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Iron Will Award Candidate:

Janessa Roy

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Janessa Roy's Submission:

It all started in my early teens when I began a career in competitive dance. I would eat, sleep, and breathe DANCE! Unfortunately, as the years progressed, the lifestyle began to take its toll on my overall well being. I wanted a career in professional ballet so bad, I would do whatever it took to get there.

Obsession over food, getting "skinny", and exercise began to take over. All of this was thankfully intervened when I was exposed to my first bicep muscle!

I will never forget when my older brother gave me a quick flex. When I saw his bicep pop up, I recall saying "Wow, John! Look at the egg (bicep) in your arm! I want an egg like that in my arm. Show me how you got that!"

I later decided to take the risk of dropping my dance dream, and instead got my first gym membership.

A lot of self discovery was still in order, as it was at this time where, although I was eating again, things were still quite out of control. I managed to creep from 97 to 170 lbs, by using food to cope with life's stressors.

My darkest memory surrounding this compulsion are the days of binging in my car all the way to the gym, then afterwards purging my food in the gym parking lot. I would then head inside to do more cardio, sometimes until I would literally faint.

The cycle continued for years, but in 2010, while residing on Gull Lake, Alberta, there was somewhat of a turning point. Initially, I was living on the lake with my (at that time) boyfriend "X", but he was soon deported back to his home country. He and I shared a very toxic, volatile relationship that was nowhere close to being healthy for either of us.

I wish to not blame for previous circumstances, as I believe we have the ability to make our own decisions. Saying this, boyfriend "X" was addicted to oxy-contin pain killers, and I was addicted to "saving him". It was through this attempt where I utterly lost myself and my entire identity.

After losing him, my job, and losing myself, I ended up in the local hospital. Things were spinning so out of control, and I had no idea what to do. I was alone in Alberta, and beyond depressed.

The following September, I found my way back home to Winnipeg, MB. With the help of my newly attained Masters Degree, I took upon two new social service positions working with the at-risk population.

One could say that I am the helping type, as it seems to come very natural to me. However, in November 2011, something in me snapped, and I decided that I was ready to finally help myself! With no looking back, I did some research, and found myself a great coach; Mr. Darren Mehling, whom I knew would help me get my health goals on track; once and for all.

Due to previous failed attempts, I was scared after I agreed to get on board with him, but on November 19, 2011, I did it. I made a contract to myself that I was going to get my life on course, get healthy, and prove to myself that I have what it takes to compete in the 2012 Gorilla Jack's Novice, Women's Physique Competition!

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