A Mormon Bikini Competitor
If you are a mormon, you will know what a Ward is. The LDS Church has quite a few active members, and in each geographic location, the church is divided into areas called "Stakes". In each Stake, you will usually find 3-5 "Wards", which you might call a congregation. Each Ward meets together each sunday at a given time, and shares the church building with 2-3 other wards. One ward we were in was super supportive, and my Bishop was very encouraging and even excited about my shows and how I did. I never felt judged.
Let me rephrase... I didn't feel judged by many. There will always be a few, but when we moved into a new ward, I was adamant on keeping my competing to ourselves. I wanted that fresh "non-judgemental" start. However my sweet daughter is VERY proud of her mama. The first thing she tells people is "My mom is a Professional Bodybuilder" and I quickly became referred to as "The one with the Bod" in the neighborhood. Not even a name, just the bod; I didn't have many friends, or any. As if being a Mormon Bikini Competitor wasn't hard enough, try being a Mormon IFBB Bikini Pro going through a divorce after recently being sealed in the Temple and having been married for nearly 16 years, with 2 teenagers. Ohhh let the Judgements begin!
A couple photos from my LDS Temple Marriage
If I told you all the reasons why my marriage failed you probably wouldn't believe me. I'm sure most people have their assumptions. I mean look at what I do. I spend a lot of time in nearly nothing as a bikini competitor on a stage surrounded by temptation. GIVE ME A BREAK; I've heard IT ALL. It's been said by people who actually KNOW better. It been said by People who know the truth. But that is not the point. The point is this: It doesn't matter WHY it didn't work, it just didn't. In fact it never was working, BUT... I gained something from all of this:
Two Amazing, Beautiful Children
An Eating Disorder
Yes, you read that right, and hear me out on this one.... that dark time turned into such a powerful strength for me. I overcame it, Alone. I conquered it, Alone. No one helped me, no one saved me. Not even the hand that led me there. It brought me to the stage (Bikini Competitions) where I found this passion and gained so much love for myself and my body.
A Love for Therapy
Because I spent 4 years going and talking to a therapist. Being very vulnerable. Very exposed. And I grew to love and enjoy it.
A true and Genuine Love for Myself
To say that I am proud of the woman I've become is an understatement. To go through what I've been through and still be able to hold my head up high I feel is pretty impressive. I was faithful. I was loyal. I was as good as a wife as I could be under the circumstances I was handed. So many may not have been in my situation. I gave it everything I had, until I literally had nothing more to give. But I am very happy to be free. From the pain. From the disrespect. From the lies and the life I was trapped in.
As I began to love myself, my relationship with everyone changed.
I can honestly say that I have never been happier in my life as I am right now at this moment. For my kids to see that means more to me than anything!