Feeding Tubes to Fit. My Road to Strength.
I was knocking on death’s door. I actually didn’t realize how bad it was until I was at the emergency room on Saturday afternoon. Low and behold my heart rate was in the low teens and dropping to single digits. My liver was barely functioning. Most of my levels were so low, it was way beyond what they considered malnourished. I broke down and was honest about everything.The main doctor told me I needed to prepare myself. He then went on to tell me that my organs were not going to be able to sustain my body. They were shutting down and at a very fast rate. He said if I didn’t make a change fast I was going to die before Christmas.
My name is Chelsea Kamody. I am a 27-year-old science and piano teacher and gym fanatic. I am working on my Master’s of Education and just finished my first season as a bikini competitor. I can honestly say that right now I am happy, healthy, proud of myself, and enjoying life. I could NOT say anything close to this for the last 10 years. Since I was 16, I have struggled terribly with every eating disorder known to man. I made a huge life change fall of 2014 after almost dying as a result of my disorder. I finally got my life together and was ashamed to admit it, but finally opened up publicly about it after receiving a clean bill of health last April. It took everything in me to admit my past, but I was overwhelmed at amazed at the feedback. While I thought I would be shunned and thought of as a psycho, people actually started showing me more respect. More importantly, the number of people (some I knew, some I did not) who contacted me asking for help because they themselves were struggling was amazing in itself. I had no idea so many people were fighting secret battles just as I had.
This is really not easy to write, but here we go. Most people that you read about who have eating disorders or other struggles have some type of trigger or a bad family life growing up but not in my case. I actually had what some would consider a perfect life. I had the most amazing and supportive family. We were very well-off, did a lot of things together and were very close. I have many talents I am proud of. I was very athletic and excelled in sports and I am an incredible piano player. I played for various bands and always excelled in music.I also did really well in school and always had straight A’s. I was never overweight by any means in my athletic body. I always ate what I wanted and never really cared.
Things took a turn my sophomore year of high school when my Grandma, who was my piano teacher, my best friend and basically my whole life, was diagnosed with terminal cancer. It was a long battle. I watched her deteriorate day by day over a few short months. I would go to hospice everyday and play the piano for her. I enjoyed playing for her and the other residents, but it was so hard. During this time I was very upset and lost my appetite. I’m not an emotional person, and I never have been, and I continue to not be. I like to smile no matter what and hate when people feel bad for me. I tried to play the tough guy roll and acted like I was not upset at all. Inside though, I was screaming. I wanted to punch a hole in wall; I stopped believing in God; I started hating everything. Why would God take my beautiful, strong, wonderful Grandmother?
Rather than talking about my feelings, I found other ways to deal with them. I started jumping rope and running. But of course as usual I took things to the extreme. I would literally jump rope for two hours straight and then run for two hours straight. All the while I was eating a banana for breakfast and celery for dinner. This is no exaggeration. 5 plus hours of exercise on top of my already busy life and, I was eating possibly 100-150 calories a day. It started out as a stress relief because I had no appetite. I then noticed my pants getting loose. This is when I discovered the scale. Up until this point I weighed in once a year at my yearly doctor appointment. From this moment, I weighed myself at least 3-4 times a day. I started seeing my weight drop. I still have the calendars from that year and I see each week where I would jot down my weight. Each week it was a few pounds lower, and each week I started to feel more in control. After a few weeks, one pound was not good enough. It had to be 3 or 4 or I lost the battle that week. My stress relief then turned into a game of control. After a few months, my family finally started to notice.
I remember one day my dad and I went to practice volleyball and when I took off my sweats he was shocked. I just shrugged it off and said he didn’t realize what he was talking about. A few weeks later they finally realized something was very wrong. I had a doctor appointment and when the doctor saw my weight he was very worried. My dad took me to Subway right after the appointment and said we were going to get our usual turkey and bacon subs like we always got. That’s when I first started feeling like they were trying to force me to eat. I completely flipped out. Have you ever seen a toddler throw a hell of a tantrum in public? Yep… I did that in the Subway restaurant, but I was 16… All because my dad wanted me to eat bacon. I screamed and cried in the middle of the restaurant. I honest to God told my father to die and burn in hell…… because he wanted me to eat a piece of bacon… To this day I still hate myself for saying that. Unfortunately amongst other things I did, that’s just the icing on the cake.
That night my mom called a counselor. I saw her for a while, but because deep down I was refusing help, it didn’t. I acted like it did, which got my parents off my back for a while. But I had no intentions of getting better. In fact, deep down inside I was conspiring more ways to manipulate my family and friends to give me the control I wanted. I would go each week, color my pictures, and lie about how great I was feeling and all of the food I was eating AT SCHOOL. Of course never at home, because this would require my parents to actually see it happen. Because I still lived at home, although I fought it, I stayed somewhat normal because of the force of my parents. It required them to literally watch me eat, and sometimes force-feed me. Yes I was a 16-17 years old in high school and my parents had to stand over my shoulder to make sure the food was entering my mouth. Most high schoolers go out and have fun on their weekends. I was tied to the kitchen chair until I would eat the chicken on my plate. Little did they know, I soon became a master of trickery. I had so many tricks up my sleeve on how to hide food, or make it appear like I ate. Rarely did the food ever make it to my stomach. For the record, NO I NEVER THREW UP. Of all the issues I had, bulimia was NEVER one of them. I just found other ways around it. (We can save this for another post).
My weight stayed around 105 to 110 during high school (I’m now a healthy 125, just to put it in perspective). My junior year I decided to run cross country. One day my coach saw me running in the summer with just a sports bra on. I guess he told my mom he couldn’t have me on the team if I wasn’t healthy. This flipped a switch. I loved those girls and needed that team. So I was able to get myself physically healthy for the next 2 years. Was I fixed? Oh no. Mentally I was still a wreck. I still weighed myself 3 or 4 times a day. I was scared to death of certain foods, exercised way more than I should have… But I kept my weight around 125 to 128. Due to my low weight from the years before, and loss of my period, my bones were incredibly brittle. I was a very good runner but suffered countless injuries due to my weak bones. So….. I finished high school, happy and healthy, graduating 9th out of 365, and planned on going to Marietta college to run cross country and play piano for the jazz band.
That summer I was determined to get in the best shape of my life. Unfortunately for me it started a pattern of exercise obsession. It was my summer break and I was up at 4 am everyday to go to the pool to water run, and the gym. I HATED water running but loved the high after. Over the summer my weight stayed somewhat healthy, but dropping slowly. By the time I went off to college, I was 10 pounds lighter, and around 115. This is when all hell really broke loose.
I went off to college, which gave me more freedom, unfortunately. I started hating going home because when I did, I felt like my parents would restrict my exercise or make me eat more. Freshman year I had six weeks off for winter break and I purposely got three jobs around campus so I did not have to go home for the holidays! This allowed me to miss the holiday meals, time with my family, and gave me all of the freedom and gym time I wanted. My weight dropped even lower in the spring. That summer was probably the worst summer ever. I was hospitalized for the first time for a low heart rate and almost failure. My parents did not know what to do so they tried to take control of me. They took my keys to my car; they took the door off the hinges; and literally had to try to force feed me. I was 19 years old, and my mom and dad were afraid to let me alone behind closed doors. This was because I would run in place, do push ups, sit ups…anything to burn calories. Deep down I wanted to be better and I wanted to be normal but it became a game. I remember I would wake up at 3 am, so I could sneak out of the house and run for a few hours before they would get up. Each day when I made it back before they awoke, it felt like a major win. It was a high like I accomplished something.
One morning as I turned the corner to head back to my house (around 5 am), I happened to run into my mom walking the dog. This was the first time she and my dad said they gave up. They threatened to have me institutionalized. My dad came up to my room and literally shoved pancakes in my mouth, and it was a horrible, horrible battle. I was not institutionalized, but I was forced to start at the Cleveland Center for Eating Disorders as an outpatient. They actually first refused to work with me because my weight was so incredibly low they considered me too sick to be there. My doctors pulled some strings, and I was in. These experts had no idea what they were getting into….. They thought they had seen it all, but they had not met me yet.
You are probably thinking I was insane, psycho, crazy…and the way my mind was working, I really was. I want to point out though, that it WAS NOT me acting the way I was. Do you think I enjoyed lying to my wonderful parents? Feeling constantly like passing out? Looking like a cancer patient? Having more frail bones than a 90 year old woman? Constantly feeling tired? Having half of my once gorgeous, thick hair fall out? Unable to hold a normal conversation? NO! I hated every single minute of it. I wanted the old me back. I am not saying I’m a beauty queen by any means but I remember people always used to compliment my eyes. Now all that I saw was two sunken holes in my face. I hated how I looked. I also remembered that I had a great personality. I loved to smile, laugh, and joke, but I had no idea where that girl went. I wanted her back but I was too weak to fight for it. Anyone who knows me knows that I LOVE the gym and at that point, I couldn’t even enjoy that. Picture working out, but on every rep worrying you may pass out and feeling like you haven’t slept in weeks.
Have you ever heard someone say that eating disorders are NOT about food? Guess what. They’re completely RIGHT. It’s a game of control. Even though I was miserable and hating life, I WAS IN CONTROL. I NEEDED that. Going back to Marietta that year was terrible, with lots of lying and manipulation. I went home that summer and things were even worse. I had my weekly trips to the doctor, as well as my sessions with the Cleveland center for Eating Disorders (ED). I was actually told I was too sick to attend CCED (Yes I was too sick for the top ED Center in the world) , but luckily my parents and doctors pulled some strings. The worst part was, I was wayyyy worse off than they even knew.
How you may ask? Remember when I said I was master of manipulation? I had all of the doctors and counselors fooled. My trick? I would basically pack weights when I had my appointments. I had a whole system. I would carry small hand weights in my purse, and when I would have to change into the gown and they left the room, I would shove the weights in my bra and underwear. I would step on the scale, and low and behold, I appeared 15-20 pound heavier than I really was. This seemed like a good idea at first; but the deal with the doctors was I had to keep slightly gaining weight to stay outpatient. This required me to add a bit more weight each time. After some time, I had quite a few dumbbells and plates shoved in my undergarments, and it was NOT easy. It was painful, and the fear of one just falling out was intense.
This became a weekly ritual at my doctors, as well as at the CCED. Everyone was ecstatic because it appeared I was gaining weight and getting healthy. My dad was the one who was so confused. “I’m so happy you’re getting healthy, but I just don’t get why your face still looks sunken in….” I would tell him he was wrong…you can’t argue with what the scale says!
Each weigh in that I made it through seemed like a major success to me. However, I would lie in bed each night hating where I was in life. My heart would beat so fast that it literally felt like it would jump out of my chest, then all of a sudden it would stop to the point I could barely breathe. I would lay and pray to God that if I made if through the night I would change the next day. I would eat and gain weight, and fix everything! The next morning I would wake up alive, and think to myself, I’m obviously not that bad off if I’m still alive…. That became my life…. If I wasn’t dead, then I was OK….
I was able to fool them all with the weight, but one thing I couldn’t lie about was how weak my organs were.One appointment I had a typical EKG done. I remember sitting in the waiting room ready to leave, when the doctor came rushing out. “Call your mom and tell her to bring an overnight bag. We have a room for you ready”. Apparently my heart rate was in the single digits. If I had not gone that day, I most likely would have died that night. Want to know the worst part? I fought it. I said NO.
I fought and fought it. Why the hell did I need to hospitalized? I felt perfectly fine! I actually refused. Absolutely refused. I had been hospitalized once, and I knew exactly what was coming….BED REST. That meant no exercise, force feeding, and NO CONTROL. They had to call and get a court order, because even though I’m an adult, they were able to waive my rights, and give my parents right to the decision. This pissed me off beyond belief. The worst part was, deep down inside I was almost thankful. I knew I was so incredibly ill, mentally and physically. I knew I couldn’t stop exercising; I knew I couldn’t take care of myself. Now I would be forced to rest and get better. This soon passed as I learned that bed rest literally meant BED REST. I was NOT ALLOWED TO MOVE. Okay, people, I couldn’t even use the bathroom! They were so afraid my heart was going to stop, I had to use a bed pan! How freaking humiliating! I had to pre-order my meals each day, and I had to hit a certain number of calories. I also had a “sitter”. I was in the ED ward so they knew the tricks. The job of the sitter was to sit and watch you like a hawk. They were paid to make sure every single bit of food went into your mouth and down into your stomach. They made sure you did NOT exercise. I remember trying to adjust myself to get a bit comfier in that rock hard bed and getting screamed at for moving! I know relaxing is nice but think about staying the same bed for 24 hours a day…for 2 weeks!
One of the first things they did at the hospital was weigh me. I freaked the hell out. I didn’t have my purse and no weights!!! So the doctors were baffled. How the hell was I 16 pounds lighter than I was earlier that day???
I played dumb and they assumed the scale was broken. Nevertheless they now knew my real weight which was so unhealthy, I really should have been dead.
In the ED ward, every few pounds gained earned you privileges. So after 4 pounds, I was finally able to use the actual toilet. Yipee. After 6 lb, I was able to GIVE MYSELF a sponge bath. After 7 lb, I earned a wheel chair ride. This may not sound like much but after been bed-ridden for over a week, being able to get out of the bed and breath fresh air was AMAZING!!! That’s what my life had come to. I was excited that I was allowed to use the toilet on my own when I should have been your typical college student enjoying her summer break.
My heart rate finally somewhat stabilized after 2 weeks in the hospital. Not good or healthy, but it was at a point that they thought I could go on living with bi weekly visits and promising as LITTLE movement as possible. I threw a fit that I had to get back to work. I loved my summer camp job and wanted to go back. I was instructed to sit as much as possible, walk very little, and exercise was out of the question. I needed to not exert my heart at all. I promised everyone I was turning over a new leaf. I was going to get healthy and all was well! Was this true? Oh no… Although deep down I wanted it, I had no intentions of getting better.
Continuing to fight for my disorder, I was starting to have cirrhosis of the liver. One of the big side effects I had was swollen ankles. And I mean SWOLLEN! Picture walking around with 10-15 pounds wrapped around your feet. That’s exactly how I felt. It was so incredibly noticeable I started wearing compression socks and pants, even in the summer to hide the chunky balls that sat on top of my feet. I was absolutely miserable and wanted the old me back. Why didn’t I just eat and stop this horrible pattern I was in? BECAUSE I COULDN’T! Ask anyone with an ED, or any sort of addiction or issue. You cannot just stop. Every night I would go to bed and feel my heart racing so fast I thought it would bust out of chest, then all of a sudden stop to the point I was grasping for air. I would pray to God that I would make it through the night, and I swore when I woke up I would fix it! Not go to the gym, and eat and gain weight, again.
The end of the painful summer came and I was off to another year of college. Little did I know this was going to be the worst of the worst. My lowest of lows. That whole first semester was a blur. I was forced to come home EVERY SINGLE WEEKEND to see the doctor. That meant a 3 hour drive to and from Marietta to Amherst and back EVERY WEEK. I missed out on anything and everything fun. No one knew of my weight tricks, so I started that back up again. That is why I was allowed to continue to go to school. My weight appeared to keep raising. In actuality, it was just increasing the number of weights each visit.
My parents were torn apart and it seemed for the first time they just gave up. I begged and begged to not put me in a home, and let me go back to school. My parents knew I needed to be there, so I was given one last chance. When I was so sick and my weight was so low I literally lost all feeling and emotion. I cared about nothing or no one. For example, when I was in college my grandpa died, and my aunt also passed away. I could have cared less. I actually made up lies so I didn’t even have to go to the funerals. When my grandfather died, I was supposed to drive home on Saturday for the funeral. I had developed a plan to get out of it. I was at the rec on the bike, and timed it so it appeared I should be driving home. I called my parents crying. I said my car had a flat tire and I was on the side of the road. AAA said they did not know how long it was going to take to help me and I didn’t think I would make it home for the funeral. How psychotic is that! I didn’t want to miss one day at the gym and I just did not give a rat’s ass about the death of my grandfather, or the rest of my family. I felt horrible the whole time. I hated lying to my family and I felt like a total bitch for not going, but my gym time overpowered these feelings. I wanted to care that my grandfather died. I just couldn’t. I had a black hole in my chest for a heart.
Fast forward a year or two. I graduated with my degree in middle childhood education. I was even lucky enough to land a job in the spring of my senior year. One of my biggest issues is my obsessiveness. Anyone who knows me can attest to this. Sometimes it got me into trouble, but in this case it was a god send. I was so sick and barely able to function, but graduated with straight A’s….High honors…And a job.
The summer was hell, but I made it through. In the beginning of August I made the move to Rappahannock Virginia. I told myself this is going to be the start of something new. Oh that it was! The start of a whole new batch of issues. I moved to the middle of nowhere, literally! I was way back in the middle of the woods in the attic of a family. They were incredibly kind, don’t get me wrong. However, having no friends, family, or way to get out and meet people left me stuck with my own thoughts. By late fall I was so incredibly sick. My weight was in the low 90s again and I felt horrible. At this point I developed one of the worst issues I have ever dealt with. I started with a binge night eating disorder. This is basically a binge disorder that all occurred in the middle of the night during my sleep.
I would literally eat so much that I would make myself sick. It would be to the point it was painful and a few times I almost had to call an ambulance. When I started I literally couldn’t stop. The worst part was that my brain knew I needed to gain weight and in my mind I thought I could do it all in one night.
I would then lay in my bed crying because I was in so much pain. Obviously I was not able to sleep well so I would get up the next morning feeling God awful tired and sick. But these feelings were overpowered by the guilt. Now the other part of my brain is back and telling me that I just ate all that I needed to work it off. So instead of resting like I needed to I would go to the gym for literally the whole day. Or I would exercise at home and ride my exercise bike for three hours then go to the gym and come back and go for a 10 mile walk. I felt so horrible and wouldn’t be able to eat anything that day. Then that night the same thing would happen…..It was a horrible cycle. Obviously days I had work I could not go to the gym for the whole day so I would wake up at 4 AM and exercise for three hours. I would try to go teach, even though I felt like total shit. And then go to the gym for the remainder hours of my day. When I was at the gym I would just basically do cardio because I was trying to work everything off.
I realized that being skinny and feeling crappy was better than this type of feeling crappy. I was all of a sudden content with my sickly skinny existence. Now that I knew what it was like the feel even worse….my current situation didn’t seem too bad. I decided anorexic was the way to go, and I wanted to stop the binging. I started making signs and hung them all over my apartment. My life became reading myself notes before bed; having to prepare myself to sleep through the night without waking up and gorging myself. If I made it through the night I felt successful. Even though I was still deathly underweight and felt terrible. At least I didn’t feel like I was going to literally explode from food. This went on for some time.
The one thing I always loved, exercise, I now hated. I felt terrible. And now it was used as torcher to rid myself of the insane binges I was having. I mentioned above that I was never bulimic. Well, I guess that’s not entirely true. I never had the pukes… I’m petrified of vomit, so never messed with that. But I purged in the form of exercise.
I ended up getting a different job after one year, in a bigger area. The next few years were rough, but manageable. This was up until last year. Last fall was horrible for me. Although I had been struggling for some time, I always had the control aspect. I loved the fact that I was in control. This past fall my life felt like it was falling apart. And in all honesty, it was. My health was declining and I knew it. Each day I felt worse and worse. There was no longer happiness at all in my life, and I was going through the motions, with pure misery.
It got to the point that if I made it through a day at work or a workout without passing out or having to sit down feeling dizzy, I had a successful day. In my mind, if I didn’t die, I was alive; therefore I was “healthy enough”. I went through each day this way. I was not dead which meant I made it through. The goal was now to make it through tomorrow….
Deep down I wanted to fix it, but I knew I wasn’t strong enough. The demons in my head had completely taken control. I had dug myself such a large hole and I saw no way out. In retrospect it’s like when an overweight person decides to get healthy. They see they have 100 pounds to lose and it seems impossible. This is exactly how I felt. I wasn’t just thin or skinny anymore.
I was knocking on death’s door. I actually didn’t realize how bad it was until I was at the emergency room on Saturday afternoon. I was there for a completely unrelated incident. I actually had an odd growth on my tongue, and we were trying to figure out what it was….. While I was at the hospital they did the typical testing blood pressure and heart. The nurse seemed a little confused while doing the tests and went to grab the doctor. (Keep in mind these people didn’t know about me or my past. It was a random emergency room visit).
They started asking questions and I played it cool. Then they wanted to do some blood work and an EKG because my levels seemed very off. I declined at first. Why? Well, because I knew they were right. I hadn’t seen my doctor for heart tests for a few years and things had gotten worse. I was afraid to even imagine how torn up my organs were. Something inside of me gave in and I let them do the tests.
Low and behold my heart rate was in the low teens and dropping to single digits. My liver was barely functioning. Most of my levels were so low, it was way beyond what they considered malnourished. I broke down and was honest about everything. I told them about my past and they brought a few more doctors in. The main doctor told me I needed to prepare myself. He then went on to tell me that my organs were not going to be able to sustain my body. They were shutting down and at a very fast rate. He said if I didn’t make a change fast I was going to die before Christmas. I just sat there like a rock.
It was almost like a dream and completely surreal. Could this really be happening? I wanted to be upset but I couldn’t. Have you ever felt so tired and drained; you want to do or feel a certain way but you just absolutely cannot get yourself to do so? Mentally and physically I was gone already. It’s really bad but I actually felt some form of relief. I was absolutely miserable and my life was hell…. Ending the misery didn’t seem like that bad of a scenario. I drove to a nearby lake and sat my car for a few hours just thinking. I had a bottle of Tylenol in my gym bag. I actually got out of my car and started walking towards the water with the bottle. Typical Chelsea… I tripped and fell and the pills went everywhere. My clumsiness may have saved my life there.
I still walked down by the lake and sat down. I started thinking about what would happen in the next day if I did end my life right there. I kept picturing my mom and dad’s face. I just couldn’t do that to them. I wanted to fight, but I already had given up. I’d been trying for 10 years to get myself out of this hole and it hadn’t happened. I decided I was just going to go on living my last few months and try to enjoy it…. The best that I could.
That night I was looking through some fitness or woman’s health magazines. I would read and reread articles admiring the women in them. They look so beautiful and strong. It pissed me off because I knew I had spent so much time and work in the gym and I never ever saw any results. The worst part is I’m actually not stupid. I have a lot of flaws but I graduated top of my class in high school and college and I’m a science teacher. I knew exactly what I needed to do to see results but the demons in my head would not let me. Why are they seeing results with one hour a day working out, and I’m busting my ass for 5 and look like this?
Then I started looking at old pictures with family and friends. I was blessed with an amazing family and such wonderful friends. I had an amazing job and I had so much going for me at such a young age. Why was I throwing it away? At that point I knew I needed to try one more thing. I’ve always been a goal oriented person so I decided to give myself a challenge. I always admired those women in the magazines so I was going to make it a goal to compete. If I had a few months left, I was going to try for something beyond my wildest dreams.
I honestly had no idea what it meant to compete or what was involved in the sport. All I knew was I needed to try something. I looked up some shows and found one close to my Ohio home. I set the goal for May 23. Deep down I knew it wouldn’t happen. For one thing it was 7 months away and I know the saying ‘Rome wasn’t built in a day’. But the biggest reason was I knew I wouldn’t be able to do it, I did not have faith in myself. I literally had been saying for 10 years “I AM GOING TO FIX THIS”….and ten years later I was worse than ever. After 3 weeks or so I remember a guy at my gym made a comment. “Nerf (my gym nickname), you look like you’re starting to grow a butt”. This totally fueled me, and I was all in. I also started feeling so much better, alive, and happy. The next few months I really wasn’t even thinking at all about competing. For the first time, I also stopped worrying about how I looked. This feeling of happiness, strength, and energy was something I had not felt in so long. I had my eyes on getting healthy, and getting my life back. I honestly didn’t care about putting on fat at this point, nor concerned about getting that perfect bikini body. All I could focus on was health
Let me mentioned my first indication that I was getting healthy. Back in the fall, about 2 weeks after I started my “get healthy” journey, my dog died. I woke up one morning around 5 am and saw a text from my mom telling me that Casey had passed away. I was lying in bed when all of a sudden my face turned into a water park. I balled and balled and almost had to take off work. I loved Casey, but although I was sad, I was confused. What was I feeling? Why did I feel like this? What was the wet stuff coming out of my eyes? I was so overwhelmed, because for the first time in years I was feeling emotion. I finally realized the connection, and although I was devastated my dog died, I was ecstatic I was starting to become a real human being again.
Around Christmas I was much closer to a healthy weight. I was up from 82 to around 120. Yes I know this is a LOT of weight to gain in 3 months…. But I was in desperate need. I was taking in close to 6000 calories, but still working out daily. I felt good, was happy, and I finally revisited the idea of competing. My goal had been May 23, even though I never thought it was possible….But one thing I gained in those 3 months besides weight, was confidence in myself. I started seeing my self worth and realized I could achieve more than I ever thought was possible. I was scared and kept coming up with reasons not to…. But I had to prove to myself I could do it.
May 23rd in Ohio was the goal but I somehow came across info about a local show in early March. Early March? That was almost 3 months earlier than my already impossible goal….
Normally I’m very hesitant, sheltered, and take the safe route. But something made me print out the form, fill it out, and mail it in. Now I had to do it.I had mentioned the idea to a few people at I was laughed at. No joke. A few guys at my gym literally laughed in my face. I remember one said “the audience is going to wonder why there’s an albino gumby on stage”. Or when I did the side pose I may just disappear and the judges would lose me.
If it had been earlier that year, I probably would have gone home and cried. Instead this fueled my fire. I let them laugh at me, but this was for me. I pushed through the laughs and insults, but there were still a few other obstacles.
I ended up stepping on stage in the beginning of March, and it was incredible! MY mom and dad came to Virginia to watch, and it was the best moment of my life, seeing the pride in their eyes. I competed again in May, June, and October. I am now taking some time to put on some size, and give power lifing a shot. I am part of two amazing teams, have a wonderful coach and posing coach and have met the most INCREDIBLE friends in the fitness world. I honestly have never been happier than I am now.
Last year was really big for me in getting myself healthy, and improving myself mentally. In the early fall I decided I wanted to really improve my physique, and try to take myself to a higher level. I wanted to invest in a competition coach. I researched for hours upon hours; days upon days. I ended up talking to at least 50 people. A few people had talked very highly of Cliff Wilson. After talking to a few of his clients, I knew he was the only person I would be able to trust and work with. I wasn’t sure if it would work out because of his client load, but a spot ended up opening up, and I was lucky enough that he took me on as a client. Cliff is a wonderful coach, and since I started working with him I feel like I have made incredible strides physically and mentally.
I have continued to work on myself in various realms. I am now 55 pounds up and feeling like a whole new person. I really hate what happened over the last 10 years. I am humiliated with how I acted and I hate how I treated my family. I can’t take it back now so I’m trying to share my message now to help others.
I really do feel like I’ve been given a second chance at life. I definitely still have my struggles, but I’m trying to best to keep pushing through, keeping a positive attitude, and never forgetting how strong I am. I can’t wait to see where life takes me from here.
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