Over the years I've been skinny, fit and overweight. Through all of those phases, I must admit that I was never happy with my body. Even when other people thought I looked good. I was never good enough. I've always had trouble with finding a balance. I did everything in excess. Whether it be working out too much, eating too much or not eating enough. These days, I must admit that I am thankful for having experienced all of those stages and now have a better understanding of how I can maintain a healthy, enjoyable lifestyle while learning to love my body.
In my early 20s, I dabbled in modelling. To be honest, I think I did that to boost my ego. Not a good motivation start and definitely not a good trait to have. I faked self confidence back then when in reality, I was fragile and had low self esteem.
I ran 5kms every morning 6 days a week. I also had a personal trainer/nutritionist that I saw 3 nights a week and was at the gym every other day. I was that girl that would party with her friends and when everyone was sprawled through the lounge room the next morning nursing a hangover, I was out the door running and working off the alcohol and late night food I took in the night before.
To people on the outside, it looked like I had a great balance and had it together. In my mind, I was never good enough. I think for me, being in the modelling industry only damaged my self confidence. Being surrounded by such gorgeous girls and constantly comparing myself to them not only caused me insecurities, it caused me to have an unhealthy relationship with my body.
When I decided to leave the country and go explore the world to find myself, I returned back to Australia a massive 18 kilos heavier. This was because I literally went from one extreme to the other.
The first country I ventured to was Thailand. I was there for 2 months and in that time, I drank every day, ate a lot of fried and greasy street food, ran on the beach once and saw the gym once. I'm not exactly sure how much weight I gained there but what I'm sure of is that I shocked the hell out of my body!
When I first arrived in Canada, it was summer in Toronto and I wanted to look good in a bikini again. I wasn't fat nor chubby but I sure wasn't fit anymore. I decided to sign up to the gym and in between double shifts in hospitality, I was at the gym on my lunch breaks. I started to look and feel better again.
Then winter hit. I was still going to the gym but because I didn't have a car, wearing 5 layers of clothing, snow pants and trudging through the snow, catching street cars and buses to get to the gym became a dreadful mission. It got as cold as minus 20 and my motivation to hit the gym deteriorated.
The cold weather shocked my body. I found myself drinking red wine every night and eating hot comfort food to keep myself warm. Mind you I will say 'Poutine' is amazing, Not a healthy choice at all though! God bless the north american food.
Then I met someone. It definitely rings true when people say Canadians hook up over winter and break up for the summer. Well that's what I found anyway. Heck, I even did it myself unconsciously! We drank wine every night, ate out for nearly every meal and I probably went to the gym less than 10 times over the cold season. Now when I say cold season, the whole year was cold and there was warm weather for only 3 months.
I did however join hot yoga, mainly as it was super warm in there and got me out of the cold. In saying this, I did go religiously but my diet was still out of whack. Now as most people state, its 80% diet and 20% activity. I was definitely not following this rule. Admittedly, I knew I had packed on some weight but I never saw it to be a problem as I was wearing so much clothing. To me, it was hardly noticeable. My cheeks were a little fuller, that's all. Well that's what I told myself.
When I arrived back to Australia, I could see my friends faces when they first took a glance at me. Thankfully, no one really mentioned anything. I did get a lot of comments stating that I looked really "happy". I think this was code for "Babe you really have been enjoying yourself, nudge nudge".
The summer was brutal, I was experiencing chaffing. Something I had never felt before. It was painful. I found myself sweating a lot more. I'm not sure what that was about as I haven't studied the dynamics of our bodies but it sure was uncomfortable.
That's when I decided to do something about my body. I joined Ashy Bines 12 week challenge as I needed help in getting to my work outs. I figured if I signed up to something where I was expected to be, I would commit. In 4 months, I lost 10 kilos. I started eating cleaner again and felt my energy levels raising.
Last year, I trained 6 days a week with Elite based training lifting weights. This is where my love of weightlifting stemmed from. Throughout this time, I have traveled Europe, gone to the Philippines a couple of times, had many trips away filled with booze but I have never been happier with myself. I train on my own and don't need anyone to tell me to go to the gym. I actually jump out of bed as soon as I remember it's gym time!
My progress has been slow and steady but I have finally found a way where I can still go on adventures, drink with my friends, eat pizza and burgers yet still be fit and healthy. It definitely is all about moderation. I am not trying to be a body builder and I definitely don't want to live a life filled with so many restrictions. I enjoy life and food too much.
Now don't get me wrong, I am not saying I have the perfect body. There is still loads of room for improvement but what I am saying is that I am extremely pleased with my progress and how far I have come. I am grateful that I can still eat, drink, travel and enjoy life through my journey. I also have a new found respect for my body and no longer feel self conscious around other gorgeous ladies. I know I'm not everyone's cup of tea but I sure as hell know I am my own kind of beautiful.
Hard work, commitment and believing in yourself really does pay off. If you want to see changes, you must first take the steps towards change. Whatever you put your mind to, is most definitely possible if you're willing to work for it.