MY STORY – THE LONG VERSION
Rewind a few years and you would have found me overweight, sick and desperately unhappy. All my life I have yo-yo’d from a size 16 to a size 8, and everything in between.
In 2010 I hit breaking point. It wasn’t just my weight – I was covered in eczema, suffered from IBS, anxiety and moodiness. I saw a doctor who gave me a cream to put on the eczema and suggested the IBS was normal. I knew this wasn’t right – I was merely fixing the symptom, not the problem. I started seeing my wonderful naturopath. It took a long time of trial and error, ultimately working out what herbs, minerals and vitamins I needed to support my system – I started to feel better. But – I was still gaining weight.
I have always been a regular gym-goer (I have a strong love affair with Les Mills gyms!) and my wonderful partner Jase won me a personal trainer for twelve weeks. I stepped it up and worked out the hardest I ever had. In conjunction with this, I signed up for Michelle Bridges 12 Week Body Transformation and followed her diet plans, recipes and completed the mindset exercises. I started running and completed my first Round the Bays event and 10 Km race. I joined a dragonboating team and paddled my heart out. In twelve weeks I managed to only lose 4 kgs and I was so disappointed. I had put in so much effort and I couldn’t work out what was going on.
Finally, blood tests confirmed what I (and my naturopath) had always suspected – my cortisol (stress hormone) levels were off the charts, and I was diagnosed with chronic stress. For a full run down on exactly what that means, check out my post. My body was in fight or flight mode despite there not being any actual danger, leading it to pack on the weight around my internal organs to protect them from this imaginary danger. It didn’t matter what I did – that fat was staying put.
Around this time, Jase and I quit our jobs and went travelling. The Big OE (overseas experience) is a rite of passage for us Kiwi’s, and when we landed in Canada, the weight started falling off me. I left a high-stress desk based job in New Zealand and went to working on my feet for an active company – but, without any major dietary or exercise changes I got down to my almost-goal weight, marking an overall weightloss of 10 kgs.
We moved from spending the summer in Vancouver to the winter in Whistler, and I learnt to snowboard and undertook a thirty day intensive yoga challenge. My weight stabilised and I realised that while I will always be curvy, this was my body’s natural equilibrium.
Living in the bubble of Whistler had to end (our visas expired) so we moved on to our next adventure. London. We’ve had a rocky two years here (rental scams, evictions, unemployment, redundancies) – but the one constant for both of us has been keeping exercise and health at the forefront of everything we do. I trained for my first half marathon, Run to the Beat, and since then have become quite the medal maniac!
Through writing this blog I have discovered an amazing community of likeminded friends and companies, tried everything from flying trapeze to indoor cycling to pilates and yoga classes. I’ve completed multiple Whole 30’s. And somehow I managed to complete two marathons – Paris in April 2014 and London in April 2015.
I’ve come a long way in four years, from the girl who struggled to run 500m and was overweight and unhappy. I have so much to thank this blog for, and that’s why I keep writing it. Thanks for joining me along the way!