Monday, 28 October 2013

The thin ideal.

For as long as I can remember I have always been aware of my weight and even though as a teenager I was severely overweight and unhappy, this did not stop me from sitting comfortably in a vicious cycle of over-indulgence and self-loathing.

As a child I'd always been the bigger girl with a huge appetite, surrounded by thinner children who mum said had 'good genes'. As children we are fed sweets on tap, and tend to grow up very unaware of the damage food can do to our bodies.

Friday, 25 October 2013

Camera never lies.

Mirror mirror on the wall, who's the fairest of them all... blah blah blah.

The importance of mirrors and reflection is something that stems back as early as our childhoods. From fairy-tales to that first moment we discovered our reflection as a baby, we have vastly become fascinated by self-monitoring.

Over the years our bodies change and when you make the change to begin a healthy lifestyle, it is easy to get caught up with monitoring progression and even easier to punish yourself if you aren't completely satisfied with what you see.

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

worries and weights.

This week has been a week off work for me, which has given me a lot of time to focus on the quality of my training but also a lot of time to think - something that I'm not entirely sure is a good thing. 

Monday, 21 October 2013

feel the fear and do it anyway..

So this weekend I found myself surrounded by many different people at the Martial Arts/ Healthy Living Expo. As I walked round the many different stalls, I stumbled across a woman presenting a lecture on fear and how easy it can be for fear to completely take over our lives.

This got me thinking... 

Friday, 18 October 2013

Mind over body.

If someone had told me 3 years ago I'd be working out 5/6 times a week and wearing size 6 clothes I probably would have laughed in their face, laughed, carried on eating a Greggs pasty whilst telling myself that looks didn't matter anyway.

I can honestly say this isn't all about looks for me. Of course a proportion of leading a healthy life is for aesthetic reasons, but mine was more about regaining the control I had lost as a teenager when I started to let food rule my life.

The price of body perfection.

For most people fitness is a journey. A journey of self-discovery which sees you push your body to limits you never thought possible. Unfortunately for some, fitness is a money-making goldmine and it is becoming more and more common for people to pray upon those most vulnerable by offering health services with minimal qualifications and understanding.

We come from a world of dissatisfied people and I am yet to meet a person 100% happy with their body. It is this constant dissatisfaction which leads many to seek advice in an attempt to gain body confidence.

Unfortunately with so many people offering different solutions, it is almost impossible for those without understanding to know where to turn.

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

strong vs skinny.

As an overweight teenager I always dreamt of being thin. I obsessed over girls who could eat what they liked and skill maintain a slender figure. I even went as far as wishing so desperately to be skinny that every birthday I blew out my candles and said quietly in my head 'I wish I could be skinny'.

It upsets me to think how many girls are trapped in the ideology that thin is beautiful. It upsets me even more to think how much time and emotions I spent stressing over my own figure. Trapped in a vicious circle of comfort eating because I wasn't 'thin' which was then escalating the problem and sending me further and further away from where I wanted to be at the time.

Monday, 14 October 2013

Dare to be different?

Since discussing my weight loss over Twitter and social media, I've had quite a few women ask me about weight-training tips and getting started with weights. I've also had a lot of women ask me how I feel confident enough to weight-train surrounded by lots of bigger and more experienced gym-goers (who unfortunately are mostly men).

There seems to be this stereotype that women shouldn't weight train or take part in something that was once considered a very 'manly' sport. There also seems to be the assumption that it is men that have created this sexist barrier and therefore women have no choice but to look to cardio because the 'big men' make them feel uncomfortable.

Sunday, 13 October 2013

be the best YOU

So after treating myself to breakfast in bed (what else are Sunday's made for?) I was browsing social media when I came across one of my favorite girls in the industry, Emma Storey-Gordon, whose status read:

"I am about to enjoy my morning cuppa but let me answer all your nutrition/training questions in just 2 words: IT DEPENDS."

Now after giggling to myself with a mouth full of oats, it really got me thinking about quick fixes and the 'one size, fits all' mentality. 

Friday, 11 October 2013

Biggest Loser's Jessie: "I catch my boyfriend looking at bigger girls."

Jessie Before and After her 8st weight loss

Biggest Loser contestant Jessie St John-Sharpe, 23, has lost 8 stone and nearly 40% of her body weight in total since appearing in the show in 2012.

In an exclusive interview, whilst working out on the treadmill, she told me about her weight loss journey, future goals, and how her boyfriend still prefers curvier girls….

Dealing with ignorance...

Throughout my fitness journey, one of the hardest things I have had to deal with is lack of support from those closest to me.

My immediate family and friends have very little to do with healthy eating and/or exercise, and have found it hard to adapt to my new lifestyle.

Fortunately, Twitter has been a very valuable tool for when I have needed extra support.

Sunday, 6 October 2013

"You must be so proud"....

The last few years especially, I've had a lot of people say to me that I must be so proud of what I've achieved but I'm really not sure proud is the right word.

I am proud of the fact that I have managed to turn my health around, but looking at the bigger picture it is difficult to be proud of the self-destructive state I was once in.

For me, food was a comfort. A clutch for any emotion. I ate when I was happy, when I was sad, when I was bored and when I was lonely. Without knowing, I had completely let it take over my life and I was spiraling into obesity at 100 mph.

Part of the problem I faced was gaining perspective on the damage I had done to my body. I avoided photographs from the neck down, and surrounded myself in a very male dominated friendship group, where the need to competitively dress in skimpy clothes just wasn't there. I had quickly become one of the lads to the point where my muffin top could rival the beer bellies of many middle-aged men! 

Even though I finally took hold of my life and started to make healthy changes, the changes themselves haven't been easy. I've tried every fad diet you can think of in a desperate attempt to shift the pounds as quickly as possible. I also went through a spout of bulimia which I am proud to say I have completely recovered from. 

During my binge-eating and bulimic stage, the problem was no mindless indulgence like in my teenage years, but it became about excessively monitoring everything I put into my body, to the point that any normal human slip-ups caused me to punish myself. 

Lying on the bathroom floor, throat burning from stomach acid and eyes stinging from crying, I knew that although to look at I was healthier, my mind was not. 

It's overcoming situations like this over the last few years that have made me completely change my perspective on health, nutrition and happiness. I no longer feel the need to be 'skinny' and although I may look in the mirror and not be completely happy with what I see, I am happy, I am healthy and my body is in the best shape it has ever been. 

I no longer punish myself if I want a treat because I work hard to deserve it. It's about finding that healthy balance. Life is for living and it's the realisation of this that makes me proud, not my weight loss.