When I was in treatment for the eating disorder I faced... I would often ask my therapist if she though I'd ever be able to compete in pageants again. She quickly responded with, "I hope so! If that's what you want to do, then let's do it but it will take work!" I looked at her with skepticism and questioned that possibility.
Here I am three years later... and I can tell you that it's possible to stay dedicated to recovery and compete for an International title. It's possible and absolutely worth it.
When I set out on this journey to my dream job of Miss International - my family and I had a very serious discussion. We knew that with 20% of my score coming from Fitness Wear, it would be critical that I prepared in a healthy way. I've worked so hard to obtain true recovery - and I had no interest in turning back to that terrible illness. In my heart, I knew it'd be possible to prepare myself the healthy way... but I couldn't do it alone. My faith had to be in God's supernatural power - not mine. Trusting that He would guide me, I set out on a voyage to do what I wasn't sure I would ever be able to do again.
Along my journey, I've focused on becoming my personal best. I've focused on becoming strong - not skinny. I've challenged my body to become faster - fiercer - and more fit than ever before. I've nourished my body with heart healthy food... and a few cupcakes. I've run the largest 10K in the country. I've given my body the fuel it takes to be the best Miss International I can be.
Now... 18 days from my departure... I am overjoyed to say that I have prepared for Fitness Wear and stayed 100% dedicated to recovery. It has been challenging at times - but I believe that it has pushed me farther into recovery and made me a stronger advocate. The temptations did come, but I used the tactics I learned and my faith to pull me through and defeat the enemy. I refused to restrict calories, step on the scale, or put my worth in the number inside my dress.
I share this with you for a multitude of reasons. I hope that it inspires you to challenge yourself to do what you once believed you could not. I pray that those who have or are being challenged with an eating disorder... know that it's possible to stay in true recovery no matter what dream you have. But most of all.... I want you all to know that with faith... all things are possible.