Ever since I can remember, I’ve struggled with my weight. My mom says that I was thin when I was little and then all of a sudden gained all this weight in first grade. Although I wasn’t often made fun of (surprisingly), I do distinctly remember being in Chile one summer, visiting my family, and two of my second cousins were laughing at me and calling me an elephant. The fact that I still remember that probably shows what a major impact it had on me, because to be honest, I don’t remember a ton from my childhood.

Looking back, I think the sudden weight gain came about from the fact that I was stuffing down emotions from things that I saw happen between my mother and father. At that time, my father was an alcoholic, and although I don’t remember any of it, I know that I witnessed him mistreating my mother and that as a child, I didn’t know how to process the emotions and things that I was seeing.

I do remember that food started becoming a struggle. I was always hungry and wanting to eat something and back then, my mother was living off her own income and supporting my brother, sister, and I. We also had a nanny that took care of us, whom was more like a grandmother, but she showed her love for us via her cooking. I’m so thankful to have had her in my life, because together with my mother, she raised us.

As a result of using food to stuff down my emotions though, I’ve kept that trend going all the way through my adult life. I’ve been on every diet, have restricted, binged, worked out consistently, only to suddenly stop because I could see myself getting results, which meant fear around being different than what I was used to, got to my highest weight of 220 pounds when I was in college because I was stressed and over eating, and cried many times over the rollercoaster emotional turmoil that comes with constantly feeling like you’re at odds with your body. 

I’ve allowed myself to blame never having a guy treat me right on my weight, thinking that no guy would ever love me because I’m not thin, like society portrays girls with boyfriends to have. I’ve used sex as a way to gain attention from guys, because getting some attention is better than nothing, right? I learned though that it was just another way to not treat my body with love, to be willing to offer it to somebody who didn’t truly care about me and only wanted to use my body as a means to get pleasure for their own benefit (ironically, I’ve never been rejected by a guy sexually for being “too fat,” so why do I think that a guy won’t love me because my body’s not perfect?! It’s ridiculous! A guy will love me for me!)

In my early 20s, I was diagnosed with PCOS, Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, which is characterized by irregular periods, acne, hair growth in weird places, having your hair fall out, infertility, and a difficulty losing weight as a result of insulin resistance. I’m fortunate to say that I’ve managed to treat many of my PCOS symptoms holistically. After the medical system failed me time and time again, I took matters into my own hands and educated myself on ways to treat my body with care and love. Then later on in my 20s, I developed chronic pain, including a chronic daily headache that can often be debilitating. I believe all of these health issues developed partially as a result of keeping my emotions stuffed down, but being aware of that is the first step towards healing!

For a long time, I’ve wanted to hide, to not show my true self, being afraid to speak my truth and what I can offer. I still struggle with insecurities because even though I’ve managed to get to a healthier weight, I’m still not exactly where I want to be, and as a result tell myself that it’s still not enough. But what is enough anyway? What happens when you start loving your body as it is right now, despite what society or that voice inside your head tells you?

Through this process, I’ve deeply learned that the answer to anything that you want in life is never, EVER outside of yourself, as much as your ego might want you to think that it is. The answer is always within, and the key is forgiveness. I don’t blame my father or my mother or anyone else in my life for what has happened to me, or what appears to have happened to me. I have the power to change anything and everything deep within me. Learning to trust myself and just be the fullest expression of who I am has been a huge part of my journey.

I see what I’ve gone through up until this point in my life as a blessing, because it led me down a healthier lifestyle path and taught me how to care for myself, eat right, and how to start learning to treat my body with the love and respect that it deserves. I’ve learned to keep going despite seeming obstacles, to be an example for people and show them that when you set your mind to something, absolutely anything is possible.

I learned to stop “fighting” with myself because the truth is that my body is here to help me and protect me. I’m learning to treat it with love and everything that it deserves to have, because my body houses my soul and keeps me alive, allowing my heart to beat and to experience the beauty that all of this life has to offer.

As I mentioned earlier, I have been working with the power of forgiveness for the last several years. I’ve learned that when you throw anger or negative energy at something, it only expands whatever seems to be going wrong in your life. Meanwhile, forgiveness gives me the power to bestow love upon any situation. Forgiveness = to give for. It means to give for yourself and to give for another person through that process, and my goal is to make it a daily habit.

My own journey has been such a huge motivation for me to realize that my health issues partially developed as a result of not doing what I really want in life. Yes, I’ve done what society expects of me, which is having a steady job with an income and health insurance. Yet that doesn’t equate to what your soul wants on a higher level. And my soul spoke to me loud and clear when I decided to enroll in holistic health coaching school and realized what I could do to help serve and empower other women as they navigate through their own journeys. I am so deeply grateful and thankful for everything that I’ve experienced. Without my seeming struggles, I wouldn’t have discovered my life passion, which is helping and educating others via health and wellness. I left my teaching job because it was no longer serving me, and decided to forge my own path.

Trust me, I’m not perfect. And nobody else is either. Don’t let social media fool you. It’s still a learning process for me. I still get annoyed sometimes that I eat really well and my body doesn’t show much for it, and then I see other girls eating crap and their bodies stay thin (not that being thin is everything, but if you’ve been on the yo-yo weight rollercoaster, you know exactly what I’m talking about). But at least I know that I’m healthy on the inside. And part of that comes with learning balance. Sometimes I want to eat junk (umm hello French fries or a cupcake?!) and then allow myself to feel guilty for eating it. Really, why do we associate guilt with food? It’s crazy! I’ve learned that it’s ok to eat foods that are not so “ok” sometimes, especially because my body reminds me how much better I feel when I eat really well! It’s also a reminder to me that I have to learn to better trust and follow my intuition, work with my emotions whenever I get upset about something, and channel them through the power of forgiveness.  And it’s ok to indulge & eat yummy things too!

“Spark Your Inner Glow” came as a result of allowing that divine spark within me to shine forth to be the fullest expression of me. I already have everything that I could ever want or need already within me. I don’t have to be the perfect weight, not that there is a perfect weight, or blindly follow what society teaches in order to achieve my own version of success. Yes, it’s ok to take care of myself, to want to be my healthiest self, to love myself fully. It all stems from LOVE. Having struggled with binge eating for such a long time, I know that I’ve been seeking something outside of myself to feel fulfilled, which will never ever work. I cannot have a strong foundation for peace without love and forgiveness. Being the highest and truest version of myself creates miracles! And I believe 100% that it’s possible for you too. If you want to learn more or work with me, please reach out! I’d love to talk to you.