From Unhappy and Broken to Loving Myself

Eight years ago, I was not comfortable in my own body. I was unhappy with myself, and the relationships in my life suffered. Fast forward to today and I have never been more comfortable in the body I have created and my relationships are the strongest they have ever been.

I think the hardest part of my journey happened because I have never had to work to be “skinny.” I was a very active teenager; I was a waitress which kept me on my feet a lot and a dancer on my school dance team which had me practicing most days of the week.

In the Navy, I got away with not working out when my ship wasn’t out to sea. That’s only because, when we were out to sea I would workout everyday out of boredom. I didn’t love fitness. I did what most other women do: C.A.R.D.I.O. and A.B.S. But I still ate pretty bad. A lot of carbs, not a lot of veggies, and more protein than my body needed.

I won’t lie; I did get some results from it. My winter body would melt away a bit and that would give me a few more months of doing what I want and eating what I want until the cycle would start again. But each year I did this I would add a few pounds to my average weight. To say I was unhealthy and naïve is an understatement.

I got out of the Navy in 2011 and it was a HUGE change for me. My life was turned upside down and honestly, I had no idea where I was going. I was lucky that the Navy brought me to the best man I could have ever wished for and we were married, living in Washington State. This was the first time in my life where I wasn’t doing anything to keep me active and the lifestyle I had begun creating in the Navy just got worse.

I did NOT eat good at all. There were a lot of dinners out where I was ordering the steak and the fries and the appetizers and desserts and drinking the fruity drinks that are just loaded with ‘fresh fruits.’ When we weren’t eating out I was barely cooking vegetables with meals or I was out at the bar drinking more drinks. And this time there was no rebound of fitness to fix what I did to my body for the last few months. It just kept going and months turned into years and pretty quickly I was a very unhappy person.

Instead of being a “yoyo dieter,” I was a “yoyo exerciser.” It took me a long time to figure out that what I was doing to my body was not good; that I was hurting myself and ultimately hurting the relationships I was creating with people around me. There were so many fights with my husband and fights with my family and cutting off friends because the person I wanted to fight was myself.