Beauty In The Breakdown–Four Years Later


Another year…another anniversary of me leaving a country I called home, a man I referred to as my husband, and the only adult life I had ever known.

It’s hard to imagine that it’s been four years already (time surely does fly when you’re working on rebuilding yourself, creating a life that’s worth living, and reassuring yourself at least one hundred times that you’re going to be ok).

Each year I’ve written a blog on this anniversary (the anniversary of leaving my husband). For now, it’s the one I hold closest to my heart…I can’t remember the exact date I got married, or the day I moved to Germany, but I will always remember the day I moved “home.” In the past, this particular blog has gotten thousands of views and I accredit that to the title of 1. Why Leaving My Husband Was the Best Thing I’ve Ever Done, and 2.Why Leaving My Husband Is Still the Best Thing I’ve Ever Done — Three Years Later Although it’s clearly a popular title and it intrigues people to read what is on my heart, I’ve decided to switch things up for my fourth year anniversary.

That was my story then, and it will always be a part of my ongoing journey throughout life, but as it remains that’s no longer my present, simply a chapter (a rather long chapter) that I’ll now refer to as “Beauty in the Breakdown.” It’s a story about who you thought you once were vs. who you choose to become.

Do you remember growing up and listening to your parents tell you that you could be anything you wanted? Well, that’s still true to some degree. But, we do grow up, we get hurt, we get knocked down, and as a result we become fearful and even more vulnerable. In today’s society there’s more people telling us what we can’t do, rather that what we can.

As I’ve grown up, and continue to do so I find that my truest form of beauty comes from reinvention and the ongoing choice to continuously re-write, re-create, and change my proposed purpose.

Throughout the past four years, my exterior has certainly changed but it’s more about my interior and how it’s made the most improvement. A year ago, I had a difficult time attending weddings of friends that I hold dear to me, a year before that I wasn’t always able to process my feelings an in turn did everything humanly possible to mask the pain; I worked out way too much, had one to many drinks (ok, four or five) too many drinks at the bar while out with friends, I sobbed in the middle of the day for no reason asking myself “why me?” There were days when I felt empowered, and days when I literally wanted to quit life. I remember sitting on the couch across from my therapist asking when I’d get mad instead of sad, wondering if the immense amount of pain and confusion I was feeling would ever subside or if I’d just have to accept the overwhelming feeling of anxiety forever. Although she wasn’t able to answer my question with utmost certainty, she told me that as time went on, I’d begin to heal in various ways.

As I write this years anniversary blog, I still wholeheartedly believe that leaving my husband was the best thing I’ve ever done, but this year I’ve also come to the realization that there’s SO much more ahead of me; more struggles, more failures, more setbacks, more heartache — and as a result those hurdles may in fact become the best thing I’ve ever done…

I firmly believe that leaving a situation that I was so unhappy in, that ate away at me both mentally and physically, and that didn’t fill up my tank the way it needed to be filled was the best choice at the time, despite it feeling like the most gut-wrenching one.

Honestly, I didn’t know if I’d be ok, I didn’t know if I’d make it out alive, and I didn’t know what life after divorce would look like for me…if anything. Well, it’s been four years and I’m here to tell you that I’m better than ok. Yes, I’m human and have my days (even months) where I’m not 100% clear where I’m going or what direction I should be heading in, but I’ve never been so sure of my purpose, or my ability to create this magical space, and continue to share my story, to allow someone, anyone to see that they’re not alone.

I was afraid of the unknown, of uncertainty, of judgement of not being enough for him before, or myself after.  I was afraid to share any piece of my story, but I’m so, so glad I did, and I do. Similar to fitness; I didn’t know what was real and what was fake. Yet through the process of self-acceptance and self exploration, I stopped believing the myths that leaving behind the title of Mrs. would somehow make me less than, when in fact it made me more than– more than I ever thought possible.

If you think about it, we’re all in this together. So thank you (yes you), for having my back, I appreciate it, and I’ll continue to have yours by sharing my truths no matter how uncomfortable it may make me, in hopes that it will comfort someone else’s pain.

Let’s cut the bullshit and be honest about ourselves and our stories because once we do, we realize that our stories are what make us human, they’re what connect us to one another on a greater scale, and allow us to see just a glimpse of our potential purpose in this great big world we call home.

Sometimes, the most beautiful form of creativity comes from suffering. For me, each beautiful piece of artwork was birthed by failure, defeat, heartache and loss.


EveryBODY Has a Story

jl-18As of late, there’s been a new movement in the health and wellness industry, and as a personal trainer, and advocate for everybody having a story, I’m all for it. In my industry I deal with all shapes and sizes, and I teach and preach to women that no matter what skin they’re in they should embrace it and accept themselves for everything they not only love, but issues they seemingly hate.

We’ve turned body shaming into something more powerful; body love, self acceptance, and vulnerability.


Yet I don’t think the playing field is all that fair. Personally, I’ve fully embraced the new movement, until now…

As women begin to feel more uplifted and encouraged by others that they are accepted in all their glory, skin, rolls, pudginess, excess booty, and a less than flat midsection I can’t help but to feel we’re heading in the right direction of how we view beauty, sex appeal, and the new norm. Yet, as my social media feeds become inundated with images of women in their underwear that may not be a size two, who are clearly willing to bare it all (mind, body, message) I can’t help but feel as though other women in various categories are being short changed.

For some of us with physiques that are viewed as perfect, having it all, not having to put in much work, or choose to show off the work we have put in; it’s too much. Often times being proud of your body (myself included) can automatically mean being over sexual, or sending out the wrong message to some. This is where I call bullshit. If we’re going to teach plus sized women (whatever that definition actually is), to love their bodies and strut their stuff, then a woman with a six pack, tight ass, and well trained physique should be able to do the same without feeling less than.

Through years of learning to accept myself (this is an ongoing process), I’ve learned that no matter what-my body is mine, all 130-ish pounds of it. My body is one that I worked damn hard to get to where it is. Often times it’s a daily struggle to accept myself, flaws and all because sometimes I’m not accepted because my body appears to be the perfect figure for some. My body, just like any body has been through hell and back, it’s endured heartache, divorce, rebuilding, building a business (soon to be two), injuries, surgeries, and everything else in between that we’ve all suffered through at some point on another.

Rewind to 20 some odd years ago when my body was one I wasn’t proud of. I never struggled with weight in the sense that I had too much, but rather too little. I struggled because I was too skinny. For no reason other than not being able to keep weight on due to food allergies and not hitting puberty until later in life, yet I was made fun of on a consistent basis. I was called a tomboy and not because I was always into sports, but because my physique resembled a boy more than a 10 year old girl.

It wasn’t until I started really getting into sports and weight lifting that my body began to change. I put on a very little bit of muscle and worked hard at it year after year because I wanted to see what my body was capable of transforming into. I’m now at a point in my life where I’ve come to accept my body for what it is, and I’ve learned to do that because I realized no matter what, no one was ever going to accept me for all of me the way that I knew I deserved.

Just as we accept, and at times are now flaunting everybody overweight or not, let’s remember that every shape, and every size needs to be celebrated. I will never apologize for the skin I’m in- even if that’s too skinny or too muscular for some. And you shouldn’t either. So lets give credit to everyone and not just some for their boldness and courageous efforts because truth be told everybody has a story, and everybody has fought a few battles we know nothing about.