Across social media people love transformation Tuesday, before and afters and progress pics. And rightly so. It's the modern narrative of constant progress, of things continually getting better, in striving for excellence.
On a few occasions I've been asked for before and after pics. I know people would love to see a fat photo of me, but I'm sorry to say there really isn't one. Truth is, I've never been overweight. Yes, I've struggled with as much as 10 un-wanted pounds, but no more. It's in my nature to be lean and lanky. My dad was, and brother is -- though my mom is another story.
If anything, I've been under-weight. Whatever one thinks about the standards of the fashion and beauty industry my frame served me well. At the tender age of 16, I began modelling. I was relatively successful, travelling and modelling throughout Asia. For a while, it was fun and fulfilling.
Being a young girl who was having some success with her looks one might think I was confident. And I thought I was, I acted like I was, but I was anything but. I was a lost little girl crippled by insecurities. But who isn't at 20?
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My first big modelling job! circa 2001.[/caption]
My modelling career ended at the ripe old age of 21 and I returned to school in an attempt to realize my dream of becoming the Australian ambassador to some exotic locale. But again I was crippled by insecurity that I had neither the breeding, aptitude or je ne sais quoi for that. I floated around aimlessly after graduation for a few years.
Fitness was always there floating around in the background. My gateway drug was yoga. I was big time into it for a while.
I started weight training at 25, but I didn't really know what I was doing. And not knowing what you're doing makes you incredibly insecure in the weight room. I was scared a boy would either talk to me or criticise my form. Hard to believe but just a few years ago there were a lot less women lifting weights as there are now. The weight room was not a friendly place for many women, and it still probably isn't for many others.
At 27 I got serious and began studying to become a personal trainer. It was then I started to work out like a pro. Though, I still didn't have much direction.
At 29 I started freaking out about turning 30. So I signed up for a fitness competition. I really regard this as a turning point for me. I did it with absolutely no guidance, no coach, no example to follow, no friends who did it, and kinda against the wishes of my partner and even my mother. It marked the first time I broke away from the pack and did something completely for me and completely on my own. I got serious at the gym, and about my nutrition and schooled myself on every aspect of competing. And my ballsy move paid off. I won my very first competition.
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My very first competition saw me as a double winner.[/caption]
I continued to compete regularly for the following two years with steady success.
It wasn't the competitions themselves that transformed me but everything else that goes into them. Obviously, the training to compete completely transformed my physical body. Gone was the skinny fat girl who couldn't do a single push up and here was the fit and strong girl who could do pull ups. Mentally, I was more driven and focused than ever. And I completely got over that shyness in the weight room. Now, I walk in like a boss and ask that dude if I can work in my sets on the dip station. I'm strong as an ox but sexy and confident as a fox (;
My personal transformation went far beyond the gym. My confidence in that arena spilled into all aspects of my life. Just as I knew I could teach myself to compete successfully, I know I can do anything I set my mind to.
Today, at 32 years old, I'm perfectly happy with who I am and what I'm doing. Of course, there's still more to be done -- it will never end. Maybe it's just a part of getting older, to get more comfortable with yourself but I can't help but tie in my physical transformation with my mental and emotional one.
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20 years old, 120 lbs vs. 31 years old 135 lbs.[/caption]
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No ass vs. well-developed glutes.[/caption]
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