Some of you will have followed us for a while, some of you may be newer to our page. Some of you know the ins and outs of my journey so far, some of you know only of what I have wanted you to know.
Others don’t know any of my journey at all. What I can tell all of you is that I love to write, so put the kettle on and sit down with a story that I hope inspires you and motivates you on your own journey to health and fitness.
Rewind to November 2018, I had not long been married and gotten myself to a really good point with my physique in preparation for my wedding.
One Wednesday night I was training my usual routine of upper body and was finishing off a set on the assisted pull up machine. For some time I had a ‘little niggle’ on my upper right trap that I couldn’t shift but it had never caused me too much bother…I got to the top of my pull up and felt a twinge in my neck, I went extremely dizzy and lost sight for a minute.
I didn’t know what the hell was going on. I sat on the gym floor and waited for the dizziness to stop, gathered myself and my things together and went straight home. This was the beginning of what I thought was the end of training for me.
The next morning I was admitted to hospital with severe vertigo, I was violently sick every time someone tried to move me, I had no movement in my neck, complete loss of balance and I needed help to go take a wee…I couldn’t even walk by myself. I had my first of 3 brain scans and stayed put in hospital for three days. We never and still to this day got to the bottom of what had happened.
I was sent home with medication and diagnosed migrainous vertigo. I never truly believed this is what I had. From this point the pain in my neck and back got progressively worse. I couldn’t lift my right arm above my head, I couldn’t turn my neck as I should be able to, I didn’t have my full balance and I had a constant headache. Not the type just around your temples, it was as if someone was bashing the back of my skull in.
Again…I was prescribed more medication and referred for an MRI of my spine. We found a small disc bulge but nothing that could be causing what was going on.
This all took place over the next year. I had completely hit rock bottom. I was on anti depressants, regular medication, awaiting a specialist, having regular physio, i couldn’t play properly with my kids, I was not able to exercise or lift weights, I couldn’t demo the classes that I taught, I mimed exercises to my clients to explain what they should be doing. I stood and watched my clients do something that I loved doing so much but could no longer do.
In turn my nutrition was no longer consistent and my physique started to change, the weight crept up a bit and I was no longer in the shape I previously was. I had lost all confidence in myself and the way I now looked. There was sadness in my smile. I felt like a failure of a coach. And a failure of the person I once was to people who knew me.
I couldn’t practice what I so often preach. My services as a coach never slipped…but I did inside. I didn’t recognise myself. Neither did my family or friends.
Training is my passion, it’s my job, it’s my day to day, my escape, my feel good, my me time, my confidence, my HEALTH, my FITNESS, my PHYSIQUE, my HAPPY. And I’m sure many many of you reading this can relate to this as well.
After being referred to a specialist with no answers still to this day of what was actually wrong with me; I was offered steroid injections in my upper traps and the top of my shoulders.
On that same day the specialist also told me ‘There is a lot of inflammation and I wouldn’t recommend that going forward you are to lift any weight, I would favour bodyweight movements and cardio equipment over weight training’. I cried. A lot. And took the referral for the steroids. My physio advised me not to have the injections but I needed out of this pain and out of this misery. By now we are December 2019.
Let me tell you, when we put out weekly blogs we throw around the word ‘VALUE’ a hellova lot! Because if you do value something so much you will know how much that one thing means to you. You will do anything and everything to make that value your priority. This is of course a fitness page so it will always come back to health….but every single person has a HIGH VALUE of some sort in their life.
This is mine.
December 2019 I had my first set of steroid injections. By January 2020 I had only very mild pain. I could move about a little more, I could lift a 2.5kg dumbbell in the gym, I could do a press up on my knees and only feel discomfort instead of pain.
The biggest change was my mental health. I was able to do more so I started to slowly feel myself. I felt happier for being able to move about, for being able to pass clients dumbbells and at least show them how to use them. I could do some movements in my demo’s during class. I was starting to find my feet again.
I got rid of all prescribed medication and knew that this was something I had to fix myself going forward. This had lit a fire in my belly that I hadn’t felt for a long long time. I had the feel good factor, and I wanted more of it.
March 2020 we got locked down and the gyms were taken away. Boris is a wet wipe yes I know, but I’m actually very grateful for the rest and recovery that my body had during this time. I was able to exercise at a pace I was comfortable with and finally my mind was getting back to being in a really good place.
I was ready. I was ready to go after what I wanted and was determined to recover from everything I had previously gone through. I wanted the old me back. I wanted to feel comfortable in and out of my clothes. I wanted the confidence back that I had lost. I wanted my health and fitness to come first again. I wanted to fix my body. And I knew I wasn’t going to let ANYTHING stand in my way.
Those of you who know me personally will know that once my head is in something it’s in. 100%, not 99, not 90. 100%. Not because I’m ‘sad’, not because ‘I’m boring’ and not because ‘I’m a fitness freak’. It’s because it’s a HIGH VALUE of mine to feel and look good, both mentally and physically.
I love the way eating healthily makes me feel, I love the way my body feels on clean nutrition, I love the way I feel when I exercise and the positive effects it has on my physique. Can you relate to this? If so then fitness is also of a high value to you.
I had my second referral for more steroid injections in September 2020 and this time I didn’t need as many.
In October 2020 I signed up to a next level body challenge with a well known gym to the fitness industry. It wasn’t only an 8 week fatloss challenge to me, it was something I never imagined that my body would again be capable of. I needed the help to kickstart my exercises regime again and I found having the accountability and guidance from a coach of my own to be a MASSIVE help.
It gave me the confidence to at least try. I knew that at the end of each week I would report back to him and changes would only be made dependant on my progress. And the progress was on me. If you don’t put in the effort you don’t get the result.
Period. It’s on you.
And this was all on me. No one else. I gave 110% to this challenge. I was very nervous to perform some exercises as I hadn’t done them in such a long time, could I even do them? Would it hurt? Would I be able to progress? I wondered these questions a lot but I never let the fear stand in my way.
I just GOT IT DONE. 8 weeks later I won overall 1st place female winner!!
I never went into it as a competition, hand on heart, I didn’t think I stood a chance for a start. I was starting out a fresh and a newbie. Taking that step outside of my comfort zone was the key to progressing forward. The resilience, the effort, the patience, the consistency and the high value I had for this got me to a place I never thought possible. I had FINALLY regained what I thought I had lost.
The fire in my belly has only grown bigger. I feel the passion I used to feel. I feel the confidence towards exercise that I used to have once again. And do you know what I feel in my back….hardly anything at all! Exercise is the best form of medicine there is. Trust me.
I stayed on with my coach from the 8 week challenge and I’m now a further 15 weeks into a ‘physique building’ programme. I am loving every single minute of it.
This programme is my priority. Why? Because it’s makes me feel good! And that’s what life is all about. Feeling good! Feeling happy! Doing something that you love. Going after your goals. Getting the results that you want so much.
Don’t get me wrong, it doesn’t come for free, it takes a lot of PATIENCE, a lot of CONSISTENCY, a lot of SACRIFICE, a lot of TRUST, a lot of EFFORT. And it more often that not takes help from someone to push you in the right direction, to give you the confidence and accountability that you need to get there. You need a bloody good coach worth their weight in gold to keep you going some days. But it is SO WORTH IT!
Listen, I eat the same four meals day in day out. Is that boring? For some people yes. For me…honestly no. Its really not. It’s a routine that I’m happy with, it’s four meals that I actually really enjoy, it keeps me on track, I’m not tempted by foods that won’t fuel my body in the same way and it gets me physically where I need to be.
I workout 6 days a week (this does include work classes too). Is that crazy? For some yes. For me…honestly no, it’s dedication to the cause. I will do what it takes to get me to where I would like my physique to be. In case you are wondering…that’s in the sunshine on August 1st feeling bloody fabulous and proud of the hard work I have put in over the course of 10months.
Ask yourself….would you do whatever it took to get you to where you wanted to be?
I am now honestly the happiest I have ever been both physically and mentally. And I’ve not even touched the top of the iceberg yet. I can’t wait to push further, lift heavier, reap the rewards of the physique I’m currently building and most importantly, make myself and my little family proud of the 360 I have made this year. All 95% pain free.
What I once thought was impossible, is now possible ❤️.
ANYTHING in life is achievable if you value it enough to be.
Tip: Write down a list of your values in order of most important to least important.
If fitness is placed high up…then what are you gonna do about it?
My advice for you is all up in this story. Take the first step, no matter what stands in your way and keep at it until you get there! I promise….you will not regret it.
It’s just comes back to perspective. When we are no longer able to change a situation we are challenged to change ourselves. And those traps that gave me hella shit for a couple of years…have changed….THEY ARE GROWING BABY!
If you’ve made it this far, thank you for reading guys. I hope you take a little something from my journey to help push you along on yours ❤️.