Hello everyone! I’m really excited to have my client Jess guest post for me today. Jess has an amazing story and I think that we can all learn from her journey and from her spirit. Over the past year of training, I’ve watched her grow and glow. I’ve admired her dedication and her holistic attitude. I’m honored that she is willing to share her story with us. Take it away Jess…..
I must admit when Amanda ask me to write this it struck fear in me. First, how could I share a story that I’ve yet to fully accept as something I want public and second how will my story really help anyone. But it might and that is enough for me.
My story started a little over two years ago. I was overweight, miserable, no self-esteem to speak of and hiding a secret that I was positive would ruin my life. My marriage although a good one was having some ups and downs due to my low self-esteem and bad body image. My husband told me either I get help or something would have to change. I couldn’t tell him why I could never love the person I saw in the mirror. I couldn’t own up to it myself and say the words out loud. Instead I ate my every emotion, blamed being busy and tired on the reason why I just couldn’t lose the weight and why I hated the world. I spent twenty years hating my body and always finding a reason to explain why I tried to lose the weight but never actually succeeded. I needed help and I knew it.
I sought out a therapist with no intentions of telling her the truth, this was simply to pacify my husband and keep my marriage together. My second appointment I said the words out loud as my mind was screaming this is too much to hold any longer. I said the words “I was raped”. At 18 years old, I had something put in my drink, within minutes I was out and could not move my body. I woke up to my boss at the time raping me. I couldn’t move, I couldn’t do anything but wait for it to be done. When I was able to leave I couldn’t believe that this kind of thing really happened and how stupid was I to allow it to happen to me. No one would ever know…. This meant he got away with it, this meant that I now carry the burden of knowing that he did this to others because I couldn’t share what happened. I can’t change that. But saying those words out loud to another person meant it was time to heal. The hard part was telling my family and husband. But again I found the strength and shared what I had convinced myself didn’t really bother me.
This started my journey to find my healthy and my happy. I haven’t looked back. I now know that you can’t get truly healthy until you fix the things that led you to eat your emotions to begin with. I lost weight several times but always gained it back as I never fixed the root issue. So my first step was to find a trainer. I found Amanda. She helped me change my entire outlook on food and my body. I always wanted to be skinny but that is no more. I want to be healthy, I want to feel strong and push my body to be better. I don’t want to be defined by a number on the scale or the size of my clothes.
So with the help of a therapist helping me to realize I was more than what happened to me and Amanda teaching me the ins and outs of nutrition and how to build muscle I have dropped four sizes and found my confidence. Through trial and error, I have figured out what foods work for me and what doesn’t. In the midst of all of this I found out my thyroid decided to get lazy and stop working correctly. This made it twice as hard but didn’t stop me. Once I had seen how far I could push my body with a healthy lifestyle and exercise I refused to give up.
Now instead of hiding behind baggy clothes, eating my emotions and self-sabotage I look forward to seeing how many pushups, sit ups and reps I can do! I knew the day that I stood in the middle of a park for an E.V.E. program with a microphone in hand and read aloud my story of rape and how I found myself after twenty years of living in the dark to a group of family, friends and total strangers that I had learned how to live again. Diet is no longer part of my vocabulary, it’s a healthy lifestyle and exercise is now something I look forward to doing. I spent many years feeling weak and now as a woman about to turn 40 I feel amazing, strong and I know that I’m setting an example for my kids. I was raped, I was at my lowest point ever and yet in turning to the help of others I found the strength I carried within me all along. I wasted so many years fighting an internal battle with my own mind when all along I only needed to ask for help. In doing so I figured out that when you start a journey you must clear the path of all roadblocks and this means figuring out the reason you turn to food and self-sabotage to begin with. Once you clear that path you find that your body and mind are both strong enough to take you as far as you hope to go. It took me twenty years to find my happy, healthy place but even though I took the long way around I wouldn’t change the lessons it taught me for anything. I’m stronger for the road I traveled.
Thank- you so much for being brave and sharing your story Jess. I am confident that someone reading this post needed to hear it. Thank you for being willing to be open and vulnerable.
Editor’s note… If you have been or are currently being abused, please seek professional help. A personal trainer or wellness coach is NOT enough. We are trained to help assist you on your health journey and guide you through the exercise portion, but cannot and should not replace professional counseling.