Hey, It’s Coach Tulin here with the Fit Has No Size premiere podcast. Yep, this is the very first one. I proudly call myself the plus size health and fitness motivator but in truth, my messaging doesn’t have a size. Fit has no size really is about sharing this journey, the ups downs, the in betweens, respecting and embracing all bodies, all journeys, removing conversations such as real women. All women are real, not assuming that somebody who looks differently than you that they don’t understand your journey or your struggle or trying to live into media’s ideals or maybe even other people who’ve created these definitions, these words and you choose to be a little more independent with it and they feel well you’re not really such and such or this. Like just how to be independently you, how to love you on this journey, how to embrace you starting day one and really recognizes that we’re all individuals and that our journey is individual and that fitness is individual and that fit doesn’t have a size. Fit has no size so that is the name of this podcast. I’m hoping that people are listening to this. I mean isn’t that funny?
Like there really is this feeling of, Are people gonna connect? Are people gonna listen to this? And I really really feel that this is a message that is lacking out there, so we’re gonna have people to interview, we’re gonna be diving in deeper in topics. We’ll be doing coaching. Actually I’ll be selecting people to actually do live coaching via podcast and so much more. It’s actually even a community attached to Fit Has No Size. We’ll talk about that more later, but first let me tell you a little bit about myself and where I’m coming from to help us connect, to help us be able to see a part of ourselves in each other because my story isn’t just my story.
My story, people can relate to so many different parts of it, so really this goes way back to when I was born. No I’m just kidding, no but in all seriousness I was somebody that was affected by the media only because I didn’t know of anything else and there weren’t other examples and I did seek validation from external sources. I didn’t know any better. It’s how I was taught. It’s how I learned and what I did and so what was this idea of fit? And so the pictures that I was seeing in magazines and on television and what beauty was, you know I was always the girl in elementary school that was head and shoulders above everyone else. I was the big girl and I … I mean, legit I have a preschool picture that I’m legitimately head and shoulders above everyone else in the class and I always wanted to be the cute petite blonde.
And listen, if you’re cute and petite and you’re blonde, I love you. I totally love you, but it’s not who I am meant to be. Like, it’s to respect and love you as a petite blonde, but the reality is that’s not what my body was or my hair color or any of those kinds of things, but I always wanted to be something other than who I was and I felt that again, and here’s where the judgment starts you guys. It starts at a very young age. I felt like they made friends easily. I felt like people liked them. I felt like they just fit in, but that would make the assumption that they didn’t have struggles, that they didn’t have things that they were working with or dealing with, that made a lot of assumptions from a very young age. And, really quite frankly, I finally became a blonde a few months ago and it only lasted a couple months and I went back to brunette, alright? And I’ve never been petite, so here you go. I’ve always been a big, strong girl regardless of where I am and it was learning to respect my body and learning to respect other bodies. That’s where the real self love came in.
But when I look back at my life and I look back at how I felt about myself and where that came from, it came from external definitions. It never came from my own sense of self and individuality and that’s definitely a learned behavior and I hope that in this podcast that we learn to break those cycles for others around us, for our children, for our partners, for our spouses, for the nephews and the nieces, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera by not trying to drag them to an ideal, but for them to be able to see through you in action and not perfection but in progression. And so as I kind of went through this, I didn’t realize at the time that I was an introvert. I still am.
I’m doing a podcast. Yeah it’s me and a microphone and hopefully somebody’s listening, but I really was an introvert, but that idea of being an introvert was defined to me openly that I was antisocial and that I didn’t make friends and that I was boring and things like that when really I was just somebody that was very much an introvert and did like my quiet time and I was selective in the people that I had in my life and I would have loved to have more people in my life because I had this idea of myself that was beginning to develop that I wasn’t any fun or any good, what did I do?
That didn’t attract people to me. It repelled people from me and I began to believe this narrative and so the majority of my life, you guys honestly was living the narrative of other people’s definition and you’ll hear this over and over and over again in my podcast and here’s what I want you to know. If you’re going through that right now, there’s a way out. There’s absolutely a way out. And you’re gonna be shocked because the mechanisms are the same. You’ve been practicing for this moment and this transition your entire life. You are way more prepared than you realize and trust me it’s been in you all along. That person that you want to be is who you are and it’s in you and we’ll be digging into that in this podcast as well.
So you know as I move forward in my life I was called fatso. I was made fun of for my size even in my mother language they would call me bear which sounds really cute, right? Like it’s kind of cute to be called a bear, but the way that it was expressed and used was not cute and it didn’t feel good and it was the equivalent of fatso and I struggled and I remember about … It was seventh grade and I traveled overseas and went to go visit some family and something happened that summer and in that summer I all of a sudden lost weight, like just it feel off of my body from seventh to eighth grade and I came back eighth grade and I cut my … Actually it’s really funny cause my hair right now … I’m sure if you guys saw my picture I kind of rock kind of a long faux hawk. I used to have really long hair. My hair back then was very similar to what it is right now which is kind of funny. I’m rocking my eighth grade look now. I came back and all of a sudden I had a different type of attention from the boys and from the girls and now the girls were mean to me in a different way.
And the boys were no longer mean to me but I didn’t understand the attention and I didn’t know how to handle it cause I’d never had that kind of attention before. It was very confusing. It was uncomfortable and again, I didn’t have anyone to talk to and it’s so important to me to break the cycle and just have this open conversation and when I was heavy and I had a lot of weight on me, at the time I didn’t get the attention and when I started getting the attention, I didn’t like it and I was uncomfortable with it cause I didn’t understand it and there was a sense of later on in life that I would build walls around myself in may different ways whether it was becoming a brawler quite literally, getting into fights, beating up on boys. I just didn’t know how to handle it. I didn’t get it. So that was really weird.
Well, once I started realizing that hey, I can lose this weight and this happened naturally I started progressing towards anorexia. I would have been bulimic if I wasn’t such a baby when it came to vomiting and that’s the truth. I just couldn’t make myself do it, but anorexia was about having control of my feelings and of my body and I began to look like these people in the magazines and modeling agencies began to put a lot of attention on me and I think one of the best things that my mother ever did was … I had a lot of very big name agencies that had a lot of interest in me and I thank God that my mom didn’t allow me to become a model because I think I would have been one of those people that would have been a tragic ending to a story. I think that I didn’t have the mental mindset to go into the modeling world so I am grateful for that and some people say, well aren’t you lucky that you had model looks? I guess. I guess. I didn’t appreciate very much about myself then at all, but I am grateful that I didn’t enter that world at that time.
I think like I said it would have been a tragic ending looking at the way that I progressed into my life. So during this time the anorexia was born and all of a sudden I would black out with rages. I was very very hungry. I again was still having a very difficult time dealing with the attention. High school came around. The girls became meaner and the boys more attentive and again just not knowing how to handle it, now you remember that’s when the rumors started. A lot of kids had a lot of things to say and it was very difficult for me because I was very much a virgin and that wasn’t for any religious reasons or anything like that. I just it was where I was in my life and I remember how painful it was to hear these rumors come back around. I remember that this one particular group of girls … I’ll never forget.
I made the drill team in eighth grade, right? So seventh and eighth grade I made the drill team and we were sitting at Farrell’s and this is Farrell’s of old school, old school Farrell’s. It’s a big ice cream parlor and I remember I made the drill team and there was this group of girls sitting at another table that were graduating. They would be graduating junior high school and I was all excited, right and I was trying to like kind of get their attention like, hey I’m one of you guys now. Like I was kind of part of something that was cool, right? Drill team was cool at my school and they started to mean girl me at that moment. Well it progressed into high school and the same set of girls would send me, call them boo grams or you know like Valentine grams, you know things like that and they would send them to me in the classroom and they would say these really mean horrible things. They were constantly bullying me, constantly and they had one friend, it was this very larger, larger than I was. I’m anorexic and they sent her after me. I mean it was just like, I was being brutalized basically. I was being bullied horribly and didn’t know how to deal with it.
During this time, I look back now and realize I was having massive hormonal issues. I was later, after many many years of struggle was diagnosed with endometriosis, polycystic ovarian syndrome PCOS, and a whole host of other things, but I was really struggling with being a girl and all things that came along with it and again, no one to talk to. Very difficult and as I progressed in this journey things just got worse and somewhere along the line, I was about 16 years old. I was on my own. That’s a whole other long story. That’s a whole other Oprah. I’m 16 years old. I was on my own. I discovered binging, right before that I’d studied overseas. I started to binge and then the binging was heightened because now I was on my own, still putting myself through high school, put myself through my senior year. My parents were going through some things. Some bad decisions were made on my father’s part, et cetera, et cetera. I mean just a lot was going on and the binging was heightened because I often didn’t have money and so even up to very recently in the past couple of years, an empty fridge would send me over the edge.
So whenever I was able to get money, I remember I was busing tables, so I was basically going to private school. I had to go to private school cause at one point I did go to private school cause I should tell you in tenth grade I had a point five average. No No No, not a five point 0. Not an AP student, a point five average. It’s like almost like, I don’t think you can get any lower. My F was so solid and I was lucky that I had a teacher that recognized something was going on with me. Of course he thought it was drugs. People didn’t realize that I was really hungry. They put me through some testing. I actually had to repeat my tenth grade year because of my anorexia so to do that I went to a private school, a private all girl’s school. I really just wanted to save myself. I’ve always believed in fighting for myself but just didn’t really understand how or what I was doing. I was just doing. And so when I came back from studying overseas and it was five years for high school. I had to go back to a private school cause it’s difficult to go from public to private school, to have your credits transferred. I’m now on my own. I’m paying for my own tuition.
My boyfriend at the time was helping out. He would get these what do you call them? It’s these sort of bonds that his grandfather got him, helping me with tuition. I was living on my own. My friends couldn’t know. I was busing tables and you know, I’m going to a school that has a lot of money and I’m making four bucks an hour just trying to make ends meet. No one can know I’m on my own and I’m hungry. I’m hungry at lunch. I’m hungry in general and so when I would get money and I think about this because it’s emotional, you know? I get money in my hands and I would just go eat and I would eat and eat and eat and eat and eat and just not really sure when I was going to eat again and that’s when the binging really took hold and that’s when the weight gain began to occur and there was, I think I just brutalized my body and my metabolism so much over time that you can see it happening, I can go back and see what happened, but now I realize that I really utilized those experiences to be a victim of my circumstance versus doing what I could to change it, but I didn’t have the know how.
I still didn’t have the examples. I didn’t know how to turn the corner in this. I hadn’t come across the resource to do it but I knew I was willing to fight because I kept showing up every day. Did I have times that I had suicidal thoughts? Absolutely and actions, but I didn’t and I fought. And I fought really hard for myself but not really making any progress and really blaming my parents and circumstances and all these other things. I just wanted someone else to fix it. Just make it better. It took me a long time to realize that that control and power was in my hands and it wasn’t going to look the way I planned or I had hoped and there wasn’t going to be a big white horse and a prince on top to save me. I was gonna need to save myself and so I’m starting to have these realizations but not knowing how to take actions, but I knew to keep showing up.
So I was hungry and you know my parents had lost everything. That was really really tough. Family no longer had a home here. I mean there was so many things like I just no longer had roots. As I progressed in my journey and as I found out more and more about what it was I was dealing with, I was finally diagnosed with PCOS I think about 24 years old, I was finally diagnosed, told I was infertile. I couldn’t have children. I was put on so many different medications. I was forced into overnight menopause. I had my estrogen shut down. I can’t even begin to list all the things that I went through.
Doctors washing their hands of me, being judged when I walked in. I just needed help, but at this point I did have a job and I remember that I was pretty much the hypochondriac of the office because I’m clearly making this all up. I remember I was working three jobs up until the night before I had surgery for my endometriosis and people still thought I was making it up. I had used all my sick days. I had used all my vacation days and nobody in human resources told me and I worked for a very large corporation by the way, a very large entertainment corporation at the time. Nobody told me that I actually could have tapped into some state resources at that time that I didn’t need to use all that up.
Anyway, the bottom line is, because of how sick I got, I ended up having to claim medical bankruptcy about 22 years old I think due to medical issues. So finances were tough. I was willing to work hard to get where I needed to go. I worked three jobs until I had my surgery. I was bleeding very very very very very heavily at a very dangerous rate and it needed to be done, but I did whatever it took, right? I just kept doing whatever it took and when I had a chance to eat, I would eat and I would eat a lot and there would be times I wouldn’t have the food to eat, the money to eat and I just knew … I knew I was either on the verge of massive change or in either direction.
And I’ll never forget right after the LA riots, I was still in high school at that time, I went down to Hollywood Boulevard and I met some kids that lived on the streets and I sat down and I was supposed to interview them and I was like, I can’t turn the camera on. I just want to … and I did. I just sat and talked and I realized how close I was to where they are and I remember. I actually remember this right now, one of the girls looked at me and said, you have really good karma. Do you know nobody ever sits down and talks to us? And I got to find out about their dreams and what they wanted to do and guess what? They were on the streets and they were actually working hard. One of them was learning about set design. They just couldn’t afford to find a place. They had to find places to crash, but they were both working really hard to make their place in the world and I saw so much of myself in them and afraid of where I’d end up and one of them looked at me and says, you have good karma and you know what? I do. I do.
As time went on and things … I had been married and divorced and remarried and my husband built an amazing life and he had a business who couldn’t handle it, threatened the lives of 40 employees including ourselves on Christmas Eve, worked very hard to build this life and we had to shut the business down to protect ourselves and our lives and our employee’s lives and to make a very long story short, it forced us into being broke and homeless with two young kids with nothing left. In the process of losing it all, my husband gained a hundred pounds and we just figured out a few months ago that I gained a hundred and eighty pounds. I was now back in the position of empty fridge, no food, binge, cheap food. My hormones now were out of whack and I am just stuffing myself and I’m stuffing not to feel better. I am stuffing to numb. I didn’t not want to feel happiness because happiness would be followed by sadness. It never lasted. I didn’t want to feel the sadness anymore. I just … We began to get kicked while we’re down and we defined ourselves by how others defined us and it’s very interesting because we began to realize we’re surrounded by people that took a certain amount of glee in our struggle.
And they had a lot of things to say and what they had to say was our reality, not our own interpretation and it’s interesting, doesn’t everybody always have an opinion on like how you should do things? And it’s always people who haven’t been through what you’ve been through because people who have been through what you’ve been through might get … cause I do, I get a little smirk in my face and not, in any means, in a mean way like you’ll get through this because things don’t happen to you, they happen for you and you can’t see it right now but there’s something really beautiful on the other side of this and I think that’s what happened. It’s that the universe had to take away in order for me to gain … and it’s happened to me multiple times, to regain focus on what needs to happen.
So here we are broke and homeless, selling everything we have, trying to make it an adventure for our kids. I remember we had to leave the home and we knew the sheriff was coming to kick us out. We parked the car in backwards, like into the garage and we packed it up with what we needed. We left so much behind in the house. I mean things that had a value, but if we couldn’t sell it, we just left it. There’s just no point in storing it and here we are, early in the morning, leaving the house and realized that our battery has died and we can’t leave and I’m thinking, my kids are gonna see police officers … I don’t know how this goes. I’ve never been through this before, people showing up. We’ve had our cars repossessed at this point.
I mean there’s nothing left. We were able to get the car restarted and off we left and I’ll never forget looking in the rear view mirror and I looked at my husband and I’m like, it’s behind us. It’s behind us and I thought that was the end of the rock bottom. Rock bottom was followed by rock bottom followed by another rock bottom followed by one more and on and on and on it went and I remember we landed this little hotel room, 300 square feet, family of four and here’s my husband, which I didn’t mention, he has multiple sclerosis and because of the stress, he ended up losing his ability to walk for two years. Why only two years? Because that guy busted his butt to relearn how to walk, relearn to swim. I watched him do it, but for those two years, he couldn’t walk more than a few steps and we couldn’t afford a wheel chair and we don’t have health insurance so it was a difficult time, so we’re in the hotel room, trying to make an adventure for our kids.
All of this is behind us and of course it progressively gets worse and I look at my husband and I’m like, “We can’t keep staying here. We have to find a home for our kids. We’re getting comfortable.” And I don’t mean this like hey we’re just gonna stay where we are, but I knew that we had to get uncomfortable to get to where we needed to go, but I should tell you my husband was working out in our hotel room on his knees. He still kept a set of weights that we had. He’s working out on his knees cause he can’t stand and I used to eat Chinese food in front of him and drink super large, extra large Cokes from Mcdonalds and I would get mad at him because I wanted to watch trashy TV and I was so mad at him about our situation and I would sabotage him and I was the unsupportive spouse and I just continued to get larger and larger and larger.
Now listen, don’t misinterpret that and think that I didn’t have love for myself. I had love for myself, but I’ll be honest. I was abusing myself. I had a little job that I was able to get and I was actually … I didn’t tell them, cause I actually had a rather extensive resume in business and I didn’t want them to know. I dumbed down my resume just to find a job to bring money in. You do what you need to do and again, each time that we got paid, we would go and cash our check cause our bank accounts were always overdrawn and we would immediately go and buy food. Our hotel room actually had a little fridge in there and we would just stock it up, just as much food as we can and we would just eat and eat and eat and eat, cheap food, cheap food, cheap food, the more and more we gained. We finally were able to move out of that little place and we moved into our first apartment. They didn’t look at our credit which was amazing. It was on the second floor, so now I’m over 350 pounds. I’m sliding into 400. I don’t know how much exactly I weighed because the scale didn’t go any higher. We’re guesstimating about 375 pounds and the apartment we found, they liked us. We were nice people. We were good people. They liked us. They didn’t check our credit. It was exactly the amount of money we had, which I looked at my husband, we were looking at all these apartments like they were scary, like we didn’t have a lot and it was scary the kind of apartments we were gonna move into and this one was all white, but didn’t know there was mice and some other issues with it, but whatever. We had a place. No furniture. Furniture came from the trash. WE bought a couch from some frat kids that looked like a cat attacked it, but it had. It was like a Lay Z Boy style, like you know you lay on it and like your feet would go up and we put a blanket over it. We just did whatever we could. We gave the kids the master, the quote unquote master bedroom of the apartment so they could share it and have room to play. We really did all we could to make it as homey as possible, but we had nothing or if it wasn’t nothing it was very little.
And this where we began to not only sink deeper but began to grow. My husband continued on his workout plan. I was having no interest in. He wanted to cheer me on and talk me into doing it and I didn’t want him to see that I was trying to make change. I wanted him to ignore it and I certainly wasn’t going to do the crap that he was doing. I wasn’t going to do an at home workout because I had an attitude about that.
I had an attitude about everything basically. I had an attitude about everything and it wasn’t until I realized that how difficult it was for me to walk up that one set of stairs to our apartment and across the landing and I was embarrassed to say anything to my husband cause my husband’s legs really didn’t work and there were times that he had to like pull himself up those stairs. It was our apartment. We got it but it was difficult to leave. I couldn’t tell him that I physically couldn’t hold up my weight anymore and walk up the steps and those 12 or 13 steps would require me to stop halfway in between to catch my breath. It hurt my knees. It hurt everything in my body. By the time I got to the top, my world had turned gray. My blood pressure would be so loud, I would hear it in my ears. I would not have an ounce of oxygen left in my chest and I’d have to walk across this little landing across from our apartment to get to our door … My kids are bouncing around me. They want to talk to me about their day, et cetera et cetera and I can’t get the oxygen through my windpipes to make a noise except “Stop”.
I had nothing and I knew … I didn’t have to go to the doctor to tell me. I knew that I was in bad shape. At the time, I had retired from plus size modeling some time before. I was working for a well known magazine that we helped resurrect and I’m beginning to work out and take care of myself and I was told that what I do is bad for plus size women and I couldn’t be supported publicly which was really interesting because I didn’t ask for the opinion and I didn’t ask for the support. It wasn’t about anyone else but myself and they were really worried about me sharing this journey because people weren’t sharing the journey online at the time. This was six years ago. They weren’t sharing the journey online. They were only showing their after and not their before and there was this philosophy that was growing in this community and it wasn’t the whole community but it was the people around me that if you love yourself, you didn’t care if you worked out or if you ate well.
If you really truly love yourself, you don’t focus on those things and I’m thinking, I’m dying. I’m really dying and my husband looked at me and said, “Friends don’t let friends die.” And that was the last opinion, the last one that I received from someone that I loved and I still do to this day and she’s made an amazing transformation as well, loving her body but certainly has definitely tackled her health, but when I looked at this I went, “I’m done” and finally a moment, an opinion, a something. I said, “I’m done.” I’m done being defined by anyone else. I’m done trying to live my life and be accepted. I’m done with people’s opinion. I didn’t ask for your damn opinion. I didn’t ask for your damn support. I didn’t ask for any of it. It all came because I began to share on social media my journey.
I was sharing on social media only able to move my body two to three minutes at a time and I just needed a place to be accountable and really the people who followed me could not care for the most part about what it is that I do or they couldn’t openly reach out to me and cheer me on because it would be frowned upon. It was a very interesting dynamic. So here I am going against two communities it felt like, the plus size community and the health and fitness community and I didn’t fit in either one. And I just realized, I just need to live and live by my definition and my terms and how I need to do this for me and for my family and I had no book. I had no manual. I had no money. I had no friends. Those who were around me I either pushed away or people didn’t want to hang out with a broke homeless family because I don’t know, we might need a casserole. Now, I give those people a lot of grace because here’s the deal. Unless you’ve been through what we’ve been through, you don’t know how to handle it.
They are not the ones to turn to advice and if they are doing the best way that they know how to support. It’s scary. It’s difficult to relate to if you haven’t been through it. It’s like seeing a UFO, I mean, I would assume, right? Like I don’t know what it is, like a UFO, like being here in California we sit here and wonder like, is it an earthquake, are we having an earthquake. We debate whether it’s an earthquake or not for 45 seconds until like finally we realize, “Oh yeah, that was really an earthquake.” Like we just don’t really understand what we’re seeing, so I give a lot of grace and a lot of forgiveness to people who I really wanted them to help us or just to be there for us, but how could they know if they’ve never been where we have been. And that was really freeing you guys is understanding that people aren’t always gonna get where you are. They’re just not and they’re not gonna be there for you in the way you want them to be there for you. They’re gonna be there for you in the way that they know how to be there for you or attempt to know how to be there for you.
But my husband and I knew at some point that we had to take care of our health and here’s our kids who grew up being junk food junkies who had watched us self abuse ourselves with food. We had taught them all of these things and the next thing they know is that Mom began doing at home workouts as well. I didn’t have … I had very few clothes. I had like a beat up tank top or I’d wear like my husband’s … I actually couldn’t wear my husband’s shirt because they were way too small on me. I had some sweatpants that had some paint splatter on it and I didn’t workout with shoes because I only had a pair of flip flops. If anybody needs shoes, it was the kids, okay? So I certainly wasn’t going to buy myself anything and my husband had gotten some at home workouts at a garage sale and that’s where we started.
Well funny thing happened, our kids started seeing us do this thing that looked really fun and they wanted to join us and they did. My oldest was in fourth grade when we went homeless and my youngest was … hold on, I’ve got to think about this, about two years old … about two years old. Next thing we know, this was fun and we would go, remember I told you we gave them our master bedroom. We had a little TV in there for them and guess what they were doing?
They were popping in the DVD and doing the same workout they saw Mom doing and there’s my little one in his diaper and nothing else and there’s my older one and they’re working out to Shawn D. You guys know who Shawn D is? They’re doing Insanity. This girl, at over 350 pounds started off with Insanity y’all cause that’s the workout that we had. When they jumped, I swayed side to side. When I looked, I was like I don’t look like them. I can’t do what they’re doing and I had 12000 reasons why I was gonna quit including my high horse of, why isn’t there somebody who looks like me in this workout et cetera, et cetera, et cetera? I shut my eyes and I listened to Sean and he said, “Let’s go” and he told me to believe that I could do it and I did and for two to three minutes at a time, I would sway my body.
I didn’t worry about the scale. I didn’t worry about the weight. I just focused on moving my body for 14 days without changing anything, nothing else, just moving my body. Two to three minutes turned into five minutes. I’ll never forget when I finally made it through the warm up which looked nothing like them whatsoever, but it was my version. I just plugged it in so I had something to listen to, something to watch and I began to look at them and say, look what’s possible, look what’s possible and there was no modifications online. There was nobody else sharing their journey online. I wanted to know did somebody else’s belly apron get in the way. Did somebody else struggle doing the floor exercise? Like what were my options? And I looked on YouTube. I looked in very specific things about what I was searching for and I couldn’t find a version of myself. So when I couldn’t find a version of myself, I became her and I’m like, this is a joke. Why are we only sharing our journey in the after? Why aren’t we showing us how we got there? Why are we talking about how much we hated ourselves when we started?
Like, I love myself. Why do I love myself? Because we take care of the things that we love and I am not a mistake and I wasn’t put on this earth to be mediocre and I have gone through some stuff, but dammit, I’m a good person. You know they say karma, I wondered what did we do so wrong to go through the situation we have? I think the universe needed to put us through what we needed to because it’s those moments that led me to today. It’s why I’m doing what I’m doing. It was born in those moments. I’ve been advocating for women loving themselves … I remember in high school, I stood up when the gym teacher said if you’re a particular height you should weigh this much and as an anorexic, even those I was abusing myself intentionally, I was still fighting for myself and still fighting for this idea of individuality and self love and I called BS on it and I said, “That’s not true.” Nobody in that room knew that I was anorexic, but I knew based on the numbers that she was giving that that wasn’t true for everyone and it certainly wasn’t true for me cause I was aiming for that number and I knew I was killing myself.
So even in this darkness there was this light and fast forward to when my husband and I lost everything, we were in the dark. And there was a flicker of light at the end of the tunnel and sometimes that flicker was off and sometimes it was on and I don’t know if it’s just because we had kids and listen, there was a lot of fighting going on. There was a lot of yelling and screaming. There was a ton of stress. We didn’t all of a sudden go from being broke and homeless, moving into this apartment and all of a sudden figuring out things are better, it was a long process. There were so many failures in that, but we realized those failures were data sets. We realized what we were doing and even if we were falling on our face, we were still moving forward. WE began to surround ourselves with people who, yes they did see something in us. Yes they did see something in us and that did feel good, but we began to surround ourselves with people who were fighting to live a better life. We stopped talking to the people or hanging out with people who only wanted to talk about the negative things, who wanted to be defined by their illnesses, like myself with my PCOS or my husband with his MS, and we started to surround ourselves with people who wanted to live a healthier lifestyle.
But I was not going to keep going through this process without inspiring myself first and then hoping that maybe somebody else needed this and boy did they? I now have over 250 thousand people that follow me on social media. They see my modifications. They’ve watched me journey. They’ve seen my ups and downs. Some of you might be listening to this podcast right now. None of this would be possible if we didn’t go through the things that we did. Life happens for us. It doesn’t happen to us. And in the deepest, darkest times, in those moments is when we had the biggest transformations in our lives and I’ll tell you something, it didn’t start from the day. It didn’t stop when we went broke and homeless. I almost lost my husband to a massive double infection. It was the year we finally made a six figure income, barely but it was six figures and I don’t even have to say I don’t make any guarantees.
I’m not here to gloat. I’m here to tell you that we went from nothing into building something together that was actually making a difference in our lives and my husband, all of a sudden, walked into our bedroom. He looked a lot like tetradactyly in the way that his arms were like pulled in and he was shaking and I didn’t understand they were convulsions because I had a definition of what convulsions were. He laid down next to me in the bed and I was still struggling with my energy levels and things like that cause of the diabetes and he laid down next to me and was shaking and he said, “I’m so cold. I’m so cold.” And I looked and him and his lips were turning … If he would have done that two years ago, I would have waited a second longer to call the EMTs.
I did give him a second. I walked into my son’s room, very calmly. I said, he’s not feeling well. I’m calling the ambulance, could you please be a very good big brother right now for your little brother? And he was. My oldest was and I called the EMTs and they walked in. Is he on drugs? No. Does he drink? No. And because he’d built so much muscle, they could not stop his convulsions with a needle because if they stuck the needle in him, his body was contracting so hard that they needle would break in him. He was dying. He had a 107 degree temperature.
And so for months he thought he was having a symptom due to his multiple sclerosis and it wasn’t. It was his body just fighting this massive infection and he nearly died and I remember I used social media to reach out and say, I can’t call call anyone. I don’t know what’s happening with my husband. I went on live on my Coach Tulin page. I need help and people came through. Remember how I told you about when people who kicked us when we were down. It was very interesting when we started surrounding ourselves with people who were uplifting and positive and working to live a better life. They were the ones who reached out and helped us. My kids were picked up. The stress and pressure … somebody set up a GoFundMe for us. We struggled, but Tulin had a six figure income.
Listen when you go from broke and homeless into actually making some money, there’s a lot of catching up to do. There’s a lot of catching up to do. There’s a lot of monkeys on your back and that weekend, we took on a hundred thousand dollars in debt. My husband lived and I still say to this day, I would spend a hundred times that to save his life, but if we were still in that broken mindset, I’m confident that my husband would not fight for as hard as he did for his life and I would have waited to call the EMTs because of money. What a cold, horrible way to live?
I am telling you the honest to goodness truth of where we were and our own sense of self worth and how in just a couple years time without much changing we were able to begin to take control of our lives and change it without depending on other people, without being defined by other people. People didn’t want to share their journey? Didn’t want to show modifications? I went out there and showed it with my bumblebee booty and my big old belly apron and I showed people. I got a massive knee injury. I showed people how I came back from the recovery. I showed a plus size body in motion and that doing exercise and taking care of yourself didn’t have to look like anything or anyone else and this going back, all the struggles I just shared with you, we found out that we were responsible for ourselves and if we wanted our lives to change that we needed to change it. And it was no longer about trying to be perfect or trying to put up an air or didn’t want people to know our struggles. We stripped it all back and we became very very transparent.
Our kids saw us learn to fight for life, to learn to change our mindset. They began to embrace things like personal development and exercise. My oldest son, who was horribly bullied because he couldn’t catch a ball, and he would come home with this size bruises in his hips because they would dog pile on him and punch him on purpose ended up being one of two kids selected to go up into Varsity in basketball. He dedicated himself so much to that sport. This kids who couldn’t even carry a ball practiced and worked hard to follow a dream and I’m not sure if he would have had that fight in him if he didn’t see us learn to fight for ourselves. And when I mean fight, I mean personal responsibility. I mean getting up and being willing to fail and pick ourselves back up and when things went wrong to know we can make a difference and we can change things. They watched us do that and so for my husband who inspired me to us inspiring our children and that led us to inspiring a lot of other people and it started with just sharing our journey online for personal accountability and it connected us with this whole world of people that eventually led us to right here and fit has no size, you might be saying why am I saying us?
Because my husband is very much a part of this. He’s not on this particular podcast but you’ll be hearing from him, but this is what Fit Has No Size is about. I became known as the plus size health and fitness motivator because I wanted to help people learn to start and reengage in fitness while learning to love themselves starting day one, that we were not a weight or a size or connected to a date, that we had it in us and I learned that plus size women had an uncanny ability to fight and get through some difficult things. And that all the things that they learned to do that maybe led them into some unhealthy lifestyle decisions were the exact same mechanisms and steps to be able to get them to where they needed to go, but it wasn’t connected to a number. I would not be doing the things that I’m doing today if I hadn’t gone through all those things leading all the way back to the stories that I told you about elementary school.
And the exact same things that I did to beat up on myself are the exact same ways that I learned to love myself. They were the words that I used to communicate with myself and the way that I allowed other people to define me, I chose to move forward being undefined. I chose to move forward in defining myself in the way that was right for me, not by anybody else’s rule book. I had my own rule book cause I was a unique individual and I was an introvert and that was okay. I wasn’t antisocial, that I love people and that people love me and that I have purpose in this life and that I wasn’t put on this earth to be a mistake. And that things happen for me, they don’t happen to me and when things go really really bad and things start to tank again and maybe in that moment I don’t see it, but very shortly thereafter, I no longer spiral out of control, I can look at it and go, I don’t know why these doors are closing, I just know something really amazing’s happening.
This is my … I have a word for it and I can’t think of it of course on this podcast, but this is happening right now. These doors have to close because whatever that door is that’s about ready to swing open or doors is really amazing and the universe has to create like a universal housecleaning. It’s got to shut some things in order to let room in for the right things. It was a mental mind shift in the way that I used to beat myself up was the same mechanism that I could learn to love myself and that’s where Fit Has No Size was born. I want to thank you for joining me on this podcast. Please leave a comment down below. I’d love to get an idea of what resonated with you. Maybe you had an a ha moment. Let me know if you share it. I really want to be able to connect on a deeper level as we continue on this journey together. I share all the time on social media so I would love you to connect with me there. I am on YouTube, Facebook, and Pinterest at Coach Tulin and you can find me daily, especially in my stories on Instagram at IamTulin I-A-M-T-U-L-I-N. See you on social media and I hope to connect on the next episode.