Chelsea and I have been friends for quite some time…possibly 5 or 6 years. Charlie, her husband, was Tom’s, my husband’s, senior firefighter when he started working for Tucson Fire Department. From the first time we met, we were instant friends. We laughed, joked, and just enjoyed each other’s company. She and I have stayed in contact over the years even when the guys have worked at different stations and we’re always super excited to see one another.
One social event we both were at in 2009 was a wedding for a fellow firefighter. Of course we laughed, drank, and had a fantastic time. Someone asked to take a picture of us and a couple of weeks ago, I saw that picture for the first time.
I’m going to share that particular picture with you shortly but I want to give you a bit of background before I do. When I left the house dressed for this wedding, I felt pretty sassy. My wig was fabulous, my eye makeup would have made an MAC makeup artist proud, and my dress was fierce. It’s amazing to me that what I felt that day is not what I see when I look at the picture below.
I look at myself in this picture and I KNOW that I’m broken, sad, and I just want to hug the woman I see in the picture.
I was unhappy. I was sad. I was depressed. I was a mess. I dealt with all of these feelings and others but eating and drinking. Crying and sharing my feelings was not an option for me. Eating a box of Little Debbie Zebra Cakes was but allowing myself to embrace my emotions was not. I often felt like the body I was living in had let me down so I had no desire to take care of it. It seemed pointless to me.
As the end of 2009 approached, I began thinking about the milestone birthday (30th) that would take place in the next year. I decided that I wanted to do something big for my birthday – something just for me. It was then that I decided that I would do my first figure competition. I checked the website for NPC shows in AZ and discovered that my 30th birthday would take place 6 days before the NPC AZ Open competition. There it was – right before me – the ultimate challenge. I would have to transform not only my body, but my heart and mind in order to step on stage but I decided that I was ready to make the change.
When I stepped on stage that day in July, I was a new woman. I had made a physical, mental, and psychological transformation. I made the decision to become a better me and I have never looked back.
So to those that are struggling with becoming a healthier, happier version of yourself, I want to tell you that it’s possible. I am living proof that it is. I will not lie to you and say that it will be easy because it won’t. There will be those that doubt you…heck…you’ll doubt yourself but you have to keep pressing forward. You know that you desire & deserve better and you need to go out there & get it.
I've invited Chelsea to write a post about her thoughts about the infamous marshmallow picture (our nickname for it) and I'll share that with you before the week ends! As you can see, we're not the same ladies we were 2 years ago!
|NPC Terminator show, 7/16/11|
|Celebrating Chelsea's 40th birthday a few weeks ago|