Just recently there was a thread on Facebook where people would tell their secrets, depending on the number they were given is the number of secrets they would have to share.
I have to admit that I liked all those posts although I never had the nerve to press the “like” bottom for fear of being exposed, and you may think, then why the heck are you writing this post?… Well, reluctantly I decided it was time to share a couple of big secrets with the world, and yes, seeing all those people opening up with their most cherished secrets made me realize that I can too, have my 20 seconds of bravery and open up to the world.
So here I go…
Secret #1. I had an eating disorder when I was a teenager.
I did not like my body, I did not feel attractive, I think I broke a record gaining more than 20 Lbs in less than 2 months. At that time I was taking laxatives every afternoon, I even tried amphetamines (Big secret is out!), I fasted for days only to start eating more when I couldn’t stand the hunger. I punished myself for not being able to have the body I wanted, I hated my mother for giving me the genes that I did not like, and I blamed everything and everyone for not looking like the person I wanted to look like. Yes, I was full of insecurities and no a lot of people knew about that.
I was a typical teenager wanting to be accepted. I was never obese but I was certainly not healthy. I knew that I had to do something to stop that horrible cycle.
Having being a kid who always did some kind of sports (tennis and swimming mostly, never great, but always trying), it was not hard for me to get back into exercise as a way to help me lose weight. My mom agreed on paying private swim lessons and that turned into some kind of personal training sessions in the water, I was 19 at that time and starting my first year in college. (Secret #2 is that I took one year off right after I finished high school to figure out what I wanted to do with my life, so yes, I started college at 19).
Exercise became more than a weight loss journey or a hobby, it became my outlet, my newly acquired addiction.
Although I did not choose a fitness career, I think just because I had no idea that was an option, I went off to college knowing that if I wanted to stay healthy I had to continue doing some kind of exercise. Looking good or being skinny was no longer my goal, healthy living was starting to be my mantra.
Secret #3. I was never consistent with exercise, I worked out for 2 months and then finals came and I gave up my routine for another 2 months until I found out that ugly feeling, the lack of energy, the weak muscles… I went back to the gym for 3 months until something else came up and I had to stop again… I could never find the motivation to keep on going, even though I knew that I needed the exercise to feel good, life was always on the way.
The phrase that changed my life… I still remember one day, when I was struggling with my weight, when my mom told me that I had it in my genes “Once you are over 30 and have kids, forget it, there’s no way to avoid weight gain.” Of course she didn’t mean to make such an impact, she was probably having a bad day, I know that she did not mean to hurt me in that way, but her words stuck in my head like a broken record.
So, my workout inconsistency kept on happening until I was pregnant and was about to turn 30, I know that I had to do something to brake the spell my mother had put on me years before, I started my journey that once again will change my life forever… From week one to week 40 I never missed a day at the gym, I managed to gain only 20 healthy pounds through out my pregnancy and I was able to lose the baby weight in about 4 weeks. I proved my mom wrong! Of course she does not remember and she denies having said those things to me, and to be honest, I’m glad she can’t remember.
Secret #4. The bump in the road: I had a Taco Bell addiction when I was pregnant with my second baby. And it was not just Taco Bell, it was Taco Bell and coke!!!!!!! Every single day… I feel sick just to think about that right now… Let me tell you some little secret right now, that super mom who gained 20 Lbs, exercised through her first pregnancy, lost the weight in 4 weeks… That lady was g-o-n-e, gone.
Baby #2 was on her way and I knew that before the pregnancy test could come out positive, how did I know? Well, I started drooling every time I was driving back from my mommy and me classes, something made me stop and a voice that was not mine (but came from my mouth) asked for a taco supreme combo with a coke, -“diet coke?” the machine asked, “no!”, the voice coming from my body responded, “regular coke full of high fructose corn syrup, please”. And that became my guilty pregnancy secret.
Not that I wanted to be unhealthy, or that I didn’t care about the nutrition of my precious little baby forming in my womb. I didn’t understand what had happened to the other pregnant lady that I was 2 years before, going to the gym every day, eating healthy, organic food all the time, pre-natal yoga twice a week, you name it, if it was good for the baby I was there.
Well, that health nut was gone and I was left with my unhealthy self once again, feeling sick to my stomach every time I ate healthy food and feeling deceivingly triumphant every time I was able to pass that supreme processed crap and water it down with nothing else than coke.
The fake-Mexican food and coke addiction didn’t last more than 6 months and after that I never felt the need to stop at that place again. I have no hard feelings, I truly genuinely enjoyed every single bite, and fortunately I have no regrets. Just for the record, baby #1 is now 8 and still has trouble eating, sleeping and coping, while baby #2 is now 6 and has slept through the night since she was 2 months old, eats everything and has no trouble moving on and coping. Taco Bell maybe? I will never know.
I understand now that life is full of unexpected surprises, we can never know who we truly are until we face those bumps, troubles, and difficulties. Our flaws and weaknesses are nothing else but momentary opportunities to grow and learn, we either take them or leave them, just like the say, you never remain the same, you either grow or fall behind…
Me now. Accepting who I was, learning about my disorders, understanding how to live with them, and being aware that I had to take action, made me who I am right now. When my girls were 1 and 3 years old, I became a personal trainer and I have never missed a workout ever since.
Almost 5 year ago I decided to make my love for fitness official and not only had I became the most consistent I have been in my life with my workouts, but I also feel like I am on the best shape of my life at age 38. Being here, writing down my blog while I wait for my kids to come back from school, I realize that my disorders and my crazy “secrets” make me more human and more real, I never want to pretend to be perfect because I do not want to be perfect. I want people to know that acceptance in oneself goes hand in hand with self improvement.
Its liberating to share the imperfections and failures, because no success came without fail, and the secret to success is best described as the ability to live a happy and fulfilling life regardless of the imperfections that we might encounter in the journey.
I work from home, I get to pick up my kids everyday, I cook for them, live for them and I still have time to take care of my self, oh, and my husband too 🙂 (don’t forget about the man!). Being a coach in the fitness industry has truly changed my life and I would never want to live a different, more perfect kind of life.
If you or someone you know is in need of a coach, or are interested on becoming a coach, please leave a message here. I will be very happy to contact you and learn how I can help you too turn your life around into health and fitness so you never want to miss a workout again