August 10, 2020

My husband Ryan and I moved to East Mesa, Arizona, just over a year ago, from Winter Garden, Florida.

My family may be small but we have a whole-lotta love! It is Ryan, myself and our two pups Ryder & Miles and we are connected at the hip. We’re thankful to live so close to my sister, Sherri, brother-in-law, Adam and niece and nephew.

I am a Director of Human Resources. I enjoy spending time with family and friends, exercising, reading a good book, traveling, baking, trying new restaurants and being outside.

Before Copper State FIT, I had just spent my last two months in Florida at going away events/last dinners enjoying all of our favorite foods from all of our favorite places. About 2-3 months after moving to Arizona, I knew that I wanted to continue to be able to enjoy my life but that I wasn’t happy with the way that I looked or the way that I felt.

I grew up with a very restricted/disordered view of food which has resulted in a lot of unhealthy habits. My mindset was always “eat all of these treats now because I don’t know when I will be able to have them again.” It was hard for me to be able to enjoy foods without guilt, shame or regret; or to be able to enjoy them in moderation. So my natural response was to restrict food as much as possible.

In 2017, I was exercising 2 hours a day, 6-7 days per week + only eating about 800-900 calories each day. I was extremely restrictive. Any time that I ate something that wasn’t “clean” I would feel the need to exercise for even longer.

As I continued to over-exercise and under-eat, I would receive more and more compliments about how great and fit I looked and so each week I would try harder than the last to lose more weight. It felt good to be constantly reaffirmed by everyone, but little did anyone know the anxiety and pain building up inside of me when a plate of cookies or a slice of pizza was placed in front of me. The cycle became a never ending game and in late 2017, I found myself weighing 105 lbs. and being diagnosed with an eating disorder.

My poor relationship with food affected every area of my life. I missed out on so many celebrations because I was so caught up in the anxiety of what I was going to eat that sometimes, I just wouldn’t go at all.

I had zero self-confidence and the anxiety that I experienced around food and my body made is nearly impossible to trust my body or know my hunger cues; leading to a constant cycle of restriction.

My frustration was unbearable. After lots of counseling and meeting with a Dietitian, things got better and I began to view food differently. However, I still felt like I wasn’t confident in my own body. The way that I looked was a huge part of who I was and I allowed other people to create that as my identity. I was frustrated and the process of recovering/overcoming the eating disorder mindset seemed nearly impossible to obtain.

Before working with Copper State Fit, I tried Whole30, Weight Watchers and followed a Paleo diet. What was different about CSF was; I felt they cared more about my mindset than anything else. Most importantly, the plan was personalized to fit me.

On my initial consultation, I was very honest with Adam about my struggles… with my eating disorders and my mindset around food. He understood. He and (my coach) Dana always prioritized my mindset around food over any type of physical change/process. I didn’t have to step on a scale if I didn’t want to and if I needed to take a break because I felt old thoughts creeping in, they made space for me to do that. The second that they noticed any type of disordered thoughts, they were there to talk through it and hold me accountable.

I often laugh and tell Dana that I am her most high-maintenance client but she will never know how much I appreciate her being consistently available to me to ask questions, talk through situations, and challenge my mindset to ensure that I was staying healthy mentally.

 

The moment I realized that I was starting to experience peace around food and understand balance, I felt such a sense of power and freedom! I remember feeling proud of my body. Not just proud because of the way that I looked, but proud because of what my body was capable of doing.

I started feeling at peace regardless of whether I weighed out every bite I ate or took a break and enjoyed a couple of dirty martinis and a piece of chocolate cake with friends. I am starting to learn that “I could have some of the things while not having all of the things”. I started to trust my hunger cues more and became more confident in eating in social situations, trusting my body to tell me when I am full.

I think that food will always be a struggle for me. There are still days where I have to challenge my thoughts, overcome guilt, reach out to friends that will remind me that it is OK to enjoy Chunk Cookies, cake, pizza and martinis. However, thanks for CSF, my family and friends, I know that those feelings of guilt and shame are not facts nor are they normal or a part of my identity. Now, my awareness and my trust in my ability – to know how much to eat and what to eat – has grown and will continue to grow immensely.

I am learning that I can go out and enjoy a night with friends without going absolutely crazy but also learning that I can also go a little crazy and know that a week-long vacation won’t ruin my hard work. When thoughts of doubt creep in to my head, I take a break, step back and remind myself how awesome it is that my body and I can do and overcome really incredible and hard things.

While working with CSF, I have gained the ability to experience more freedom/peace around food. I am able to go to parties and eat out with less anxiety. Not to mention, I have done all that while still losing over 7% from my body-fat.

Had I not decided to work with Copper State FIT, I would be back where I was in 2017. Struggling with my mindset around food, lacking confidence, and not trusting my body.

If you’re thinking about investing in CSF, here’s what I’ll say; it is worth it! Although, you have to commit to it. Sometimes life is hard for a season and there isn’t time or space to weigh out your food, track it or count your macros and that is OK. The CSF coaches will work with you. When you’re ready, I promise… it will be worth it!

The first couple of months are the hardest but it gets easier and the rewards are not just physical, but mental and emotional.

Your coach is there to guide you. You also have to learn to trust yourself. Make that a goal, always! Once you learn the ropes, be confident in your abilities and allow them to lead you to success.

Lastly, I want to include that I would not have been able to reach these goals without the incredible community at CrossFit INCITE, family, friends and incredible husband who inspired me each and every day; talking me out of a negative mindset, reminding who I am and that I can do hard things!

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