Before joining TeamTank, I had a turbulent 8 years regarding my physical, mental and emotional health.
In 2014, when I turned 40, I decided to train to do a 26 mile moonwalk for breast cancer in Edinburgh. I completed it, however a month later I became physically unwell, and at that time I thought I was in the best shape I had ever been in.
Months rolled on and I had to undergo a hysterectomy in December that same year. Post-op complications and near fatal sepsis, as well as throwing me into instant menopause completely threw me off balance.
As time went on I had a significant decline in my mental health due to weight gain from menopause and feelings of inadequacy, questioning myself as a woman and other significant contributing factors resulting in me being suicidal. I ended up heavily medicated and having a month long psychiatric admission in July 2016. I couldn’t see a future from where I was at that time.
4 years from this I went on a significant personal development, mindset and gratitude journey where I studied extensively and learned a lot about self care and how to take care of myself to keep myself in a good place mentally and emotionally.
In November of 2020, this was put to the test when I was thrown completely sideways when I was involved in a road traffic collision through no fault of my own. I was trapped in my car for 3 hours before the emergency services got me out. This crash left me with a traumatic injury to my left leg, where I sustained significant nerve damage that compromised my mobility due to numbness and weakness in my leg and left foot. I also had crippling PTSD audio symptoms and survivors guilt which stemmed from my step daughter getting killed in a horrific RTC in 2008 at the age of 18.
For 14 months I hobbled and limped about, I’d fall down stairs, my leg would give way randomly, and then I ended up in hospital on 13th September 2021 for a week. I was discharged with crutches and a splint to help me walk better. Those crutches and splint became a part of me up until February this year!
Since the crash, I was completely convinced I would never be able to work again as a nurse, or be able to train in the gym, or even walk unaided. Thoughts were running through my mind - how can I fix myself? How can I heal myself from this?
I saw food as a coping mechanism. Between food and the inability to be active to burn it off, the weight just piled on and my mobility got worse. I would lie in bed and my belly would fall to the side. It was flabby and jelly like and, despite my mindset knowledge, I developed a victim mindset and was deep into a raging pity party. I kept fighting with myself mentally to keep my mood positive, and truly believed this would change. I didn’t know how but clung onto that little blurry image of hope!
In January this year (2022), I flew to New York as Amber, my daughter, was going to dance and live there for 3 months. I had to get wheel chair assistance in the airport and help to board the plane because I couldn’t walk the length of myself due to the pain.
I took a pair of jeans with me that were always baggy and I went to put them on. I could only get them to my knees. I was horrified and disgusted with myself and that was the turning point for me and the hard realisation that I HAVE TO DO SOMETHING ABOUT THIS!!!
To me I was huge and unfit and, quite obviously, the extra weight and my little 5ft height isn’t and wasn’t going to help my leg. I came home from New York on the 31st January, stepped on the scales as soon as I got home and noticed I was 69.7kg. I was horrified and disgusted at myself, so I sat down and thought, who can I trust to get me to where I want to be? Who will take my goals seriously and help me have a healthy body at that in every sense of the word?
I decided to reach out to Martin but I was at a battle with myself with that too. I have known Martin a long time as he was my Personal Trainer 12 years ago, but I hadn’t spoke to him in a good 5-6 years so I thought will I reach out? I gave myself a kick up the arse put my “ego” to the side and messaged him on the 1st February and in true Martin fashion he messaged me literally straight away with no judgement. It was as if it was yesterday!
I really needed his help and needed someone to guide me and I knew I could trust him to help get me there, having worked with him and have him put me through my paces AND some!
After a lengthy and emotional zoom chat, I told him my goal was to do a fitness photo shoot and he ignited that fire in my belly that I could achieve this! There was no doubt in my mind I wouldn’t be committed - I had to my overall health depended on it. My future depended on it! The pain I was in was horrendous physically, mentally and emotionally and I was heading down a dark path, a path I was all to familiar with which I knew wouldn’t end well!
So I made the commitment to see through 32 weeks. I started on the 7th February, excited but with overwhelming thoughts of wtf have I just done? What if I can’t do this? What if I fail?
When Martin explained what the process involved I thought okay let’s do this! I am shitting myself but let’s do this! Let’s smash it day by day!
I’m very much of the mindset “expect the unexpected” but embrace the good and run with it. Where focus goes energy flows!
For the first number of weeks I didn’t see much, but I felt it happening in terms of measurements. These were moving, but the scales not so much. Then, all of a sudden, everything started to shift and move, and then I started noticing physical results especially in photos.
My goal was to do a photoshoot. It had been a goal of mine for a long time and, at the age of 48, my determination to hit it was huge and I told myself that every day.
I really struggled to get the body to kick into gear and it’s been mind over matter with my leg. The exercises were tailored to suit and ticking the boxes has been fascinating. The amount of food I have been eating has been amazing so I have a whole new relationship with food too. I love “bad stuff” so never deprived myself. In all honestly I didn’t ever see it as dieting - I saw it as a different phase of a lifestyle. The process for me was as if nothing was happening, then one morning I woke up and I had lean arms, abs, and legs, awesome shoulders, back and ass and thought to myself when the feck did that happen?!
I was looking and feeling amazing. My confidence was growing. I believed in myself. I believed in my mindset to get me there.
During one of our catch up calls at week 20, I said to Martin I had a weekend away on the 32nd week. I asked him if I could achieve this and do the photoshoot at week 30.! He said yes it’s doable, and questioned if I was prepared to put your foot on the gas a bit more.
Hell yeah! It was a case of upping the ante and nailing the remaining 10 weeks. It wasn’t easy as, since day one, I knew it wouldn’t be. This has been a hard graft but so worth every bit of it! I have reinstalled and reinforced within myself that health is most definitely our wealth in every sense of the word. I still have weakness and numbness in the ball of my foot and my balance is still all over the place, but I have learned to adapt and overcome the hurdles to strengthen my leg as a whole and, in turn, transform my body in the process to the best, fittest and healthiest version it has ever been! That body I had a at 40 is nothing to what it is now! Another huge high for me was being able to return to work as a nurse albeit on restricted duties.
I look at my pictures and I hardly recognise the woman I was 30 weeks ago, but I absolutely adore her because she has nailed this every step of the way, put her body through extreme stress and rigorous workouts. In doing so she’s ditched the splint and crutches and her time with TeamTank is far from over and has made HUGE new goals for the future on top of it….why? Because she knows she can!
6 years ago, she restored the faith in her kids that you can heal and come back from poor mental health. Now, she has restored their faith that you can heal and have your body the way you want to. And all with sheer commitment, determination and discipline to see it through, without cutting corners and looking for short cuts in the process. Plus, you’re never to old to make a change.
So from 31st January to Saturday 3rd September, I’ve lost 19.45kg and just under 6ft in overall measurements, and gained a whole new lease of life and an exciting drive for achieving anything!