By Danielle Farrah

We all know the importance of fitness and good nutrition. But what happens when a compulsive need for eating right and exercising lands on an impressionable 18 year old embarking on a pivotal life event?  Read Danielle Farrah's story of how this perfectionist bounced back to embrace her perfectly-imperfect self. 

Growing up a self proclaimed type-A perfectionist naturally lends itself to moments of terror.  For me, it was the inner fight of when you take the post high school plunge into the independence of college and the real world. While my friends were excited for Fall Rush, late night pizza, and themed parties; my mind was elsewhere.

True to my need to please, I plastered the eager smile that carried me through high school and gushed about how excited I was for college, when in reality – I was terrified. Will I be smart enough? Will I be liked? And in my case, will I be skinny enough? Plagued by fear, and blinded by my attempt to control the unknown, I turned my extreme attention-to-detail inwards and became hyper obsessed with food, exercise and achieving a state of physical “perfection”. 

But those first few years away from home resulted in an all-consuming eating disorder that ate away at my confidence and self worth leaving an after taste of constant disappointment in myself.

Blessed with family and friends that were dedicated to my recovery, I learned that my true cure would come from a place of peace and acceptance within – and a whole lot of hard work. While a disordered way of thinking as it relates to body image and one’s relationship with food may never fully disappear, a learned patience and relationship with physical activity can offer a voice of reason, that in my case, not only saved me but allowed me to find my true passion in life.

I chose to try and to learn. I experimented with many different types of exercise until I found the activities that I enjoyed and that were FUN. I educated myself about how food and movement actually affect your body and your mind.

Those first few years away from home resulted in an all-consuming eating disorder that ate away at my confidence and self-worth leaving an after taste of constant disappointment

My experience inspired me to go back to school for a degree in Health Promotion Management where I then joined a company with a mission to inspire everyone to create healthy behaviors and lifestyles habits every day.

Today, I am proud to say I am physically and mentally strong with a life rich in wellness and physical activity. I spend time with amazing friends practicing yoga, trying new barre classes, and sweating it out to the latest T Swift or Beiber tunes.

I found that healthy physical activity not only frees your mind, but it opens your soul and heart to embrace new experiences, new friends and self-confidence. A life of wellness is contagious and deserves to be shared in this New Year.