"At school I was awfully shy and I hated sport. Every Sport's Day I remember always faking an illness! By my early 20's I was a smoker I had drunk a life time’s worth of alcohol to have a good time. I was a small size 6/8 and had never thought about exercising although I worked a physically demanding job in a bakery.
My mum suffers with depression, and has done since an early age. She has spent time in and out of hospital. Once, she got a doctor’s referral to attend the gym and I remember thinking what a great thing but I didn’t know the reasons why. I went to the gym with Mum a few times and I enjoyed the experience. I noticed that my Mum’s mood lifted when she could stay on the treadmill without falling off.
At 23 I found out I was pregnant but the day I started maternity leave my Mum had a stroke and she spent many months in hospital recovering. I had a wonderful healthy daughter, Izzabella and although my Mum was reunited with the family just before Christmas, disaster struck again in January when my dad suddenly passed away by having a huge heart attack. Right then, life was a little tough.
I moved to a larger house so mum could live with me. I enjoyed care work so I decided not to return to the bakery but started working for a domiciliary. Over the next few years Mum was well enough to move into a new home and I started to enjoy exercise videos especially Insanity! Christmas eve 2007 I had a miscarriage at 16 weeks and I decided I needed to start looking after my health a little more. In Nov 2008 I was delighted to have my 2nd healthy child, unfortunately it didn’t work out with their father and I was a single mum for 5 years.
Over the years I've learnt so much about how being physically healthy has a direct affect on other parts of your life. When working in care homes I noticed that those residents who were more active in their younger years seemed to move so much better, their posture and balance was also better.
When I started exercising regularly I quickly found that releasing those endorphins and getting the blood flowing makes you feel so good - who would have thought it! I finally understood why my mum was referred to the gym all those years ago. I was hook line and sinker in love with exercise, I have exercised every day since.
Mark Tucker, the love of my life introduced me into the gym world in 2013. As well as being a phenomenal martial artist, he has a brilliant gym and had a really great group of lads attending who would do anything for each other. It was invigorating to see all ages and backgrounds get together to do what they loved.
I decided to give up my care job and throw myself into a new adventure, becoming a Personal Trainer. With a lot of patience Mark worked with me to develop my confidence and knowledge. Who would of thought that the girl who wouldn’t say boo to a goose and avoided groups and moving would end up loving exercise and enjoying leading classes.
I wanted to push myself to the absolute limits, so I decided to take part in not one, but two bodybuilding shows so I could experience what the body is capable of firsthand. Well, what an amazing experience that was! I trained with an amazing trainer and I learnt how it feels to be that new person, the nerves you get walking into the gym, but I also learnt what makes people feel more at ease. Friends came forward to support me, ones I didn't even know existed. The MBT family made a contribution towards the handmade bikini I wore for the competition which was a complete surprise and so lovely. My photos will also be a reminder of what my body had to go though. I realised that being skinny is good for the ego but being fit is powerful.
When I was first started running classes I was so nervous, but I was doing it and loving it. I was determined to overcome my lack of self-esteem. I found I could relate to people’s fears and wanted to make MBT somewhere people would feel safe and challenged. At MBT the size of your body is not important. It's about being fit, enjoying life and building a strong mind. Then we can be strong when life is difficult. It's about balance. It's about growth.
Confidence is beautiful.
Strong mind strong body."