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Self-Doubt to Powerlifting Glory: How I Overcame Years of Struggle to Find Strength & Confidence

I can’t remember a time where I looked in the mirror and liked what I saw. My goal has always been to lose weight, and this had been my mindset from a very young age. I used to think that once I lost weight, I would finally be happy and confident. I was 17 when I made my first serious attempt to lose weight, at this time I had no knowledge or understanding of the right way to do it and decided to try a ‘quick fix’ and use Slim Fast shakes and it sounded great, an easy way to lose the weight, or so I thought. Of course, it wasn’t a sustainable way to lose weight, and I was back to square one. For the next 6 years I would go through phases of eating as little as possible and weighing myself multiple times a day, then the weekend came and it would end in binges, eating all the foods that I promised myself I wouldn’t.

At the end of 2020, I moved back down from the Northwestof Scotland to Portland to be with my family. Once we were settled, I knew that I wanted to join a gym and find a sustainable routine that I would be able to stick to and make progress. I did a lot of research and watched tons of videos to help me understand what I should be doing, while this is helpful, I knew it wouldn’t help get rid of my fear and anxiety being in the gym. There were so many times I got to the gym, was too scared to go in and went back home. After a little while I decided to ask for help, I wasn’t going to let my fear stop me from going for what I wanted anymore. This is when I met Connor and scheduled my first 1-2-1 session. I was terrified and thought I would embarrass myself. I continued to lose weight and keep it off. After a few months I realised how much I enjoyed training, and it was no longer a chore. Istarted to trust the process and over time my mindset changed from ‘needing’ to lose weight to wanting to be strong. This is when I learned about powerlifting, and it really appealed to me. I doubted that I could do it, someone that had never done a sport before and thought it was too late to start. I put it offfor over a year before I decided to make the jump.

All throughout the training for my first competition, I believed I wasn’t strong enough or I didn’t look how I should to be able to be an ‘athlete’, but I kept going and did my first in Oct 2023. Everyone there was incredibly supportive, and we allcheered each other on no matter the level we were lifting at. I came out on such a high and wanted to do it all over again, so I did 2 months later. After a short break over the new year,I’m back powerlifting and planning to build my total a fair amount with the aim of competing in the October competition again.

Although it is hard to carry on when you don’t see improvements quickly, I strongly believe in trusting the process and fighting through what your mind is telling you and go for what you want. I know if I never moved from Scotland, decided to start one to one session’s, start uni and get my PT qualifications Id never be where I am now, let alone competing in a sport. Every single thing good and bad that has happened in my life has lead me to where I am today. The impact of looking after my physical health has also massively improved my mental health and now I don’t know where I would be without the gym.

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