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my long story:

My fitness journey began about 7 years ago when I moved away to college (go blue!) and was forced to learn to balance my own calories. Let’s just say I was not so great at it… For like a long time. *eye roll emoji* 

Freshman year was spent on the elliptical for about an hour a day, 7 days a week. The shocking thing is... that doesn’t work when you also eat ice cream 3 times a day at the dining hall. At the end of the school year I was exactly 15 pounds heavier than my high school graduation weight… I mean I literally could not have been more of a cliche. *face palm*

Summer leading into my sophomore year I decided I was going to use my time at home to "get fit" again. I began training for a half marathon and started tracking calories for the first time. I slowly started losing the weight at a healthy rate and with a healthy mindset. But when I returned to school my sophomore year, I returned to a heavy and challenging course load plus a new part-time job. Stressed and overworked, I started channeling my anxiety into my calorie tracking. My weight became the one thing I could control in my life. No matter what else was going on and how out of control the rest of my life felt, I could always eat less, work out more and know that I would keep getting skinnier. 

It wasn’t until the winter of my junior year that I began to recover from my anorexia. Rather, it wasn’t until my junior year that I decided I wanted to recover from my anorexia. I was introduced to weight lifting and slowly started teaching myself some moves in the weight room (completely wrong I might add). And from there the love story between me and weight lifting kind of takes off! I started learning more and more, eventually becoming certified as a personal trainer. 

As I grew stronger I slowly realized the value of being strong, not skinny. Being skinny was easy - eat fewer calories and do more cardio. Getting strong is definitely NOT easy. It requires much more time, energy, dedication and willpower than it does to simply lose weight. And once you put that time, energy, dedication and willpower into something and see results, you feel nothing but pride (and rightly so). I am so so proud of my body and how strong it is now. And I’m proud of myself for rescuing that body from my own mental demise. Now I want to help others do the same.

Weight lifting has shown me patience, it's shown me confidence and it's shown me strength (both physically and emotionally).  It helped me recover from my eating disorder and to reestablish a healthy relationship with food. It’s my emotional outlet and battery recharge. And I want to share those lessons with you - the women and men who suffer from disordered eating, low self-esteem, anxiety and fear. If you're hoping to make a change, to find your voice, you've already taken the first step. Please feel free to email or message me with thoughts, questions, stories, anything! I would love to help weave our community together.

Peace, love and weights.

xoxo Danielle