If I said I had one health hero, I'd be lying. Truth is I have several! But I'll start with who was my first health hero. When I started on this journey I had one major cheerleader and the person that helped me see that I was worth being healthy is my mom! She was the one who saw me through my best of times and worst of times. Being her daughter it was hard for her to see me young, unhealthy, and unhappy. For so long I was focused on things other than myself; finding a boyfriend, job, friends, putting others happiness before my own. She told me "Angelique, you need to learn how to love yourself first and get yourself healthy, then everything else will fall into place."
For a while I heard what she said, but I didn't really HEAR what she said, until one day I woke up and decided I was ready to change and be the person I'm supposed to be. I put most of my focus and drive on learning to love myself and learning to take care of my health; not just body, but mind and spirit. Sure enough, things did start to fall into place. Here I am almost 2 years into my journey and I can tell you I am definitely not the same person I was 2 years ago, let alone 10 years ago! I've been following all of my dreams, not just fitness. It's truly empowered me.The great thing about my mother's push was, it was gentle. She knew I'd have to want this change for myself and she didn't ever push it onto me, she always just said things that didn't stick at the time, but were in the recesses of my mind and came out when I needed it most. So I am forever thankful for my first and biggest health hero.......my mother.
Now as I continued on this journey I gained so many more heroes along the way, many of which were in the fitness industry and I admired for their drive and dedication to the lifestyle of being healthy and fit. To name some, Kesley Byers, Maria Kang, Bella Falconi and one in particular that I reached out to in the beginning and has since been very supportive, Hope "Smallwonder" Trask. All of these women are very empowering and supportive of other women and seeing that helps drive me to becoming better everyday, and I strive to be a positive role model to other women out there who have walked the same journey as myself. The biggest thing I've learned from my journey, and the one thing I think is important for everyone to remember is, you're in competition with no one but yourself, you should only strive to be better than the person you were yesterday.
Some of my other heroes include all the people that have reached out to me to tell me that I've inspired them to get healthy, or get in shape. Or just those that have simply had the courage to ask questions, I know that's not easy and sometimes takes a lot to reach out. Each and every person that has reached out to me, keeps me inspired and motivated, knowing there are others looking up to me and watching me keeps me on my toes to be a positive role model for others. And lastly, I don't have children yet, but I hope to be a mother in the near future and I want to be a positive role model for my children and teach them how to be healthy and love their bodies. For so long I hated my body, but I had done the damage to myself. And mostly I want to live a long healthy life with my children, I think that's very important. I still have a long journey, a lifetime really. And I'm learning everyday, I wouldn't change one thing about my journey, it's made me the stronger person I am today. Everyday I'm thankful for all of my heroes and heroines! It's made my journey even more worth it and made it easier for me to continue on my road to success. So love yourself! Have more than one hero, but your biggest hero should be..........YOURSELF!