All my life I have struggled with my health, mentally and physically. I struggled with Crohns Disease for many years when I was younger that caused huge ups and downs with my weight and was very trying on my health. I had my last flare up when i was 16, I have been in remission ever since. Shortly after my last flare up I found out I was going to have a baby, it was a huge shock to me and made me worry about my health and the health of my baby. I was very blessed to have had a happy healthy pregnancy and baby. I was very young and my body bounced back well. I however ended up with stretch marks. It was years untill I finally learned to love my body, them included. Finding a love for my body took a lot of time and work. My baby my weight, and then some, came off very easy and quickly. I didn’t do to much, I was just very active with friends. However it went down hill from there. I moved out my junior year of high school and since I was in remission I took my health for granted. I drank way to much, didn’t get much sleep, and ate like crap. I was in a long relation that just perpetuated the unhealthy habits and weight gain. In less than a year and a half I had let myself gain 30lb (I was almost at my delivery weight. I wasn’t aware of how bad it had gotten until my relationship ended. I looked in the mirror, hated what I saw and how I felt and decided to never look back. I had literally never set foot in a gym before but I just decided to start immediately. I bought some workout clothes and went to my college gym. When I was first beginning I had no basic knowledge of fitness, I just started with lots of running. I had to push myself in every way to keep at it and do better every time. I would do crunches here and there and maybe a little weights but I didn't have the slightest clue what to do. The more I was at the gym the more I learned just by watching people then trying the same workout and focusing on the right muscles. Gradually I became more confident with weights and targeting muscle groups. I started to look better and feel better quickly because my lifestyle had changed so dramatically. Besides being consistent at the gym 5 days a week I completely cut out junk food. Luckily I had a good basic knowledge in the kitchen and was able to play around with new healthy recipes I loved. Before I knew it I had lost 30lbs in 3 months! I kept the weight off and maintained a healthy weight and lifestyle for almost a year, which at that point I decided to compete as an NPC bikini competitor. Since then I do cardio and weights regularly. I balance my diet on and off season with as much natural foods as possible with the occational treats. This journey has been unbelievably rewarding mentally and physically. It has opened doors I would have never thought possible. I am even on track to graduate with a degree in Health Promotion in the next little while. My life has truly been enriched through fitness. My self-confidence is now very strong; I love myself, which is so important. I continue to strive to be better every day.