Fat – Fit in Six Months

For my first blog, I wanted to tell you a little more about the young lady behind the picture, and how I came about to be involved in bodybuilding and how it has changed my life and I went from fat – fit in six months.

I was 25 years old when I started my journey towards stepping on stage as a competitive bodybuilder. I was always relatively inactive as a teenager, I wasn’t involved in any sports at school or outside of it, as I was always suffering with fatigue and I didn’t have the inclination to think that I might be suffering from an illness.

I spent my teens as most “average” teenagers do, drinking, smoking and eating unhealthy food. I was never particularly overweight, and I really didn’t put too much value on my health at that point in time.

In 2005, after spending several months suffering from stomach and joint pains, I was diagnosed after a colonoscopy examination with Crohns Disease. Crohns Disease is an Irritable Bowel Disease, which can affect any part of your bowel from your mouth to your anus. The symptoms include abdominal pain, diarrhea, vomiting, weight loss (and gain), skin rashes, arthritis, inflammation of the eyes, erythema nodosum (swelling of the fat tissue under the skin), tiredness, depression and lack of concentration. I spent the next 3 years in and out of hospital, still not really fully understanding what was happening to my body.

In 2008, I was struck down with a serious relapse. I lost 2 and a half stone of weight in the first 6 weeks and I was left in agony, sleeping for days on end and barely able to walk, becoming a recluse and suffering from depression. The disease ravaged my body for 10 long months, until finally, in April 2009, doctors agreed that they would need to operate to see what was going on inside my bowel.

I had 4 feet of my bowel removed including my ileum, which was to be expected as I had deep ulcerations and bleeding inside my bowel. The most shocking part was that I had a fistula track, which basically means that my bowel made its own pathway from my small bowel to my colon, which I had removed. I also had a hole in my colon and food outside of my bowel.

After a 5 and a half hour operation, doctors told me that most people are dead within 3 days of having such severe problems, so as you can imagine, going from fat to fit in six months feels like quite an achievement for me.

After 6 weeks in hospital and extensive physio to learn to walk upright again, I was allowed to go home. Lying in bed for weeks had left me weak and incapacitated, part of my physio was simply to lift the weight of my own leg from a bent to straight position whilst sitting in a chair.

I left the hospital at a weak 119 pounds (standing at 5’9”). I wasn’t allowed to eat any fibre for a minimum of three months and I was told to gain weight and gain weight I most certainly did!

I spent the next 4-5 months taking prednisolone (a commonly known a medicinal steroid), eating chocolate, cheese, pasta and ice cream. As my weight climbed, my confidence was battered by an unhealthy relationship and I became shy, self conscious and my self esteem was on the floor.

I developed an extremely unhealthy attitude towards food, rewarding myself with food whenever the opportunity arose, binge eating in secret, sabotaging my efforts all the time and feeling trapped in my own body. I would not eat in front of anyone else in case they thought I was gorging myself, and shrunk into a shroud of denial and desperation.

I also developed an unhealthy obsession with the way I looked and joined (and failed) at different slimming clubs, gyms, and fad diets on several occasions. If anyone wants to go from fat to fit, don’t try it with slimming clubs.

The breaking point came for me in August 2011. After living in Ireland for 8 years, I had moved back to England to start a new career opportunity, and one morning while getting dressed, I just saw an empty shell of the bubbly, confident and sexy young woman I used to be staring back at me. I was overweight at 193lbs, spotty and miserable. I had over 18 months experience working as a weight management coach and consultant, but I had never spent any time or energy working on myself. I knew from that point, that something had to change.

Whilst being sick, I had promised myself that I would achieve something that I would have always told myself would be physically impossible. My first idea was a marathon, but that really didn’t interest me. I had always had a fascination with the human body and watching bodybuilders sculpt and shape their bodies into something beautiful. What they do is almost like art, I made a decision that I would finally fullfil

    that

goal and make the dream reality.

I started with small changes, which I will discuss in my next blog. The biggest support I had was in the form of Dougie and Jo Black Extreme Nutrition – I met Dougie a few weeks later at a social event, and he very kindly offered to assist me in pursuing my dream. I couldn’t have gone from fat – fit without them – but again, I shall tell you more about what happened next later on!

One year on, and while I am battling a small relapse. I am a healthy weight, I am strong, confident, and I have a new found passion for life. I am in a happy relationship with an incredible partner who has taught me to eat in front of people and that I am beautiful no matter what happens with my health or my body.

Having my fitness and bodybuilding goals gets me through the bad days. I competed in April 2012 in the NABBA West Britain Toned Figure category. I can honestly say that my health, my appearance and my whole outlook on life and relationship with food and my body has changed. I truly believe that anyone can do it- the ability to change is inside all of us.

For me, it was bodybuilding that saved me from myself and I have also completed a 26 mile trek- there was my marathon!

I hope that I can bring you information to support your current lifestyle, or inspire you into changing if that is what you wish to do. Enjoy reading!

~Elle Mac~ xx

Gym Ettiquette - article author

Author of “Gym Ettiquette – don’t be “that” person”