These photos are taken exactly one year apart.

The one on the left is taken on December 6 last year, my birthday & also, the day I decided to take medical leave from my job to focus on recovering from my eating disorder.

Safe to say, I had no idea the rollercoaster ride life was about to take me on.

The one on the right is taken today, also my birthday & the day I can say with complete & utter certainty that I’m recovered from the same eating disorder that almost took my life, one year ago.

& Yes, it is most definitely safe to say that I rode the rollercoaster of my life this year.

I left my job as a lawyer to take care of myself & regain my health, thinking I’d go back & still be as passionate about it. But I don’t know if that’s true anymore.

What I do know is that the past year let me come out of my shell, shaped & grew me in ways I never knew possible.

It HEALED me from heartbreak, divorce, years of self-neglect, lack of self-worth, internalization, anger, sadness & illness. It opened my eyes to the idea that there is life beyond perfectionism & beyond what society defines as the norm for “success”.

There’s life where there’s love & passion. Today, my passion is health, fitness & wellness & not only living & breathing those things for myself, but also using my experience to help others live their best lives possible.

A year ago today, I’d never have known I’d find this passion, let alone, discover myself the way I have. But that’s the beauty in all of this.

So much can happen in a year. So much can fall apart. But there’s always potential for better things to come together. It takes patience & effort, but more so, it takes HOPE & BELIEF IN YOURSELF.

I don’t think I’d have made it through this year if I didn’t have hope that I wasn’t destined to live the rest of my life with anorexia.

If I didn’t believe in my ability to overcome my illness.

If I didn’t have hope for the future & for the fact that it’s not because my marriage ended that I’ll never find love again.

If I didn’t believe that I could make it through the bad days.

Hope & belief is what brought me here today.

A year later.

Smiling then, smiling now.

But, don’t believe everything you see.

Today’s smile is real as ever. I can’t say the same about last year.

Let’s pray 27 is the best one yet!

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