My story began six years ago when I started my surgery internship. I worked 80-plus hours per week, survived on hospital cafeteria food, had high cortisol levels, and zero interest or energy to exercise. I gained weight easily and weighed my heaviest in 2009 at 175 pounds after two pregnancies nine months apart.
I was a soccer player through high school and during my first year of college. I enjoyed being active and fit, but was never lean. Being overweight was frustrating and I was embarrassed about my body. I quit practicing medicine to care for my children and had regrets about the decision. As an overachiever, having no goal to work toward was depressing. I became unhappy and settled into being an overweight mother.
The turning point and catalyst to start my fitness journey happened when I picked up a Muscle and Fitness Hers magazine and saw pictures of competitors in the back pages. I had no idea that the fitness industry and competitions existed. I saw stories of women who made physical transformations and became competitors. I decided then, in May 2012, that I was done being overweight and set a goal to compete in a bikini competition within one year. I had a goal, a newfound determination, and was extremely excited to obtain the results I saw in the magazines.
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