My entire life I have always done everything I'm "supposed" to do.
I am a rule follower, color within the lines kind of girl. I was always a good student, well-mannered and a serial monogamist. At a fresh age of 21 I graduated college a semester early and instantly started my life in Corporate America and feeling like this was my time to take on the world.
Ironically, while I had the outside qualifications of what any young adult could be deemed "successful," I still had this pit in my stomach that ached from being so empty. When I could no longer fill the void simply by hanging out at the bar, I found myself on the daily having binge sessions and eating my way through the numbness.
I had spent a quarter century of my life living by someone else's design. At the age of 15 years old, when a girl is supposed to be on her way to becoming a woman - figuring out what she wants to do with her life, I was too busy getting into my first long-term relationship and becoming ever dependent upon other people's validation to make me feel good about myself.
The truth is, I've never been really good at this whole nutrition thing. My entire life I have dealt with my emotions - the happy, sad, frustrated, overwhelmed, insane feelings - with food.
But, there comes a point in your life when one realizes that enough truly is enough and something has to change. You would have thought that moment for me was when my 5'3 petite frame had almost topped out at 200 pounds on the scale, I could no longer recognize the person who was staring back at me.
While it did help me to begin on the journey towards a healthier life and over 30 pounds lost, I wish I could say that was the one step that pushed me furthest to where I was able to reach all my goals and the rest of the story is history, but that just isn't real life. My life is made up consistently of moment by moment situations that force me to realize that I am capable of more - I can, I am and I will. The greatest gift I was given was my curiosity and a mind shift to never allow myself again to become complacent. I have spent a fourth of my life fitting myself into someone else's box and by taking a leap of faith in 2013 and saying yes to a home workout program and a shake that I didn't know anything about to see if I could begin the next chapter of my own journey. Little did I know that it would help me to pay it forward to other people, who like me, realize that their lives are capable of so much more.