Happy Friday Everyone! :)
**Vulnerable Post Alert**
Let's do a little Flash Back Friday. I share my own story for my new followers, or even my current followers that don't know about my background every once in a while. I went from a frail, lost, insecure girl, in terrible relationships with an eating disorder that ran her life, to a strong Entrepreneur Girl Boss running her own health and fitness business and engaged to the man of her dreams. My struggles made me the person I am today, and every aspect of them could have an impact on someone.
Those who know me, know that I've always been on the thinner side, naturally I'm 5'10, so my build tends to be long and lanky. What many people don't always understand is skinny isn't always healthy. In high school, I played high level volleyball and ate literally whatever I wanted without thinking twice about what I was putting into my body. Thinking back now, I'm disgusted and lucky to not have clogged arteries, but nevertheless, I was the typical teenager that ate fast food all the time. I had never been comfortable in my own skin, and through the tail end of my senior year and into my freshmen year of college, my insecurities began to spin out of control. I received a scholarship to play both indoor and beach volleyball for college. I moved to a new town for the first time being on my own, I was in a VERY controlling and emotionally abusive relationship, and I knew no one in this new town. I was way out of my comfort zone, hating my body and using the way I ate (or didn't eat) to shape myself into something I thought would bring happiness. When we had our first consultation with our strength and conditioning coach at the college, I was told that at 5'10, 120lbs and 20% body fat, that I was a "skinny fat girl". Back then I didn't have any knowledge on health and fitness, I was 18 and unstable, and health-clueless. I didn't know then that 20% body fat is COMPELTELY fine for a female, all I knew is I was a "skinny fat girl". That's when my anorexia turned into anorexia athletic, where now I was not only obsessed with my food intake (or lack there of) to achieve my "dream body" but I also became obsessed with working out which led to an EXTREME amount of over training and under eating. I began working out with my team, as required, going to my 2 practices a day, as required, then doing my own gym session after that, and running about 5 miles a day. Can we just talk about the complexity of that regimen? How harmful it was? I was literally tearing my body apart piece by piece with no way for it to heal or grow. Who cares though, right? I was getting my "dream body", that's how you do it, isn't it? In my head it was. It began to catch up with me, I was EXHAUSTED all the time, my hair was dry and brittle, my friends and family were expressing concern now more often than not.. "You're looking really thin, are you okay?" ... "I can count every bone in your sternum, when was the last time you ate something?" ... "YOU'RE TOO SKINNY". No, I'M FINE. That was always my answer. I was so defensive. It didn't matter what they said though, if I wasn't under 120lbs and a size 0, I wasn't happy. NUMBERS. SO MANY NUMEBRS.
But it was more than just the numbers; my body dismorphia was so bad, when I looked in the mirror, I would still tear myself apart even when I had withered away to 112lbs at 5'10. That Summer, I remember being in the bathroom after a workout, ALMOST feeling satisfied with how much I sweat and burned off, that my abs were starting to make an appearance. "Progress", I thought. It was about that time that the person I was dating at the time walked in, and stood behind me. "You can almost see my abs!" I had said to him, then he proceeded to pull, stretch and move my stomach "fat" (truly was skin) around, until he pulled it sideways towards my back enough that you could really see my abs. "There they are, NOW you can see them." Cue meltdown. Okay, if I could just get rid of all the fat he just pulled away...maybe I'll be pretty enough, skinny enough, muscular enough, attractive enough...enough. It was just such a vicious cycle between my own insecurities and the ongoing loss of the bits and pieces of me that he chipped away day after day as he got more controlling, possessive and mean. I spent my entire freshmen year doing this, and I will say that I was never hospitalized for my disorder, so in all honesty I didn't always LOOK like I had an issue. I was that "you're way too skinny" person, or "yeah, she's anorexic", but never the deathly scary size where I'm completely immobile and cannot function on my own. Unfortunately though, I had damaged my thyroid enough to be disagnosed with hypothyroidism.
The Summer of my freshmen year, I received a few VERY rude awakenings from family members and very close friends that feared for my life and safety, not from my disorder (because I was FINE, remember?), but the relationship I was in. When I got the strength to stand up for myself and leave that relationship, I felt free, but so lost. I had been so broken down for so long, I had no idea who I was anymore, I had lost ME. To keep my mind of things, I channeled my energy back into fitness and my eating, but this time, I spent just as much time researching and learning. WOW. I was blown away on how much I was doing wrong. Slowly, but surely, I was able to implement the new things I'd learned, and start to change my life for the better. With lots of prayer, and a healthy relationship with fitness and food, I started my journey to recovery and health. I began to eat RIGHT and workout RIGHT, I was still obsessive, but at least it was healthy...er. I managed to put on 15 lbs of a nice mix of muscle and fat and was in the best shape of my life. I was enjoying the food I was eating, I was enjoying my workouts, and I was SLOWLY starting to look differently at the girl in the mirror. I was a little nicer to her. However, I was still trying to find who I was again, and not long after going back to school, I fell into a very similar relationship. You'd think I'd learn, right? But I can help them change... I can make a difference in their lives and they won't bet like that anymore.... Let me take a little side note, if there are any of you reading this that have that thought, DON'T. You are worth more than trying to put together a train wreck that can't be re-railed, I PROMISE you that. You may be able to make small changes, but in the grand scheme of things, that's not your job.
I had an opportunity to go to a conference for school, a bus ride to New Orleans, what a drive. I sat and thought about what I was doing with my life... literally, here I am borderline relapsing with my disorder, in a fixer-upper relationship, and still not ME. We made a pit stop on the way up there to pick up one more student allowed to attend this conference, I woke up when we stopped and in walks this literally Tall, Dark and Handsome (cliché, but SO true) guy with the prettiest smile, big brown eyes, and a cross necklace. What are you doing with your life Taylor, is all I could think. When was the last time you read your Bible, went to church, worked on YOU, surrounded yourself with people like that guy that just walked in. I know God gave me that moment, that Ah-Ha moment where a piece of ME came back. He used that attractive guy to get my attention, and that cross necklace as a wake up call. It was time to find me again, and get out of the mess I was living in, and start over; so I did. My life has never been the same since that bus ride with that guy.
Flash forward two and a half years... that guy ended up being the sweetest, most loving, caring, Godly, inspiring and supportive man I've ever met, and today is my fiancé. (We'll save THAT story for another time). We've been together for over two and a half years now, and to this day, I still have trouble thinking its REAL. THAT's how different it is, THAT's how amazing things are, and THAT's why trying to "fix" other people isn't worth it, when there's true, pure love out there that doesn't need fixing, just effort. Being with him has made me see just how bad my body dismorphia is, and although its not completely gone, I'm comfortable with my body, I'm comfortable in my own skin, and I'm proud of everything I've overcome because he loves the girl in that mirror that I didn't for so long, more than anything, and thinks she beautiful, just the way she is.
So here I am, almost 5 years later, 30lbs heavier from my freshmen year, engaged to the man of my dreams, and I wanted to give back to the fitness community for saving my life, I just didn't know how. I was offered the opportunity to become a coach, and despite my skepticism and worry, I took a HUGE leap of faith, and decided to start. I wouldn't change a thing! I'm now the founder of The Power House and a top coach in Team UpRoar. I'm surround by AMAZING and incredibly inspiring like minded women and together we change lives daily! I'm doing what I love FROM HOME, taking the steps towards financial freedom, and doing it with who I love and I couldn't be more blessed than with the life I've been given. :) I can't wait to continuing changing lives, and I hope that my story would help just one person in their journey :) My door is always open for any help or opportunity whether you need some advice, are looking for fitness guidance or want to join my team in changing lives :) >> firstname.lastname@example.org <<
Love the life you live !