"My coach then started asking to take my weight regularly and basically told me not to eat."

Brooke's biggest obstacle to overcome was when she was 16...

When I was in my junior year of high school, I suffered from having eating issues.

I was a coxswain for my rowing club. For any of you that don't know, a coxswain is the smaller person that sits at the head of the boat and motivates, steers, and gives directions to all those in the boat.

Coxswains have to maintain pretty strict weights and it is very common for there to be eating disorders among them because of this.

I was on the women's team at the time and weighing in at 120lbs when the "ideal" weight is around 110-115lbs. The men's is 120-125lbs. I was already not loving my body and felt that I wasn't "skinny enough."

My coach then started asking to take my weight regularly and basically told me not to eat.

At one point I ate so minimal during a month span that I felt weak and tired all the time. Part of me knew that it was wrong, but I also wanted to "get skinnier."

Little did I know all of the damage I was doing to my body just to please others. Thankfully after the season was over, I made the decision to switch over to the men's team so that I would be able to maintain a healthier weight for my body and so that I would not suffer anymore.

Even to this day, I have issues with loving my body but I am able to cope with them a lot better now. I have become vegan to maintain a healthier lifestyle, I workout multiple times during the week, and I am a lot happier!

Now being in college and soon turning 19, I am figuring out how to live my life the best way for me.

This experience was difficult to get through but I was able to with the help of my family and friends. Getting through this has taught me that no matter what anyone tells you, make the best decisions for you and you only. Do not try to change yourself to please others. And love your body! You are lucky to be living the life you are living so take advantage of that!

Brooke's biggest inspiration is...

There isn't really one person that is my biggest inspiration.

When I see someone doing something greater than themselves or doing everything they can to get to their goal, that inspires me to be the best I can be.

I love watching people put themselves out there and helping others with similar interests so that we can all get to where we want to be in life.

Youtube is a big part of my life, as I am a vlogger and am trying to build my channel so I would also say that other Youtubers inspire me as well.

Being able to put yourself out into the world without any filters is a scary thing and you have to be willing to accept any criticism and hate that comes your way. Ignoring all the negativity and posting videos to connect with others on a deeper level to be relatable to them is something that is priceless.

Brooke's favorite quote is...

"Never let the fear of striking out keep you from playing the game."

This quote has gotten me through a lot of hard times. I have always had a fear of failing and not being able to accomplish my goals in life.

When you think about it though, there is always a chance of failing, but there is also the chance that you will succeed which is what I try to focus on. Life has taught me that you need to stay positive regardless of the situation and keep pushing for what you want regardless of the risks. Trying is better than not trying at all.

Written by Brooke Bolin.

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