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Me after my swift water rescue training was done... 3 days of hitting every rock in the river!


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Hi! My name is Maggie, and making this profile is such a big step/transition for me. I'm hoping to use this to help me keep track of my progress on my journey to healthiness and happiness! :)

I've been a big girl my entire life, but right now (May 2013), I'm at my peak weight of 280 lbs. I've always had trouble controlling my eating (especially when I'm stressed) and portion sizes, but I've decided that today is the day I"m not going to let it control my life.

My dream is to become a paramedic firefighter, and as you can imagine, that requires one to be not only fit, but strong and in extremely good shape. I discovered this when I was doing an EMT internship Fall semester 2012, during which I did 8, 12-hour shifts with a medic unit at a local fire station. I immediately fell in love with the field, and decided that that was what I wanted to do for the rest of my life.

I tried out for a fire training program back in December 2012, and I passed the written exam and oral interview panel with flying colors... the physical agility test?
Not so much. I felt like I was dying by the end of the test, but I was determined to at least finish it. It turns out that I took 3 times as long as the maximum time limit, so I obviously failed the test.

However, the fire chief in charge of the program was so impressed that I didn't give up and finished the entire test that he decided to let me into the program. It's been one of the best things that has ever happened to me... I love the fire station, the excitement the comes with responding to calls, and even the grueling training, not to mention I'm the only girl in the entire program right at the moment.

You'd think that by being in such a program, I would have started losing weight like crazy, but unfortunately, that wasn't the case. I have had to contend with family members (with whom I live currently) being extremely unsupportive of my goals, telling me it's a "blue collar job", that it's "too dangerous", and "women shouldn't be doing such a dirty job", and to focus on going to medical school (I wanted to be a doctor before I discovered my passion for the fire service).
This has caused a great deal of negative stress in my life, and as a result I had turned to old habits of stress eating to calm myself down. as a result, I never really lost any weight (thanks to the program, I haven't gained any, however). I have refused to let them change my mind about the career; however, I came to the realization that by not changing my unhealthy habits, I was letting my family dictate what I was going to do with my life.

My weight has definitely prevented me from meeting my maximum potential, and although I have had a ton of support from my brothers at the fire station, it has caused people to not take me seriously when I talk about my big goals and dreams.

This year has been a year of great change for me: I started the fire program, I've gotten training in Swift water rescue, I've made it a goal to participate in my first half marathon and Tough Mudder, I've decided to move out to escape the poisonous environment I have at home...

I hope to add to this by making a serious dent in my attempt to become strong and healthy enough myself to be able to run into burning buildings, jump into rapids, and do whatever it takes to help and save people who are sick, injured or in need of rescue.


Member Since: 5/20/2013

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Read More About FIRESWIMCHICK - Profile Information moved here. (Updated May 20)

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