FITNESS HAS ALWAYS BEEN A HUGE PART OF MY LIFE, BUT THERE WAS A TIME WHERE I LOST MY ZEST AND STRUGGLED TO FIND IT AGAIN.
I grew up as a very active child with two brothers, so I was quite the tomboy. I played tennis competitively for 12 years and had ambitions of being a professional tennis player. However due to many injuries I endured over the years, I retired from the sport in my late teens.
After that I worked in the hospitality industry. But adjusting to that lifestyle was definitely challenging. I struggled to find balance in my personal life as my work consisted of early mornings, late nights, sleeping erratically and constantly eating on-the-go or buffet leftovers. Once I hit my 20s, I landed a job on Hamilton Island and began having the time of my life. I felt like I was constantly on a holiday. Drinking cocktails, eating BBQ ribs, sipping on champagne, strolling around the marina with an ice-cream and partying hard at the nightclub became the new normal.
It didn’t take long for me to realise the toxicity of my lifestyle. It was reflected in my changing waistline, low energy levels and tighter clothes. My confidence suffered as I was embarrassed by my appearance and felt humiliated to be seen in a bikini. Even with the intention to lose weight, I continually made bad choices and found myself ‘wishing’ rather than ‘doing’.
My turning point happened when I was 24 years old and 15 kilos heavier. I decided to move on from hospitality and commence a 9-5 administration job. I had my weekends back and along with this came alcohol-fuelled nights including McDonald binges. However, with my weekly routine consisting of sitting at a desk 40 hours a week along with drinking excessively and eating an abundance of greasy, fatty and processed foods, my weight continued to increase and I lacked the willpower to say ‘no’.
My motivational spark was reignited after I sat down at work one day and the buttons on my pants literally burst off. I was disgusted and mortified. Right then was the moment I decided to get fit and keep it that way.
I swapped the party dress for Lorna Janes, the heels for a pair of Nikes, and the cocktails for protein shakes. I signed up to a gym and attended group fitness classes a couple of times a week. I would tuck myself behind a treadmill as well because I found every other area of the gym really intimidating. I had never lifted weights in my life and literally had no clue what I was doing. I decided to seek the help of a personal trainer and trained with him twice a week.
Over the following months I remained consistent and disciplined in my training and nutrition. Each weigh-in with my trainer continued to show that my hard work was paying off. Not only was I shredding away unwanted body fat and building lean muscle, but my mentality became increasingly positive and I had a much happier disposition. I was bouncing with optimism, free of insecurity, more productive at work and most importantly, had developed a healthier self-perception.
Transitioning to my new lifestyle was tough. I was really stepping out of my comfort zone and challenging myself in ways that I hadn’t before both - physically and mentally. I changed my daily routine to attend my PT sessions and was getting up as early as 4:30am to do a workout. I actively planned my meals ahead of time and became better informed of what food was actually made up of. I learned to say ‘no’ to temptation and was proactive in my healthier lifestyle choices (including less partying).
Within weeks, I started to see significant changes in my body. My waistline started to shrink, my belly was far less bloated and my clothes began to feel more comfortable again. I was ecstatic. I had even mustered up enough confidence to start lifting weights on my own.
I had grown such a deep appreciation for aesthetics throughout my fitness transformation that it only seemed natural to progress to the next stage of my journey – bodybuilding. I wanted to continue challenging myself and pushing the boundaries, so I contacted a conditioning coach and immediately commenced competition prep. After 16 weeks of training hard and following a tailored nutrition plan, I stepped on stage for the first time at the 2014 INBA Queensland Titles. I was completely blown away when I placed 1st in my Bikini Novice division and 4th in Bikini Opens. A couple of weeks later I competed at the INBA Australian Titles and placed 4th in the Bikini Intermediate division. At the INBA Brisbane Classic this year I placed top 5 in all my divisions.
Fitness has completely changed my life and become my passion. I am addicted to how lifting weights transforms my body and I really enjoy experimenting with new, healthy recipes. I decided to pursue a career in personal training, and in 2014 I obtained my certification through the Australian Institute of Fitness. I feel a true sense of accomplishment and absolutely love my job. I am so proud of the direction I am going in and so excited for the future as it has never looked so bright.