Summer 2018, I saw myself in some family photos and I looked huge, I was happy but I was far from healthy! It was then I decided I needed to get my arse in gear, I started the Couch to 5k app that day and hated EVERY.SINGLE.SECOND but I carried on because I knew I needed to do something and the Couch to 5k app was the only thing that was being targeted towards me on social media as an option to ‘Get fit!’
I plucked up the courage to join a local gym so I could start swimming again, as there was no way I was going into the actual gym (it was bad enough cramming myself into a swimsuit) but I went to an aqua aerobics class thinking "that'll be easy" and let me tell you, it was not! A few weeks in, it didn't even start to get easier but I jumped higher, pumped my arms faster and surprisingly didn't feel like I was going to die (I know- so dramatic).
Feeling a difference in how my clothes fitted, buoyed by my progress with aqua and Couch to 5k, when a friend asked me to try a new Boxfit class with her I said "yes!". I shit you not, 10 minutes in I wanted to vomit (or the ground to swallow me up whichever came first to free me from the hell of how unfit I felt), but by the end, I wasn't dead, and the endorphin rush had me on an absolute high! Between Swimming, Aqua and Boxfit I was hooked on that rush, I joined every class I could around my life schedule. Circuits class was where I finally found something that didn't feel like I was working out, a love of weight training. Looking at a pair of 20kg kettlebells that I was expected to not only lift up but walk across the room with - twice! filled me with dread and determination in equal measure, once I did it, I wanted more… I loved it. Not only that endorphin rush, but the sense of strength, power, and pure badassery! It finally pushed me to ask for help (a Big thing for me) and go into the "big scary gym" which actually wasn't big or scary at all (tbh most of the people I've spoken to feel exactly the same as I do and I can tell you no one cares about you doing your workout and your internal crisis because they're too busy thinking about their own shizzle, oh, and trying not to fart while squatting!!) I can tell you, it's the best thing I have ever done for myself. I've never looked back…
I appreciate this sounds very simple, and the concept in itself is "find something you love and do it” because it truly does feel less like hard work when you love what you're doing, but that airy-fairy and happily-ever-after mentality has never washed with me, it wasn't easy. I had people that were supposed to be my support network telling me "you'll be too muscly, you're going to get big and look like a man", "it's not very feminine" and everything in between… But fuck them, I was happy and bossing it!
Suffering from PCOS (think crazy and painful menstrual cycles, rollercoaster hormones, feeling like a gorilla and all the acne) a million allergies, my own body, which lets face it, is often against us even though it's meant to be on our side, didn't like most of the macronutrient focussed diets I suffered through (have you tried eating over 100g of protein a day on only 1000 calories? Jayyyysus it's hard"). Through the meltdowns, the crying, (Yes, contrary to popular belief I actually do cry... sometimes) the moments of weakness, far too much guilt and some truly awful recipes I forced myself to eat. I realised that this completely nuts relationship I'd developed with food was the opposite of what I wanted and it was making me just as miserable as I was before I started this journey. Solution = Balance. Eat the damn cake, enjoy those crisps and just be happy. Nothing in moderation can kill you and if you're moving your body and educating yourself on what you're putting in your mouth, you'll find a balance that works for your body and your mind and there you’ll find peace! (Check me out, inner zen master over here!)
I'm not only fitter, healthier and slimmer now than I was when I started this journey, 4 years ago (Don't panic, it didn't take me 4 years to find the balance but it did take about 2 and it's taken much longer to want to open up and talk about my journey) but I'm so much stronger physically and mentally now, I don't find myself short-tempered at home or frustrated at work anymore (ask my colleagues if you don’t believe me! I was a bloody dragon, well, I still am sometimes but only when it's necessary). I found something that worked for me, I said Fuck You to all the haters, used their nay-saying to power my focus and ploughed on regardless. Even if you're reading this thinking “you make it sound simple”, or “that won't work for me” ask yourself, did I try? truly try, as hard as I could have? Or did I sell myself short after falling at a couple of hurdles? Take the step, believe in yourself, be brave, try again or try for the first time. Your body will hate you at first, your mind will tell you it's too hard and you should go back to the warm comfy sofa and you'll be tempted to quit. But i promise you if you keep pushing, keep trying, and find something you enjoy (dare i say love) you'll find an evolved and empowered you buried deep inside, that is busting to break free and feel like a badass!
Annnd, I still have blips… After putting on a bit of timber over the back end of 2021 and deciding that a clean month would help… I went full steam ahead with low calorie eating and Dry Jan (fuck me it was awful) and yeah wahooo, i’ve lost 6 pounds in 20 days. But by neglecting the fundamentals that took me so long to learn, I’m dehydrated (aah thats why you’ve had crazy headaches you absolute twat) and that 6 pounds of “loss” is actually muscle not fat (for fucks sake) so why did i think this crazy clean eating month would work when i’ve tried it all before? Oh, I don't know, I got on the scales at the end of December had a bit of a mental breakdown and then took drastic action, which lets face it - isn't sustainable and wasn't fun. I’m going to chalk that up to some brain fart and push on with what I know works for me, makes me happy and brings me peace.
If you made it this far, I hope that you've found this inspiring, or at least entertaining and I haven't bored you too much (if i have you can blame Lucy for pushing me out of my comfort zone and encouraging me to write this- love ya really!) If you want to reach out and chat to me about anything, I'm just at the other end of instagram @kimbibee - hit me up!
A huge thank you to kim for this fabulously raw and honest insight into her Journey so far.
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