Emily’s CHAARG Journey: From Destructive To Invincible — I’m Never Turning Back Now

Weak, critical, negative, depressed, defeated, destructive. These are the predominant characteristics that absolutely consumed my life pre-FitPlan. I was drained, I hated every aspect of my life, + I was quickly drowning in my own negativity. I knew I desperately needed a way out of this life, but I couldn’t quite find that thing to pull me out of my depressive state of mind after finally escaping a year-long abusive relationship. But no one knew, I didn’t like to show it.

Being a pretty closed-book type of person, I kept my seven-year-long battle with depression to myself. Not with my parents, not with my doctor, rarely with close friends. The fact that I went through absolute hell for the past year didn’t help, either. In fact, I went in a quick + dangerous downward spiral of depression, severe anxiety, + post-traumatic stress. I tried everything I could with the nonexistent energy that I had to make myself better. Nothing worked.

Joining CHAARG this semester was the last thing on my mind. In class one day, something hit me hard. It was the one of the last days that registration was open for the SBFP, + I read CHAARG’s most recent email that read…

“It is worth it – because you are worth it.” 

10 minutes later, I was a member of UC CHAARG for my third semester, + had a little over a week before I would begin the #CHAARGSBFP.

I wasn’t prepared. It took an unbelievable amount of energy to get motivated when I had no energy to spare. I will never fully understand how I made it through the first week. I know for a fact that the amazing community that CHAARG provides played a huge role in that. Sarah Jankowski + Delaney Spetnagel [UC CHAARG exec], you have no idea how your gestures helped push me to exactly where I needed to be.

Despite how horrifically intimidated I was, these girls brought a new perspective to my eyes that I didn’t know existed at the time. Because of their initial help, I was able to get up in the morning. I was able to complete each workout despite how badly I did not want to do them. I was able to *CONQUER* my gym fear – which is one of my biggest milestones to date. Had I not conquered my gym fear, I would have given up the FitPlan like I had done in the past without question, + fallen back into my old ways of life. I began some positive self-talk in the midst of the first week out of pure determination + desperation to feel better.

“You can do this. You got this. You need to be the best version of yourself,” I told myself.

It took *less than two weeks* to become addicted to working out. I was addicted to those endorphins rushing through my body making me feel so unstoppable – a feeling so unfortunately foreign to me. I may have missed a couple SBFP workouts, but I never missed a day at the gym. It was Week 2 that I decided that I am in this, ++ I am NOT giving up. I bought myself a cute new tank top to wear at the gym as a small reward, + kicked my booty into full gear – genuinely feeling like I could take on the world. I was ready. I got this.

I promised myself I would not miss a single opportunity to better myself. I probably put more time + energy into rejuvenating my mental + physical health than I did my school work these past 5 weeks [oops]. Without a healthy mental state of mind though, how am I supposed to succeed in the real world? How am I supposed to function in everyday life if I go back to feeling so worthless + defeated every second of every day? The thought of that was enough to ONLY do what it took to keep me moving up + in the right direction. ++ that’s exactly what I did.

Confident, empowered, unstoppable, invincible, *HAPPY*. That’s what I am now, + what I ONLY plan on being from here on out. I vowed to 5 weeks of healthy eating – 5 weeks of working my body to its greatest extent – 5 weeks of blood, sweat, tears, positives, negatives, setbacks, frustrations, victories… ++ this is the result.

I’m never turning back now. Why would I when I am capable of taking on the world?


#CHAARGJourney highlights our members’ amazing journeys through CHAARG — physically, mentally, emotionally. Emily was one of the three winners of the CHAARG Spring Break FitPlan 2016. We could not be more proud of her for turning her life around ++ allowing herself to better herself every single day. We cannot wait to continue to follow her journey through CHAARG!

++ Emily [@henkel_inchaarg] // UC CHAARG

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