For as long as I can remember I have been sporty. I started out playing netball, competing in athletics, doing gymnastics and playing squash. As I got older my focus was more on competitive squash, fitness classes and running.
After having two children my love of sports and fitness never died, I just got a bit lazy and unmotivated in keeping it a priority. Like most mums the children and family needs always came first.
Both my children were at school and I was working full time in an office job while running a small farm rearing calves. I made excuses that I had no time to exercise. Then one day at the age of 29 I saw a photo of myself and couldn’t believe how much weight I had piled on and realised if I was totally honest with myself I looked and felt like crap! It was time to make a lifestyle change.
I joined a gym and started to get myself sorted. Regular exercise and a better mind set helped although my nutrition was still not the best. Then one day I decided I needed to set myself a challenge! I had always wanted to do a bodybuilding competition – what better way to get my food and exercise under total control.
Believe me, the journey was not easy! Two children ages 6 & 8, working full time, running a small calf rearing block and a husband who was not supportive with my chosen sport. However I soldiered on and decided I was not making any more excuses. This was about me and that I wanted to prove to myself that I was capable of controlling my nutrition, train hard and still carry on with life’s responsibilities. The nutrition and mental aspects of maintaining the discipline and dedication certainly had its moments. It was a roller coaster ride, however one I will never regret.
I had never even been to a competition so this was something totally out of my comfort zone! I didn’t receive any help, just trained on my own, did my own nutrition – having absolutely no idea what I was doing. However, I got up on that stage and felt so proud of myself. After the competition I struggled badly. I ate everything in sight, was depressed, wouldn’t go to the gym, got fat (well thought I was fat, when actually I was back to normal). I even asked my husband to put a lock on the fridge – as I had an eating problem!!
It took me nine months to get that sorted and under control. Two years after the first competition I decided to have another go at competing, this time seeing a nutritionist and also training with an experienced bodybuilder. My results where amazing. I learnt so much about myself, my strengths, my weaknesses and also a lot about how nutrition and the body work together.
I felt at the time that no matter how lean I got I was still unhappy about certain parts of my body. I have now learnt that everyone is different, everyone has a certain body part they don’t like. But most of all I have learnt that it’s about being healthy and happy and by combining exercise and good nutrition we can live a happy healthy life.
Over the years my personal life has endured several stressful times. I have been through a divorce, my sister passed away at the age of 33 years and I was made redundant. I have learnt and grown from these obstacles and have not let them derail me from my fit and healthy lifestyle. In fact it has made me realise that it has kept me strong to be able to deal with whatever life throws at me.
I am 50 years old now and I feel that I am the fittest and healthiest I have ever been. As I have aged I have had to adapt my exercise and training accordingly. I have a very loving supportive partner, two beautiful grown children, a gorgeous granddaughter with two more grandchildren on the way and am in the industry of changing lives. What more could I ask for?