Today, in my state and hopefully yours, businesses are closed to celebrate and honor a man that set out to love and change the world.

Martin Luther King Jr. was a man that believed someone, anyone, could be anything they wanted to be. This really resonates with me as I continue on this journey. I know what I’m doing is not as important as acceptance and peace, though to me this journey is everything.

This year, MLK’s quote, “Faith is taking the first step even when you can’t see the whole staircase.” Is one I am really resonating with. I know I have to not only make a change, but stick with it no matter what.

I’ve been trying to lose weight my entire life. I’ve been fat my entire life. I know why too. It’s not a secret. I grew up in a household with a disabled father and workaholic mother. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely adore my parents. They are amazing. Though, growing up I ate fast food every night for dinner. My mom worked 15-18 hour days and picked it up on her way home.

I was overweight enough to be different. Different enough to hang out with the popular kids and still get made fun of them. That’s hard.

In elementary school, kids would choose me to be stuck on a deserted island with because they could kill me and have a longer food supply. Yes, this really happened. My elementary school teacher also made me run extra laps because he thought I “could use the extra exercise.”

In middle school, I think people were my friend because they could all talk about me and deflect the crazy puberty life gossip off of themselves. Though let’s be honest, a few of my friend’s lost their virginity in middle school and one friend committed suicide, there is not enough fat to make fun of to get that kind of attention off of you.

In high school, I was an athlete playing two sports year round and was on the pomline. Yes, I was on the pomline. There is where I was constantly told by my coach I was too heavy to perform and I should go to Weight Watchers. By my senior year of high school I quit everything. I was so tired of everyone telling me I was fat, what to eat and that I needed to lose weight. I went into fuck you mode. I ditched a lot of class and just really did what I wanted.

Were they right, probably. But I just couldn’t get a break anywhere. I had learned from my mom that you work insane hours to prove yourself. You don’t leave work until everything plus some is complete. You skip meals and binge on foods that will keep you full so you can focus on work.

Up until five months ago, working 80 hours a week was a normal occurrence for me. I’m 31. That’s insane. I don’t remember my 20s because most of them were spent in an office in LA, SF or PHX. I don’t really have memories with friends and I probably don’t fit in to many people’s list of friends because I was so unavailable to hang out for so long.

Any way to keep this post from getting too much more sappy and woe is me. I am going to stop because I am making changes now. I am moving in a positive direction this year. I am going to have faith this hard work is going to get me to where I need to go.