My journey from anorexic cardio queen to strong woman

My eating disorder started in my teens - skipping meals and a general dislike towards my body. However it wasn't severe yet. My love of exercise soon developed into an obsession and concurrent with that sweaty endeavour I created a full blown eating disorder that I suffered with all through my teens and 20's. Help arrived eventually through Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and I overcame my anorexia and bulimia when I was 29.

Fourteen years of terrible eating habits coupled with over training my cardio system had taken its toll, and whilst I had a better relationship with food at 29, when I sailed away from that maelstrom (and no longer felt the need to starve or make myself sick) I realised that I was still not fuelling my body the correct way.

What haunted me more was the dislike I had for myself & my body when I looked in the mirror - it was this that made me decide I needed to make a further change in order to find a happier, healthier me. I gradually introduced good sources of carbohydrates and fats into my diet - at last I was no longer living on protein and vegetables! This was the beginning of my journey to build a stronger body and cast aside the skinny weak girl that looked back disdainfully at me every morning.

And so it began, hours of research, looking at muscle groups, workout plans, videos, nutritional guidance on macro and micronutrients......you name it, I read it. It became my passion and I soon found myself lifting heavier weights, building muscle and sculpting my body in a way I never thought possible.

It was counter intuitive - the thing I loathed so long- that goddam mirror suddenly became my friend and I liked the slow but steady changes that shone back at me. I even found the confidence to document my transformation on Instagram where I felt anonymous and not judged for finding a new love of myself and my body.

Becoming a Personal Trainer was a natural progression as I had been a part time fitness instructor for years. However it was a tough career move and one I spent countless hours deliberating over economic feasibility and playing the head space game of "what if."

The change had to be made though as I found myself enjoying this hobby work more than my IT career. I don't mean that in a preachy kind of way, but simply because of the new found strength I had and also my experience in having managed to walk away from my culinary affliction (albeit it stole 14 years of me potentially enjoying fillet steak.)

Whilst I love training all my clients I have to admit I get a huge kick out of helping the fairer sex get over their fear of entering the weights area in gyms, and showing them that lifting weights is well within their ability and really really good for our bodies and minds.

https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/strength-training-builds-more-than-muscles

Best of all I love what I do, I don't dread work on a Sunday night, I often leave work elated because helping others achieve their goals is rewarding - for the most part I am happy.... yes I still have off days but don't we all? That's life I'm afraid and it's another part of the lesson I have learnt along the way.

Life can be hard and throws many curveballs but at least I am much better equipped to deal with those times and I have learned that life is a journey - mine made me stronger not just in body but also in mind.

Keep Smiling x