it all started when
My health and fitness story starts when I was about 15. I was always a very active kid; playing basketball, doing kickboxing, tackling any sport I could. I was also very skinny - the typical ectomorph with little muscle. I could eat the house, the three little pigs, the wolf, and then ask for dessert. Since I was in primary school I was picked on for being skinny, but the bullying intensified when I was in high school and experienced my first growth spurt. I was the same height as I am now (176cm), at 14 years old, and weighed about 17kg less. I never had issues with eating, and went as far as going to a doctor when I was 14 in tears because I wanted to gain weight and didn't know how. She suggested I see a psychologist instead. When I was just shy of 15 I started modelling and all of a sudden my body was adored - people loved my collar bones, and my slight frame. Of course, this wasn't at every job and some clients didn't want to book me because of my size, but for the most part my body was a talking point. I was confused - how could so many people in one industry love my body, and then have strangers verbally attack me when I went to a shopping centre. I'm not kidding - if I had a dollar for every time a stranger stopped to tell me I needed to eat a cheeseburger, I would never work again. As I grew up I gained a little bit of weight, not much, but enough to not be dangerously underweight. I want to stress, I never had issues with eating, I never dieted - I just didn't eat the right quantities and qualities. Fast forward through my early 20's where I modelled internationally, and went from having to lose inches off my hips to work in Asia, to needing to be slightly fuller to work at home. One thing remained constant in that I was never happy with my body. I was unhappy being skinny. I was gutted when strangers commented on how disgusting I was. Shopping was a nightmare because clothes didn't fit me properly. Every time I left the house all I could think was "I bet these people think I'm disgusting too".
And then I moved to Hong Kong where I spent a lot of time on my own in a new city, where I went to the gym to pass time. All of a sudden my body started to change because of the weights I was doing. I stopped being skinny fat and started being toned. I stopped hearing as many comments from strangers. I started feeling better when I looked in the mirror. Then I moved to New Zealand and had a supportive agency who introduced me to a group of people who did a style of cross-fit. I was hooked. My body started looking completely different. And as a 21 year old that's where my life really changed.
Fast forward 5 years, moving into strength + conditioning with strict weight training, I'm finally feeling confident in my body I have. My body is completely different to what it was - I have something that I am so proud of, and I can build upon what I've already created.