Over the last three years I have become very verbal about my life. Everything I have gone through and how I have overcome my hardships. For years I felt so alone, that now I want to be the voice that lets other people know “whatever you are going through, you are not alone”. Lately I feel that I am stuck in my story. I keep talking about what I have achieved that my progress has slowed down. My identity mixed up with who I was and who I want to become.
I had planned to post next week (Monday 23rd) about it being my five year recovery from anorexia. Only right now that idea feels like I am waiting to live in the past. I don’t want to talk about what I have been through. I want to talk about what I am going through right now. I will never hide my past and I will always be here to talk to those who need someone they know can relate to them.
This is where I am today. I have gained 33lbs. I have gone from eating 300 calories to eating 2,000 calories a day. I train four to five days a week and it is my goal to compete in the NIFMA Bikini Fitness Competition in Dublin on October 8th.
I am loving every minute of this journey. What I have learned over the last three months of training is confidence at the gym can be difficult. Not only is it easy to fall into the trap of how you look but form and how much you can lift can be difficult for the ego to set aside. I am currently meant to be gaining weight yet I want to look lean and toned. I’ll never have the muscle mass I want if I don’t first gain weight. You need to eat an excess of calories to have energy to train and have your muscles repair and grow. Then you reduce your calories to lose excess weight gain and reveal the muscles you have worked so hard to develop. I had been struggling with this but during a cardio session, I was listening to the songs that remind me of my friend who died. My songs that focus me on why I’m doing all this and for the first time I didn’t care if I looked “fat”, whatever needs to be done to win will be done and I no longer care how others see me. I believe I can win this because heart is what keeps you going when you have nothing left in the tank and my heart is all in.
I’ve learned that you have to embrace your shape. As I started gaining weight I missed that I wasn’t fitting into some of my favourite clothes. Rather than feeling unattractive, I listened to the brilliant advice from my coach Rebecca and bought new clothes a size bigger. I feel absolutely amazing in them. But do you know what the most amazing feeling is? Gaining strength! I started off struggling to lift the 20kg Barbell and now I can lift 60kgs. I have even gotten up to 68kgs on one of the cable machines. Not bad for a lady who started off weight training with cans of pineapple.
I’ve always wanted to be this person but I was too afraid I’d try and fail. How silly of me. It is the best feeling in the world when I notice my progress and rather than beating myself up for not being where I want to be (yet!) I am giving myself credit where credit is due. I feel sometimes we are afraid to give ourselves praise because we feel that we are being full of ourselves, but if we would say it to a friend, why can’t we say it to ourselves? A quote from Muhammad Ali that I am currently looking at says “I am the greatest, I said that even before I knew I was”. No one needs to believe in you but yourself. So stop playing that old story of “this is who I am and who I have always been”. We are constantly changing and growing. We can be whoever we want to be. We could be a completely different person every day if we chose to be so let’s stop limiting ourselves.
Date to remember Eating Disorder Awareness Week Ireland February 27th – March 5th 2017 www.bodywhys.ie for more details.