Huntington Beach, CA

In the 8th grade, I was told by my mother “your hips are bigger than mine than when I was your age.” At just 13, that statement warped my mind into believing I was “too big.” When I look back, it’s surreal to think I actually believed that. I was 80lb, 5’0 tall, wearing size 6-8 kids shorts, and a flyer in cheerleading. I fit in clothes that my cousins wore and they were half my age. But hearing your mother tell you that at such a vulnerable age, can really instill a negative mindset. There were many days where I cut back on food no matter how many miles I ran that day. I would puke if I tried to eat more than once a day. I forced myself to eat and break the habits of my eating disorder, and once I learned how to do that, I strived to be a woman that promoted being healthy and having a positive mindset. But fighting my eating disorder isn’t the only thing that got me into lifting. I was diagnosed with osteochondroma at 16. After my diagnosis, I struggled with being as active as I wanted to be. When I got to college, I made the decision that I wasn’t going to let a diagnosis be the end to being active. I was fortunately given the news that my tumors were benign and I didn’t have cancer. I felt truly blessed, and I learned that my struggles were obstacles in my life that ultimately made me stronger. I started lifting and I vowed to inspire myself and others that no matter what you go through, focusing on self growth and strength can take you as far as you want to go in life.