Fat to Fantasy: How Gemma turned from fitness failure to body-builder
Hi! My name’s Gemma and as a Medi-Evil Nutrition Ambassador I’m so pleased to share my amazing story of phenomenal weight loss journey with you. Like many others who have succeeded at this journey, I am proud of my new body shape as well as the confident person I have become. But unlike others, I didn’t start out with the ambition to be an athlete or bodybuilder. In fact, I am a survivor!
This is my story of going from morbid obesity -- my very life in danger -- to health, life and happiness, 135kg of fat loss later. I truly hope it inspires you.
Learning the wrong lessons
My weight loss journey was no overnight success, and that’s no surprise, because my struggle with food began at a young age. As an overweight child, I was so bullied and taunted that I began to believe my tormentors that the world would be better without me. To cope, I selfharmed – not with razors, but with food. I would eat, and eat, and eat until I felt numb, after which the cycle would begin again.
This childhood pattern continued into my adult life: over-eating played the role of a comfort, or a reward, whenever there was a positive or negative event in my life. I was emotionally dependent on food.
The wake-up call
As anyone with a dependency will know, it can sometimes take hitting rock bottom before you realise you must take action. For me, this happened in 2006 when my Doctor told me I would be lucky to make it to my 40th birthday. I tipped the scales at over 220kg, my BMI was 64%, and my blood pressure was off the charts. I was at serious risk of heart attack. In shock, I immediately set myself strict diet goals, believing I would only be happy when the scales showed a certain number. But I set myself up to fail: each time I missed a far-fetched fat-loss goal, I consoled myself with more food. In despair, I returned to my doctor to beg for gastric surgery.
Change comes from within
My doctor refused me the surgery. Although I was devastated, it was in these painful conversations with my doctor that I finally realised the change I needed could not come from the outside – it had to come from within. I understood that even the reasons I previously had for wanting to lose weight were not my own, but to please other people, from my childhood bullies, to my own family, to the media and its beach body hype.
I made the breakthrough when I stopped letting other people’s opinions dictate my life and started to see what healthy would look like for me: not a set of numbers defining size or weight or shape, but being kind to myself and acknowledging my own capabilities.
Based on my experience, these are my tips for the essential first steps towards weight loss:
- * Find your ‘why’- I found a reason for getting healthy, fit and finding my passion for life, and it wasn’t for anyone else’s sake
- * Keep a food diary that includes your moods – that way you’ll understand your habits and spot your triggers
- * Every step counts – there really is no such thing as failure, just keep moving forwards
- * Get support – whether from a doctor, nutritionist or trainer. You’ll be surprised what you learn.
- * Never give up – there is no such things as impossible: I am living proof.
This was just the beginning of my journey. In my future posts, I’ll share with you my challenges, and how I overcame them to shed my weight, as well as how Medi-Evil Nutrition made a real difference.
For now, don’t forget: you are already beautiful – love yourself and you can achieve anything!