I want to tell you a story.

I want to tell you a story. A story about a girl, who wanted to be like everyone else. And on this journey of being like everyone else, she discovered herself.

Raised by a mom who wanted her to be a Victoria Secret model, forced her to do fad diets, called her fat, and tortured her every chance she got. Family never knew, she tried. They just wouldn’t listen at the time. Her dad did know something was going on, unfortunately, the year before she could decide where she wanted to live, he passed. So now, she wasn’t protected by her father. She had to do this on her own.

For years, she was told she was never good enough. That she was ugly, fat, horrible, and useless. For years that’s all she knew about herself. The things she wanted to be were what her family and friends wanted her to be.

Till one day, she had a little girl of her own. That day, she vowed to never be like her mom. Or the friends she once had. She made a promise to make their lives better. Months later, the father of her daughter moved out. Now, she was a single mom. Completely clueless on what to do. How to live. Feeling worthless.

Her friend moved in for a few months, but it wasn’t the same. She helped, but also caused more stress. Telling her what she should be doing constantly. Once again, someone else telling her what to do. The roommate situation was short lived. Within three months, she was out of her apartment. And that’s when things were slowly starting to change. Her new friend made her get out. Meet more people. Have fun. Experience life the way it should be experienced. He gave her tips on the gym and what to do. And was a huge motivator for her. Slowly, the layers of self-hate started to shed. Very slowly.

A few years later, a trainer that her mom hired for her told her about Ashley Horner. She paid attention, started to follow her on social media. Still continued to focus on running. Until another trainer gave her an Olympic bar and told her to pick it up and put it down. He told her she’s too strong for the light weights, and made her lift heavier and harder. With each rep, her confidence started coming back. People were noticing her. Complimenting her. But she didn’t believe them.

For years she was bullied, why would people be nice to her now? But these people. They were different. Without realizing it, she stumbled into the bodybuilding community. At this point, her interest in Ashley piqued. So she purchased a program, started it and failed. Purchased a different one. Started and failed. Then she purchased one, and loved how strong it made her feel. Reading Ashley’s words and her posts and watching the people from her new fit family gave her the motivation to get stronger to realize she was worth something.

Boxing came back into her life. One of the many things she enjoyed doing with her dad, she finally got back into. After a failed attempt at a few boxing gyms, one finally was a fit. A place where, the scale didn't matter. An image on a magazine, didn't matter. The only thing that mattered was how you trained and being a team. Even if it's a solo sport.

Almost three years later, the same girl who once hated every ounce of her being. Learned to love herself. Realize that she is important, she is strong, motivating, focused, fun, and downright beautiful. That the number on a scale, the cover picture of a magazine, or what size she wore wasn’t important.

The path to self-discovery and self-love isn’t easy. Believe me. It took YEARS!! And I still have my moments. I’ve lost so many friends, but gained an army of them. Even if most of them are far away, I still love them and consider them my family.

Now my days are spent helping and motivating others as best as I can. Why? Because it makes me feel good to see others succeed. Moments still come in waves, where I feel totally useless, but my friends and family help me to see past that.

A friend of mine created this. 

A friend of mine created this. 

Kristy Kronas is a Certified Personal Trainer in the burbs of Chicago. She is a single parent and author with a children's book being published this fall! She has a passion for lifting, boxing, kayaking, and a hatred of running. Watch out for her new venture this September when she launches a daily podcast called the 'Daily Donut.' If you have any questions, comments, or just want to say hi, shoot her an email!