Our journeys are what shape us and make us who we are. There is nobody reading this blog who has not met with some hardships in life be they internal or external. I believe myself and Michelle were drawn together as friends not only because of a shared passion in our love of health & fitness but also because of the profound impact getting fit strong and healthy had on our general well-being and self-image. We didnt t just want to just share fit tips and food we wanted to be a resource and community that offered advice, support even just a laugh when required. I hope to continue on a path towards becoming a nutrition and CrossFit coach long term and help others toward a healthier life. With that in mind , I’m finally feeling ready to share a bit more of my story.
I am by nature a chatterbox, which would lead most to assume I’m very confident , social and outgoing and in some ways this is true but it was always a very conflicted social! Even writing this blog or any more personal pieces , I feel nervous and guarded . I worry that it wont be good enough or I’ll be looked at differently or judged …its scary to be open and tell your story but if it helps one other person to at least feel they are not alone in their battles then that’s reason enough.
I posted some of this to Instagram last week with a photo of me 5 years ago versus now . I was overwhelmed by the support it received which really helped me find the confidence to post it here and elaborate a little on my journey.
Officially it’s 3 years since I started CrossFit , 3 years leading me to feel the healthiest and happiest I’ve been since probably childhood.
The first picture was taken 5 years ago just around the time I started to consider I needed to exercise , weight was creeping up I was creeping towards 75 kg ( It wasn’t muscle) & as I’d been quite overweight in my early teens this caused me a lot of distress & brought back a lot of memories.
At 12 years of age I weighed 63kg I was very uncomfortable in my own skin and children can be cruel . I had always cared more about reading , writing , performance and creating stories with my dolls as a child than sports ( pure escapism through music , books or dance will always be a love of mine) .I did dance classes prior to this age but had taken a few years out which when you are prone to being a comfort eater(I touched on this in a previous blog) , didn’t bode well for my weight. Throughout this time I did very well in school and believed it didn’t matter that I wasn’t pretty or thin as I was smart. I wish that belief could have stayed with me.
As I got older I returned to performance , I adored dance and joined the fantastic Digges Lane Dance school at 15. I leaned out again but I still always thought I was fat , never as slim as other girls or as pretty. I stopped caring if I was smart or not as obviously that didn’t matter as much as being slim and wearing a crop top?!? Right?
Fast track the next few years of finishing school, starting college and working in bars. My priority became my social life. Travelling , partying , working . My insecurities and self-esteem dropped lower and lower even when my waistline dropped with it. Id have periods usually when travelling when I would be happy and almost feel confident but it never lasted it always caught up with me. I would play confident and act how I assumed I should , go out drink have fun but Id spend most of the time worried about what I said, did , people thought etc. My self-esteem was shot , Id hit some really low points and now I questioned who I was , how I looked and no longer had any confidence in my intelligence or capability either.
I returned from all my travels and moved to Galway to go back to college . With the support of my parents I managed to finish college , get a great job and make friends . Inside however I was still battling . I hit one of my lowest points when in Galway and I believe from that point things slowly began to change it frightened me I could get that low and dislike myself that much. When you keep doing the same things and expecting different results , that’s not a good sign right? I have always had a very loving and supportive family and at any point I needed them I could have reached out , but it’s not always that easy when you don’t like yourself very much. You don’t want the ones that still love/like you to know!
So back to the picture
Id been slim and I’d been big unfortunately I struggled with self-esteem no matter the size so clearly the problem was more than my waistline. I’d band-aid it but it would always catch up with me rearing its ugly head . I had a supportive superfit person in my life at this time so there was no reason except fear and insecurity stopping me ; the barriers I put up. Being in a relationship with someone who loved me for me helped me start to like myself again. If they and my family and friends loved me I couldn’t be that bad right??
I started slowly with running , Zumba some sessions in the park then 3 years ago my CrossFit journey began .
Fast forward to now I go between 62-65 kg , my body fat is healthy & I’m strong and fit . My body is far from perfect some weeks I look like this pic with definition , other weeks I don’t , I enjoy a relaxed 80/20 approach!
I’ve had a lot of big life changes in those 3 years some tough and overwhelming but I’m healthy and that has gotten me through .
I’m stronger than I thought I’d ever be physically & mentally.
My self-worth is no longer defined by how thin I am , I don’t hate myself when I look in a mirror I actually embrace some parts of my body getting bigger as it means I’m getting stronger .
I have faith in who I am and what I can achieve . I’m brave enough to pursue new avenues. I’m brave enough to accept the love and support offered to me by my family and friends. I don’t dwell on my past mistakes.
Sometimes we don’t give ourselves credit for how far we have come on our own journeys & the victories you can’t see in an ab shot or by how much weights on the Barbell. Do I still have occasional low points, do I still worry a little too much what people think sometimes? Yes I do of course but becoming physically stronger , taking control of my health has equipped me to be able to manage and understand these moments . I am and always will be a work in progress and that to me is a beautiful thing because it means I’m always growing , learning & improving and I’m not afraid to do so.
Letting go of fear has set me free to be myself and ye know what Im alright 🙂
x x x