Region 9 Winner: Emerald Rubio
My Bold Step into Faith:
For majority of my life, I struggled with issues of body image and self-worth. I grew up in a Filipino household where emotional and physical abuse was the norm. My mother’s painful words of how much she hated me, that I was ugly, and worthless stuck with me until my late 20s. As if life were not already traumatizing as a child, my live-in uncle had molested me from age eight to twelve. I entered my teenage years with such a negatively distorted view of myself. I felt that I was never good enough, pretty enough, worthy enough, or just enough for anybody. I battled with various eating disorders throughout my life. I had periods where I would starve myself for days at a time, thinking that being thin meant I was beautiful. On the other hand, I had periods where I felt so emotionally empty that I would binge eat my problems away. I had an extremely unhealthy relationship with food. It was almost like a drug. When I looked in the mirror, I hated what I saw. So I desperately looked to fill those voids in intimate relationships. I would jump from one relationship to the next in hopes to feel loved and beautiful. Unfortunately, not every boy I interacted with treated me with the respect that I deserved. I was pressured to have sex and raped by 4 different boys in my teenage years.
During my young adult years, I carried all of these traumas and negative beliefs of myself. I met Nicky (father of my two children) when I was 20 years old. We had a volatile and destructive relationship filled with emotional/physical abuse and eventually infidelity. By the time we split up in February 2013, our children were 3 and 4. At 27 years old, I identified as a struggling single mother. I had no one to help me. All of my traumas were then magnified and I reached an all-time low. I gained 25 lbs in 1 month just binged ate my problems. I felt alone and wanted to kill myself. That is when I started my walk with God. I did a 9 month Celebrate Recovery Program along with weekly counseling from 2013-2014.
I competed in my first two bodybuilding shows in 2014. I started my graduate program to become a Marriage and Family Therapist so that I could facilitate healing for teenagers with trauma. In August 2014, God had restored the relationship with Nicky. We got married in January 2015 and have been rebuilding our relationship ever since with marriage classes, couple coaching, and life groups. Although I had all these blessings, I put my health on the back burner since 2014. For this challenge, I created goals that incorporated my faith and fitness: to lean on God’s strength versus my own willpower, to walk in God’s confidence versus superficial vanity, to run a boot camp with my husband through our church, and just to live out my purpose in life everyday.
Congrats to our Region 9 pot challenge winner, Emerald Rubio for being an incredible inspiration and following through on our 12 week challenge! You have $220 extra shopping money this season and we hope you get something extra awesome for yourself! Our No Excuse Moms followed our official NEM program, where they used a fitness calendar, logged in their meals, participated online/in-person and overcame their excuses!