Monday, March 26, 2012


And they are right.

I want to share a story about how health and fitness changed my friends life. And it is not your typical before and after story.

I have a friend whom I've known for over fourteen years now. Her name is Nana. I haven't talked to her in years and got reconnected through Facebook. Actually we were already friends on Facebook for a while but it was the fact that I had a fitness and personal training company that got us talking again. Actually she was really supportive and began following my Facebook at All Out Effort and reading my blogs. Which surprised me. I thought to myself, why is Nana following my blogs and so interested in my fitness and coaching work? I mean she's not into fitness. She's like into purses and make up and parties. Why would she want to read about dieting and breaking a sweat?

Fitness somewhere along the line had become her passion and she had to go through so much for that to happen. Here are her own words:
When I was little, I was fat. Not the cute kind of fat, but the fat where kids tease and bully you, and you grow up hating yourself because you buy into those lies that you are an ugly creature. It was hard, honestly. I thought I would never get over those wounds. Moving on to my teenage years, I became anorexic. When that got to be too hard, I found an easier way to stay thin through drugs. Through becoming a drug addict, I picked up on alcohol and heavy partying. This went on for almost all my life, and in the meanwhile, I had lost a sense of self love along the way. I don't even remember the last time I knew how to love myself, or ever feeling truly happy with life. 
Things hit rock bottom when I married my husband and had my beautiful daughter. After seeing my body blow up from pregnancy, I was mortified and starting abusing laxatives. I was nearly on my death bed when my husband intervened and told me he just could not put up with my disorders anymore. As my last resort, I agreed to sign up for personal training. I laugh now at the thought that a healthy living was my last resort.
Especially in the Korean community, it's hard not being skinny, that's the expectation, you can almost not be skinny enough, and Asian parents are blunt and quick to remind you of any imperfections. In seeing her transformation, reading this, and in speaking to her, I was truly inspired and wanted to share her story because I think it can inspire a lot of people out there. It did for me.

I had no idea when we were both teens, hanging out, that she was going through all this. I thought Nana was just that typical, cute, skinny, popular girl everyone wanted to hang out with. It's revealing to see how she viewed herself at that time. As teens and young adults, we go through a lot that other people have no idea about. I at the same time suffered from anxiety, depression, and a severe dependency on alcohol that took years to kick. It never goes away really. Every morning you just have to make a choice to do well. If you don't do so well that day, you learn and you do it all over again. For me, like Nana it was fitness and martial arts that brought me out of the dark night. Somehow instead of trying to control my actions through my thoughts, it was easier to control my thoughts through my action. Somehow doing something physical changes you mentally. Nana was proof.

It's interesting to see this girl who I used to see as a frail girly girl transform herself into a fit work out machine. For the last 12 weeks she has been on a mission of health. To transform her life and lead a better example for her 5 year old daughter and unknowingly those around her. I have been secretly watching her progress and though I can't take any credit for her success, I am just as astonished and proud as if she were my own client. Actually this is the first time I am writing about a non-client but her will and determination screams all out effort.
When I made the commitment to transform my whole body, I promised myself that I would come out as a champ. No matter what. My whole life, I have dealt with so many body issues that left me confused on what the "perfect" body image was. After being bullied by others from early childhood for being fat, to tormenting my young adult years with anorexia and bulimia, I knew I had to find a diet that worked for me. Especially with raising my 5 year old daughter, I was determined not to have her follow in my footsteps, and to start leading a healthy lifetslye for a change. 
The day the calendar flipped over to January 1st, I resolved to do something positive for my life.
And it paid off. She is now not only a hot mama, but I have never seen this confidence in her before. So I asked if I could share her story and she said only if I think it can help people. It will inspire I am sure of it.

A word keeps popping into my mind. Wounded. A lot of us are wounded. We were told stories when we were young and we bought them and held onto them. Cruel stories. Stories that affect our actions and self image. I never had any idea how strong Nana was. In fact I remember one instance where we were all out, drinking, smoking pack after pack of cigarettes Maybe misery loves company and that's how we all found one another. We were having a good time and then she broke down crying. I had no idea why. It makes more sense now but at the time I thought she was just being a girl. And girls weren't strong. I WAS WRONG. Girls are strong. She was strong, and she overcame so much to be an inspiration and now, she doesn't have to follow my blogs. Now I am following her.

She's not done yet though. She has just signed up for her first NPC competition. Let the training begin!

You can check out Nana's full 12 week challenge here.
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