Growing up, my mother and father always worked so they never had a lot of time for me. With this being said, I lived predominantly with my grandmother. Being born and raised in the South, my grandmother fixed all of the Southern “home-cooked meals” you’ve heard of: biscuits & gravy, beef & potatoes, anything fried and tons of desserts. For me, being “fit” never came easily. I was naturally a bigger kid in school and then eating a diet like this made me overweight. I did play a number of sports, but you cannot out-exercise a bad diet, so I was overweight. I battled this all the way through high school. Thankfully, I was smart and an athlete, so I made the popular crowd, but I was very much overweight. After accepting a college volleyball scholarship, I realized that if I wanted playing time, things were going to have to change. I immediately began watching what I ate and doing more activity.
With that, the weight started falling off. I started college a size 12-13 and after my freshman year, I was an 8; however, I still was not happy with the way I looked. After losing all the weight I realized that I did not have that much muscle, so that is when I began educating myself about working out and lifting weights. I fell in love with the lifestyle. I loved the structure, I loved the equation of putting work in and keep a clean diet yielded me looking better, and I loved that I controlled my destiny. My entire life I have always been the person to make others happy and often neglecting myself. I had no idea what made me happy, what kept me up at night dreaming about it, or what made me simply me until I found fitness.
After doing this for a couple years through college, I accepted a job and entry into the Master’s program at The Citadel in Charleston, South Carolina. Once moving away from Tennessee and my family I had to find ME and WHO I WAS. I joined a gym and met the man that would soon become my first coach. This man challenged me, he educated me, and for the first time he believed in me to step on the NPC stage and compete. That’s where I found what I was passionate for. What set me on fire. What no one could take from me. With hard work, giving 110%, and no excuses, I shut my genetics up and I stepped on the NPC stage and placed. I am no way saying it was easy or something everyone can do, but I am saying that I fell in love with fitness which lead me to bodybuilding even with crappy genetics. I was able to reach my goal. Recently, near the end of 2016, I was diagnosed with an under-active thyroid. No matter what I was doing, I kept gaining weight. After tests and multiple doctors, we caught this. With a new coach and doctor, I set up a plan to recover. I recently was released to pick a show date, so I am super excited to share this with you all. Through this I have learned to love the interactions with followers, the education side, and just the overall lifestyle that I have built for myself. On top of competing, I am a high school teacher and athletic trainer. My overall goal is to gain a procard in NPC Bikini and to motivate, educate, and simply change other women’s lives.
I am living proof that hard work and dedication will overcome genetics. It may take longer, a stricter diet, or even more cardio, but if you want something bad enough, you will get there one way or another and genetics will not stop you. I hope to gain more exposure, more followers, and a better chance to tell my story and hopefully impact other young women.
My next show is scheduled for April 2017. Some recent health issues attempted to stall my efforts, but once again, I will not let my genetics define me, so I am working as hard as ever to get back on that stage. I am about 16 weeks out and plan to do a slow, yet healthy cut this year for my NPC Bikini debut of 2017. My training will include a number of things because I also have a full time job that requires me to balance my time. I will include how I manage my time, meal prep, workouts, cardio, recovery, supplements, and anything else readers may inquire about. I want to simply educate.
As far as friends and family: I do not have a lot of support, or as much as I would like. My family, especially my mom, does not understand my love for lifting weights or why I eat 6 meals a day, so I do not receive support there. My friends, or ones whom I have met through the gym understand the dedication and the lifestyle, but many do not. My circle is small, but I like it that way because I want to remain as positive as possible. With me having little support, that is why blogging and reaching other people is so important because I want to be there for others. I want to lift them up and let them know that they are not alone and that they can do this.
I hope that readers take away that nothing should stop you from chasing dreams. That genetics play a minuscule part in what you can accomplish. I hope readers decide to alter their goals and make them bigger. I hope they look at this and see that I am 24, I hold a full time job, and I still make time to compete and make my goals become a reality. I hope they use me for guidance, support, and just a way to show strength. This industry is dangerous if you do not solidify a strong circle. Women whom are insecure within themselves often find the need to put others down, so I want to change that. I am chasing a pro card, so I hope to share that with you all very soon, as well as changing lives one blog at a time. I want to be here for all of my supporters and help them reach whatever goals they set because without them, I am nothing.