I was still a little girl when I started to become obsessed with my weight.
I was a teenager when fighting against bulimia became a daily routine.
As a young woman, I was struggling with depression and a controlling father, whom I never told, "I love you, Dad." And I always fell for the wrong men because I didn't know yet I deserved better. I was a codependent bacteriophobe, giving everything for everyone but myself, and freaking out at the very thought of germs and dirt on my skin. I was ashamed, convinced that I didn't make sense.
I thought I would always be like this, because old habits die hard. But when I was about to make the biggest mistake of my life and get married to a guy who was constantly trying to turn me into a Stepford Wife, I realized something: I wasn't afraid to change!
My journey began, and it continued one step at a time. First, I left my fiancé. My family and friends all thought I'd gone crazy, but I just knew I couldn't stay with someone who only loved the idea of the woman he thought I could be. Escaping the silence of my new place, I took a second step: I started doing yoga. Through yoga, I learned something else: I am strong!
Meditation taught me that silence can help you find inner peace, and inner peace can help you find strength. The strength to achieve whatever you set your mind on, as long as you take it one step at a time. So I took the next step, and slowly but surely I broke old behavior patterns.
If you want your future to be brighter than your past, you must start acting differently. Today. I turned my back on a lot of friends, but I could no longer surround myself with people who I knew would nourish my codependency. I learned that I needed to put myself first, because self-love is the basis of happiness. Through self-love I found "my someone." And although neither of us is perfect, we couldn't be more perfect for each other.
Leaving my old world behind helped me understand that I was "uncontrollable," no matter how hard people tried to tell me what to do. Finally I felt free. Free to listen to my feelings, free to trust myself. When I realized I had it in me to trust myself, I knew I could accept myself, too. Bit by bit I let go of my neuroses and began to cope with the feelings that had been fueling my eating disorder.
For as long as I could remember, I'd been troubled by yesterday's "maybes" and worried about tomorrow's "what ifs". But when you're no longer haunted by your past and concerned about your future, you're ready to see what's beautiful today.
Now that I'm a holistic nutritionist and mindfulness coach, I've found my balance. I teach my kids to love themselves as much as I love them, and every night they tell me they love me, too. I've also reconnected with my father. Before his death in 2008, he even became the one person I asked for advice whenever I needed help.
By no means I am perfect, and like everyone I have crappy days. But through my journey I've realized that anyone can change. You just have to take it one step at a time. There's a roadmap to happiness. You just sometimes need to leave your comfort zone to see it.
So go out there and take your first step, because we all have the right to be happy! It's never too late to take a U-turn and rewrite the plot of your own life.