Sunday, 14 May 2017

'No great story ever started with a salad' VavaViolet fitness writer reveals her weightloss story

Living in a world that constantly reminds us of the standards of how a female should supposedly look is extremely difficult and disheartening at times. We see images of these women deemed “desirable” all over our TV’s, magazines and social media. Of course, seeing these standards so often is going to have an effect on how we see ourselves, and if you can say that at some point you haven’t stood in front of a mirror, poking random bits of flesh and questioning how you are going to lose X amount of weight in X amount of time, well… you’re probably lying.
I had days like that for the majority of my teens and still continue to have days like that now. I’m only human. For years I was unhealthy and at some stages, overweight… perhaps not always so much so that people would label me as “fat”, but enough that I was uncomfortable in tight-fitting clothes and always hated hot summer days where I felt I had to either cover up and face potentially melting and turning into a puddle, or dress for the weather but try and avoid getting too close to my small-framed friends for fear of looking like King Kong (I’m 5ft 11”).
In 2014, I embarked on the adventure of a lifetime and went backpacking solo in Australia. I was 19 at the time and it was something completely new and different for me, as well as being extremely daunting and nerve-wracking. In prep for my trip to Australia I was desperate to look “bikini ready”, so in between my 40-hour a week shifts at a local pub, I was hitting the gym, sometimes as late (or early) as 2am, and slogging it out on the treadmill for a good hour or so before doing a few squats in hope of getting that Jen Selter booty (Google her if you want to see some serious peachy goodness). Needless to say that within 2 weeks of living in Australia, I had spent far too much money on healthy foods, why is healthy food so much more expensive?! and the hangovers were now keeping me sofa bound rather than going for a morning run along the beach.
Fast forward one year and I was around one stone heavier and two dress sizes bigger than I was upon my arrival. By this point, I actually didn’t want to come home. I find it quite embarrassing to say but it wasn’t because I loved Australia or because of all the amazing people I’d met there, but because I was mortified at the thought of friends and family commenting on how much weight I had gained. That’s sad, right? Obviously, I had to get over it and come home, I was broke and I missed my family far too much to justify staying there any longer.
When I got home my mum was kind enough to get me a gym membership so that I could do some training with her, lose some weight and get my confidence levels back up. 18 months later and I still regularly attend the gym and eat a balanced diet most of the time. Nowadays I feel like a new woman. I feel good, I’m confident and I actually believe that I look good which is RARE!! The photo above is from my heaviest at 99kg in 2014 to my current weight, which to be honest I’m not even sure what it is because scales are not my friend (I’ll explain why another day), but it’s somewhere between 76-79kg. Three years sounds like a long old time but I didn’t begin exercising properly until 18 months ago which is when the real change happened!
I am a firm believer in training in a way that you can have fun and not being restrictive with food. Being fit and healthy is so much more than looking good. Aim to be strong, mentally and physically. Aim to break down stereotypes. Most importantly, aim to do everything for you and only you! Remember, no great story every started with a salad.

Written by VavaViolet Health and Fitness Writer Zhane Alexander.

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