I can vividly remember taking this picture, it almost feels like a million years ago. However, it did signify a huge change in my life that I’ll always be incredibly thankful for. At this point, I worked an office job that made me miserable, I didn’t exercise and my diet consisted of whatever fast food I ordered that day. I was also fresh out of an unhealthy relationship and I really can’t find the words to portray how miserable I was. I’d always struggled with body confidence... But my self/body confidence was at an all-time low.
I can remember the day it all changed. I woke up, got out of bed and went to grab my keys to grab my usual McDonald’s breakfast. A breakfast that often consisted of 2 Sausage and Egg McMuffin meals and a Monster from the local shops. (As a side note, I’m not trying to demonise foods here... But, I was very overweight, not exercising and didn’t understand the meaning of moderation.) Anyway, I digress... as I found my keys I looked up at the mirror and I wasn’t proud of the person I was looking at. I’d always struggled with motivation but the drive to change felt different this time.
Day 1 consisted of me cooking 2 bags of microwave rice, a handful of broccoli and 2 of the most unseasoned chicken breasts, before chucking it into a bowl and grazing on it throughout the day. I also signed up to a gym and googled ‘how to lift weights’. I followed the first workout I found and struggled through that workout but can remember the feeling of accomplishment when I was done. Days 2 through to 14 followed a similar pattern but I noticed things were getting easier in the gym and my bodyweight was starting to drop.
I kept this simple routine up for a couple of months without tracking my diet or workouts. Obviously, I hit a wall and plateaued very quickly. Although, I’d made positive changes to my life, they’d been pretty drastic and my lack of knowledge didn’t provide the best formula for sustainable change. This prompted me to find a personal trainer in my local gym as I felt I needed the extra help and guidance. The personal trainer I found gave me a very generic weight lifting plan and put me on a 900 calorie a day diet. Yes... a 900-calorie daily diet. For reference, a child requires more calories than that per day, and I was a 6’3, well over 100kg adult.
Nevertheless, I blindly followed this diet for a few months and would occasionally binge on the weekends to compensate for the minimal calories I was eating throughout the week. I can’t remember the exact number of KG that I dropped in this period, but let’s just say I lost a lot of weight. However, I also felt awful throughout this period and as mentioned would frequently raid the cupboards for an uncontrolled food binge. After a few months passed I inevitably found out that this person wasn’t qualified as a personal trainer and should definitely not be giving meal plans to people.
By this point, I’d dropped a significant amount of body weight and was increasingly falling in love with fitness and more specifically nutrition. I’d always played team sports growing up – so, I loosely understood the benefits of exercise. But I never anticipated how different your daily diet could make you feel. This new-found love of nutrition and the subsequent bad advice I’d received from the personal trainer prompted me into quitting my job in banking and pursuing a degree in Nutrition. I had an aim, to help people that had been in my shoes and stop them making the mistake that I did.
Fast forward five years, and I’ve graduated with a degree in Nutrition, generated an Instagram page with a small following, worked with numerous companies on a nutrition consultancy basis, worked with professional athletes, partnered with the best sportswear brand in the game (Legacy) and now host a weekly podcast focusing on all things nutrition, fitness and mental health.
Not only has my life completely changed, but I’ve completely changed as a person. Life is a funny old thing. I’d be a liar if I said I still didn’t have those body issues, but I work on them every day.