Sport and Fitness has always been a huge passion of mine which lead me to compete in multiple sporting fields. I have spent ten years as a dancer, five years in equestrian, five years as a triathlete, and two years as a bikini bodybuilding competitor.
During my triathlon days, my health suffered from over exercising and under eating. This was stemmed from the high physical demands of the training, and the expectation to be a certain size from the sporting industry and social media.
At the time, “low fat”, “low carb” and calorie counting was the current diet trend. I discovered calorie tracking apps and this is what controlled my eating decisions. As a result, I battled through my training sessions, developed hormonal imbalanced, had terrible body image and food became the enemy.
After 5 years of putting my body through ridiculous hours of cardio training, I decided to try something new and switched from endurance to strength training. I started going to the gym and soon got in bodybuilding which was another fitness craze.
Through preparing for body building competitions, I learned how to optimise diet to support muscle growth and achieve the desired physique. However, as with the triathlon training, this “bodybuilding” lifestyle wasn’t healthy or sustainable, and I had simply gone from one extreme to the other.
I struggled with not being able to socialise without guilt or anxiety, I was weighing and measuring every gram of food, I STILL had hormonal issues due to lack of fats in my diet, and I lost the ability to listen to my appetite signals due to continuously eating by the clock. Ironically, in my attempts to be “healthy” I was doing just the opposite.
Although these were hard years, I learned some very important lessons:
> Understanding how to fuel and nourish your body adequately is crucial for healthy hormonal balance
> Diets, whether they be low carb or high carb, are NOT enjoyable or sustainable long-term.
> We are much more complexed than a calorie equation
> Life is too short to miss out on social occasions and the foods you love.
> No body weight or shape is worth sacrificing your physical and mental health for.