How Emma got her “happy” back
Note from Nicky: I am always so inspired when I see people turn their lives around, and reclaim the life they want, and deserve. As Emma explains in her story below, change is never easy, but hard work and dedication does pay off. We all have the ability to write a different story for our lives. Thank you Emma for being brave enough to share your story of transformation with others.
This is Emma’s story:
“Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions.”
– Dalai Lama
When it comes to reflecting on my own life, no truer words have been spoken than this quote above. As a mother of two amazing young girls, and partner to a loving man of 10 years, it became the norm to always put myself, and my own needs last. When my youngest was born, my partner and I made the decision for me to be a stay-at-home mom. I relished the idea of being there for every minute of her early development, something I did not get the chance to do with my eldest girl. Yet over time, I felt like I lost touch with the real world, and became depressed and lonely.
My partner could not quite grasp why I was so miserable, when “all” I had to do was stay at home and play with the baby! Thus, I found solace in food. The larger I got, the more depressed I became, and yet I blamed everyone else around me. I never took a good, hard look at myself, or what I was doing to my body. That was until early January of this year. I will never forget that day. I walked past a window in my bikini, and stopped. I was horrified at what I saw looking back at me, an absolute stranger. I remember breaking down and crying. I knew I couldn’t go on like this, something had to give! It was time to give back to myself. Put “me” first. Love myself again. That incident was the catalyst that began a snowball effect to positive change in my life. I sat my entire family down, and explained to them that I needed things to change, and in order to do that I needed their full support. They were 100% with me, and encouraged me to do whatever it took to bring on a new and happier me.
My next step was to get my arse off the couch and my hands out the fridge – so I joined a gym. Not any conventional gym, but a CrossFit Box. CrossFit is all about functional movement and “how we move in real life”. It is high intensity, and the workouts are constantly varied. At my very first “On Ramp” session on the 19th January 2015, I remembered being both petrified and super excited at the same time. It took just 60 minutes, and I was hooked! Under the watchful eye of my coach Joshua Brown, I started to push myself to the limit, and out of my comfort zone. I looked forward to each and every session, as they were different each time. One day we would focus on cardio and lifting weights, and the next on gymnastics. I literally screamed with joy when I did my first handstand in over 20 years. There is nothing more empowering than lifting a 35 kg bar bell off the floor and over your head.
Within the first month I felt fitter, stronger and managed to lose over 5kg’s. I was over the moon with my results, but realised too that exercising alone could only take me so far. I had to adapt to a much healthier lifestyle overall. I spoke with my coach, and he suggested I do research on the LCHF lifestyle. I had heard lots about the “banting diet”, but did not know enough to make an informed decision.
After doing much research I decided to give it a bash. I cleaned out the cupboards and fridge of all “bad and processed” foods, bought my first copy of the Lose It magazine, and went grocery shopping. I stocked up my fridge and pantry with all the ingredients listed on the GREEN list, and planned my meals for the upcoming week. I’m not going to lie, it wasn’t all plain sailing. The first few weeks were really hellish for me. I was an emotional eater, and I loved my carbs. My body went into serious withdrawal, and I felt like I had come down with the dreaded flu, commonly known amongst Banters as “the low-carb flu”. My fellow box members encouraged me to push through the discomfort, and I’m glad I did. When it eventually passed, I felt like a million bucks. My skin glowed, and I had so much renewed energy, as well as a new zest for life. It took a while for me to become comfortable with the idea of having 70% good fat in my diet. I was brought up to believe that fat was the enemy, but over the next few weeks I slowly adjusted to my new way of living, and have never looked back since.
I was fortunate enough to be surrounded by like-minded people at my CrossFit box, who followed the same healthy lifestyle. My training buddy (and now friend), Nicky Perks “primalperks.com” has played a pivotal part in my success. She has a wealth of knowledge on the LCHF lifestyle, and is always there with encouraging words and support. With my consistent training and healthy eating, I have managed to lose 18kg’s in 7 months, and more than 10% body fat. With my new abundance of energy I push myself daily in the gym, and recently completed a 6-week winter challenge. I was so blown away to discover that by the end of it, I had lost a further 4% body fat.
There is no such thing as a miracle pill when it comes to true happiness. It’s all down to hard work, dedication, preparation and perseverance.
- When making the change, do it for yourself and no one else
- Set small, realistic goals
- Do research before starting a new healthy eating lifestyle, education is key
- Preparation is really important, plan your weekly meals and stick to them, this way you are less likely to cheat.
- Start an exercise regime that is both exciting and challenging, take baby steps here as you need to learn to walk before you can run.
- Be kind to yourself and listen to your body.
- Surround yourself with like-minded people, at the gym, Facebook support groups etc.
It’s not always an easy road, but certainly one worth travelling! I am now working from home Monday – Friday, my 2 year old is in crèche and thriving, my relationship with my partner has never been stronger. I can honestly say that today when I look at myself in the mirror, I love what I see looking back at me. I embrace my new healthy lifestyle, and the payoff is evident. Actions speak louder than words, but today you can hear me roar, I’M HAPPY!!!
My life’s mantra – “eat clean, train dirty“.