My Story

Welcome to JBoldLivingHappy!

 

I’m Jillian, a twenty-something from small town New Hampshire on a journey to live life to the fullest.

I had a somewhat normal childhood you could say. I grew up in a ‘normal’ household with an amazing family – my parents are still together, we lived in an average house, occasional animals and normal “fam-jams” as we like to call them. The five of us are very close. Growing up I was very independent and some family members will even tell you I was ‘bitchy’ (cue the childhood nickname JillZilla – I’ll talk about this more at some point, about what others say becoming realities). I had lots of friends and did what kids do playing sports, going to school, blah blah. High school is where things went downhill for me mentally. I had great friends, was a great lacrosse goalie, played ice hockey, was happy on the outside – but what was going on in my mind was a whole different situation.

I was diagnosed with a weird/rare/gross skin disease (Hidradenitis Suppurativa). Without going to far into it this is a skin disease where boil-like lumps form in certain sweat glands – these form in places where skin touches skin and it happens for unknown reasons. In some of the most fragile identiy years of my life I thought I was a freak. I wouldn’t change in the locker rooms with the rest of the team and I would never go out with a sleeveless shirt on I was beyond uncomfortable physically and mentally. {I need to give a huge shout out of appreciation to my mom here who fought as hard as possible to get me in to see one of the best doctors in the area for this and would not stop until we had answers.} A bunch of surgeries later and cutting milk out of my diet the bumps died down and I was left with all of these scars on my body and one giant scar in my mind.

I went off to college and things were a little better. I was meeting new people, starting with a fresh slate of possibilities and optimistic about my future. My skin disease had rare flare ups at this time, but it lead me to the heaviest point in my life. This was college .. The best time of your life right!? I met some great people and had some of the most amazing teammates you could ask for in women’s collegiate athletics. I wanted so bad to go out to parties with them and they always invited me, but I made every excuse not to go. They had these adorable and ‘sexy’ outfits on and I made myself an outcast because those outfits would not fit my larger than ever body. Being a college athlete didn’t help me – being told I should go on a diet or work on my fitness, always surrounded by in shape women who were confident in themselves (looking back I know this isn’t truer and was just what I thought). I started losing weight getting into the swing of lacrosse practices and fitness sessions, but in my mind I was the same size. My junior year I isolated myself, living alone I stopped eating. Breakfast was a yogurt and strawberries, lunch was a salad (or more if I was eating with people), and dinner was small and not enough to fuel my workouts (unless I was in front of other people I would mimic what they were having). People were noticing I was losing weight and telling me I looked good .. So I kept doing what I was doing. I cut back my meal plan as much as I could. I was gaining confidence through this, lacrosse, and the friends I had – but I was constantly exhausted – my lacrosse stats went a little downhill. My mom knew something was up and would try to say things without starting any argument .. Eventually I found some sort of balance after a LONG internal struggle and support.

My senior year was one of my favorite years – I met some amazing people who have had an immense part in my happiness and positive outlook. I lived with some beautifully strong women who I still consider great friends. They helped me to see the value I held being who I was. We were all from different backgrounds, were athletic, and fun. They may not even know this, but they helped me find a balance. I ate, I enjoyed the last hoo-rah, there were good times, there were some not so good, but I was becoming happier! So this is what life should be!? Adventures, laughs, friends, tears, successes, failures, smiling and meaning it ..

Just when you find a balance and a routine life changes – I graduated, moved back home, then moved to Connecticut where I had an amazing opportunity as a graduate assistant lacrosse coach.  I lived with two of my greatest friends to this day, how can someone you have only known for such a short period of time be one of your best friends?  Their love and support was endless and unconditional, they became my family.    As a lacrosse coach and having these young women looking up to me and seeing me as role model made me realize I needed to see what they saw. In that experience in late 2013 I was absolutely convinced this was my time to start a new chapter. I decided that I needed to make changes in my life; I was lost and miserable in my own skin, but that’s not what people saw or thought of me. I wanted to see what they saw. Around this time I decided I was going to start running .. and MUCH to my surprise I fell in love with it – I fell in love with running, fitness, challenging myself. . But it wasn’t easy – I struggled and was overwhelmed with all of the information out there. It never has gotten easier, it has just gotten more simple. But I wanted it; I wanted a better and healthier life for myself. I knew, I KNOW, there’s a greater plan for my life then going through the day to day motions.

In October of 2014 I made a decision to get my sh*t together and hoped on a health and wellness challenge, there were a few slip ups in the past couple years, but I can honestly say I HAVE FALLEN IN LOVE with life. I am now looking at each day with a fresh and positive perspective – and here I am. Sure negative thoughts creep into my mind and take over sometimes, but I am so much better at controlling those feelings and keeping a fresh outlook. I am happier and healthier than I have ever been in my life and continue to improve myself every single day!

I have been overweight my entire life, I still am, but that is changing – in the past I would live for ‘when I get skinny’ – these days I have learned to love the journey I am on while loving and accepting myself for where I am at and the person I have become.

I am here to share this journey of living happy with others – I have found a true passion in helping others love their life and take strides towards a happier and healthier future.

You can do this and I am here for you!

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