Growing up I was always the ‘big boned’, chubby sister. I love my food and I love my rest!
Like most teenagers I was extremely self-conscious about the way I looked but I was in my late teens and early twenties when I really piled on the weight. I was eating all the wrong things, doing very little activity, and even secret eating. I became a hermit, a recluse, the definition of a couch potato! I was in an unhappy place, my weight got out of control and my self-esteem was non-existent. I hid behind my baggy clothes hoping to be invisible and go unnoticed.
Comfort eating is a vicious cycle and breaking the habit can be the hardest part. The desire for change needs to be greater than the desire for food, and for a comfort eater, food is a very powerful thing!
The turning point or trigger moment for me was a shopping trip to buy some clothes for a new job. It was soul destroying not being able to find anything in an entire city that I could fit into. After a few days of wallowing in my own misery, I became determined to do something about what I’d become.
I changed my nutrition and became more active. Mental strength and remembering how I felt after my ‘trigger moment’ got me through the change in food. I hated what I’d become so much that I was adamant I’d turn myself around. I stuck to it and started seeing results, I was still very body conscious but I became much more comfortable in myself. Since then I’ve never returned to the size I was. Of course there’s been fluctuations in my size but its manageable changes that I’m aware of and I can control.
During an extended stay in America my eyes were opened to what weight training could do for a women’s body and mind. On my return from America I joined a gym for the first time and from there my love of weight training grew. Nothing is as empowering as getting stronger and doing things you never thought you’d be able to. As silly as is sounds moving heavy objects is extremely satisfying and the rush of endorphins is addictive. Seeing progress in both your physical and mental strength, and changes to your body are hugely motivational and in turn brings about a great sense of achievement.
I decided to compete in a bikini fitness competition (a physique/bodybuilding show) for the first time in 2016 to give me a focus for my training, a goal and something to aspire to. At my first competition I qualified for the national finals and went on to place third in those finals, earning myself a bronze trophy for the mantelpiece! Since then I have accumulated a number of trophy placings under various different federations and achieved everything I set out to. Competition prep has taught me a lot about how to sculpt my body through both training and nutrition. I can honestly say that 2016 was the first time in my whole life I’d ever been happy with the way I looked, I even learnt to embrace my stretch marks! After all, they’re just a reminder of how far I’ve come and what I’ve achieved.
In 2020 I gave birth to my daughter. The first half of my pregnancy I found challenging and quite frankly a rollercoaster of emotions. My body changing was something I obviously knew would happen, but seeing it was difficult for me to deal with at times. The second half of my pregnancy was the complete opposite, it taught me to look at and appreciate my body from a whole different angle. Going through pregnancy and into motherhood has given me something to really get passionate about and I'm very happy to now be a pre and postnatal specialist.
Through the years I've learnt that happiness doesn't come from being a certain size or weight, it comes from building your confidence within and changing the way you feel about - and live in - your body.