident and happy they looked! I wanted to be like that! Right then and there, I made it my goal to get on stage at a bodybuilding competition. Some stories you’ve read might go on to say that next year I graced the stage. My story adds a bit more time, 9 more years to be exact. I can’t tell you how many times I wanted to quit. Every year, around New Years, I would find a show to do and as the time got closer to submit my application, I would back out. I am going to wear that little bikini on stage?!? No way. I wasn’t ready.

First time walking on stage. April 23, 2016, 31 years old

So what made that year the year? I had spent the last 8 years changing my habits, mentally and physically growing. I was evolving, learning myself, what worked and what didn’t. I decided to stop thinking short term and start thinking longer term. I found a routine that worked for me, one I could stick with, push myself without burn out.

Fast forward 3 years and I am in the best shape of my life. I am happy and healthy, both mentally and physically. Getting on stage helped me with mental strength, realizing I am able to do something seemingly impossible. I could enjoy who I was becoming, creating better habits, building on those habits and continuing to push myself.”

Ultimately, I didn’t like who I was at that point in time, I knew I needed to make a change. I woke up every single morning, for 9 years, thinking about being on stage, wanting it so badly. I didn’t give up that dream. I didn’t win, heck I didn’t even place in that first competition, but for me, just taking that first step on stage was one of the biggest victories of my life! It wasn’t easy but there is something so satisfying about achieving a goal you worked so hard for.

I am in the midst of finalizing another fitness challenge, having been inspired by Ashley Horner and the amazing fitness challenges she has created to raise money and awareness for different charities. As the time gets closer, I will announce the new challenge and where to follow that specific journey.

Check back in a couple days for “If you don’t like your job, quit”.

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