Since the age of 4, I was always active with playing football at a high level. I was loving life and nothing really fazed or worried me. At the age of 12, I remember looking in the mirror and feeling majorly disheartened and disgusted at what I saw back at me.
I decided to change my diet and to loose just a few pounds; this was all I was looking to do. As the weeks went on, I started to really enjoy going to the gym and I was eating as little as under 500 calories. From that moment on, it became an obsession and my life wasn’t the same after that. I was then diagnosed with Anorexia, Depression + Body Dysmorphia. I missed a lot of school and dropped out of college 3 times. In 2012, I spent 6 months in hospital where I had my 16th birthday. I had not only suffered the physical (drastic weight loss, osteopenia, insomnia, lack of concentration) and mental symptoms of the illness, but more importantly I lost my personality and family/friend relationships. Over the years, I’ve had plenty of moments where you’d think would give me motivation to change but nothing gave me the kick up the bum I needed….Not even the death of my friend last year who only just turned 18 who died of the same illness.
The illness was just so strong and I felt like a robot being controlled by a voice every single day. In February this year, I was at an all time low both physically + mentally and I could feel myself drifting away and giving up on everything. I was then given 3 months to live by doctors. I looked at my mum and she poured her heart out. I was obviously scared but again, I didn’t do anything to me. I didn’t even tell friends or people at college, just acted as if nothing had happened.
A few weeks later, I met Joanna Nowak, a personal trainer at Bradley Stoke Leisure centre. We spoke about how she can help and how we would keep moving forward. She initially just wanted to be my life coach and I would meet with her weekly to have someone to talk to, do light exercises + she would slowly add stuff into my diet.….. As the months have gone on, so much has changed. Since August I have been doing Body building type training which I’m loving! Because of her, she has helped me grow in so many ways including confidence which has allowed me to challenge certain fears of mine, my attitude towards other people’s opinions of me + life in general has changed, getting back into work, socialize with other people and about a month ago, my body has started working properly for the first time since I was 12 and I reached a healthy weight for the first time ever.
I am not only getting stronger in and outside of the gym and eating 6 times a day but I am feeling like myself again and it feels amazing. Words cannot express how much I appreciate Joanna… if it wasn’t for her then I wouldn’t of made my 20th birthday. It’s far from over but I’ve never been this focused in not only getting better but just with wanting to start living my life again. My goal now is to become an ambassador for a sports supplement company and to just create positivity around nutrition and really motivate people!