In my late teens and early twenties I yo-yo’d up and down in weight and size. I was never someone who was interested in exercise or sport, I was more interested in music (and eating carbs).
In my early twenties, fed up with how I looked, I started to skip meals (not something I would recommend!) I don’t remember what triggered this specifically or how long it lasted. The weight dropped off and I got really thin, but when I looked in the mirror what I saw was different from reality. I still saw myself as ‘fat’, even when I hit my lowest weight of 9 stone (56kg/126lbs). People kept telling me that I was too thin, but I didn’t see it. That is, until I saw a photograph of me taken at a family wedding and this was my lightbulb moment. I saw it. I looked ill. I realised that action was required, and I started eating more food again. I’m quite clear in my own mind that I was on the verge of a serious eating disorder.
I started to gradually put on weight and my weight fluctuated up and down. I had spells of going to the gym in this time - at one point I exercised every day and got into a shape that I was relatively happy with. My diet wasn’t great, but my training was, sort of, making up for it. (Note - training can’t and shouldn’t make up for a bad diet! This is not a good thinking pattern!) As often happens, life then took a change of direction and I stopped going to the gym, and started seriously over eating. The weight piled on, and then some.
At my peak I got to, probably, around 16 stone (102kg/224lbs). Bear in mind I’m only 5ft7, so this is quite heavy for my height. I was so unhappy with how I looked there are very few photos of me from this time. I didn’t want to fully accept and own my reality, so I don’t know how much I weighed (hence the estimation). After the breakdown of a relationship something triggered in me. I realised that I needed to make a change. That I was the only person that could make the change. It was up to me.
The change was a change in mindset followed by action. Now, this transformation did not happen overnight. It did not take 12 weeks. It took years. But step by step I made improvements. I started doing a 20 minute fitness DVD at home 3 times per week. Then I joined a local gym and with some direction from the staff there I followed a programme 3 times a week, then 5 times a week. At this point my diet was unchanged, but things were starting to change in my brain. I started to see food differently.
When I relocated to a new area, the first thing I did was join a new gym. A small independent gym. I carried on doing what I had been doing before, but after a few months I realised that whilst I was seeing some changes I didn’t really know what I was doing. I’d spotted one of the Personal Trainers in the gym who came across as warm and friendly so I plucked up courage and booked a consultation. This step was pivotal. With proper guidance and support I started to make better food choices. I changed how I trained in the gym and I started to see changes in my body composition. I had regular PT sessions, learned new exercises and learned how to change how I saw food and exercise.
When Anytime Fitness opened up in town I was one of the first to sign up. My PT moved to this gym as well, and it was at this gym that most of my transformation happened. I started to get to know new people, took part in fitness challenges, had continual support from my PT and kept seeing improvements. I should also say that the family environment at this gym makes such a difference, and people are so encouraging of each other.
Cut to now. Inspired by my own journey and transformation and desire to help other people, I decided to train up as a Personal Trainer. The course was hard work, but really rewarding.
So, here I am. Ready to help. I know what it takes. I know the battles we can have with food. I’ve been there - I’ve seen both sides of the spectrum. I’ve struggled with motivation to exercise.
I’m here to tell you - If I can do it, anyone can do it. I’m here to help, encourage, inform and support you through your own journey. The question is, are you ready?