04/16/2009 01:30 pm ET | Updated Nov 17, 2011

We Can't Go Back - We Can Move Forward

There is so much that I have been through in my years of living. I've laughed, I've cried, I've been hurt, I've been rewarded, I've succeeded, I've learned and I'm sure that I'm nowhere near done on this obstacle we call life. But, there are many times in my life that I sit back and wish that I could go back to a certain age and "re-do" some things just to see where I would be today. I'm not talking drastic things, but some things are just certain to have led me down a different pathway of life.

For instance, my parents, I call them "The Wonder Twins". My parents have been married for nearly forty years and they are truly a team. They work together in their decision making and try to see eye to eye on most things. Growing up, I was a military brat. My Dad was in the Navy traveling all over the world and my Mom (a school teacher) kept me and my sister at home in Maryland. Both of my parents are excellent role models. My Mom would get up every morning and exercise. No matter how she felt or how busy the days seem to be going, she made an effort to work out and eat right everyday. Of course, she has some favorite foods that she craves every now and then, but her motto has always been, "everything in moderation". Even till this day, she remains true to her ritual. She's even got my Dad working out with her in the mornings.

Throughout my school years, I barely followed my mother's motto. She would definitely cook healthy meals everyday, but not only did I eat those healthy meals, I also used to sneak and eat my favorites, cheese and chocolate. My two favorite dishes in the entire world are macaroni and cheese and chocolate cake. Believe me, growing up, I indulged - really indulged. It got so bad that I used to hide a stash of cheese and chocolate cupcakes in my room everyday. Well, I had to keep them fresh! I more I ate, the more I enjoyed.

As a young adult, I continued to eat my favorites. I was also trying really hard to get acting and modeling work and couldn't get a job to save my life. The more depressed I got about my career, the more I ate my crazy food. I wasn't consuming tons of my favorites, but it was enough to know that I was doing damage. It never dawned on me that I was actually gaining as much weight as I was until one day my little cousin was hiding behind me and I asked her what was she doing? She had no problem coming out of her little mouth to say, "I'm hiding from mommy under your backside. She'll never find me here!" Well, after I realized that I couldn't call her out her name, I had to stop and take a look in the mirror, a full length mirror. I was stunned and shocked at how large I was becoming. I didn't realize what I was doing to myself until that moment.

Now that I'm older, I've got my own routine of working out and eating right. The older I get, the harder it is to lose this weight. It's truly a battle. I love myself enough to keep going at it because I do believe with continued work, it will pay off. My career continues to move forward because I have a very positive attitude. I know that I sit back many a day and think about how I used to treat my body. I always wish I could take those days back and "re-do" them, but I can't.

I greatly appreciate the lessons I have learned and continue to learn. It helps me to be a better woman. It helps me to be a better motivator to others. I've become a stronger person from things that I've learned along the way. Life has a way of really allowing you to be who you want. Take hold of today and make great things happen in your life. I can't go back to my early years and change those eating habits, but I can make them better today. Sometimes, I still want to find a good word to curse out my little cousin, but what she was really doing at that time was giving me one of the biggest wake up calls of my life. We have the power to change if and when we want. Take the bull by the horns and do what you know you were put on this earth to do. If you don't know what you're supposed to do, just make positive changes in your life, which will then affect those around you. They may move forward to make changes of their own. Doesn't matter the situation, we have the choice to move forward from here and make great things happen.