It amazes me to look at these two photos of myself side-by-side.

You don’t realize how much you have neglected yourself and your self-care until that one day, that single moment, when you look in the mirror and all of a sudden it finally hits you and all you can do is wonder “how did I get here?”

The “me” on the left still exercised a few times a week and paid general attention to the types of food I was putting into my body.

But something was wrong with the “me” on the left.

I wasn’t happy.

I wasn’t happy with how I looked.

I wasn’t happy with how I felt.

I lacked self-confidence.

I lacked self-worth.

I didn’t like the skin I was in and I didn’t like the mindset that carried me through my everyday life.

I was unsure of myself, anxious, and depressed.

This wasn’t because of the fact that I was a little bit overweight, but because of the fact that I was putting minimal care into myself and ALL of my care into others.

The extra weight was simply a RESULT of my beaten down mindset.

I had finally reached the point where I knew I couldn’t let myself continue down the road I was on any longer.

If I did, I truly would have spiraled into someone that I wouldn’t have been able to live as.

Not only would I have continued to gain weight and in turn decreased my physical health, but I would have entered into a terrifyingly dark mental state that I just wasn’t willing to meet.

The day that I started CrossFit was the day that I finally decided to choose myself and change the road that I was on.

I started off at Railroad insecure, quiet and shy.

For the most part, I wasn’t sure of myself and would constantly compare myself to the other members.

As time went on and I started to understand CrossFit more, I became more comfortable and eager to make a positive change within myself.

I started working out six times a week.

I paid close attention to both the quality and quantity of foods I was eating.

I began to focus on only myself and my progress rather than compare myself to others.

My mentality slowly began to shift and gain strength, and as this happened, I began to see the physical results.

I knew that I was on the right path and I was absolutely not turning back.

To further propel me closer to my best self, I decided to participate in the 6-week Nutrition Program with Coach Elena.

Not long after completing my six weeks, I also made the decision to start accessory programming with her three times a week.

These two choices have been HUGE for me and have helped me SO much with understanding my body, my relationship with food, and my body’s transformation process.

By taking the initiative to further isolate my goals on top of class, I was telling myself, “Hey, I REALLY choose you and I REALLY want you to feel the best you’ve ever felt.” And let me tell you, I’m truly getting there.

The change between these two photos has taken time, and lots of it.

Two years worth of time.

And the mental shift has taken just as long.

Both are still a work in progress.

You’re never “too far gone” to decide that enough is enough.

If you want to feel better, look better, think better, or be happier, then you have to choose to get there, and you have to choose it every single day.

There’s no shortcuts.

There’s no easy way out. It’s an uphill battle, but the view at the top is so much better than you could ever begin to imagine.

In all honesty, Railroad saved my life.

The coaches and members gave me a safe place to learn how to be myself and to go through my healing process.

They gave me a place to grow at my own pace, free of judgement.

Since day one, over a year a half ago, I have been surrounded by nothing but love, kindness, support, and friendship, and because of this, discovering myself and becoming my best self has been possible.