Recently I was contact by Leah, after she discovered Katie K Active. She was so excited to find our inclusive brand and loved that we promote health at every size. I looked her up and immediately knew she had her own inspirational story to tell. Read Leah’s empowering #DefineBrave journey:
I am 35 and a mum to a 2 1/2 year old Miss named Sachi. I have struggled with my weight since I was very young and remember seeing my first dietician at around the age of 4. I began what I now know was disordered eating at around the age of 7 years and subsequently suffered from binge-eating disorder up until around 2 years ago.
Shortly after my daughter Sachi was born I was diagnosed with Degenerative Joint Disease. I felt stiff, old, and questioned what sort of mum I was going to be for this beautiful little child. Despite all of the causes for this condition, I could not escape the notion that it had come from a lifetime of excess weight on young joints. I knew that the only way I could get quality of life and be able to play with my daughter was to get moving. Having been that person who paid 3 different gym memberships at once and used none, I decided that if I was going to do this, it had to be for life and it had to be my way. I knew my background with food meant that I could not diet, so I simply started moving every day. First it was walking, then I taught myself to run up and down the side of our house and yard whilst my daughter slept.
Once I felt confident, I hit the pavement and just started running and walking intervals. One day something just clicked and I promised myself that whatever happened I would not stop running – I was no longer that person who gave up. I ran 6.0km pushing Sachi in her jogging trailer through these crazy winds and up a long, gradual hill, and although it bloody hurt after, I knew that the ‘old Leah’ who gave up when things got tough no longer existed.
Running has always been a dream of mine. I’ve always wanted to be one of those people who just ‘goes out for a run.’ Completing a triathlon had always been a dream too that I had never expressed just due to the sheer absurdity if the concept of ME doing it, but I knew the game had changed and if I could run, then what was stopping me now? What I have since discovered is that nothing stops us except the limits we place on ourselves. We really, truly are capable of anything we put our mind to, you just have to be willing to work hard along the way. Know that it’s going to hurt but know that it’s going to be worth it.
After my first triathlon I was hooked, so I joined a specialist training squad and decided to get my own qualifications in fitness. I felt really passionate about becoming a trainer because I know that for some people weight loss isn’t as simple as calories in vs. calories out. I believe that many people require a ‘big picture’ approach to their health and well being and this approach is the difference between a trainer who works you hard and a trainer who helps you change your life.
In June this year I ticked another goal off my list and finished my first half marathon. A week later I fell pregnant with my second child and despite the old hack of morning sickness, thanks to my life change I am experiencing a whole different pregnancy. During my first pregnancy I stopped weighing myself at 140kg – and sadly I have weighed this at other times without being pregnant. Now, four months into this one I am 92kg, which means I am no longer classed an ‘at risk’ pregnancy. To me this is ultimate pay-off for all of my hard work. Yes it’s great to go for a size 22-24 to 12-14, but better health and well being is my big ‘win’.
If I could sum up my greatest tips to better health it would be these:
1) Think ‘sustainable’: good health and fitness is a life long journey, so every time you are tempted to try a certain diet or exercise regime ask yourself ‘am I going to be able to do this for the rest of my life?’
2) Do today what you can do tomorrow – Don’t work so hard one day that you can’t do anything for the rest of the week. Find something you enjoy and just do it.
3) Observe your food habits and don’t fight them – imagine you’re following yourself around like a science experiment and observe your behaviours. Ask yourself why you have suddenly arrived at the pantry? Are you really hungry? Or are you stressed, bored, or happy?
4) Learn about nutrition and then think about the energy value you are getting out of your food choices – for example, if you have an option of white bread or grain bread, think about what is going to give you better energy – you’ll soon realise that if you choose the white bread you may as well eat a piece of cardboard ;)
5) Be prepared – carry fruit or nuts with you and try not to put yourself in a situation where you are hungry and don’t have any healthy options. Eat before you go out if need be and always carry water on you.
6) Never ever fear someone judging you for having a go – by getting up, getting out and having a go you will be surprised by the amount of people you will be inspiring!
Follow Leah here on instagram for inspiration and motivation!
Have your own #DefineBrave story to share? Email Blogs@KatieKActive.com for a chance to be featured!
Leah was recently featured in an article by Born to Reign Athletics about plus size sponsored athletes.