If y’all don’t know me, first of all – HI! – and second of all, welcome to my page. My name is Heather, I’m 24 years young, and I’m overall pretty dang happy! That hasn’t always been the case for me though…so here’s my story. Sit back, relax, and bear with me as we reminisce through the thick and thin together.
I grew up in a nice house with nice things, had lots of friends, and lived a pretty great life. It was around my sixteenth year on this planet when what used to be my normal life took on a new identity, dissolving into that “slow fade.” The new (at the time) Heather started partying like many high school girls did, and with this all began the start of new priorities – which were mainly drinking and experimenting with drugs. By the time I was 18 I had just gotten dumped by my boyfriend and first love, which was really rough and sent me into the beginning of a downward spiral. Now, I am not blaming him at all for that. What we’re talking about was 100% on me and not knowing how to cope with my feelings. Shortly after the drinking and drugs began, I moved out of my parents’ house and was living with a friend. I am not at all proud in saying this, but I’m introducing you to the raw version of who I used to be…which means giving you every last honest bit of information of who that girl was and how that brought me to being the woman I am happy to be today. So, back to the difficult truth –- I was abusing drugs on a DAILY basis. I got to the lowest weight I had ever been (due to uppers), and – not gonna lie – it felt pretty freaking awesome. Hold on, let’s rephrase that. It felt pretty freaking awesome *TEMPORARILY.* Eventually all of that came back to bite me in the butt, leaving me feeling like absolute crap 24/7. I had become severely depressed.
One night during this time I decided to go to a party that changed my life forever. Had I known what I was about to walk into, I would have avoided being there that evening at all means. Long-story-short, a guy I barley knew decided that my body was his to do what he pleased with. He held me down and he raped me. I left afterwards with a few tokens to remember that evening by – an empty feeling that rushed through every vein in my body and a few bruises to remind me of the memory for weeks after.
That event sparked the start of a new daily ritual for me: binge drinking and adderall. NOT a pretty combination. I looked okay on the outside for the most part, and I wasn’t partying as much anymore. I had moved into my own place, had a full time job, and was paying my bills with minimum help from my parents. Although I looked like I was fine, I was dying inside. Every morning, here’s what I would do: I’d wake up, take two 20mg adderalls, run 6 miles, and then head to work. As this lifestyle resulted in some weight loss, it was also subconsciously attempting to hide the many scars I had been in denial of for too long. I had it all backwards, you guys. I was only hurting myself more in my own ways of self-medicating and I thought nothing of the way I was affecting my body and my spirit. I thought I had it all in control. That changed suddenly one night as all of my hurt, baggage and sorrows came flooding through mind like some sort of surge. I couldn’t control it – it was screaming at me so loudly that it was deafening.
I drank two bottles of wine chased with more pills than I care to remember, wrote my goodbye letters, and texted a few friends that I loved them. Now, people can say whatever they want, but I was hurting so badly…beyond what I felt I was strong enough to comprehend or carry any longer. I really thought that my life would just be a memory to everyone besides myself after that night. It was selfish, but honestly, that hadn’t crossed my mind. I was too consumed in my own pain to see how much it would’ve hurt my loved ones if my suicide attempt had been a success after all. The depression had blinded me and numbed everything that had once been “good” in life. I just was tired of all the pain. Now, looking back on it, I was saved that night and I couldn’t possibly appreciate that more than I do today. What intercepted my plans was a phone call from a worried friend (one of the recipients of my goodbye text) to my mother, who wound up at my apartment, and the next thing you know I am at the hospital getting sent to a psych ward. I begged to go home, and when they finally discharged me I promised that I would never make another attempt to take my life again. After being released, I moved on with my life without adressing the issues that had carried me to that point of chasing pills with wine. I basically brushed the event off my shoulder and buried its memory somewhere far, far into the back of my mind.
A year later, I was living on my own again while simultaneously working full time and taking classes. I was a busy girl. Rather than giving my body the extra care to its health like I needed so desperately to do, I was stuck in my old habits of popping adderall and drinking heavily.
Not too long after moving out on my own, I met my husband. What a breath of fresh air and saving grace this man was (and still IS) to me. I finally felt true happiness, which was so ENTIRELY odd and unfamiliar to me. I stopped taking adderall but decided to keep fueling my relationship with alcohol. Some people say they have a sweet tooth. Well, my dessert of choice was always wine. I gained about 40 pounds again. That’s when I became obsessive with dieting and finding all the new fads to try out. I would go on and off of my adderall with this diet called “HCG” – which stands for Human Chorionic Gonadotropin. Say whaaaaa…? Exactly. Take my advice and STEER CLEAR OF THIS STUFF. If you’ve been considering trying it out, please do your research first. HCG is a hormone produced during pregnancy. If you come across a company selling this stuff over-the-counter for weight loss, they’re breaking the law. That alone should be saying enough. Anyways, rant over. Can you tell I’m not a fan of this stuff anymore? I would lose 30-40 pounds in 3 weeks (then gain it all back) over and over again with the product but it wound up being SO unhealthy and hard on my body! It caused health issues, hair loss, emotional eating, binging, purging, etc…it was a never-ending health and sanity trap.
By the end of it all, I had gained from what once had been my lowest weight of my adult life to a whopping SEVENTY pounds heavier. I had become 200 pounds. You guys, the scale was not my friend. I would weigh myself to check on my weight loss attempts and felt defeated just about every day I checked on the number staring back at me from beneath my toes. It became so bad that I refused to look in the mirror because I was THAT unhappy and miserable with myself. I even refrained from meeting up with old friends because I was afraid of what they’d think if they saw what I saw. I really struggled at this time to love myself, but my sweet Taylor showed me time and time again that I was worth loving. Not only that, but he helped me believe that I was worth more than just the image I saw (or refused to look at) in the mirror. Taylor, if you’re reading this, just know that you are my angel and I am forever grateful for you. I’m lucky to call you my husband.
Back to the timeline – it wasn’t until December of 2015 that I decided enough was enough. That was the start of my plant-based diet. After countless hours and days of research on all different sorts of HEALTHY lifestyles, I decided to finally give this one a try! Now, it didn’t happen over night…and there were definitely lots of ups and downs. Regardless, the plant-based lifestyle change was when I really started noticing true differences in my body, mind and spirit. Although I still drank at the beginning of that big transition in my diet, I’d tapered off with the alcohol quite a bit and would save it for special occasions or to sip on here and there when I felt like I deserved a little treat. And I’m not gonna lie: alcohol STILL is something I struggle with completely ridding of my diet, but I am a work in progress.
Through this process of educating myself on my body, mind, and soul (am I sounding hippie enough, yet?) I have lost 50 pounds. I am now 148 pounds through healthy plant-based eating, exercise, and many other things that play a role in this. I just gave up alcohol recently even though I thought I’d never be able to reach this point! Y’all…there is still so much more I could talk about regarding my health choices, my life and everything I have taken from research, talking to health specialists and just plenty of others who have struggled with similar experiences. Basically what I’m trying to say to you today is that I am SO passionate about helping others through the power of food now, and if there is ANYTHING I can say or do to help you get through something you’re struggling with then please do not hesitate to reach out to me. It’s what I love to do. It’s why I started this blog. It’s what I feel has become my niche and my passion in life. I look back at my 24 years of experiences with a lot of regrets…but they made me who I am today, and I freaking love who that woman is! I have come so far and it was NOT easy… but it sure was worth it. ❤