It’s now been 1 year and 6 months since the last time I posted on here. So so many things have happened and changed since then, and most of it happened behind closed doors. Why? Because after living my life so openly for many years, with many people following my journey, I had no idea how to openly share how much struggle I was going through because it felt polar opposite to what I taught people. I spent most of 2018 honing in on what it is people needed from me to help them on their journey. I dove into what my audience was struggling with, what they wanted to learn, and what they needed to uncover about themselves along their own journey to health and happiness. I invested thousands into my business, website, licenses, and certifications. It was towards mid-2018 that I realized there was a whole world of nutrition that I needed to understand in order to help my clients. So, I spent a year with the Institute of Integrative Nutrition and finished my health coaching certification. I learned about over 100 dietary theories (who knew?!), ways the body deals with stress, and the importance of individuality in treatment protocols. I also learned that throughout all of that discovery and learning, I was about to open the door to something I had been struggling with my whole life.
You all know that since 2010 I have been on a journey to becoming the healthiest and happiest version of myself, and ultimately that lead to loosing 135lbs. What you didn’t likely know is that every single day of that journey was hard. Not once did it get easier, and not once did I spend a day where I wasn’t completely consumed with the thought of FOOD. Although I was able to ultimately become successful in loosing the weight, I never identified what my ultimate problem was that kept me back and forth so long. It was through my schooling with IIN that I came to realize there was a name for what I had always struggled with – Binge Eating Disorder. Not only was it something that I always struggled with, but it was something that became a huge force once Achalasia hit. Due to the effects of Achalasia, there are some days that are very hard to eat, and many days when I was surviving on about 400 calories a day. No one knew though, because I still lived in a size 10 body. All they knew was that I lost strength, stopped crosscutting for a while, then tried home workouts for a while, then quit that, tried Crossfit again, then stopped, and then disappeared. I was struggling – HARD. No one knew, because I didn’t want them to know.
How do you share with people that you are a Crossfit coach, a certified health and life coach, a aromatherapist junkie, a business owner, and you literally are watching all of your hard work wasting away because you have a chronic illness and an eating disorder and you feel like a failure? How do you face the shame, fear and guilt that comes with that? I know what I would have told my clients back then – I would have told them to use that story to help others, to shine a light on reality. But for some reason I couldn’t. I wasn’t ready to go public with the struggles.
I kept most of the struggle private, and started working with a Health At Every Size dietician who specialized in Binge Eating Disorder Recovery. I used all the tools my PTSD therapist had taught me, along with the new knowledge from my dietician to give myself the space to recognize where I was at in my health journey. I needed to be OK with being in a larger body for a while until I could get my health back. Even then, I still might exist in a bigger body – and I had to become ok with that. But do you know what was also happening at this time? I was being fitted for my wedding dress! My first, and only, wedding dress I would ever get to wear. It was at my second fitting when I held back tears and had to tell the little lady altering my dress that yes, I had gained weight, and was not going to loose it. She let the dress out as much as she could and I knew after that I had a choice to make. Take my recovery seriously or sabotage my recovery to fit into a dress. Would my new husband still think I was beautiful in a size 12 dress instead of a size 8? Would he still be swept off his feet in an A-line dress instead of the sexy slim flattering dress I originally picked out? All the thoughts raged through my mind, and then and there I decided that I had to do this. I had to do this for me, and for Kaylee. I had to show myself and everyone else that I could still be AND FEEL beautiful on my wedding day even several sizes bigger than when Andrew proposed. And I did. That day was the best day of my life – truly. Yes, I would have loved to wear the sexy flattering dress I first bought, but I felt like ME in the new dress. I even wore my hair down because it felt like ME. Everything about the wedding was just how I had dreamed it to be, and I allowed myself to feel beautiful at a larger size.
We had the best day of our life, and left for our honeymoon the next morning. Halfway to Greece we go the call from my Aunt letting us know that my Dad passed away 12 hours after he got back to Texas from the wedding. It wasn’t until his birthday this year on January 29, 2020 that I finally processed his passing. It’s been 6 months of holding it in, not knowing how to process it, or how to even talk about it. Within the last 6 months I also learned my best friend was diagnosed with Stage 4 Glioblastoma Multiforme which is a terminal form of brain cancer. He’s 1 year older than me, both of us May babies, and both of us with a love for music. He and I have a very special bond, one that can never be replaced, and to be faced with perhaps not having him as long as you’re supposed to have your best friend just broke me. Harder than my dad’s passing at first, and still. It’s been a lot, it’s been so so freaking heavy. And ultimately I felt myself sinking into a space of not feeling like myself anymore. I couldn’t even find joy in the gym anymore, and that’s when I knew things needed to change or they would turn the wrong way.
So here we are today. It’s February 2020, and tomorrow I’m walking into a new space tomorrow and I am fighting every single ounce of shame and fear doing it. I know a lot of my old crossfit friends go to the gym I’ll be working with a trainer at tomorrow. I’d be lying if I said I hope to see them, because I don’t want them to see me like this. I feel like I’m starting over, and many of them have been staying steady and improving. But this is NOT what I would have told my clients back when I was coaching. I would have told them that they deserve space there just as much as the next person, and people would be happy to see them picking themselves back up again. I’d remind them that this journey has no finish line, just one day at a time. One foot in front of the other. Why are we so afraid to show our scars? Why do we feel we must always be the best versions of ourselves to deserve space in this world? Why are we programmed to HIDE when shit hits the fan in life? I don’t yet know the answers to those questions, but I am not going to throw away everything I’ve learned and taught. It will be uncomfortable, and I will likely cry several times, but it’s time for me to be ok taking up space in a gym again. I wasn’t able to when I tried crossfit again because it doesn’t work with my Achalasia anymore – which was hard to process. They loved me, accepted me, and rooted for me and I’ll always be forever grateful K&M. However, I have to move in a way that will be healthy for where I am at today an I’ll be working with a new trainer individually. Taking away the pressure of a class setting will allow me to regain my footing and strength. I’m also taking super super baby steps at nutrition planning again, being very aware of any triggers for B.E.D. It’s going to take time but I’m looking forward to just being open and honest and starting over. Again.