If you told me two years ago that I would be sitting here writing about my nutrition and feeling as confident as I am today, I would have laughed at you. After getting sober and into recovery from drugs and alcohol in 2012, my addiction and coping mechanisms came out in my eating habits, whether it was not eating for days or over-eating every single day. Either way, my eating habits were absolutely terrible, and it showed. I was constantly eating my emotions. Then when I would look in the mirror and hated what I saw, I would restrict my eating completely and go days without food. Since I was a child I have been slightly overweight, however after I got sober I was at my heaviest, (185 and about 35% body fat), as my diet consisted of cookie dough, goldfish crackers, taco bell, and a bunch of other processed crap; I seriously didn’t even know how to cook a vegetable. After a bad break up I knew I needed a change in my life if I wanted to stay sober, so after exploring my options, I joined Black Iron Gym with my best friend, Marisa, who had already been doing CrossFit for some time. There was a period of time where we both would put in about 3 hours at the gym just so we could eat ‘whatever we wanted’, and although at the time I saw nothing wrong with that thought process, I now see how unhealthy that was for both my physical and mental health. I was still overweight, I still hated what I saw in the mirror, and I still had absolutely no idea what it meant to love myself. Following in Marisa’s footsteps I joined Black Iron Nutrition, as I knew that if I wanted to make real changes in my appearance I needed to change my nutrition. Today I can honestly say that this was one of the most important changes I have ever made in my life. After a couple months of tweaking my numbers, learning the importance of consistency, and finding foods that I really enjoyed that fit my macros, I started to feel absolutely amazing. Not only did I start to lose both weight and body fat, but also my acne completely cleared up, I was able to get movements (like pull ups) that I could never do before, and my mindset started to change about the way I took care of myself. Today I don’t workout just in order to ‘deserve’ my carbs for the day, instead I workout because it feels great and I eat my carbs because they fuel me in order to become a better athlete. Today I don’t restrict myself on rest days, instead I eat what I know will help my body recover. I have learned countless tools that allow me to truly be flexible with my nutrition so instead of this being a diet, it is simply a lifestyle. Among all the tools I have learned, the most important benefit of this journey so far is that I can look in the mirror and have a real feeling of confidence and self-love that I have never had before. I started at 185 lbs with 35% body fat, and less than a year later I am now at 153 lbs with 20% body fat.