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About Me

Hello there! My name is Katie and I would like to welcome you to my blog, Living Behind A Smile! A little bit about me: I am 36 years old and currently live in Georgia. Originally, I am from Michigan (Go Green!) but made the south my home in 2014. I have also spent time in Ohio, Virginia and Indiana. I love my family, animals (some have referred to me as the dog whisperer), anything to do with the Michigan State Spartans and Atlanta Braves, Disney World, music/concerts and my brand new Peloton bike. I prefer older sit-coms (especially Saved By the Bell, Boy Meets World, the Golden Girls and Gilmore Girls) to the reality-crazed world we live in today but I also never miss an episode of MTV's The Challenge.        

I have always had a difficult time opening up and being vulnerable so the idea of starting a blog and putting my life story out there for everyone to see is a little nerve racking and something I never thought I would do. However, there is also a part of me that is excited by it. I have gotten to the point in my life where I am tired of pretending that everything is okay all of the time but I am also at a point where I'm ready to put in the work to become a better version of myself - both mentally and physically. Everyone has a story and I'm ready to share mine - the good, bad and the ugly. 

Growing up, my life was...different. For as long as I can remember, I was overweight. While part of my weight struggles could be blamed on genetics, I also enjoyed eating food that simply weren't good for me. When I was in the eighth grade and hit my heaviest weight of 233 pounds, I knew something had to change. I tried Curves, diet pills and fad diets but I just couldn't stay motivated to stick with anything. However, once I got a summer job at Cedar Point (an amusement park in Sandusky, Ohio) in 2006, the tide began to turn. 

While working at an amusement park may seem glorious, it's not what anyone probably envisions. For five summers, I worked outside six days a week for 10-14 hours per day, which was rather exhausting, especially since I spent most of my life as a couch potato. It did eventually get easier once I got used to it though. Even though my eating habits didn't change a ton, I saw the number on the scale start to drop due to the amount of exercise I was getting and it was exciting that something was finally working. Overall, working at Cedar Point was an incredible and life changing experience. I met and worked with individuals from all over the world, came out of my shell a little bit, learned what it was like to be on the own and learned to like exercise rather than despise it.

I didn't actually start cleaning up my diet until 2014 when I moved to Georgia but once I did that (along with the exercise), the weight and inches seemed to fall off. I continue to be in a work in progress but as it stands right now, I have lost 83 pounds and am the smallest I ever remember being. I have also had two skin removal surgeries and am hoping to have one more. 

Unfortunately, my obesity was not the only struggle I dealt with as a child, although I wish it was. When I was growing up, I was sexually molested for seven years by a former family member. 

Unfortunately, my obesity was not the only struggle I dealt with as a child. When I was growing up, I was sexually molested for seven years by a former family member. While it certainly is difficult to admit and open up about, I am ready to share my story in hopes of helping me move on as well as help others who have gone through something similar. 

When I was younger, the idea of sharing my secret was haunting. What would happen if I said something? Was I going to be blamed? What will my friends think? Did it actually happen? If it happened, why did I wait so long to say anything? When it came down to it, it just seemed easier to bury it deep inside and act as if nothing happened so that's what I did. I got decent grades, was active in all sorts of activities in school and had a big group of friends. No one ever expected anything. I mean, the feelings and thoughts were bound to be forgotten eventually, right? Wrong. One day, I couldn't take it anymore and simply snapped. I finally told my mom what happened and while it was the hardest thing I have ever to do, it also felt like a weight had been lifted off my shoulders. At least initially. 

I thought that once I said the words, everything would be fine and I'd be able to just my life freely. I quickly learned that wasn't exactly how it worked. I actually think this is when I developed anxiety and depression. All I know is when I was in high school (before sharing my secret), I was relatively social, participated in a number of extra-curricular activities and didn't worry about what other people thought. Once I came forward though, I became a homebody/borderline hermit, studied 24/7, became a perfectionist in everything I did, freaked out if I did anything wrong, developed trust issues and constantly wondered if I said anything wrong. 

When I look back at everything, I am well aware that my past is my past and that is something that is unfortunately never going to change. However, while I am tired of letting it define who I am as a person, I continue to have a difficult time moving past it. 

 It's honestly just frustrating. I already lost the majority of my childhood because of him and I am tired of letting him have my adulthood too.

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