Yes, I am selling pants now. How did that happen? It was a series of events, fortunate ones I might add, because I love who and where I am today. The events were not easy though. Twenty nineteen was one of the most difficult years I have experienced in my lifetime, and yes, I have had some difficult years. It wasn’t that it was all bad, there was a tremendous amount of good, but it was hard. So f***ing hard.

If you have been following along, I have been sharing a lot on social media, you will know that I experienced a tremendous amount of growth. My transformation was more than just physical, it was emotional and spiritual as well. Did I mention that it wasn’t easy? Let me tell you how this most recent chapter in my life began.

A young woman (now a dear friend) reached out to me on social media just over a year ago and invited me to be a part of her team, a team of health and fitness coaches with Beachbody, and I jumped in with both feet. I was overweight again, the yo-yo diet hamster wheel, and struggling with self-image, a lifelong battle for me. I was hungry for a community that would encourage me to be a better me, that would inspire me to live a healthier life, and that would love me for who I was at that exact moment in time. That is what I found, and for those people, I will be forever grateful.

It was more than just me though. I have always had a passion for helping others. I love teaching, I have always loved teaching, but it is more than that even.  I want to inspire confidence, to radiate love and to help others to see the beauty that is within them. Are you starting to see why last year was such a challenge for me? How could I do that, if I didn’t love myself? It is hard to radiate love when you are filled with negative self-beliefs. It is hard to inspire confidence when you don’t feel worthy. When I am not even able to recognize the beauty within myself, how can I help others find it?

I didn’t find much success as a Beachbody coach, but it was a vital part of what kept me moving forward. As I worked through my lifetime collection of destructive self-beliefs, my struggle with emotional eating, acceptance of my mental illness all while trying to find my connection with something greater than myself, I wasn’t able to do much else. There were other things too, sick family members, death of loved ones, severed relationships, it was a lot. A hell of a lot and it took everything in me to stay on this path I had started down.

Remember though, there were positives, so many great things amid trial. I began to replace bad habits with good ones, one at a time. It was a trickle affect, one change spurring the next. First it was exercise and healthier foods, then it was giving up alcohol for a time and binge drinking forever, and then I began exploring meditation and the spiritual connection that I have been so hungry for. I took it one day at a time and practiced self-compassion.

The more aware I became of my crazy negative core beliefs, the harder this process became and the tighter I held on to these new habits I was forming. I have bipolar disorder and there is only so much that my mind can withstand. I went through one of the worst depressions I have ever experienced, but I kept going. I didn’t quit. I didn’t give up. I desperately wanted the change that I was seeing in my life and so the work continued.

In the midst of this all, I chose to do a 100-day workout challenge. I knew that if I wanted to get through this, to find the light on the other side, I had to hold on to my healthy habits with all that I had left in me. Exercise was the most important habit I had formed, and I didn’t miss a single day of that challenge. And then the depression lifted and there was light again.

The depression took me backwards a little, it will do that. I had put a few pounds back on and spent a fair amount of time mentally abusing myself. Those good habits that I formed though, they pulled me through. I also have some pretty amazing people in my life, they played a big role in this journey of mine as well and deserve to be acknowledged.

As I put the pieces back together, the gym became my second home. I made friends, built new relationships and took all the fitness classes. I started to drift away from the Beachbody part of coaching, my heart just wasn’t in it. It is extremely difficult to convince people, especially in an over saturated market, that they should completely change their lifestyle and commit to a monthly shake subscription. It was an expensive endeavor for me without any financial return. My passion for living a healthy lifestyle and helping others hasn’t wavered, however, and I am thankful for the fitness and nutrition certifications that I earned this past year through the company.

Then in December I was introduced to ZYIA Active, an active lifestyle brand, a company that is experiencing tremendous growth and is just three years old. The company was founded by women and their mission is to “inspire and uplift by making activity a fun and essential part of life.” I was sold. I signed up to be an Independent Rep and then, when my new activewear came in the mail a few days later, I tried it on, and I was in love.

So now I sell pants, and the cool thing is… everyone wears pants.