This week has been mental health awareness week with world mental health awareness day. Do you know someone who is affected by mental health?
Too many girls, boys, adults out there suffer from severe issues within mental health. Free-ed purpose is to take away the interim step before you get help. It is a book where I hope I can help people unravel a few demons and take the next steps to rebuild their lives. Everybody deserves great things and everyone has a mission in life – just sometimes we get a bit side tracked. In sport I hope I can bridge the gap between up and coming athletes and the elite level. A lot of athletes don’t make it to the top because their isn’t support for them in the interim phases, and hopefully help and reduce the image distortion of perfection in the younger genera:on. Being YOURself is perfection. Being happy and comfortable in YOU is perfection, being able to say I love what I bring to the table is perfection. We are ALL perfect in our own way through just being us. But we all forget it picking up minuscule things about what we hate about ourselves day to day. Learn to love yourself, fuel yourself well, nourish and take care of your body because then your mental side will reward you.
What is free-ed about:
Free-ed is an insight into my journey from my lowest points and admission of an eating disorder and a self help and self discovery step by step guide implementing my experiences for someone else in the same position to use to help them gain clarity and gain the confidence to refind themselves. My favourite chapter is chapter 6 redefine yourself and rise up which really focuses on what I feel is the key elements of the book. Mental health issues are something that is widely talked about in the press and media now as our lives get busier, more demanding and stressful so does the number of mental health problems, With youngsters growing up into a world where perfec:on is constantly strived towards. Life is now very demanding for everyone which is causing more than 70 million sick days per year in the UK ALONE! In terms of eating disorders 1.6 MILLION people are affected per year and thats only of the ones that actually go and admit they have a problem. Ea:ng disorders are described as The Silent Illness a blog I wrote early this year. My mission with free-ed is to remove this stimulus around it all and help others be able to speak out and not be embarrassed. This links into with a new social media movement I am creating called beYOUtiful u. You can see this on my business cards and find out more about it in the next coming weeks.
My Journey to recovery started in 2009. I realised and admitted I had developed an eating disorder. Not easy for anyone to admit, but from this point on I was determined to turn my life around and made sure I was being the best version of
myself. Sounds so easy wri:ng it down, but crea:ng it is not so much – It has been a crazy journey, unless you are really willing to make that change, and all it takes are a few small changes step by step, day by day to create a version of yourself that you are happy with, believe in and can look in the mirror and know who you are looking at. For a long period of time I did not know who that person was in the mirror. They looked blank, transparent and unrecognisable. I embarked on a journey to not describe the person looking back at me but knowing the person looking back at me was who I wanted to be and
therefore; Creating my best version.
My obsession and ultimate issue was not food but my drive for perfection – for EVERY single liWle detail of my life, of me of how people viewed me needed to be perfect. OCD was a strong trait of mind finalising down the smallest detail food tracking, diary management and training. 2009 was my final year at university and was an extremely stressful :me, which coincided with a rela:onship ending (s:ll to find a man to :e me down) and a massive life move (these seem to be a big part of my life) and this started a downward spiral for me. I became bulimic in April 2009 – up un:l this point I just had very controlled and destruc:ve ea:ng habits. August 2009 was the start of the most destruc:ve part of my life. In October 2009, aaer a destruc:ve morning, I felt I was losing the plot, I broke down and phoned a friend to admit I had an ea:ng problem and we booked an appointment with the doctor. I could barely pull myself out of bed in the morning, and if I did my day would end about 2 hours later. I felt completely lost and completely out of control. At my worst I barely wanted to leave the house. From September 2009 until March 2010 my bulimia became worse than it had ever was. To me because I had admiWed it, it seemed to be acceptable for me to just carry on rather than actually physically doing anything about it. I was placed on a wai:ng list for behavioural treatment but I couldn’t handle the wait and used Beats online materials for support to create a plan. In May 2010 my Commonwealth dreams were over. I had developed tendoni:s in my knees and was completely lost as to where I was going. I decided to stop high jumping but by leaving my sport behind I lea a piece of my iden:ty behind too. I didn’t know what I was doing with my life, where I was going, who I was going to be, how I was going to feel. I used this feeling to spur me on to recover – I wanted more than anything at this point to be the best person I could be. I started by addressing what made me happy, how I could get my story across, how I could inspire other people, let them know that others suffering could win this fight. In October 2010 everyone headed out to the Commonwealth Games in Delhi at this point I made a promise to myself – I WAS going to overcome my ea:ng issues and be going for a medal by the :me Glasgow 2014 came around. The first step was by addressing what would make me happy, happiness would be the key thing for me to overcome everything. A massive journey of self discovery, ups and downs, highlights and extreme lows would unfold over the next 5 years BUT the key outcome and the key difference was EVERYTHING that happened in that period would make a stronger, more confident and beWer person. I set myself training targets; I worked my way through life day-to-day, week-to-week, building a personal training business and gaining confidence everyday. My business was a massive help in my recovery, not only did it force me out of bed because I had to generate money, but through communica:ng with others and being a role model for clients it really pushed me to get myself beWer. In 2012 I eventually had the confidence to speak to someone to really pull me through the other side – I worked with a psychotherapist from 2012 – 2014, working on confidence and my rela:onship with myself and food, My biggest issue was my relationship with myself. Through a couple of set backs along the way between 2012 and 2014 my strength I had learnt along the way always made me refocus my life and my goals to ensure I stayed on the right track. On August 1st 2014 I stepped out to represent my country at the commonwealth games high jump final – the proudest moment in my life. Not only because of the occasion but for what it represented to me and those close to me – I had beaten my demon, I had managed to turn my life around and work through everything to achieve a life goal. And I stand today knowing than I stand true to myself through everything. I worked hard every day to get through to the other side, I have competed in the commonwealth games and now I am moving forward with other aspects of my life – work and business.
Free-ED is available now on amazon here.