“Depending on who you ask they would say my journey is complete or only beginning. I see it as a consistent journey.
I started my weight loss portion of my journey in 2010. I can not tell you my exact starting weight as I had become far too ashamed and afraid to know the truth, so I base my start at my last known doctor’s weigh in. 265lbs. I guarantee you I was well over that at the start of everything.
A little bit of background, I was a super skinny high energy kid, until I was about ten. Then my whole body composition and view of myself started to change. I hit puberty earlier than all my friends and started to gain weight very easily. I was 140lbs in fifth grade. From there I moved to a new town and school just before junior high. That added to me withdrawing and becoming far less active. Fast forward to high school graduation year, stress of school and the rest of my life facing me head on I gained more weight. Enough that my dress for grad didn’t fit well even with two layers of compressive garments to help sausage me into it. 184lbs at 18, it was extremely depressing for me. I was aware I was big, bigger than most of my friends. So I tried to hide my insecurity with being the helpful smiling friend. Pushing aside my own feelings, it wasn’t as if I wasn’t happy. I just didn’t deal with things when I should have. I suppressed a lot.
Pushing forward, I was married 29 days after my 21st birthday and got pregnant on my wedding night. Surprise! Definitely not something you plan to have happen. Though as unready as I was then, you honestly are never actually ready for kids. They come into your life and shake it all sorts of crazy in the best ways possible. Once my daughter arrived, my life didn’t change much in the way of my health. Two years later, I was pregnant with my son. His birth was traumatic on my body and my mental health. I developed postpartum depression, which manifested in me being only concerned with my kids. I didn’t want and need to have connections with friends or other family. Not even my husband. Needless to say my marriage dissolved and we divorced when my kids were 3 and 1. Though I began to make a few online friends, who were mums with kids the same age as mine. None of my friends were in that area of life yet; though they absolutely adored my kids.
The end of my marriage thrust me into living in a new city and back at home with my mum and dad for a couple years. It was within that time when I finally hit my “reason why” moment. I couldn’t make it up the stairs chasing my toddler without struggling to breathe. I decided since it was just me and my kids, I had to do everything in my power to be better for them. To make sure I was around as long as possible for them.
There I was at 27 years old trying to start my life over again and make the right choices for my health. I set myself as a priority for the first time in so many years. I struggled with that because I was so used to putting others ahead was always my way. Changing my diet, eating smaller portions, cutting out pop was the start. I then did the hard part. I would wait until my kids were asleep and go to the basement and work out to Jillian Michaels dvd’s and do minimum three Zumba songs on the Wii as cardio. This was my life for almost a year, every single night. I didn’t feel comfortable going to a gym. I had no idea what I was to even do at a gym. I started to research and after a while when I was not progressing much further with my home workouts, I found weight myself using my community sports complex gym. I was still sticking mostly to cardio because I had a delusional view of what my goal was. Skinny was the only goal that seemed to be in my mind; anything but fat. I had a new job which was very physically demanding now, my food intake was minimal. I had slipped into a very dangerous mindset.
I wanted to try running a Mud Hero Obstacle course. So in 2014 I did it! I was extremely proud of myself, I manage the run in under an hour and felt amazing for doing it. I was at my lowest weight 117lbs…..and I was still not happy nor was I actually healthy yet. I hit a wall in life again. I made some changes, was able to get my kids and myself into our own place. I had managed to move up in my company into an office position. I had a new drive to succeed. I also started a relationship with an amazing man. Life was improving. So needless to say going from a job that was physical and barely eating to a desk job and snacking of office snacks, my weight began to rise. I was becoming paranoid of the weight-gain, I was weighing myself 4 times a day. Knowing exactly if I limited myself to exact foods, I would gain an ounce. It was extremely damaging, thankfully I had my boyfriend who cared enough to push the hard conversation with me. To help me to see the truth in own worth and that I didn’t need to find value in the scale. That I didn’t need to fear, that I would get back to being over 265lbs. He helped me to see that I was strong, that because I was determined not to let myself get so overweight again I wouldn’t. He also pointed out that I needed to break away from the unhealthy need to be “skinny” that I needed to be healthy. Regardless that if for my body that means being closer to 135-140lbs.
I still have moments of struggle, but I wanted to find strength over being skinny. I needed to find what was MY healthy. I took that challenge of running the Mud Hero into running multiple Spartan Races, the community was so supportive and encouraging in finding your strengths and pushing your goals. I adjusted my training to include weight lifting and I could not have been happier! I even completed my Trifecta which is running a Sprint, Super and Beast in one season. The Spartan Beast was 24km+ up and down a mountain with obstacles, 33* blazing sun. I finished in 6 hours all alone. I got a finishers medal, a t-shirt and second degree sunburn! Beyond all that I proved to myself I can overcome anything. I hung up my racing glory for the past couple years since I was pretty darn banged up from multiple injuries, but my weightlifting has continued. I spoiled myself with new workout gear when I started my Spartan journey, that is how I found Gymshark and it changed my life. The clothes gave me a new found confidence in my body along with new connections in the fitness world. I have learnt so much from others whose journeys I have begun to follow. I took part in two Gymshark 66 challenges, I loved the engaging support and friends it has brought into my life. This isn’t just a company it is a family world wide. I even won third place in the 2019 campaign! I was dumbstruck! The fitness journey I am on is not a start and stop race. This is a lifestyle for me, ever evolving and being exactly what I need to live my truest healthiest life. I now love and appreciate my body, embrace my story, celebrate my shape even if it wasn’t the ideal of media. I share my journey to help anyone who was ever in the place I was, to know you can continue, you can change, you can adapt, it isn’t failing if you need to change your plans. It is only failing if you stop and you give up.
I am beyond grateful for my kids for being the reason that pushed me forward and continue to drive me. My boyfriend who loves me no matter what I am going through. To my friends who have joined me on this crazy lifestyle change and embraced their journey. I am proud and never want to stop this drive towards living my life instead of must numbingly let it pass foggy in front on me. I look forward to 5am gym sessions, hiking, family movie nights with lots of snacks, to balance in all parts of my life.”