Going back a few years ago I always chased the ‘slim’ look, I used to be quite chubby when I was younger so I tried so hard to get the weight off (in the worst way possible).
Being un-educated I just thought eating less was going to get me to my desired goal. As you can imagine I lost 3 stone, this was not a good look for me, looking at myself I thought this is what I wanted but all my loved ones kept telling me how un-healthy and ill I looked, but I could not see it!
My diet consisted of cereal for breakfast, something small for lunch before work and then I wouldn’t take no meals to work (I worked from 2pm-10pm), I would take some Haribo's to work and that was it! I was super dehydrated, probably drinking around 1L a day, somedays I could go off 3 coffees a day – this led to water infections most months and also kidney infections. My face was drawn and quite literally looked like a bag of bones; I was constantly fatigued & pale.
I started to feel really un-happy with the way I looked, I finally started to see what others saw. 7 stone and 5ft 5 you can imagine how un-healthy I looked. The thought of gaining weight absolutely terrified me. I used to get really horrible remarks for the way I looked, somehow it was acceptable to point out when someone was under weight and people didn’t batter an eye lid. - I remember feeling humiliated and worthless.
I really wanted to start the gym to get rid of this horrible feeling of not feeling good enough, but I knew nobody who went and was terrified of the thought of going alone, I had no idea where to start or what to do. I finally plucked up the courage and contacted my local gym (this was more of a fitness gym) and asked for personal training, I thought this would get me used to the gym environment and also meet the people who attended to settle my anxiety.
I finally started getting used to the gym environment and met some really nice people who put me at ease, so I finally plucked up the courage to start doing group classes which really helped with my confidence at the gym, I did this for around 3 months. I had to make this a priority as personal training a few times a week can be expensive but when you have a goal you will do absolutely anything to achieve it.
After 3 months of circuit training, I saw a girl who had recently competed who lived near me on social media and decided to reach out and ask if I could train with her. It was the most nerve-wracking day, going in to a proper weight lifting gym with someone I had never met! The anxiety was real.
Half way through my training session, she introduced me to her coach and said that I'd love to one day compete. From there, I started having personal training sessions with the coach around 4-5 a week which I instantly had the bug for it, it was such a good feeling knowing that I was getting myself back on track.
It took me around 2 years to gain confidence to go in the gym on my own, before that I wouldn’t step foot in to a gym without my coach, the thought petrified me. Even after winning shows, winning an overall I still couldn't train alone which looking back was strange, I could step on stage no issue but walking up to dumbbells alone was a big no!
The first time I actually trained alone was when I joined Team LRF, Rob gave me knowledge of what I was doing and why I was doing it, the understanding of my whole plan just made me feel more confident in what I was doing. I have grown more as a person in the last year and half with Team LRF than I have my whole life!
Fast forward 3 years, I'm over 3 stone heavier and in the best shape I have ever been in, I never believed it was possible to feel confident in my own skin until now. So don’t allow the fear of bettering yourself scare you, sometimes you need to be uncomfortable to grow.
It’s allowed me to grow in all aspects of my life, I have gone from struggling with social anxiety to being super social and helping others just like me. Team LRF are much more than just online coaches!