Everyone is on their own health and fitness journey, and it definitely doesn't always move in a linear fashion. It might seem like most fitness professionals have it all together, and I can't speak for anyone else, but I definitely don't. I can't say that I've ever battled with being overweight, but I've had battles of my own.
In my early twenties I found myself getting very caught up in what the media told me I was supposed to look like if I wanted to be attractive. I started playing a game with myself to see how long I could go without eating. After a while, I got very good at it and I started losing weight at a rapid pace. Over the next few months people started telling me how skinny I looked, and I hate to admit it now, but I loved hearing that. The problem was that when I looked in the mirror, the image reflected back at me wasn't that at all. I saw a bloated belly and love handles. It wasn't good enough. I wasn't good enough.
I didn't want to admit it to myself at the time, but I was quickly spiraling down a scary path to an eating disorder. I wasn't diagnosed with any textbook-named illness, but I would say I had developed some disordered eating patterns that were leading to a serious case of body dysmorphia.
Finally, one day I saw a photo of myself on Facebook and it dawned on me just how skinny I really was. It was a rude awakening because I just didn't see that when I looked at myself in the mirror. By this point I was 90lbs and had a lot of weight to gain. Part of the problem was that I had developed some stomach issues along the way, and eating became a struggle because my body had a lot of trouble digesting food. I was in for a long road to recovery, but I had finally recognized I needed a change.
My Iron Journey began when I saw some photos of friends doing CrossFit, and I loved the way they looked. They looked strong and lean and they were doing some really incredible things. I decided I wanted to try it. Little did I know, it would save my life.
My original plan was to do CrossFit 3-4x/week in the hopes of developing lean arms and a toned tummy. Shortly after starting my new hobby, my competitive side showed up and all I wanted was to be the best at CrossFit. The problem was that in order to be good at it, I needed to be stronger. I decided to try my hand at Powerlifting in an attempt to increase my strength and I immediately fell in love with the sport. Powerlifting doesn't care about what you look like, it's pretty simple: if you can't lift the barbell, you lose. It became very clear that the only way I was going to get stronger was if I started eating more food. And so, the vicious downwards spiral that I found myself in started slowly reversing itself.
I threw myself into lifting and the more I did it, the less I cared what I looked like and the more I cared about how I performed. The funny thing is, over time my body started to transform in ways I never thought possible. And that toned figure that I'd always lusted after, I achieved anyway. The key all along had been eating (a lot) of very healthy nutrient-dense food, and lifting weights (safely) and in a well-structured manner. The more I took care of myself, physically and mentally, the more my body gave back to me.
I understand how hard it is to get stuck in a pattern that you feel like you can't get out of. You feel trapped and hopeless and very very alone. YOU ARE NOT ALONE. Everyone is fighting their own invisible battle. The fitness industry can be a very confusing place due to the vast amount of conflicting information that's out there. I decided to start my own business as a way of pushing aside all of the bullshit and providing well researched and science-backed information and coaching that you can trust. It won't be fancy. It won't be sexy. I won't make any promises for quick weight-loss or 8 week abs. But I will be honest and straightforward with you about the facts. If you ever have any questions about personal training and nutrition coaching, or you just want to find out more about how I can help you, feel free to reach out. Otherwise, I hope I can clear up any misconceptions and provide you with a little bit of wisdom to get you started on your own Iron Journey.