the long road to happiness

i’ve been getting many emails lately from people across the country wanting help with changing their lives through fitness & nutrition. there’s nothing i enjoy more than helping these people! most of them just need a little push in the right direction… they need motivation! (don’t we all?!)

one particular email caught my eye the other day and really made me think. i was asked, “you seem so happy and so excited about life, how did you find that? how did you find the strength to take the world by storm at such a young age

i was actually caught off guard. i’ve never been asked a question like this before.

(and to be completely honest, i just wrote that intro then sat here for 2o minutes wondering how i was going to tackle the rest of this post…)

ME?! amanda leigh tyson. happy? excited about life?! WHAT?

i didn’t think i was any of these things! … or am i?

i had to think back to all the different phases in my life. the ups and downs. the good times and the let downs. oh man, i’ve had to go through some rough times to get to where i am today!

i WAS happy and excited for the first 11 or so years of my life.Β  i was full of confidence. i had amazing friends. an incredible family. there was no reason for me to not be happy!

then there came a time when all of that seemed to disappear. i started to lose my happiness and confidence in 6th grade. that was the year that my life was taken over by bullies. i let them rule me until i was 22 years old. i gave them all of my power. if they told me i was useless, then i believed it. if they told me i wasn’t good enough for something, i wouldn’t even try to reach for it. i was letting these horrible people control me.

i was truly unhappy for 11 years… and it was during those years that i packed on the pounds. my college years were the hardest for me. i ballooned up to more than 260 pounds at that time in my life.

it wasn’t until the beginning of 2011 that i started catching a glimpse of what it was like to be happy. i owe a lot of this happiness to the kind campaign — they allowed me to open up and share my story with them for the first time. it was at that time that i decided to take my power back.

now, at age 23, i can tell you that i am happy. i AM excited about life & about the future! i am STRONG. i can do hard things!!!! (that’s one of my favorite quotes, thanks to beautiful meg)

and HOW did i do this, you ask? i prayed about it. i wrote about it. i talked about it. nothing was off limits anymore. i spent too many years HIDING from my problems. before this year, i would have died if anyone knew my weight! but now? i’m OWNING that number! who cares what the scale says! that number doesn’t make me any less beautiful. the scale does NOT define who i am as a person. i won’t allow it to! what i have to offer to this world doesn’t show in a number.

i truly believe in my heart that God made me go through these challenges so that i could help people who are going through the same struggles. God gave me the strength to persevere. He knew i could handle it — and He was right!

everyone’s secret to happiness is different. you have to find it out for yourself! it takes trial & error. for me, it’s owning who i am. happiness comes from being real with yourself and with others. be true to yourself!

you have to believe in yourself and know that you CAN have the life you dream of. you need to know that you ARE worth it. you have the power to change your thoughts into positive ones. you can’t depend on anyone but YOURSELF. and through this, i found happiness.

now, my friends,Β  i AM ready to take the world by storm! so watch me.

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11 thoughts on “the long road to happiness

  1. You are such an inspiration to so many people. Sometimes the simplest things can mean so much, Pray, believe and ignore the haters. You have to believe in your before you will.

  2. Thank you. Thank you for having the courage to share your story and show the rest of us that anything is possible. Thank you for overcoming all of your struggles and being able to speak out to help others know they aren’t alone. I just have no other words to say.. You are truly an amazing, beautiful person and I am proud to call you a friend. πŸ˜€ you can do this! You are hope to so many.. including myself.. hope that we can prove to ourselves how beautiful we are πŸ™‚ Thank you for that!

    • kristen, your sweet comments always make me so happy!! so thank YOU for taking the time to read my blog and giving me such great feedback… if i’m able to help motivate just ONE person then i have succeeded πŸ™‚ xox

  3. Heather says:

    Amanda, you have me in tears. Your story is so beautiful. I’m reminded of the story of Joseph in the Bible, how he went through so many terrible things, but at the end of everything he said that while his enemies intended all those bad things to harm him and tear him down, that God used all those things for good. That is exactly what God has done in your life. You are a wounded healer, using your painful life experiences to make the world a better and brighter place. I feel so blessed to call you my friend. Thank you for your inspiration. Love you tons!

    • i love you heather!! i think i want to go read part of that right now… YOU have helped me become the person that i am today. just having you in my life has helped me heal. you are one of the greatest friends i could have ever asked for ❀ xoxoxox

  4. Kait McKechnie says:

    Amanda,
    This is great. Im not sure if you remember me but we took a class together in college and we sat next to eachother. I never would have guessed that you were unhappy at the time but, then again, most people hide pretty well. This as well as your facebook posts are very inspirational. I feel like you have a really good thing going on here not only for youself but for eveyone who reads your posts. I love that you mention that we “cannot depend on anyone but ourselves.” This is something that i often forget but is a true wake up call when i am reminded of it. I am happy that you have found so much happiness and are willing to share it. Thank you.
    Kait

    • hi kait! yes, of cooourse i remember you! yeah, college was definitely not the best for me. i lived on campus for a year and a half then ended up moving home because it was so hard for me. so i THINK i was a commuter when we had class together! thank you so much for this comment πŸ™‚ and for reading my blog! it means a lot to me… i’m gonna try to update it more often! xo

  5. Kenz says:

    I just think everything you are doing is so great and I know there are great things ahead for you. Don’t know if this applies or not, but a quote someone told me at a time I was struggling is, “Things turn out best for those who make the best of the way things turn out.” Whatever happens, things are what you make of it and it really has shaped my life. Keep it up, I’m rooting for you πŸ™‚

  6. Heather says:

    I love it, Amanda! I’m sorry you were bullied like that, but when I think of thing like that from my past, I also think, “Look at me now, $%*!#!!” πŸ™‚

  7. angie says:

    you are adorable! Thanks for sharing your thoughts, love your positive attitude and love for life!!!

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