Earlier in the day I was speaking on a
panel for Mercy Volunteer Corps. In the middle of the session, I started feeling really dizzy. By the time I left, I could barely see straight. I assumed it was anxiety. I drove home in tears, and when I got home I laid on the floor in my bedroom, feeling the room spin. My heart was beating way too fast and I was seeing flashes of light out of my eye. I went on like this for hours. Sam and Lauren went to a concert, I declined because I couldn't walk in a straight line and my breathing was heavy. I called my mom and dad, terrified. I thought that I was dying.
My dad came to pick me up and I trudged into their house, feeling dizzy and off. We sat down and had a very serious discussion about my health. We talked about whether this was linked to my weight. At that time, I was at my heaviest weight. And I wasn't really trying. I would eat healthy in front of my family and friends, but sneak food whenever I could. My parents encouraged me to talk to a doctor.
This wasn't the first time we had that conversation. But that time was different. I knew, darn well, that I had to do something, or that my health was going to fail.
And so, that is the day I began. I was terrified of failing. I was worried I would fall back into the same routines and that I would never be able to beat the food addiction or lose weight.
I have not binged since that day last year. That is a statement I am proud to make. I have not snuck food, I have not eaten an entire pizza by myself, I've barely even visited a fast food place. And when I do? I order the healthiest thing that I can.
As you all know, I also began working out. I started at Sola, waking up at 5 am to do swimming or the bike. I couldn't do much else. But over time, I grew stronger and faster. I became less afraid. I tried new things. I beat goals. I became the best version of me.
I am down 63 lbs now. Which means I am 1/2 way to my goal. It could take another year to get there, and I know this. I am okay with this. Every step that gets me closer to being the healthiest I can be is a step that I want to take.
Today I want to reconfirm my commitment to my health journey. Today I begin chapter 2. I want to thank each of you for standing on the sidelines and cheering me on. I hope that you will be there with me for the next leg of the run, or that you will be waiting for me at the finish line. But I understand if you're tired. Know that I appreciate your support, more than I can ever say.
You all have goals, I am sure. You all have something that you want to beat. I want to tell you that you can reach these goals, and you can leave your demons behind. It takes work, dedication, and commitment, but you can do this. And you have me cheering you on.
As I end this chapter and begin the next, I want to share the song that's been on my mind all day, as I reflected on my fight over the last year. I fight that I am winning. Please take a moment to listen.