I was a athlete early in my youth, swimming on swim teams beginning age 9 and then throughout high school too. I also loved to run and was on the track team in elementary school, and some of high school too. But my main love was swimming and I even joined a AAU year round swim team along with being on my high school swim team.
The one thing that hurt me was at around age 14 the summer of my freshman year in high school.. The peer pressure to be thin, and I wasn't in anyway fat, but felt I was and decided to lose some of my baby fat weight that I felt was still hanging on to my body. Other girls my age didn't seem to have and I was a late bloomer so this put more pressure on me to be skinny. In stead of having the knowledge that I have now that my body would out grow the 10 pounds of baby fat in the next year or so I wanted to excel the process, so I ate very little and at times nothing at all. The baby fat came off real quick with all the hours after school at swimming practice. This became a habit and soon a disease. A disease that was rare and not too well known yet in the early 80's. I didn't know about it or know I was suffering severely from "Anorexia Nervosa" I soon found out what it was in my Junior year in high school as I was only 90 pounds and dropping drastically. I continued to swim for my high school team and AAU team in the summer months. I did exceptionally well taking mainly 1st and 2nd placings in my particular races. One being a favorite of mine was the 500 meter swim. This was a race of 20 laps for time against other swimmers from other teams. This was my race and I would win most every time even on maybe a apple a day.
As my senior year came I continued to be very skinny at about 85-90 pounds. Then approaching my high school graduation I hit a all time low of graduating high school at a mere 78 pounds. That summer my brother came home to visit from college and he was in shock at what he saw. He was mad that my parents couldn't see I was starving myself. He stepped in that summer and gave me the "Tough Love" talk. We were at a wedding for a family friend the summer I graduated and he watched me eat nothing the whole day. He took me home after the wedding and we had to stop on the side of the road as I was getting sick. This is where my brother told it to me real straight. He said... You think you look good? Your skinny yes, but you look like shit and your face is gone, your body is gone and you are dying. It woke me right up, as I thought being skinny equaled being beautiful. I couldn't see what my brother saw or anyone else for that matter. I saw a fat girl in the mirror at only 78 pounds at 5'3" I was a bone wearing youth size clothing. This was my turning point and although I was in to fitness with my swimming, and running I was not in the least bit healthy. So my turning point began that day when my brother stepped in to give me tough love and told me the truth. It took a lot of work on my own to change my thoughts, and eating habit, consuming good food and accepting my weight. I worked on my self worth, ate good food, and continued to run and swim my first year out of high school. Then my family made our big move to the Hawaiian Islands. This is where my love for weight lifting and bodybuilding started and immediately began to blossom. My brother introduced me to the iron, and I immediately fell in love with the whole concept of training, pumping iron and having control of sculpting my own body. Weight lifting is dear to my heart as is my brother Dana. They both saved my life in showing me a better more healthy way to live.
In the first 5 years of lifting weights with my brother on a hard training schedule it was suggested to me that I compete in a bodybuilding competition. I was extremely shy, and very critical of myself still so I had no intentions of competing in any bodybuilding shows. Again my brother stepped in to convince me to go for it. I have come so far in 5 years, in sculpting a perfect fit body. He said show it off Debbie, you have nothing to fear and that I should be proud of the last 5 years of hard training I put in my body. I decided to enter my first competition and got 2nd place, and it sparked my fire in full force to go back to win. I never received a 2nd place again, or any other placing but 1st place. I also got passed my shyness in winning best poser award at every competition I was in. My greatest achievement was winning light weight, and beating the middle, and heavy weight winners taking the whole show. Plus winning best poser award as well. That was the year I won Ms.Big Island and that was bittersweet as I was 4 months pregnant with my son when I won my first overall show.
My greatest influence in all these years is no secret to anyone. It is my amazing brother Dana, who is a great athlete himself. If not for my brother I am not sure where I would be?or even be alive today. He believed in me when I didn't believe in myself. He taught me how to believe in myself and be proud of my accomplishments. Always strive for being the best I can be.. Reach high and keep training hard for the biggest completion of my life.. Which is my life. That is a daily competition that I compete in and strive to be the best I can be every day!,
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