So I came across this picture and the related blog post on Instagram and I have to say that it’s posts like these that can really have a negative effect on the HEALTH industry.

Now, I am ALL for flexible dieting. I love my chorizo tacos and unless I have an event coming up, I literally eat them once a week (or more. Let’s be honest 😂). But just because I believe in flexible dieting for the people needing to lose a few pounds or maintain (the average dieter) that doesn’t mean that I’m so disillusioned that I believe that all calories are created equal or that it doesn’t matter where you get your calories from “as long as it fits in your macro breakdown.” 
Now, I will say that I agree that for the purpose of weight loss/gain calories in vs calories burned is the number 1 thing that matters. BUT to say that this salad with healthy fats and healthy carbs and no processed chicken (or at least minimally processed chicken) is the same as this over processed crap burger is ridiculous. That is the equivalent of saying a snickers bar is the same as eating a piece of fruit. Oddly enough, some people still subscribe to this belief. 

I am not shaming this person, so to speak, because her point was to say “look at the calories you’re eating.” However, she did go on to say that “you might as well eat the burger instead of the salad.” It was also said that the over processing of food did not matter. That “protein is protein no matter how processed it is.” I call BS on that statement. The over processing of foods matters. So much more than most people understand. Let’s take the hamburger from McDonalds. It is processed, filled with so many preservatives and fillers, which not only diminishes macronutritient and macronutritient content, which in turn has a huge negative effect on the digestion of the food. If the food doesn’t digest properly, what little nutrients that hamburger does have does not get distributed into the body. We have all seen the pictures of the McDonalds meal that has been left out for months and doesn’t decompose. Think about putting that in your body and waiting for it to break down. Now. Think about eating a preservative free, non processed chicken breast (on a salad) and tell me which one you think is actually better for you, calories aside. 
Being HEALTHY and losing weight is so much more complex than that and saying that picture 1=picture 2 is so misleading, especially for people who struggle daily with their weight. In recent studies, it shows that the majority of obese individuals are actually malnourished. Surprised? You shouldn’t be. That comes from years and years of eating foods with no substance or nutritional value. Foods that have been so over processed that I’m surprised we are legally allowed to call it food (I.e. McDonalds.) Eating foods of that variety (or chips, sodas, candy, etc) can wreak havoc on your metabolism and hormones, causing serious conditions such as insulin resistance, thyroid issues, PCOS and of course diabetes. Not to mention that years of “food abuse” can have damaging psychological effects ranging from food addiction to binge eating disorder, and many more, thus making weight/fat loss even more complicated! 

What is my point to this post? Being healthy and losing weight is complex. It’s hard. Especially if you are seriously over weight. And again, I’ll say I am all for being flexible and enjoying your life (I think I’ve made that abundantly clear) but the source of your calories DOES matter. So don’t be fooled with posts like this claiming that 1 equals the other. Because it doesn’t. 
If you are looking for a starting point to lose weight, start by looking at ingredient lists when shopping and stay away from items heavy on the preservatives by choosing fresh foods instead of boxed, canned or frozen meals. Taking steps in that direction will benefit you more in the long run than by going on an extreme diet! 

If you have any questions or confusions about nutrition and losing weight, please feel free to reach out to me! Either on Facebook.com/MichelleTrent01 or at MichelleTrentFitness@gmail.com

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I see it all the time. People obsessed with their weight. “Dropping the pounds.” Cutting out everything they enjoy in life. For what? The scale to read a stupid number that for 90% of people doesn’t mean jack.

Keep in mind that when I say this, I am excluding two categories of people: athletes who have to maintain a certain weight and the clinically obese who need to lose weight to avoid serious diseases.

So with that stance in mind, please remember that a number on a stupid machine does not define you. If you wake up every day and make an effort to be healthy, then you are doing what all your fitness idols keep preaching about on Instagram! You are living the “fit life!”

Yes, even if you broke down and had ice cream with your kids. Or if you went out with your friends on Sunday Funday and had mimosas! Or if you skipped the gym one night to hang out with family or friends. Being healthy is about your body, but it’s also about having a healthy outlook and enjoying life!

If you have a serious goal you want to reach, then by all means, go for it! Really, truly, bust your ass and reach it! I, for one, always have a goal. But I am an athlete.

My motto is “Be happy. Be fit.” Did you catch the “be happy” part? What’s the point of busting our butts in the gym and eating healthy if it doesn’t make us happy? If the end goal is to not be happier?

I’ve lived the life of eating the same thing every. Single. Day. For a purpose though. Why limit yourself like that for no reason? As a trainer, most people come to me with the sole purpose of being healthy. They want to do x,y,z thing with their kids, grandkids or spouse. Most of the time, people start obsessing over that number and why it doesn’t move. Even if they FEEL amazing, that little number is tricky and still gets to them. Men and women alike. I often have to remind them of the muscle vs fat aspect and, more importantly, WHY they came to me in the first place! To feel amazing.

I think it is time to stop obsessing over a number and shaming ourselves for a cheat meal and to just live the happiest, healthiest life we can!

I know it has been a while since my last post. I have been busy with personal training and with my BJJ training!

A few weeks ago while I was rolling with one of my Jiu Jitsu girls (who weighs the same as me) I jokingly mentioned that I was crushing her under my weight. While I laughed, she looked me dead in the eyes and said “Do you even see yourself?” And then we kept rolling. Many times after training, I have a tendency to just sit in my car before going home. Just to gather my thoughts and get ready for the (short) drive home. And this time, what she said really stuck with me.

That same night, as I was sitting with Ben, I mentioned something about how “big” my legs were but “that it’s okay because I am going to get them lean.” I guess he had also had enough of my self defamation and said to me “What are you even talking about? It’s like you see yourself differently than everyone else sees you.” At that point I had not even told him about what my friend had said. I told him what she said and all he said was “See!”

Well yes. Now I SEE that I am crazy. Ha.

The thoughts that entered my mind next were “F me man.” It is happening again.

Body dysmorphic disorder- A mental illness involving OBSESSIVE FOCUS on a perceived flaw in appearance.

This goes beyond saying “Oh, I need to lose this belly or tighten this up.” Disordered eating and BDD are serious. According to the ADAA (Anxiety and Depression Association of America) many people who suffer from BDD also suffer from social anxiety, depression, OCD and of course disordered eating. The symptoms of body dysmorhpia go far beyond common exercise or physical goals.

According to the ADAA, here are the symptoms.

Symptoms

People with BDD suffer from obsessions about their appearance that can last for hours or up to an entire day. Hard to resist or control, these obsessions make it difficult for people with BDD to focus on anything but their imperfections. This can lead to low self-esteem, avoidance of social situations, and problems at work or school.

People with severe BDD may avoid leaving their homes altogether and may even have thoughts of suicide or make a suicide attempt.

BDD sufferers may perform some type of compulsive or repetitive behavior to try to hide or improve their flaws although these behaviors usually give only temporary relief. Examples are listed below:

  • camouflaging (with body position, clothing, makeup, hair, hats, etc.)
  • comparing body part to others’ appearance
  • seeking surgery
  • checking in a mirror
  • avoiding mirrors
  • skin picking
  • excessive grooming
  • excessive exercise
  • changing clothes excessively

You see? It’s obsessive.

Now, I have been totally open about struggling with my past of disordered and binge eating disorder, purging and  BDD, but the thought that this illness was creeping back into my life freaked me out. And how do I know for sure that it was creeping back into my life? Once I had my reality check, I realized that even though I thought I was completely okay, it had been affecting me for the past 6-8 months.

  1. Once you have this disorder, it will always be there. The key is managing it.
  2.  Last year, I avoided getting in a bikini at all costs. I went to the pool ONE time. Spent 20 minutes swimming and put my clothes back on. I may have had a higher body fat than I do now, but I was still in great shape.
  3. I CONSTANTLY and I mean constantly checked myself out in the mirror. Every time I would walk by one I would look at these perceived deformities. Every time. I would then obsess about how to “make this part leaner” for hours.
  4. I have been wearing loose, baggy shirts. I haven’t worn shorts in a LONG time. And choosing an outfit that “doesn’t make me look fat” was next to impossible. If I felt fat, I wouldn’t want to go anywhere.
  5. If Ben touched my stomach, I would freak out. Even if it was just during a hug.
  6. I also developed a nervous habit of flexing my abs and sucking in. All the time. I literally can’t even help it. It was like a tick. Especially if I had been comparing myself to other girls who were “smaller than me.”
  7. I couldn’t even sleep on my side because I did not like how my stomach pooched out when I was in bed that way. It stressed me out.
  8. A few weeks ago my coach JOKINGLY called me fat (I have called him WAY worse) and in my mind I wondered if he really thought I was fat. His joke got to me.

I can literally go on. But that shit is crazy right? I am a HEALTHY 26 year old woman.

The next day, when Ben went to work, I looked in the mirror. Naked. At first all I saw were flaws. Legs that held on to fat, no abs (even though you can see a few now) and just a lack of “leanness”- yes I made that word up. The kicker? I weigh 132 lbs, and I am 19% body fat. Not the leanest, but definitely not fat. Another kicker? Even at my heaviest, I have never been what professionals consider “over-fat.”

It’s all in my head.

I have no idea when I began obsessing over the perceived negative parts of my body. But if I am totally honest with myself, I realize that I have always worried that people looked at me and saw the worst. That they saw all these things that were “wrong” with me. I also think that the fact that people are complete ass holes has contributed to it too. I mean I have been called fat multiple times (even when I had 17% body fat.) One girl called me pudgy trailer trash. Granted the girl who called me that was a psycho. To somebody with BDD, all I saw was the word pudgy. Nuts right?

 

After I sat in the mirror and counted the many flaws I found, I looked at myself again and said “Michelle, what. The. F***. Are you doing?” I can be hard on myself because I have been down this road before. I have been counseled and had my revelations. I knew I could not let myself keep sliding down this slippery slope.

I cried. A lot. One of the worst things to me is feeling like I set a bad example for others. I’m supposed to be “Fit Michelle.” Fit Michelle can’t be crazy.

Then I made a list. I had to remind myself of a few things.

  1. I do not eat or train for aesthetics anymore. I need carbs. I need fats. I need food to be able to keep up with my HEAVY training schedule.
  2. My legs may “hold on to fat” but they are also strong. They are the legs that let me sweep people in BJJ, hold them in my guard, and lift heavy day in and day out. They are the legs that let me kick the s*** out of bags and thai pads. They are the legs that allow me to do 200 unbroken squats after and hour of BJJ and an hour of MMA (the day AFTER leg day!)
  3. I am NOT fat. Not even. And I am getting leaner every single day. Just from putting healthy foods in my body.
  4. People do not see negative things about my body. I mean fitness competitors might, but who the f cares? I am not a figure competitor anymore. Most people tell me they notice my smile. My hair. My ass (really.) My perceived image of myself got totally skewed somewhere along the way!
  5. My dad has always given me words of wisdom mixed with tough love. He told me to grow some thicker skin, let the past be the past, and realize that I am really nice and if girls were talking about me, that they were total assholes or just jealous. Love my dad!

The point is, I had to and still have to constantly remind myself of these things. That I am beautiful. Strong.

Here’s how I manage-

I eat clean 95% of the time. When I eat poorly (or not enough), it truly affects my mentality. I love the feeling of being full and happy and knowing I am putting awesome foods into my body. I also love tacos and pizza and have refused to let myself feel guilty about having either (in moderation of course!)

I stay focused on my goals. To compete in BJJ and MMA. To be strong and healthy so I can set a good example for clients and others.

If I feel myself being negative, I remind myself of the things above. Sometimes I think “Oh, I am eating too many carbs and that is what is keeping me fat.” But sure enough, if I cut those out, I suffer. My training suffers. My sleep suffers. I am a bitch. I keep the carbs!

I have always trained a lot, so this hasn’t changed, but Jiu Jitsu is my outlet for my frustrations. If I am feeling down on myself, having an awesome training session usually lifts me right up!

It has taken a long time for me to be completely comfortable in my skin. And sometimes I slip up. But every day I wake up and realize how lucky I am to have the body I have. It truly is healthy and strong!

I am not a medical professional, and this is just my experience, but if any of this sounds familiar to you, please seek guidance and counseling. This is a serious illness that can lead to severe anxiety and depression if it continues without recognition and treatment.

Please check out this website for more information!
http://www.adaa.org/understanding-anxiety/related-illnesses/other-related-conditions/body-dysmorphic-disorder-bdd

I have officially become the crazy dog lady. Dog selfies. My dog in a shirt. Thinking about Champ and his future dog wife.

I go there. “But why,” do you ask?

Most animal parents feel me. Your pup or kitty is like your baby.

Champ is no different. Ben and I got Champ December 2014 at an SPCA event at the mall. We saw his half pitbull,  half lab cuteness and instantly fell in love. We took him and his Lowe’s bucket home that day!

Here are the reasons I love this human dog so much.

1) He really is basically a human with a tail and fur. He sleeps on his back, he will sit up like a human and he loves a good bath just like his dear ole mom. Human.

2) He is probably the cutest dog ever (in my eyes at least.)

3) One of the most typical reasons is that he is ALWAYS happy to see me when I get home! Having him waiting for me at the top of the stairs when I get home every day is such an awesome feeling!

4) Another traditional reason I love him so much is that he doesn’t judge me. Most of the time. I feel like he may judge my athletic ability when we go for runs. Even when I lie to him and tell him I’m stopping because he’s sniffing around. He knows. I can also see the shame in his eyes when I have pizza or ice cream. Or maybe that’s hunger and the shame is coming from within. Probably.

5) He is the best alarm clock. At the worst possible times. Oh my dog, can Champ snore like a grown man.

6) On that same note, I love getting woken up by the awesome baths Champ loves to give!

7) Speaking of sleep. We let him sleep in the bed with us and right before I fall asleep every night, I look up and there he is. Our own personal gargoyle. He is either watching over us or trying to figure out how to squeeze in between Ben and me.

8) Speaking of cuddling. Does this guy just LOVE to love? The answer is yes. He is legit down to cuddle any time, anywhere. And I usually let him, which could explain his lack of personal space. Which leads me to number 9.

9) He loves to hug and dance it out with me. As much as I love the hugging and dancing, I’m really trying to work on the jumping on people thing. Kind of. I say “hug” and a hug is what I get.

10) He talks to Ben and me and it’s ridiculously funny! He wants lovin’? He talks. He’s bored? He talks. He has to go potty? He talks and runs around like a demon until we take him out..

11) Last but not least. And not really even last but I can’t think of anything else at the moment. Champ is really smart. Probably not like the smartest dog ever because I have seen him poke himself in the mouth with a deer antler literally three times in a row before he wised up. But, nevertheless, he’s smart. I know he can tell when I’m sad. He can definitely sense when he’s about to get in trouble. He doesn’t tear stuff up often, but when he does, all I have to do is hold up a piece of it and off he runs to time out in his kennel!

I am sure everyone can relate! But my half pit, half lab mix has given me some of the best dog qualities anyone could ask for! He is fun and playful, but also alert and extremely protective! I’m a proud dog mom!

P.S. He also loves pizza, so that’s probably why we are best friends. Also, my best friend is a dog.

Also, if my dog ever morphed into a human, he would probably turn out to be Joey from Friends.

 

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Isn’t it crazy that some of the best things in your life have the potential to destroy you? Think “high risk, high reward.” 

Think about the people you know who are successful. Not just financially, but with love, family, or whatever it is you believe to be successful. They all have one thing in common. At one point or another they risked everything to have what they have right now. High risk, high reward. 

The way I put it seems almost simple right? Like taking a huge leap of faith is just easy. 

It’s been almost two years since I moved to Dallas. I had a little savings and zero plans, but I knew I was meant to be here. The people who were around at the time saw me make the decision really quickly. What they didn’t see was the months leading up to my move. The need to get out. To be free. To completely change my life and get the things I have always wanted. I remember visiting my best friend one weekend. At the time, I had no intentions of moving to Dallas. A month later, I moved. High risk. High reward. Right? Sure. 

People also didn’t see what happened next. I started bartending and trying to pick up clients. I had a few, but I was a nobody here in Dallas. It was hard. I was barely making it at times. Charging half of what I normally would charge to even be able to train clients and having to focus more and more on bartending just to make ends meet. I remember the second restaurant I worked at. My very first day there I had my last $50 stolen from me. I was thankful the manager skipped my training and let me start making tips the next day. I also remember when my head gasket in my Mustang blew and I didn’t have a car. Thankfully, I had started at SER by then so I had enough money to buy a $900 Taurus. It wiped me out, but at least I had a way to get around. There were points when I couldn’t do Jiu Jitsu because I couldn’t afford it and because I hurt my neck. If you know me, you know that is a big deal. It took a long time for me to find and be able to afford the gym I am at now! It was really hard and I felt really alone at times. Dallas almost destroyed me. 

I never gave up.

Fast forward to almost two years later. I am sitting here at the dining room table I built with my amazing boyfriend, with my crazy but awesome dog sitting at my feet, writing a blog post for my website that people actually look at. I get to do as much BJJ and MMA as I want, I have my blue belt and I have an amazing, but high risk opportunity staring me in the face. Am I scared? Hell yes. I am nowhere close to what my vision of success is, but if my move to Dallas has taught me anything, it’s that you can risk everything as long as you are willing to work your ass off to keep it! High risk. High reward. 

  
                             

 

wonderfulLast Friday I was talking to a friend that I ran into at the gym. We talked about men, Jiu Jitsu, working out and work. As we were talking about a professional situation, I made the statement that “It doesn’t make me happy enough.” Now, I believe that said friend is very smart and gives great insight on different situations. The look on her face when I said that read disgust. In my head, she looked at me like I was a naive 25 year old who had no idea how the world worked. She probably did not mean it like that, but it made me take a step back nonetheless. I immediately tried to explain myself and that I did not mean that my happiness should be above all else in every situation. Only that I meant that maybe the current situation isn’t the right place for me. She went on to tell me that no situation is perfect. That her current situation is also not perfect but she tries to make the best of it every single day. I felt like a naive 25 year old, who had no idea how the world worked.

For the days to come, the words “happy enough” ran through my head a million times. The thought that maybe I was being totally ungrateful also popped up. The advice that I give about “be happy with what you have while working for more” has been something that has been totally lost on me over the past few weeks.

I went to a book store yesterday and as I was looking for a planner, I saw an inspirational quote calendar. The very first quote was “Life does not have to be perfect to be wonderful.” All the thoughts about being happy enough came rushing back. The next quote was “Some people dance in the rain. Some just get wet.” Gah. Thank you calendar for dropping the truth bombs on me. I sat in the bookstore for 15 minutes just contemplating if I was just being a brat. The answer was yes. I’ve spent SO much time complaining about my current situation that I have not even been grateful for it at all. Although it is far from being ideal, I realized that I would not be in this position if it wasn’t an important stepping stone in my life. I’ve also been trying to figure out a way to put what I learned from a look and a calendar into an intelligible article, but it’s harder than it seems.

Have you ever gotten so wrapped up in the fact that you aren’t “happy enough” or that something isn’t “enough” that you forget how to be even a little happy? The “not enough-ness” of one thing leaks into every other aspect of your life? This negative thought is like a cancer that spreads into all the things that DO make you happy. It’s irritating really. You are usually so happy and thankful, but *insert situation* just isn’t fair. Then one day you get slapped in the face by a look and quote from an overpriced calendar and you wonder how did you let something so small turn into something so big?

I think we have all been there. Where we realize nothing will ever be perfect, but that doesn’t mean we can’t be happy. Where we realize that we have been taking things for granted. So what do you do next?

For me, I made a few lists. Yes, I know. I am not original. But it worked. My first list was of all the things in my life that piss me off and that aren’t fair. When I really stopped and wrote it down, there were like 3 things on that list. Seriously. THREE things were making me this unhappy and stressed. Geez. Brat. My next list was of all the things that made me happy. There were 20+ things on this list. 20 vs 3. You do the unhappy math. It equals brat. The next list I made was of all the things I wanted out of life. Not just financially, but mentally, physically, and spiritually. There were a lot of things on this list as well, but when I compared my happy list to my goal list, I realized I already had quite a few of the things already. What an eye opener. My negative thinking stopped me from realizing how many great things were standing right in front of me.

I think sometimes happiness is choice just like anything else in life. I think the old adage of looking on the bright side, although sometimes annoying and played out, still rings true today. If you think there is no bright side, just make your own list and see what happens.

Have you ever looked in the mirror and thought “I am going to lose weight. I am going to change my body. I am going to be healthy.” But then you see all these posts about fat and fit shamers going to hell or listen to “All About That Bass” and think “Nah, I am happy with my body.” If you are more than 20-30 pounds overweight, I am sorry to break it to you, but you probably shouldn’t be.

Yea. You read that right. In this new politically correct age of loving yourself just the way you are, I am the bitch who is calling bull s***.

I know what you’re thinking. “Did she just say loving yourself is BS?” No. Not by a long shot. No I am not fat or any other type of shaming, but here is the truth.

Our generation and our nation is literally the unhealthiest it has ever been and people are just okay with that. Now THAT is BS. We have become a society of complacent, entitled, unhealthy assholes (last cussword, I promise.)

Yes, I believe that the media has skewed the vision of what true health is. They make you think that women have to be skinny with thigh gaps (whatever the hell that is) and guys have to have huge pecs and a six pack to be considered “in shape.” I get it. This isn’t okay. For some (like me) we will never have a thigh gap. I mean have you seen my legs?

But on the other end of the spectrum you have people who have taken such a stand against those visions that they are telling us to love ourselves no matter how overweight or out of shape we are. And that’s not okay either!

Where is the middle ground with all of this nonsense, you ask?
It’s loving ourselves enough to want more for our bodies, mind and spirit. It’s accepting our body type and knowing what it’s capable of but then working to make it healthy. Not everyone will have a six pack and a thigh gap but wanting to make a change to become a healthier, happier version of yourself is an amazing thing! And I think our society is trying to make it into a bad thing!

The point of this post is not to make anyone feel bad, but to say that it’s ok to have a goal of being two sizes smaller, if being two sizes smaller is what you want. I feel like it has almost become taboo to say that you want to change something about yourself. Even if that change is for the good. When I tell people I want to lose 10 pounds and have a six pack, I often get “You should just be happy with how you are.” Well, F that. I want a damn six pack and I am going to work for that. (Sorry, I lied about not cussing.)

The phrase “Be proud but never satisfied” is my personal mantra. Sure, two years ago I went overboard with that mantra and even at 116 pounds I hated my body, but gone are the days of self-defamation and self-doubt. I have a healthy relationship with food and my body now, and although I am healthy, I still set goals to push my body to the next level.

The truth is, you are beautiful. You are amazing. And your size does not define that. But if you are not taking care of yourself by eating right and exercising, you are doing yourself a HUGE injustice. Don’t you think that if you really loved your body as much as you say you do, that you would do anything in your power to really take care of it? Being beautiful is not a dress size or a number on the scale, and yes beauty comes in all shapes and sizes, but if you aren’t completely happy with yourself, don’t be afraid to change!

BJJ1
Octavio: “Very good Michelle. Good patience.”

Patient has NEVER been a word that I would actively use to describe myself. But Jiu Jitsu has changed me.

If you know me, you know that I am obsessed with Jiu Jitsu. Even as just a lowly little blue belt, it consumes most of my attention. I know that I am no different than the other Jiu Jitsu practitioners out there who feel the same. (And I am glad because I don’t feel as crazy.) I delight in blogs like JiuJitsusavedmylife.org and the AMPLE amount of fan pages and hashtags that go along with being forever changed by Jiu Jitsu.

With my two year BJJ anniversary just under my belt, I have been deep in the feels about how different of a person I am since I have started doing Jiu Jitsu. I love it for so many reasons. It’s complex. It’s like a puzzle or a chess game. It’s one wrong hand or foot placement and you’re going down. It’s learning the hard way and becoming a better person because of it. It’s patience and discipline and finally having that breakthrough. It’s stripping away your pride so that you can truly learn and grow. It is where you learn to give up things that aren’t worth ruining what you work really hard for. Stepping on the mat is all consuming. And it has to be. It is where you learn to drown out the world and focus solely on what is right in front of you (or behind, to the side, or on top of you.) If you lose focus during a roll, you get caught.

Doesn’t what I just said sound a lot like life? I am sure my fellow addicts can relate.

Before I started Jiu Jitsu, I was high strung and impatient. But more than that, I was hell bent on impressing everyone. I wrote on my Instagram the other day why BJJ changed me.
Here’s the post.

Today is my two year Jiu Jitsu anniversary! Yes, I celebrate this day because it signifies an important day in my life!

It’s the day I found my true passion. The day I let go of the things I thought I “had” to do and started doing this one thing for myself. And because I do this for myself, it’s something that nobody can ever take away from me, that I’m constantly driven to do! A bad day at the gym never discourages me. It only makes me more motivated.
Now that’s how you know you are truly doing something you love!

Before I was a BJJ athlete, I was a figure athlete. I got into bodybuilding because someone said to me one day “Hey, you’re in great shape. You should compete. It would help get you more clients too.”

And for the years following, that statement was burned into my brain. I thought I HAD to compete for anyone to take me seriously as a trainer. I thought I had to be the most intense, most driven and have the best body to get anyone to listen to me. But my heart was never in it. I was totally faking it. I fake loved bodybuilding. Have you ever fake loved anything? It is hard to pretend to love something for a very long time.

But at the point I was at, that was what I was known for. Not that I was even good at it. But hell, I was known as a competitor.

But everything changed. One night I went to a fight with my then boyfriend to support his teammates. That night I saw four women fight. I distinctly remember that moment. I was getting ready for a national bodybuilding show at the time. In the midst of the hunger, fatigue, and general hatred of my own body, I was inspired. Sure, I had watched my (then) boyfriend fight before but it wasn’t until I saw these girls giving it everything they had in that cage that I knew I wanted to do the same.

Shortly after, chaos ensued as I revealed that I wanted to fight and no longer wanted to compete in figure. People were disappointed. I got judged. Broken up with. I was even told I was too weak to compete. The person who told me that obviously had never done MMA or BJJ before.

But through all of that, I still followed through and went to my first Jiu Jitsu class. I let go of all of that negativity. I let go. I did it. Me! This high strung, obsessive girl let go of all the BS. I did this thing for myself even though I was being mocked all along the way. But from my first class I was hooked. I was obsessed with the complexity of Jiu Jitsu.

Before BJJ, what people thought of me ruled my mind. It was the thing that was all consuming. There were days that I literally hated myself. I wasn’t lean enough. Or strong enough. Or fast enough. I didn’t know enough. I was never enough.

But finding BJJ helped me focus. It helped me drown out the negativity and focus on this awesome thing that was right in front me. That mindset. The Jiu Jitsu mindset then transferred into all aspects of my life. I stopped caring that I gained 10 lbs because I had to eat carbs to survive 2-3 hours on the mats. I stopped caring about what others thought of me. Whether they thought I didn’t belong there or thought I was just dumb for letting go of bodybuilding. I did not care. Because I knew that this new thing that I barely even knew about was IT. I didn’t fake love this. I LOVE loved this. I then let go of all the things that did not serve me. I ate food to fuel my body. Not to be lean. I took supplements to help with recovery. Not to help me get even leaner. I did CrossFit to help me stay strong and fast on the mats.

Fast forward two years and I still don’t care that I gained that 10 lbs. I still know that Jiu Jitsu is IT. I still eat and train to perform. And all of the Jiu Jitsu principles have made me a better person. I am still a little high strung at times, but I would, for the most part, consider myself a patient person. In life and on the mats. Where I used to believe that I knew it all, when I am on the mats, I see how much I still have to learn. I let my bad days and my bad rolls fuel the fire. I am hard on myself. I am also proud of myself. Because no matter how hard of a day I have, I can always look in the mirror and I realize that I am good enough.

I am enough. Jiu Jitsu Saved My Life.

As the title would suggest, yes I have created yet another blog to go into cyberspace. One that will probably be read by my relatives and maybe a few friends. Oh. Let’s not forget the people who hate seeing others happy. Those people too.

But here I am. Still attempting to start a blog. Why?
Well. Although I talk A LOT and have a lot to say, this blog is only partially for me.When I first began my fitness career, I had another website but got so bogged down because I am technology illiterate and made the process more complicated than it should have been. I did not realize back then that WordPress dummy proofs everything for people like me. It’s probably a good thing I did not blog back then though. I was still an incomplete version of myself and I would have tried to put the whole world on a diet of fish and asparagus.

Any who, let’s get back on track.

I have always wanted a blog because I felt that it would be my way of reaching out to people. To help others who need some serious motivation from a girl who was NEVER athletic who is now trying to make it in the fitness world. I used to be SO obsessed with how I looked that I always put aside how I felt. I would eat no carbs, workout 2-3x a day and take things that no human should ever consume. Just to step on stage. Just to have a body that looked fit and healthy but was definitely NOT healthy. Just because I thought that was the ONLY way anyone would ever take me seriously. Little did I know that I was an F’n joke. And rightly so. I went from fat a$$ to fit to fat a$$ to fit and the cycle never seemed to stop. No matter how much I preached it to my clients or prayed that I would just wake up and not have so many issues, my life and my diet constantly spiraled out of control. For the most part, I could get it under control, but food is something I have always, and will always struggle with.

One day I woke up and realized what was missing. Balance. Moderation. Inner peace. Yes, all the things that I had been teaching others about was something I completely lacked. I would go into things so head strong and gung ho that I would burn myself out so badly that it would eventually wreck me.

That’s when I realized I had an eating disorder. Me? Are you kidding me. A f***** eating disorder. I am supposed to be “fit and healthy” now!! In high school and college I battled the same thing on a much smaller scale. I didn’t know about nutrition back then so I would lose weight and when I got to my goal, I would binge and gain the weight back. Then I would stop eating and lose the weight again, and the cycle continued. But then I found fitness and bodybuilding and it was supposed to “cure” me of this cycle. *Sarcasm*

In all actuality, it magnified this cycle and it helped me put myself out there so all the world (well all of MS) could watch as I struggled daily. This time, instead of not eating then overeating, I would overeat then I would over exercise and eat next to nothing and call it my competition diet. I was drained. Done. I cried a lot. My hormones were f’d. And it was my fault, I know.

I have been called too weak to compete, a fake, a fat a$$ and much more. But the truth is. I am none of those things. Because I let go of something that I thought I needed to be validated, I became real. I became strong. I fell in love with myself and I conquered the cycle that kept conquering me.

Because I am real. Because I am finally strong, it’s time to write.

(Side note: I think that having a goal to compete in bodybuilding is an awesome and epic thing. But it is NOT for people who struggle mentally with food and body image.)