For as long as I can remember, my parents always taught me to be original, to be me and not to care what others thought or said about me. My parents taught me to love myself, to embrace my “spunkiness” and my energy.

I vividly remember being an infant and going to school dressed how I wanted, without a care in the world. My parents would allow me to dress myself and to walk out into the world carefree. It was wonderful! I wore bright pink leggings, a purple skirt, and yellow long sleeve, 2 pigtails and one hell of a grin on my face. I LOVED IT!

There came a time I started forgetting what my parents taught me. I was quickly forgetting to ignore the whispers, ignore the comments of the other kids and I was starting to lose a grip on the simple joys in life. I just couldn’t control it.

In about grade six, I started putting on significant weight. I am not sure how, but the weight was piling on. With rapid weight gain, comes criticism. The kids in primary school aren’t exactly being mindful of other people’s feelings. This is a time where kids start to develop friendships and start developing important characteristics. Unfortunately, I started becoming very quiet and I became a rug for people to walk on. Grade six to grade eleven really defined me as a person today.

I vividly remember a girl (let’s call her MD for the sake of privacy), who really impacted me. For some reason or another, MD made it her mission to round up her troops and bully me. I would be called nasty names, I would be taunted and I would be pushed around until I had enough. One day, I got pushed to my limits. I was sick and tired of being called “fat” amongst other names. When you’re 10 years old and you’re getting bullied, no one really does anything about it. They all tell you that it’ll pass one day (which it does!) So, I took matters into my own hands. I remember this day like it were yesterday. It was winter and we were outside during recess. I created a big snow ball, put it under running water and I allowed it to freeze. When MD came near me outside with her troops, I took this ice ball from behind my back, and I whipped it at her face – hitting her directly in the mouth. She suffered from a bloody fat lip, but for one brief moment, I felt relief. I felt proud for standing up for myself! Of course, violence isn’t the answer to ANYTHING, and I would never do this again. I got punished for what I did, and rightfully so.

After this incident, things got worse. MD started threatening me and the kids were talking. I think the scariest moment for me, was being told that I was about to be ambushed in the girls locker room, by MD. She had declared war – she was going to teach me a lesson. Of course, I got scared. The threats worsened, and it got to a point where my parents called the police. It had to stop, but it didn’t.

The following years left in primary were surrounded by just this. More bullying, by the same girl. After about 2 years of this, I came to terms with my feelings. I wanted out. Why was I sticking around? I wrote dark poems, I resulted to self harm, and depression was taking over me quicker than I could fight it off. What made me stick around? High school. The hope of a new beginning.

By this point, I was 13 years old, 5’1 and weighing approximately 170lbs. I was excited for a fresh new start! This was my chance to change everything around. But little did I know, I was entering another excruciating 2 years. I dated someone for a total of 3 years in high school. We started dating August 25, 2003 (2 weeks before my entrance into grade 9). My first day of grade 9 was one I will never forget. My boyfriend at the time (GF) had one hell of a circle of friends. From the moment I approached my lockers, his friends starting making comments. Here we go again – there was no end. I got teased pretty bad in high school. At one point, GF‘s three friends surrounded me in a hallway, tossed my books on the ground and taunted me. They called me a “bowling ball“. It may not appear so bad to you, but it cut deep for me. Approximately one week later, I received an e-mail in my junk mail. The sender’s name was familiar (a name I did not want to see). When I opened the e-mail, it was a picture of me tumbling down a hallway, hitting a bunch of bowling ball pins and it said “STRIKE“. That e-mail was sent to hundreds of kids at my high school. Can you imagine going through that at the age of 13 years old? That was it for me. I was ending it, under my own terms. Shortly after this incident, I was in my room and I was following through with my plan. Fortunately for me, a family member walked in as I was hidden in the closet, belt around my neck, cutting off circulation in my airways. Should that family member not have walked in, I wouldn’t be here today to share my story. Thankfully, I am here!

Now, let’s fast forward to my adult life. October 18, 2014: I asked my current boyfriend to take “progress pictures” of me, as I wanted to make those my “before” pictures. Those pictures are the exact moment I decided this was enough. I took one quick look at myself in those pictures, and I was tired of being unhappy. I was still struggling with suicidal thoughts, I was miserable, I was always angry and I created a lot of problems for those around me – especially my boyfriend. My boyfriend, Steve (which you will hear a lot about in my future posts), was going to help me change my lifestyle around.

My starting weight in October 2014 was 148lbs – my current weight is 121lbs. Follow my future blogs to find out the raw details of my journey. You’ll see the following:

  • The beginner steps to my journey
  • The struggles
  • The achievements
  • The myths and realities of fitness
  • Inspiration
  • Touching stories

Stay tuned!

Roxanne (instagram: @myjourney2fitness89)