Well it is about time that I told you all a little bit about my journey….
So I wont get boring and go on and on about what I was like years and years ago. Yes I was kind of sporty as a kid doing gymnastics, swimming and netball. By the time I was 18 I had some ups and big downs, which meant I ended up overweight.
I was wearing men’s clothes because women’s just didn’t fit right, I was in xxl clothes and I had retreated into myself – I was really (really!) shy and quiet. Then came university and my first big weight loss.
By Christmas in my first year I had already lost a lot of weight, but it was completely unhealthy as it was down to not eating much of anything and drinking a lot. By the time I finished my first year, I was in size small – looking back on photos from this time I didn’t look healthy, I was too thin. The main problem: the weight was lost in an unsustainable way – Not eating right. My anxiety was at max and I was diagnosed with depression. It wasn’t long before the weight started to go back on over the next 3 years, and with interest as by graduation I was bigger than ever.
The weight would yo-yo over the next couple years. All without me stepping foot in a gym. I was a volunteer sports coach before gaining my Level 1 Rugby Coaching qualification and I started my PGCE to become a Geography teacher! It was at this point that I began to go to the gym. This is when the weight began to drop – slowly, I also began enjoying lifting weights. I also had an important diagnosis.
I was diagnosed with PCOS – Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome. I will be doing a lot of blogs going into detail about this condition and living with it – but for now lets just say that the hormone imbalances it can cause end up causing havoc and it is what has caused my fast weight gain and also makes it extremely difficult to lose the weight again.
So I got myself a PT. I was making progress, losing weight, getting stronger, my anxiety was reducing…then one day without notice, I turned up for one of my PT sessions and my PT has left, no word, no refund, no explanation – he just wasn’t there! You put a lot of trust in a PT and this set me back – my anxiety grew, I lost my joy of the gym and my confidence got knocked more than I realized.
Career wise I was teaching geography and was a supply teacher. Bullying had been a huge part of my life through my teens and unfortunately bullying was something I experienced as a teacher – not just from pupils, but my fellow teachers. This meant I retreated far back into my shell, I wasn’t myself, crazy shy once again and my anxiety affected everything. That’s the thing about anxiety, it can be crippling. I honestly don’t know what I would do if I didn’t have Martin – he has been a rock through all the ups and downs! In 2017 we got married and we hit our first major stumbling block – something we are not quite ready to share to the world – but it changed everything for me, I was fed up of my anxiety ruling my life, fed up of being unhealthy – so we joined a gym again. This time doing it ourselves. I found my happy place! The gym became everything – it was my escape, I started losing weight (very, very slowly thanks to PCOS) and in 2018 I started my Level 2 and 3 Personal Training course, and we quickly realized how much more confident I was becoming – So I bit the bullet. I quit teaching and started Fletcher Fitness Ltd!
That was a huge step for me, and I am glad I did it! That leads us to the next big decision I made – To start training for strongwoman. I had always been a fan of the sport, watching worlds strongest man at Christmas and in Christmas 2018 I decided that I would delve into the sport a little more and found that there are women’s competitions – I was hooked! I started training heavier and heavier, and found myself a strongwoman comp. In November 2019 I took part in my first strongwoman comp and absolutely loved it! The sport and this new career have bought out a confidence in me that I didn’t know I had!!
Yes, I am still overweight and honestly, I will never be stick thin again – but I don’t want that, I want to be strong. Strong doesn’t have a size, in the sport of strongwoman it doesn’t matter what you look like, how much you weigh or what you do – its you and the iron.
All I ever wanted was to be a teacher – I love my subject of geography. But I became myself – my true self after starting this career and starting the sport of strongwoman.
My goal is to help others find themselves and find the empowerment that lifting gives. It is why I do this!
I have had ups and downs, my weight has yo-yoed, but this journey isn’t ever going to be a straight and smooth path – it has twists and turns. It has bumps in the road. I just embrace those bumps in the road, learn and keep moving forward.
So yeah, that’s a little snippet about my journey so far – if you got this far – thank you so much for reading and leave a comment if you want to see more blogs like this one!
Keep a look out for the next blog!
We Are Strong.
(Originally posted on 19/11/2020 on old website)