My entire life I have struggled with being overweight and having very little confidence. Throughout school I was the kid that got bullied because of my weight and I had very little self confidence. I lost weight when I entered 11th grade, but did it the wrong way. My eating habits were horrible and I barely exercised. I quickly put all the weight I had lost back on, plus another 20lbs. Because of some events that happened in high school, I developed an anxiety disorder and OCD which made it hard for me to participate in anything. I would spend most of my days in class and then head right back to my dorm and just sit because I was too scared to participate in anything. I was afraid of what people would think or say, but most of all I had convinced myself that I couldn’t do anything. I actually got to the point that I thought I was meant to be heavy, and life was about being ok with the way things where. I was so unhappy with myself and felt so unfulfilled. I felt bad for the people around me because I wasn’t any fun to be around and I constantly held myself back from any experiences. I "tried" to start getting into shape mainly by “wishing” that it would go away. I would convince myself that exercise wouldn’t work anyway so there was no point. Everything changed when Coach Porter talked me into my first MMA class. I am not going to lie, I was terrified. A friend of mine had told me I would puke the first day and it was really difficult. I was really nervous, but everyone made me feel so welcome. Class was really difficult, but I started out at my own pace. I could barely make it through 30 seconds of a round without stopping and I had to take a lot of breaks. I didn’t puke, and I didn’t die, in fact I actually really liked it. I continued going to the classes and started seeing the more I went the happier I was. The encouragement of everyone kept me going, and I started noticing I could do more. I made a goal to start living more outside my comfort zone and that I would try new things. MMA was the last thing I ever thought I would be doing, but I quickly fell in love with the sport. I started setting goals within MMA and for the first time was really proud of what I accomplished. I then started setting other goals like running a 5k, doing a grappling tournament, and committing to a healthier lifestyle. I also started to gain confidence in myself and met wonderful friends. I also noticed that my anxiety was much more manageable. This is the first time I have truly felt proud of myself and my accomplishments and I feel like I am an athlete. Most importantly, I am much happier and feel like I am actually living life and not just sitting on the couch waiting for something to happen. Today I am happy to say that I am 80 pounds lighter, 10 sizes smaller, and much more confident.
Marketing Specialist – Buckingham Manufacturing