Recently I have been nudged by multiple people to start writing on a blog again and participating in social media.
The last time I blogged and did this was in 2014, so much time has passed and yet it still feels like only a little while ago.
I have hesitated and finally feel ready to begin again. Writing for me was so freeing, it was one of the first steps in my journey to health and I realize that sharing my story and thoughts is a gift I have to keep giving.
So ten years ago, it all began. And now it begins again.
It was February of 2010 when I stopped listening to the voices in my head that told me I was not good enough just long enough to make a big choice. I chose life. I chose to join Weight Watchers desperate for a change, I thought if I could just lose weight then I would be happy. I had hit rock bottom of being obese and depressed and was staring at a 6 month old little girl who was all mine. The weight of being her mother crushed me, it forced me to want to change, not for me but for her. Becoming a mother was the catalyst for me seeking new life.
It took me 2 years but I did it, I lost 120 pounds and I became a marathon runner with my sight set on more. Ultramarathons. See both women in the photos were internally unhealthy, one craved a new body and the other got it but still craved more.
As the ‘Fit Bee’ I shared my journey on a blog that became popular. I cheered others on their journey and they cheered mine and it felt good to be a part of something. I found myself gaining attention I had never had in my life and I enjoyed it. With attention and popularity online also came loneliness, it seemed others wanted the fit bee and not Colleen and I became lost in different ways.
That journey to deep longing to be loved would send me seeking it in wrong places as I wrestled with a new life. I switched careers I went from being a store manager to personal trainer and nutrition coach at a women’s gym. I started a new relationship and started speaking up for my feelings. And I started attending a church, something I had walked away from around age 17.
Christ was calling me back to His arms to a new relationship where I would surrender to not my own will but His. I began to feel new life and enjoyed this new found relationship. But it was only the beginning.
I spent years seeking out running ultras as a way to battle the depression my darkness as I called it, and anxious thoughts. I loved God but it wasn’t enough I was still seeking more.
In the midst of taking classes for my bachelors degree I began a class studying the Gospel of John. This was a catalyst once again I found myself eagerly devouring the Word and studying it in new ways. And one day while I was out trying to outrun my depression the verse came to me that would ignite restoration within my heart. John 1:5 “The Light shines in the darkness and the darkness has NOT overcome it”
I began to journey through my past hurts and through counseling I began to see how unhealthy I was mentally. I began to be inspired in new ways, I began to understand what mental health was. I eagerly devoured all I could and before I knew it I was applying to graduate programs to become a mental health counselor.
The first day on campus at Regent University attending morning chapel and lectures all day, was one of my most memorable. I finally felt home. I finally felt that yearning begin to close a bit. I knew that I was in the right place at the right time I had a peace. I knew my career would be to help inspire others like I had dreamed of as a fitness trainer but this was so much more. I saw the path to helping others get healthy in their mind body and soul.
To help others feel empowered and unlock their own potential to become whole.