Let’s just get down to the nitty gritty. I’m a ball of emotion right now. Straight up cluster f*ck. I tend to build all of my emotions inside until they are about to burst out my eyes, in turn bearing tears. And the tears sure came. Full force. Multiple times. For no apparent reason. My lord.

So why am I telling you this? Well, I have this wonderful friend named Ryan who has told me multiple times since the start of my blog to be as real as possible with my audience and they will appreciate it. Ok Ryan, sh*t is about to get real.

As I’ve entered my CrossFit life, I’ve changed a sh*t ton. I began dabbling in CrossFit on my own (in a globo gym) when my best friend Jon introduced me to it. I then began changing my diet. SLOWLY. I disregarded the fact that diet was the most important part to a lifestyle and thought exercise could hold me through. Obviously, I was wrong. So I took out most grains, then took out dairy, then took out grains altogether, then zoned, then paleoed, then paleo-zoned, then cut out all cheating, then added in paleo cheating. Wow, that was exhausting.

So my body changed  A LOT during that time frame. I went from almost 160 pounds to 123, then back to 130 where I stuck for several months until I began to train for Sectionals this year. After going through a hard break up and getting below 120, I began to train harder and harder to be sure I would do my best through Sectionals. I also began gaining more and more weight. And I wasn’t sure why. My clothes started fitting tighter, my butt started getting back to it’s original 160lb size, and my face started to round out more and more. I was excited because I was getting stronger, but more uncomfortable because I was not my small frame I had come to know and become comfortable with.

March 2009–Not quite my heaviest, but barely any muscle at time.

November 2010–Almost my thinnest…yeah, those shorts definitely do not fit now.

Regionals 2011–heaviest I've been.

I began not fitting into my clothes, not being able to shop anywhere because my legs were too big, and not wanting to even step foot in front of the mirror. I was incredibly uncomfortable with who I had become. I had never received more compliments in my life, but all I could think about was how I was “fat.” Oh yeah, I just went there. And the most frustrating part of it all, I was (and still am) working with amazing women every day who I am trying to inspire to be comfortable with themselves and to love every muscle on their body, all the while I’m crying at home wishing I looked different.

When Regionals rolled around, I finally felt normal again. I was around women who looked exactly like me. These women looked strong, their legs rubbed together just like mine, and they just oozed confidence. It was exactly what I needed. I needed a wake up call that how I looked was not disgusting, it was not abnormal, and it was not weird. It’s how I should look if I’m going to lift 205 pounds 45 times. It’s how I should look if I’m going to do 30 handstand push ups. It’s how I should look if I’m going to be THE BEST that I can be.

But this confidence is not something I have conquered as of yet. I still am challenged daily by it. I still look in the mirror and see the insignificant things. I still see the acne, I still see the cellulite, and I still see the lumpy areas that I will most likely always have. And I’m coming to terms with that. You know why? Because I’m stronger and faster than I ever have been. I am woding every day, keeping my body healthy, and providing a life that I would never have had if I hadn’t found CrossFit.

I have struggled all my life with self confidence. I have never once considered myself beautiful or strong. But I know one thing, I am passionate. I have the passion to find a way to become the person I’ve always wanted to be. I’m not sure I even know what that person looks like. But I know she is strong, inside and out. And that strength I pursue daily will lead me in the right direction.

What direction do I want to pursue? A direction that leads me to personal excellence. I want to excel, I want to push through pain, and I want to change the world for the better. Whether that be through blogging about a recipe, inspiring someone in the gym, or pushing through a wod to hopefully someday better my chances at making it to the Games, I hope to change at least one person’s life in the meantime.

I want to strive to be a better person and I want to base that off of how many hearts I hit. I’m writing this blog not to complain, but to help someone out there who has the same struggles I have. As women, as CrossFitters, as paleo-enthusiasts, or as bloggers, all of us are looking at blogs for a reason. To connect. I hope that you are able to connect with me on a new level now that you better understand my inner demons. Just like strength is not conquered in a day, self satisfaction is not conquered in even a year. I blog because I love people and I love sharing my stories and recipes in hopes inspire one person to see themselves differently. To help someone cook something delicious, feel better on the inside, and let that feeling transfer over to how they present themselves daily…With confidence. With self excitement. And with self satisfaction.

Work hard. Every day. And never settle for less than your best. And with that,….do this with me–look in the mirror, tell yourself either “you are beautiful” or “you are amazing” and change your attitude for the day. Smile. Show the world what you have to offer. I’m about to go do that now.