San Diego veteran with PTSD transforms her body and life - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

San Diego veteran with PTSD transforms her body and life

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SAN DIEGO (NEWS 8) — A local Navy veteran is using fitness to improve her body and mind all while helping wounded warriors. Katelyn Miller, a former sailor battling PTSD, is competing to become the next cover model for Muscle and Fitness Magazine Hers.

Working out with Katelyn can definitely be a little intimidating, but what's even more impressive than her fit physique is what she overcame to get where she is today.

"I got really out of shape when I was depressed and in my bouts of PTSD," she said.

Katelyn looked much different just five years ago.

"Whenever I look back on that, I see a girl that was lost but I also see a girl that had strength in her somewhere," Katelyn said.

Katelyn was enlisted in the U.S. Navy and, at the same time, was going through the aftermath of an extremely traumatic experience.

"When I was on deployment on 2011, I was sexually assaulted," she said.

The incident sent her spiraling.

"I actually tried to commit suicide and ended up in the ward for four days in Washington," said Katelyn.

She hit rock bottom, but thanks to one of her Naval superiors didn't stay there.

"I started working harder," Katelyn said. "I turned all of it around. I started doing fitness and body-building contests."

Katelyn made a comeback - mentally and physically.

No longer in the military she's now a fitness model competing to be Ms. Muscle and Fitness Hers 2018.

"Getting back into fitness, endorphins, feeling good about the way I looked - it was so empowering as a woman," said Katelyn.

And if she wins?

"The grand prize is $20,000, a two-page spread in Muscle and Fitness Hers plus [you get to] be the cover model," she said.

Katelyn says she plans to use the prize money to start a gym dedicated to PTSD veterans.

"To give them a safe space to go that they know that everybody is going to understand who they are and what they're going through," said Katelyn. "[It's] a way to show people that you can come through so much and come out on top."

Katelyn is currently in third place and has to be in first place by Thursday at 8 p.m. (local time) to move onto the next round.

If you'd like to vote for Katelyn, click here.

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