Today I got to share how my whole journey began (7 years ago!) with a newer friend of mine, and it reminded me of one of my first EVER blog posts/gym pics that I pulled up to show her.

I was flooded with so many feelings and memories, and honestly…an overwhelming feeling of gratitude paired with a powerful splash of disbelief.

And that would pretty much sum up most of how I’ve been feeling in the last 7 weeks since having 30lbs of excess skin and tissue removed.

People keep asking me how I’m feeling about it all…and if I have been feeling a huge difference yet?

But, the most accurate description I can give so far is that I am truly, “in grateful disbelief”.

When I first began this journey, I always hoped and prayed that I would someday end up here somehow…but part of me always wondered if I ever would, or even could.

In fact, there were MANY times that I fell off the wellness wagon and would have to find my way back to begin again, and again.

Especially difficult after years of being on my grind as a fitness professional! Knowing that my “front butt” would never really allow me to fully “SEE” all of my fitness work physically, but somehow I kept going because I KNEW that I felt better living my life this way.

I felt strong.

I felt confident.

I felt capable to take on anything that came my way, even if I was scared.

So I that’s what I focused on, and it kept me going, throughout all the ups and downs.

So, after an extremely humiliating and disappointing consultation with a local plastic surgeon in 2020 (to see where I would need to be to be considered for skin removal) I released the skin removal part of it.

I accepted that I would just continue to stuff all my jiggly bits into the best compression leggings I could find, and keep kicking ass!!

Now, on the other side of this unexpected hernia repair/skin removal plot twist in my story, I find myself (once again!) in deep reflection of how all of this has all unfolded for me.

If I’m being honest, it’s been a little uncomfortable because I really DON’T want this to just be a celebration of me acquiring “a smaller body.”

I’m fact, in the past few weeks since I have slowly emerged from surgery recovery and have started to make my way back into my daily life and routines…there are some comments have been made that,” now that I’ve had the skin removed, I can really finish this thing and lose the rest of my weight”.

Like…? WHAT?

After all these years and fitness milestones? After technically losing 190lbs…it’s STILL not enough for some people to accept me where I’m at because my body is still “fat”.

So, NO.

This is NOT a celebration of making my body as small as possible, or the continued pursuit of smallness.

This is NOT a weight loss story.

This is a celebration of what someone can DO when they’ve embraced RADICAL self-acceptance that creates an impenetrable force field of confidence that doesn’t make sense to some people.

It is a celebration of not giving up when you have been given EVERY reason to.

It is a celebration of THIS WOMAN in the first pic…who had the BALLS to stand up and reclaim her life. To risk standing out and being SEEN when she desperately wanted to stay hidden and tucked away.

It is a celebration of how fitness led me to genuine self-love and freedom.

“Weight loss” was just ONE of the amazing results of THAT focused work.

If you don’t know how my journey began, PLEASE, read this original blog post (link below) from way back when I only dreamed of the life that I am living now, and join me in celebrating LIVING a LIFE that I am no longer afraid of living loudly.

And PLEASE, stop commenting on, judging and assuming what people are capable of just by looking at their body.