It’s not easy for me to write my story but I am hoping that I can help others who have suffered from
addictions, childhood traumas and insecurities.
Being fit is not just about how you look on the outside. It encompasses your lifestyle; mind, body, and
soul. You cannot Find Your Fit until you find your balance in all 3 of these areas. It’s not about competing
with others to see who is the fittest, it’s competing with yourself, finding your balance and living a
healthy, happy life.
I have been a competitive athlete since the age of 5. I competed at a high level of gymnastics for over 14
years of my life; practicing 4-6 hours a day, sometimes 6 days a week and year round. I loved it! I loved
to practice and loved to condition but I was not a fan of competition. I strived to be the best I could be
even when told that I would win at a lower level and lose at a higher level. I chose to compete at the
higher level and be my own competition.
There was never a time when I was unhappy in my sport or being physically fit. Living an active lifestyle
was something I embraced. I challenged myself and showed up to practice early and was the last to
leave. This is how I go about everything in my life. I always go the extra mile, overachieve and help
others along the way. Exercise is my outlet. It is the only time I dedicate to myself and the only time I
don’t have to think about my past or my present life.
After college, gymnastics ended. I started competing in marathons, triathlons and adventure racing. I
believed I was fit. And on the outside, I looked like I was fit. The problem was that I was choosing
exercise over relationships, social outings, etc. I was ignorant to the fact that exercise was my #1
priority. The exercise was like a job. No vacations, no days off and no sick days. Although I looked confident
on the outside, I didn’t like who I was on the inside. I stopped being in front of the camera. I refused to
go to social occasions. I didn’t let myself get close to friends and family. Yet, I had no idea why??
Ten years ago, my world was shaken after a golf cart accident. I broke my back in 6 places and crushed
my discs. This was the first time in my life I was not able to do anything active. My injuries left me not
only physically challenged but also mentally challenged. After 2 surgeries, I was told I would never be
able to run or doing anything high impact and I would be severely arthritic. I thought my life was over. I
was so broken. Who was going to ever love me if I was broken? Despite what the doctors told me, I was
not going to let this happen.
After months of rehabbing myself, I was back running on the trails. Lucky to be back and happy to be
back in my fit lifestyle, I continued on with my 4 hours a day of working out, 12 hours of work and a few
hours to sleep.
A couple of years ago, out of the blue, I was contacted by my best childhood friend, whom I hadn’t spoken
with in over 2 decades. Then for some reason, my life took a downward spiral. I started having bad
nightmares and flashbacks from when I was a 6-year-old child. After months of no sleep, increasing my
exercise and living with these flashbacks, I finally remembered. I remembered that I was molested from
the age of 6 until 10 years old by my best friend.
I was horrified! I had suppressed it for so long, lived with it for all of these years and never told a soul. I
blamed myself for never getting help. But as a child, when you are threatened with your life, you don’t
know any better. I finally told my mother. She was heartbroken.
My life had become a mess. I was exercising 8 hours a day, sleeping 1 hour and working 12. Yet I was
fully functional and seemed perfectly fine on the outside. However, I was wasting away. After months
of living like this, the addiction worsened. I needed more exercise but there were not enough hours in
I researched exercise addiction but did not find answers. I finally gave in. I couldn’t live like this
anymore. I contacted the show “The Doctor’s” to recommend that they air a segment on exercise
addiction-as too many people consider it a healthy addiction. Long story short, they were at my door 5
days later filming me.
After extensive lab tests, I was featured on the show and told I was the unhealthiest guest they had ever
had. My body was ready to give out at any time. I was given 60 days in a recovery home and only had 4
days to accept or decline- life or death. So many things went through my mind. “I am going to
disappoint everyone. I am so embarrassed. How can I stop my life for 2 months? Where is my puppy
going to go? How, how how??” I accepted and I am here as a survivor.
The hardest thing I had to do was own my past. Accept it and convince my inner child that she is okay.
It was not her fault. I realized that since the age of 6, I have used exercise as a way of hiding from my
past and escaping the trauma. In order to save my life, I had to surrender to the demons that had
haunted me for so long. I am on the mend and now I can say that I really have “Found my Fit.”
I am living a healthy, happy and balanced life. My mind, body, and soul are now in sync! I no longer have
to hide from my past or from friends and family. I feel like a new person. I have finally shown my face. I
surrendered, got help, owned my past, told the world about it and have no regrets.
I am overwhelmed by the support of my family and friends. I can finally say that I love myself. I am
happy with who I am and I am proud of who I am. I am learning to love all areas of my life. I am
learning to accept love and give love, learning to receive instead of always giving and learning to accept
Therapy will be a part of my forever life. I hope that my story will help others dealing with trauma,
addictions, and insecurities. I dare all of you to take a step forward to Find Your Fit. When you do, you
can be you and be happy. Beauty comes from within and you will shine on the rest of the people you
care about in your life. Take it from me, once you own your past and you can conquer your future!