I used to be at full time Performing Arts school, and dancing 5-7 hours a day kept me extremely fit. But by the time I switched to do a Health and Beauty Therapy Management qualification I was fed up of pushing my body to extremes, so stopped exercising all together and instead kept my weight low on a diet of processed food, low calorie junk food snacks like fat free cookies, and diet ice cream whilst staying on my feet all day as a beauty therapist. I'd gone through years of serious eating disorders and was struggling to balance body image issues and poor confidence with a desire to look and feel good at last, yet confusion around what food my body needed, picking up what I now know to be untrue and unhelpful advice in magazines.
I was very slim, but I wasn’t fit or strong. I was a classic skinny-fat. I had no energy, slept poorly, and though I fitted into size 6 clothes in a bikini my body looked like one of someone much older – I had absolutely no muscle tone, and once I had my first daughter in 2009, well as you can imagine I had real problems with my tummy and back after carrying a 7 lb 11 baby (I’m only 5 ft 2). At one time I even looked into surgery to get my ‘abs’ back together because I’d heard a rumour that’s what Madonna did! Yet with a baby to look after at home I had even less time to devote to my own health.
But all that changed when I was introduced to some concepts that changed my life, attitude towards my health, and my body – the idea that to get my body, health, and energy back I need to fuel it properly and build muscle, while at the same time burning fat (remember I said I was skinny-fat? Yes I had fat over the top of those bones!).