For as long as I can remember I’ve struggled with my self-image. My mother always told me that it doesn’t matter how I look on the outside- what really matters is what’s in my heart. However, real life has a way of making that a struggle sometimes. When my parents divorced and my mom was diagnosed with cancer I started my path of self-destructive behavior. I thought no one loved me so why should I love myself? Throughout my teen years, I worked really hard at trying to be perfect. I came to the realization that is an unattainable goal.

When I became a mother myself I was so overwhelmed that I put myself at the very bottom of the priority list. Everything and everyone else was way more important than I was. I spent years of eating unhealthy, not getting enough rest, and definitely not exercising. After my third child, I weighed close to 230lbs. I hated what I looked like on the outside and I wasn’t feeling any better about myself on the inside either. I was ashamed of how I looked. I tried so many times to lose weight but I was too embarrassed to even go to the gym. I didn’t want everyone staring at me.

In late 2012 I had finally had enough and knew I had to do something. I found Figures and was nervous to start but I did it anyway. I immediately felt so comfortable! I loved the fact that it was all women, and that I could come anytime. It gave me no excuses to skip workouts. I started working out regularly but still did not have my nutrition under control. After years of eating whatever I wanted it was hard to break that cycle. Last spring I joined the Healthy Lifestyles group with Carrie and that began my journey in a different way.

Then last summer I decided to take it a step further and step WAY out of my comfort zone. I chose to start training to compete in a body-building competition. I told myself, “I can either live IN my fear or live THROUGH it instead”. Since July, I’ve lost 28lbs of fat and gained a lot of lean muscle.  I chose this path because I am worth it. I am valuable. I hope this testimony will empower other women of all ages to remember they are loved and valued too! We are all strong it sometimes just takes a little digging in our hearts to find ourselves and realize we are amazing! – Adrienne