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Iron Will Award Candidate:

Sandy Chomyn

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Sandy Chomyn's Submission:

Sandy Chomyn had faced a number of different issues which has affected her self esteem and confidence as a child and teenager.

As a child , she was very shy. When her parents friends came over to visit , she would hide under the kitchen table. They would have to bribe her with money to come out and say hello.

The child of European immigrants, she wore colorful although mismatched clothes, she was a shy, an overweight outcast who was a easy target for ridicule and bullying from truly mean kids and adults alike. Even though her parents did their best to raise her, they both had to work many long hours and were not around alot. Sandy had to fend for herself, grow up quickly and be very responsible at a very young age missing out on her childhood years. Being told she wouldn't amount to anything, was stupid and fat, hung heavy over her head for many years.

As Sandy went through high school, the teasing continued and she was called names like "ape woman". At this point, something had to give. She started sticking up for herself and always having a soft spot for the "underdogs", which found her in a few high school fights that she refused to loose. The bigger the bully the harder they fell. She also found herself sometimes in a bit of trouble, as she became a bit of a rebel, especially if you told her she couldn't do something.

Sandy began playing sports and working out when she moved out of her parents house at the age of 22 to the best of her abilty with what she knew. She also became an over achiever with whatever she put her heart into, which made her very successful in her career. After getting married, and having two children and putting everyone else first, she continued to struggle with her mental and physical self. Although in good physical condition, she always wanted to lose that last 10 or 15 pounds and finally feel really good about herself.

Now, at age 45, married and with 2 children, one 14 and the other 10, they now could fend for themselves to a certain degree, she wanted to finally commit herself to become in the best shape she could be.

So on October 24th, 2011 she found the strength to overcome the issues that still haunted her from her childhood and found a professional trainer, that would help her to decide to compete in the 2012 MABBA novice competition. She used the memories of the people who teased and bullied her as fuel to train harder and to fight through the mental stress of training to be able to compete. In 5 short months she has lost 25 pounds. Her transformation in this short period of time has not only been a great experience and confidence booster for her, but has also inspired other people around her to improve their health and physical fitness by joining a gym or to take steps to healthier eating and to lose weight.

Sandy's message would be when you have finally set your mind to it, you're half way there, so go for it!

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