Thank you for taking the time to have a look at my blog. I really, really hope you find information, inspiration and motivation. This project is something I am so passionate about, and I hope that you enjoy it.
Ok. So here’s my story. Really, there isn’t one. I’m not an athlete, I never played a sport for my county. I was pretty good at netball… when I was 8 years old.
I enjoyed sports at school but was never competitive enough to really excel.
When body consciousness started to kick in in my late teens I started to run, and literally wore out a Jane Fonda video (sigh, life pre-DVD!). Exercise from then on became about image, and nothing else.
I’ve worked since I was 18 (part-time since 16), doing the uni thing part time. I always squeezed exercise in somewhere…. I had a swimming phase, hitting the pool every morning before work, then mid twenties, having moved to London, I discovered the world of gyms.
Classes didn’t do it for me, but tempted into a discount set of PT sessions, my life changed. I started to learn about lifting weights, and trained for a half marathon.
Then the cloud started to form…. stress. Serious, crippling stress. I was in my early 20’s, crippled by debt, in a very stressful demanding job. So food became my outlet. The more processed the carb, the better. I was the cookie monster. Social drinking was totally part of the lifestyle. So I did. A lot.
My weight rocketed up and down as periods of stress peaked and troughed. When I could control my diet, my body quickly transformed. As quickly as that happened my life’s stresses crushed me, and 2 stone piled back on.
I kept training (thank goodness!) and realised how much the PT’s in my gym loved their jobs and more importantly, loved life. I also realised that the skills they had (being people-people, communicators, motivators… were my greatest skills). So, as someone who loves to learn, I took a part-time course to become a PT. This was so mentally and physically gruelling as I battled my own body image, but I loved the skills and knowledge I was gaining.
The stress cloud in my life hadn’t moved. The gym I trained at heard I had gone and got a PT qualification, and wanted to talk business. Financially, mentally, and physically I was not ready to make such a dramatic career change from retail management to Personal Training. But life doesn’t work like that…
Long story short I hit the darkest part of the cloud.
And quit my job. I remember the utter relief as I walked home, at 9.30am in the morning, mixed with unbridled fear of uncertainty, and unemployment. But I’m a grafter.
By the end of the week I was working evenings in a pub, and having taken the plunge into PT, was working 10 hours a day in the gym trying to pick up clients.
The job I loved. The environment, the people, being surrounded by those who want to better themselves and be their best. My skills shone, but my confidence was completely forced, and my body battles continued.
Quickly, my knowledge and passion for nutrition flourished. Clients who embraced nutritional advice I planned for them got incredible results, even compared with clients who trained 5 times more a week, but couldn’t give up the daily frappucino and danish. But I was the biggest contradiction. My fitness and nutrition knowledge was good. I just didn’t apply it to myself, literally eating my feelings. This was my biggest catch-22… Major lack in confidence and zero self-belief.
Something had to change. I quit London and moved to Oxford having enrolled in an MSc in Nutrition (which required a pre-course year of study to convert by BA and get me up to speed). It was tough. But man I was so motivated and driven. I worked full time as a duty manager in a gym and studied around it.
I faced the cloud and started to fix my financial problems, also starting to “practice what I preached”. I trained for a half marathon, beating my previous time. I trained for a triathlon…. terrified beyond belief on race day, but loving it beyond words.
As I came to the end of my Masters I took a promotion at work, which landed me into a very stressful operational role. Whatever I have tried to do in life, I really strive to do a good job. But I’m a firm believer that if you don’t love what you do, you can never be great at it. I did an ok job, but stressed, tired and really worn out, loathed it. Out went my passion for training, and healthy living. Hello cookies and red wine.
Which brings me to today. 2015 is a new year and a new era. Whether making a cake, or delivering a presentation to 100 people, most tasks in life come down to 80% preparation, 20% actually doing. That’s where I think I am right now.
I’m 30, I’ve had a pretty incredible journey so far, with a fair few bumps in the road. I believe its led me to this point – when I really start doing.
By doing, I mean sharing my story (which feels like standing naked in a shopping centre by the way) sharing my journey from image-obsessed to healthy-lifestyle, and sharing what I have learnt along the road. I believe I have (and continue) to face the same daily challenges as so many of you out there… trying to be healthy, wanting to be lean. So this is the space where I can share my knowledge as a PT, nutritionist and serial-dieter.
I’m a self-confessed “learner-lover”, these are not the ramblings of a “know-it-all”, as I hope to learn as much from you, as I hope you do from me.
Ready? So. Let’s go.