I believe that happiness can be found even in the darkest of situations. But that happiness can be depleted by bad choices and those choices can forever alter your life. So, let’s go back to the beginning because my story started quiet some time ago.
For me, my elementary, junior high, and high school experiences were pretty typical. I had a ton of friends and was super involved in the activities. In high school, I was on the swim team and was heavily involved in the English department. High school flew! Before I knew it, graduation was here and I was getting ready to go to college.
Life was super great! I had probably the best summer after graduation. I had amazing friends, a great boyfriend, family who loved me, and a very bright future. So many good things were happening and I was so excited to see what the future held.
But all of this was gone within a blink of an eye.
My life fell apart a few months after I graduated high school. I had decided to go to a college that was a few hours away from my home. I was so excited. I was excited to experience living on my own, making my own choices, and so much more. But unfortunately, I let all of that fly out the window when my life completely flipped upside down. About November of 2010 was when I found out that my parents were having problems. I was so scarred that they were going to get divorced and that’s when my healthy life-style went out the window. I became depressed and I put on a lot of weight.
Being 5’2” (maybe 5’3” on a good day) ten to fifteen pounds shows a lot more than it should. I was so unhappy and I know I wasn’t the easiest person to be around. At the time, I was rooming with my best friend and that wasn’t going well. We fought a lot and I was having severe anxiety from college, roommates, and my parents divorce. Eventually, I couldn’t handle any of it anymore. I moved out of my apartment and got new roommates who were life savers. I honestly wouldn’t have survived my freshman year without them. Things were hard for a very long time but I decided to not let the potential divorce define my happiness so I joined the college’s student council my sophomore year and I absolutely LOVED it!
I’m so grateful that I was apart of the student council because I know I wouldn’t have survived what was coming my way. Fall semester of 2011 was good school wise but family wise, things were falling a part fast. By Christmas, my parents divorced, I crashed, and my mom came and got me from school. I was so depressed, angry, and upset from my dad leaving. I put on a lot of weight after the divorce. By the end of my sophomore year, I weighed 170 lbs. In just a short matter of time, I went from 140 at my high school graduation to 170 lbs by my Associates degree graduation.
As you can see from the photo, I wasn’t really happy. In fact, I was barely keeping it together. I was unhappy with how I looked, the divorce, and how so many of my friends had cut me off or criticized me and my family for what had happened. I was not in a good place. 2011-12 are not years that I wish to remember. It was a dark time but I pushed through it and chose to be happy despite the lemons that were given to me.
But as time went by, the pain eased and I slowly gained control back over my life. I started to work out a little bit and eventually I dropped maybe 5 to 10 lbs. It wasn’t a lot but it was a start.
That summer I made a goal to lose all of the weight by the end of the year. Little did I know that I would go on a mission for the church that I belong to and would lose most of it there.
While I was on my mission, I got pretty sick with bronchitis and phenomena. And on top of that, we were biking about 10 miles almost every day. Eventually, I got so sick that they had to send me home. I wasn’t getting better but in the year that I served the Lord, I became so happy and I lost a total of 20 lbs on my mission. I finally was back down to 140 lbs.
When I got home, I was really sick. It took me three and half months to really get back on my feet and to be able to feel normal again. Now, that I’ve been home for almost six months, I’ve put back on about 10 lbs because what I lost was sick weight (which is not the way to lose weight by the way).
I’m so happy now and I’m really close to my goal. I’ve stayed close to my family (below) and have gotten close with friends (above) that who have stuck with me throughout high school, the divorce, mission, and now.
Even though it’s still hard with the divorce, I know that everything is going to be okay because God is in control.
Currently, I’m enrolled at a new college to finish my BS in English Education and a minor in coaching. I’m determined to be in my best health now that I’m over the bronchitis and most of the divorce.
This is my journey now:
To be happy.
To be fit.
To be my best self.