They say that everything happens for a reason. Momma always told me that God gives his toughest battles to his strongest soldiers. But have you ever wondered why? You're laying lifelessly in your bed at 3 in the morning, staring at the empty darkness of your ceiling thinking about the "whys" in life. I have laid in that position countless nights and pondered that three letter word, why.

"Why did this happen to me? Why did God give me an eating disorder? Why can't I be like her? Why can't I just eat like any other person? Why won't Ed leave me alone?"

Why, why, why, why, WHY

Everyone's whys are different and specific to each individual. But within all of that questioning lays a common ground. That "why" has a "because". Most of us don't understand the reasoning behind that "because", and most of us won't catch on until after many failed attempts at trying to catch a glimpse of the reasoning. 

Want to know what I believe?

I believe that there are endless attempts, infinite roads with different outcomes, millions of forks, splits, and dead ends in the road called life. As frustrating as those outcomes may be, they all come with their own lessons. The road that I struggle to continue to drive my wheels on is known as recovery. I've turned left,  right, continued straight, hit dead ends, came to a fork in the road, and made so many U-turns on this road. Before I decided to turn onto recovery road, I stood in fear as my eyes scanned the "BEWARE" sign that stood tall before the turn. 

"BEWARE: This road has many slippery slopes, sharp and unexpected turns, bullies, storms, and dark tunnels. Enter at your own risk."

"Who the hell would want to take a path like that? And why did God lead me to this road?" I thought to myself, more perplexed than ever. As I was about to make a U-turn to drive back toward Ed's prison, a small print text that was engraved into the lower right hand corner of the sign caught my eye. 

"Take a chance. It may be beautiful."

So that's what I did. I took a chance and set foot upon this mysterious road called recovery. I would've never thought that I would've ran into the obstacles that were placed in front of me on the road, but each of those obstacles has brought me to another turn. 

As most of you know, I took a right turn down powerlifting lane a little less than a year ago. This lane has been a beautiful yet physically and mentally painful one. I have learned things about myself that I never knew was there. I have built up strength that I never knew was possible. Nothing ever comes that easy though, there always has to be a catch. I'm not going to sit here and tell you about all of the sucky things that come along with powerlifting, because just like any other sport, hobby, ect in life, they all come with heavy baggage. I decided to powerlift out of curiosity. I wanted to try something new, and hell that's what I did. I have been training my booty off to compete in the raw state championships later this month, but my mind hasn't been 100% in the game like it should have been. More often than not, it's your mind lifting the weights in the gym, not your physical strength. If your head isn't in the game, your body isn't going to follow. Your body hears everything your mind says. My mind has been losing it's passion for powerlifting, and my lifts have proved that. I've gotten weaker, and I would've never thought I would say that I'm okay with that. 

"Wait, say what?! Why would you be okay with getting weaker, Lauryn?!"

Even though I'm physically not as strong as I was a month ago, mentally I'm making huge gains. I have been contemplating for months about going forth in competing at state, and never quite felt satisfied when I thought I had come to a conclusion to go ahead and keep training for it. You see, powerlifting isn't just about eating a lot of food and lifting heavy weights. There is so much more that goes into this sport, and I underestimated that. When I was at the peak of my strength physically, I was also not the happiest mentally and physically. I was still obsessively counting macros, eating when not hungry just so I could reach my bulking macros, and insecure about my body. I have now let go of entering every ounce of food I weigh out into MyFitnessPal, and since then, everything has changed. I feel better about my body, I look forward to my workouts and it's nice knowing that I don't have to spend 2+ hours planning out my meals for the following day just so I can hit my numbers. I've been trying really hard to listen to the little voice in my body, and not the one in my head. The little voice in my body is telling me that powerlifting all the time is beginning to feel like a job, and not there for personal enjoyment anymore. I began dreading going to the gym everyday, and that's not how it should be. My body has taken a beating from the heavy lifting, and it's about time I listen to her. I want to make it very clear that I'm not pulling out from state because I'm done lifting or I'm just saying, "Nope, it's too hard, I can't do this anymore." Absolutely not. I am not a quitter. I am simply turning on a different road. Throughout my entire disorder, all I have wanted was to love myself and accept the way my body is. If I'm finally beginning to do that, then what is to question? I need to take that, and run with it. The cool thing about recovery road is that I can always make a U-turn and re-visit a path I once traveled on. I really do plan on returning to powerlifting lane, but I need to focus on me first, and not the amount of weight I can squat, bench, or deadlift. Because at the end of the day, the only number that matters is the one that comes first, and that is me. As selfish as it sounds, I am my #1 priority, and you should be yours too. 

I want to personally thank everyone who has supported me. Friends, family, and Rg. Rg, if you're reading this (and I really hope that you are), I want you to know that I am very grateful you called me before the Whitnall meet and invited me down to lift with you guys for that first training session. I never thought that one phone call would have ended up changing my life like it has. You have made a difference in my life, showed me many great things, and helped me discover a passion I WILL return to. Thank you for all that you've done, and I look forward to training with you again soon. Until then, keep playing and dancing to your Shakira music. I will be in touch. :)