If I had to describe my life after my national competition in November 2013 and converting to vegan January 1, 2014, it would be an unfinished puzzle with a few pieces missing.
When you open a puzzle box, all of the hundreds of pieces are scattered. Each piece connects some way to form a beautifully finished product. In order to complete the puzzle, you need to organize it by separating the pieces into similar patterns, edges, etc. Only then can you start figuring out the connections. During your journey of completion you find that some may work, some may clash, but the only way you’ll complete it is through trial and error.
On June 22, 2013, when I celebrated my 30th birthday in Hawaii, I felt like my puzzle was almost complete. I felt on top of the world and like I finally figured it out. I was estactic with all the obstacles I overcame. I did struggle a lot in the past trying to figure out who I wanted to be, exactly what I wanted to do, who I wanted to be friends with, my love life and my happiness, my finances, etc. I was this puzzle piece that just wanted to fit to anywhere. I hadn’t felt complete for 30 years.
I moved to San Francisco on June 28, 2010 with my unfinished puzzle. But as time went on it finally was coming together. The whole time, what I was looking for was right in front of my nose, but I needed that trial and error to learn from my mistakes. I always was positive that I would figure it out and kept moving forward, because I always believed things happened for a reason. I really learned discipline, criticism, self-control, and that you can’t make everyone happy. I was happy and felt unstoppable!
In October of 2013, I decided to move to the LA area, and during this chapter in my life everything got shaken up, again. I started losing pieces. I started prepping for a show which helped me focus on at least one thing that I knew I could control. I had my National Competition in Florida that same year, which was the best moment of my life! I felt a tad clearer. But after the show, the feeling of being lost crept in and the comfort I had started to leave. All my hard work was being destroyed. I didn’t know what to do with myself. My eating pattern changed, my routine changed, my overall vision changed. The only piece that kept me thinking on the upside of things was a picture of me before I even started competing in 2012. I knew I had come a long way! I had to keep finding these pieces, but had no clue where look. I knew I was on a journey that contained obstacles that would make me back track and regroup. I made a huge switch in the direction to look for these missing puzzle pieces.
Health and fitness has always been my passion, but I knew I didn’t want to build my life in North Hollywood, so I put it on hold. I continued running my online training with clients, which was a success, but I still wasn’t satisfied. I loved all of my clients’ transformations physically & mentally, but I wanted more. I wanted to then – and now more than ever – to inspire EVERYONE!!!!
January 1, 2014 I decided to convert to 100% plant based lifestyle due to digestive issues. My health and energy improved which was amazing because I was having some major stomach issues. The struggle with that was I just wanted to explore and learn more about it. Trying new things and not having a pattern to eating the same thing like competition eating. This was one of my reasons why I put my competition training on hold. I wasn’t ready. I knew I needed to explore the plant based lifestyle some more. One of my reasons why I still felt lost was because my mission for my business is to help transform daily lifestyle choices in order to maintain long-term health and to achieve their fitness goals through life transitions
I had achieved many accomplishments, but for some reason I was not satisfied. I knew there was something better, but couldn’t figure it out. It’s like these puzzle pieces were not meant for my puzzle (my vision). I was hating myself because looking back on everything, people would die to be in my shoes. I traveled at least once a month, met amazing people, and experienced things people haven’t. I was on the Steve Austin’s show “Broken Skull Ranch,” where I was considered one of the Top Badass Elite Athletes in America. I was in the remaining top 5 LA’s Top Trainer Pilot show out of 200+ contestants (Might not be aired). I was chosen for Beach Body’s new workout DVD (can’t release the name yet), and had a small roll in MTV San Fran Real World. I won 2nd place in the ELITE Spartan Race in Hawaii and finished top 10-12 in the National Bikini competition. I could keep going but I don’t want to sound like I’m tooting my horn. I need to say it to remind myself to be GRATEFUL. I am proud of all my hard work, but I have a VISION and I’m not where I see myself yet. I see it clearer, though, and I know I’m close to finding these missing puzzle pieces. I have to keep going and stay positive. I want to achieve greatness not just for myself but for others. (For some reason I got teary writing this paragraph haha)
I recently moved to the OC this September and made sure to keep my puzzle pieces secure. I feel positive about my situation and sense great energy. I know my missing pieces are close to finding their place. My head feels clear! Once my puzzle is complete I will shout it to the WORLD!! Then it will be time for me to open my next puzzle to start piecing together!!
So if you feel like your life is a big puzzle, keep your head up high. Smile and be grateful you are breathing. The puzzle will come together as long as you are consistently working on yourself, so do not give up and be patient. I am 31 and still trying to complete mine.
To learn more about my journey in the early stages, my fear, and how I overcame my shyness, read My Life as a Mermaid.
I want to thank Becca Lourwood for proofreading and editing my article.