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Meet FRÉ Ambassador Whitney Webster, Mental Health Warrior & Blogger

Jude Jacob November 02, 2020

@lifeofwhitweb

About me: I was born in Dallas, Texas and I live in Houston, Texas. I’m very outgoing and am the life of the party! I have been an athlete my whole life and a diver for most of it. I received a scholarship and dove at Auburn University. I’m a mental health warrior and bipolar disorder fighter. You can read more about my story on my blog:  lifeofwhitweb.com

My fitness journey

I started swimming when I was 3 years old and then came diving and gymnastics. I did gymnastics until middle school and then went back to diving. I love diving, though I never reached my goal of making the Olympics. Today, I practice Lagree. It is similar to Pilates but is a high intensity, low impact, core, muscular strength and muscular endurance workout. It combines strength, endurance, core, cardio, balance, and flexibility training in every move.

Fitness tips

  1. Take that first step! People often don’t know where to start or they feel intimidated. Finding what you are comfortable with is key.
  2. Consistency and staying motivated even on days you don't feel like it is so important. You will learn that these are days you can push through and these tough days will show you how resilient you are. You can do this! 

My mental health journey

In middle school, I was diagnosed with anorexia and depression. I started seeing a psychologist and nutritionist and began taking antidepressants, which I continued throughout high school and college. Later, I was diagnosed with ADHD and medicated, but life became erratic and weird, and I didn’t feel right. A pharmacist friend of mine told me I’d been diagnosed wrongly. 

With the correct diagnoses, my behavior and the way my head felt finally made sense.

On February 15, 2019, I attempted suicide. I ended up at a treatment center. I was at rock bottom, but then I was diagnosed correctly with anxiety and bipolar disorder. I started a new medication. I began figuring out my rhythm and everything started to click - it was like a light bulb had come on. With the correct diagnoses, my behavior and the way my head felt finally made sense. This led me to a place where I wanted to learn more about mental illness.

When I came out of treatment, I was told by people that I thought cared for me, in a place that was supposed to be safe, that I should not to talk about my experience and what I went through when I got out of treatment. The fact that people look at you as a monster and the stigma around mental health issues makes everything so much harder. I decided to speak about my story and help others. I quit my job and recently launched my blog. I’ve always loved writing and it’s a fantastic platform to share my story and experiences. 

COVID-19

I got a new job and I'm lucky to still have it during these chaotic times. And I’m still going in to work, so that’s a plus. I'm a structured person who needs a schedule. But during the height of the pandemic I couldn’t go to my psychologist or psychiatrist. I really believe mental health should be prioritized and should stay open. People need more access to services, not less. I started out ok when Covid-19 first hit, but over time things started to affect me; I started to have issues with the depression and manic side of my bipolar disorder. I'm still struggling with this, but I try and stop myself each day and make small changes to make the day better.

Resilience tips

  1. Take the time for yourself - stop and talk to yourself. Ask yourself how you feel today, why are you feeling that way? What’s happening with sleep, relationships? Ask yourself what you can do to feel better and always focus on gratitude.
  2.   See the good things and try to do more of them. It's hard but the mindset of fighting through this and using methods that work for you is important. This can be a weekend off, taking time to meditate, finding out deep down what you are feeling. Reaching out to people is so helpful and there are lots of articles about how to help with mental health during the pandemic. There’s also free counseling and some great NGOs out there.
  3. Get involved. I try to be involved in mental health as much as possible. The  National Alliance of Mental Illness is America’s largest mental health organization dedicated to building better lives for Americans affected by mental illness, and it’s one of the organizations I’ve been very involved in. 

Skincare

My skin is dry and prone to both acne and sensitivity. I never used to have a routine. I was afraid to try new products, since I didn’t know how my skin would react. I would wash my face with CeraVe and put CeraVe lotion on and that was it. Now and then, I would do a mask. Nothing really helped. 

When I first received FRÉ, it just felt right.

I’ve been an athlete my whole life and when I first received FRÉ, it just felt right. FRÉ helped with my dry skin and I love the brand. I use  123FRÉ daily and  GLOW ME when I want a bit of coverage.  DETOX ME is my favorite FRÉ - I love having a mask that is fast and still gives amazing results. I feel so fresh after I use it.

 

Rapid Fire:

○    Favorite exercise?  Lagree

○    What does sweat mean to you?  It means getting all of the toxins out: from your body and from your mind

○    What comes to mind first when you think of FRÉ?  Your face being fresh and free of toxins!

○    What are you most excited about in life right now?  Launching my blog and also buying and decorating my new house!

○    What’s something you’d still love to learn?  How to play the piano

○    If you were a hashtag, what would you be?  #lifeofwhitweb

○    What is your mantra?  Set your goals and don’t stop until you get there.

○    What’s the best advice that you’ve ever received in your life?  My Mom always told me to believe in myself and that those who dare to fail greatly, dare to achieve greatly.

○    What is an issue that you wish we spoke about more often?  Mental health

○    What does women’s empowerment mean in 2020?  Women feeling powerful and believing that they can do anything

○    What are your dreams for the FRÉ community?  To continue to give back and connect with people around the world


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