Steph and Rachel
You can read all about our individual journey's to wellness below.
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Steph's Journey Back to Wellness
A SPORTING START
Life started pretty active for me, I was a competitive figure skater for most of my childhood right up until I got injured in my late teens and my dreams of competing around the world were shattered.
This was a major blow to my confidence and character because my life had revolved around skating and being part of a team, and suddenly that support was gone. I lost my way, my fitness depleted because I had to get a ‘REAL’ job which was a desk job in the corporate world and my fitness declined even further!
Sat at a desk all day my energy was on the floor. My time was spent commuting from work to home with no time for planning, eating healthy went out the window and takeaways, fast food, chocolate and alcohol (at home and at bars) became the norm in my daily routine.
I was so unhappy that I thought food and alcohol could make me feel better, forget who I was and what I lost. They didn’t, they just helped me feel worse about myself because of the weight that I gained and I no longer recognised the woman looking back at me in the mirror.
This negative and damaging behaviour continued for several years, I hated my life and who I’d become. I was yo-yo dieting, exercising like crazy and then stopping, the weight came off and back on again, over and over again!
My dieting even included the ‘cabbage Soup Diet’ which lasted about a week. It came to an abrupt end when my blood sugar and energy dropped so low I almost fell in front of a train! Thankfully Rachel was on hand to catch me and then provide a quick sugar shot of a chocolate bar… of course that was the end of the diet, so round in circles I went!
I had let myself down, treated myself as a second class citizen in my own life, I felt like a failure. My clothes didn’t fit me properly, I felt uncomfortable, unconfident and after seeing a picture of myself from my latest trip to New York, I was utterly devastated with who I saw, it wasn’t me or at least who I felt I should be.
My turning point wasn’t until I was flicking through a health and fitness magazine when I came across an article that struck a chord. It was as if I was reading about myself, this woman had changed her life around and it wasn’t following some crazy gimmicky diet or fitness craze, she had done it the natural way. IT BLEW MY MIND because it seemed achievable, it spoke to me and was the one thing that changed my life. If SHE could do it then I could do it too.
I used the simple food, fitness and lifestyle recommendations in the article to get started and I also joined an outdoor fitness group run by a personal trainer, which then gave me more support and guidance toward reaching my goals and THAT was the best investment I could have ever made.
My passion for exercising was reignited and by virtually cutting out alcohol I was able to gradually reduce my weight and then keep it off. The stronger I became physically and emotionally helped me to believe in myself, that anything was possible again, so I made the decision to train as a personal trainer so I could continue my own development but also help others.
The change was AMAZING, I felt like I had found my old self again but I was a new version of me, I was now in control and became more confident in what I could achieve. Today I look back at what I have achieved, the challenges I have overcome and am proud of how I used my own personal challenges to help hundreds of women just like me find their way (back) towards a healthier body and a happier life.
None of this has been easy, but the effort has been worth the rewards and you can’t put a price on that. If I hadn’t had a support network of women around me inspiring me, cheering me on and supporting me on my journey I know I wouldn’t be where I am today.
This is why Rachel and I have set up the Chicks of Wellness, so we can provide you with that same support on your journey to greater wellness.
Rachel's Journey Back to Wellness
As soon as I could walk I started dance lessons and dancing became my thing, so I started to compete and also added acting and signing to my repertoire. This was who I was, it was every part of my life, my mornings before school, my evenings after school and my weekends. Being a free spirit, having this level of discipline was certainly a challenge but I didn’t realise quite how much!
When I entered my late teens my discipline and passion waned and I started to rebel against the life I had been living. I was still dancing but that was mainly in nightclubs and I discovered a life of partying and indulgence. My weight declined dramatically and although I was ‘thin’ I was far from healthy, I lost my dancer’s body, all the muscle had gone and I looked ill.
When my DISCO DAYS came to an end, because I didn’t have a healthy diet (alcohol, pizza, pastries, energy drinks, soda, sweets, chocolate…) I rapidly piled on the pounds and went from 30 pounds underweight to 50 pounds overweight which was especially bad for a woman of my height (5ft 4.5inches)!
My previous ‘clubbing skirt’ went from fitting my waist to fitting my thigh! Now, I’m not one for berating myself and actually had no idea how I looked to the outside world, I was larger but I was still ME so I was OK with that. What I wasn’t OK with was the health aspect of my diet and weight gain. I tried slimming shakes, slimming pills and detoxes which worked initially but each time I got bigger!
By this stage I was heading towards my late twenties and probably towards diabetes, heart disease and every other health problem concerned with rapid and sustained weight gain! I was a shadow of my former self in body, mind and spirit, I was lost.
My energy levels were at rock bottom, I felt sluggish, unmotivated and despite being a naturally positive person, my mood declined so I was in a depressed state which meant more turning to food and drink, it was a vicious cycle and one I had to break.
It wasn’t until my Grandad was diagnosed with terminal cancer that I realised how fragile life was and how important good health is.
TIME TO GET REAL
I spent many years strong, fit and healthy but I had allowed my body to decline into weak, bloated and unfit. Seeing my Grampy so fragile and helpless (after being such a strong and tough man) I decided I would do everything in my power to reverse the damage I had done to my body and take myself back to where I belonged, strong, healthy and in control.
I started working out at home using a fitness DVD and cleaning up my diet, cutting back on the junk food, alcohol and fizzy drinks were the biggest changes I made to my diet and gradually with consistent effort in changing my lifestyle through regular and consistent exercise, activity, healthy eating and increased self care, I lost those 50+ pounds I’d gained and kept it off.
My focus since then has been to remain a healthy weight for my health and not for aesthetic reasons, as long as I’m healthy, happy and comfortable that’s what matters, not what I look like to other people. If I can be content with the woman looking back at me in the mirror and can help others feel the same then we’re all winning.
I DID IT
Having been so active in my youth, I already had qualifications in fitness and coaching but I wanted to build my confidence up again with working in this field and increase my level of skills and experience, so I trained as a massage therapist first and then took my advanced personal trainer qualification.
Since then I have continued to work on myself achieving things I never thought possible and use my own experiences to help other women find their healthiest self and achieve things they never thought possible too.
If anything in either of our personal journey’s strikes a chord with you then you’re in the right place, we’re here to help you on your wellness journey so you too can achieve your health and fitness goals.