We all have a story.
I know we have all read many a ‘transformation tale’, but that is because most of us have our own story to tell in one way or another. I want to share my journey with you and how Fit for Life came in to being.
The picture of me in the middle was taken when I was about 17 (nearly 17 years ago…yikes!!)…. I don’t remember being particularly that self-conscious of my weight at the time. I was a bubbly, outgoing and confident teenager on the outside. But deep down, I was never completely comfortable in my own skin. I would make up for it by being the ‘class clown’. I don’t necessarily think that is how people saw me- but that is how I felt. And it really effected my self-esteem. I had no real confidence, and to think about any kind of fitness or exercise didn’t even enter my head.
Age 19 and a size 18, I knew the time had come where I was ready and wanting to make the lifestyle changes to get in better shape; not for anyone else, but for me and that was what was the difference. I was motivated and ready to shift the pounds! I joined Weight Watchers and started walking to and from my work every day. The weight started to come off gradually and within 18 months I had lost 3 ½ stone!
For a few years I maintained my weight mainly by eating a sensible, healthy and balanced diet. I didn’t really go to a gym or workout as such at this point. Not because I didn’t want to, I had just never really thought about fitness as being an integral part of my life! In 2012 I changed my career, I felt lost as almost overnight I had gone from having no time to have a holiday, to days on end with no real structure or routine. I joined a gym and met this great trainer who taught me so much new and exciting things about exercise and training. I knew I had the fitness bug in me there and then! I embraced the knowledge and skills that were being shown to me and soon I was in the gym everyday training in one way or another.
When I reflect back on that time now, I can see that after a year or so my relationship with diet and exercise became an unhealthy one. It was not a healthy balance. It was more that I had a routine that made me feel secure and like I had control of something in my life. Looking back, controlling my training routine and diet was the only thing I had felt I could control. The photo of me on the right is me at my thinnest. There are not many photos of me at this period of my life as I felt so uncomfortable having them taken. I am smiling in this picture, but the truth is that I was so low inside. Weighing just over 8 stone, I had no energy, strength and hadn’t set foot in a gym in nearly a year. I remember the one significant point when I realised just of dangerously thin I had become. I was in the changing rooms at Next on my lunchbreak trying on a dress- that was loose fitting so it disguised just how thin I had become. The size 6 just hung off me like an old bin bag. I looked in the mirror at myself for the longest I had in ages and I just cried. This was a defining moment for me and I just knew that I had to do everything I could to turn things around. But I knew that at this point it was now or never and I had to dig deep and make the change!
I packed my bags, rented my flat out and 2 years ago my brand new start in Manchester began! It was a fresh opportunity and crack at the whip and I was ready to give it everything I had. I got a job temping as a Social Worker while I got settled. I joined the local gym and was absolutely terrified setting back foot in there!!! I stuck with it and even hired a Personal Trainer for myself to mainly help me get some of confidence back on the gym floor. I was so weak and thin, I felt so self-conscious. On session one I couldn’t even do one whole press up. I felt utterly rubbish and like I was never going to get healthier, fitter and stronger. It felt like the biggest mountain to climb! But I just kept telling myself it was bitesize, set myself small realistic goals and to take each day at a time.
I wrote these 4 things and stuck them on my fridge:
- Continued progress
- Healthy balance
This is what helped to keep me on track, especially on the days where things were not as peachy as others! And we will always have those days/times in our lives-fact! But the difference is knowing that you are not alone it that is what I believe is so important. That is why it is important for me to share my story with you. I was surprised when I opened up a bit more about how I was feeling, just how many other people can identify and relate.
So finally, the picture on the left is ‘now’! I’m stronger, fitter and nearly 2 stone heavier! I am the happiest I have been for years and really appreciate all the wonderful family friends and exciting things I have going on in my life. I made the decision to become a Personal Trainer and Lifestyle Coach so that I could do what I am passionate about every day for a living- and it is one of the best decisions I have ever made!
I hope that me sharing this with you helps you to get to know a bit more about me, my story and what drives me and makes me so passionate about working with my clients to make the positive longer-term lifestyle changes for themselves. Set those goals and go for it- anything is possible with the right support, determination and most importantly -self-belief!
I would love to know your transformation stories…health and fitness journeys guys, so please feel free to share them with me! I really do believe that what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger and you need a tough skin in this life at times, so let’s take it on together!!!