It certainly has! I guess a very short version of my story is that I grew up in a very non-traditional household in conditions that were violent and controlling. I
was kept away from a lot of things people experience in normal growing up and kicked out of home at 18 into the big wide world with no clue. I battled with my
mental health and to find my place in the world for a very long time including suicide attempts in my early 20s.
During my 20s I went through infertility and then in my early 30s I became unwell. Although at the time we didn't really know what was going on, I ended up using a
wheelchair and unable to do a lot of things. In 2013 I was told I may not walk again. It was a low point for sure, but I was determined not to have my future
determined by whatever was going on and in late 2014 I took my first proper steps again and haven't looked back. In 2019 I was diagnosed with Ankylosing
Spondylitis and a bone disease. Thankfully I take medications which help me to keep going in spite of this.
In 2017 I was diagnosed with PTSD from my childhood experiences and had therapy to help me move forward. It was a big turning point. After I had dealt with the
trauma it gave me strength to tackle other things.
I first started dieting at 19. I had been told for many years that I was fat and ugly. Looking back at photographs and knowing my weight from back then I was not -
I weighed 10 stone and was a size 12-14, but I believed what I was told and felt I needed to sort it. I was diagnosed with PCOS in my early 20s and even thought it
was explained to me that I might struggle with my weight it didn't make me feel any better. Over the years I tried every diet known to man in a bid to change it,
but as time passed I ended up gaining more weight each time I gave up. In January 2019 I weighed in at 23 stone and I knew it had to change. We had just been
denied the chance to adopt and my weight was given as a reason.
I haven't looked back since then. After chasing quick fixes for years I let go and decided to chip away at it bit by bit and 3 years later I have lost over 140lbs
and become an athlete. I'd like to point out that all of this was after the age of 40 - so it goes to show it's never too late to start.
During the pandemic I had to shield and it gave me a lot of time on my hands. I decided to think about what I really wanted to do and qualified as a coach and set
up my business. I now coach people online to help them achieve their goals. As well as this I also work for Jay Alderton (a big coach in the fitness industry)
helping to support the coaches of the future to give their clients the best. My own training continues to evolve - getting into weightlifting was so much fun, but
I now train as an endurance athlete and set myself challenges to work towards. Last year I won the Bulldog Gear Challenge - something I took on as it was so out of
my comfort zone. Because of that I also get to work with the company on encouraging people to get into fitness which is such a great thing.
After years of feeling like I wasn't enough and wasn't a proper woman because of not being able to have children, it feels great to be able to celebrate what my
body can do and all that comes with it.