My family has a history of diabetes, hypertension and cholesterol problems. During pregnancy, I also had gestational diabetes, and a doctor told me that I would likely develop diabetes before the age of 50.
But even though I had never been super healthy, I didn't feel the need to change. I looked fine — though I now know I had long been "skinny fat”.
It wasn't until a few years ago when I started to become overweight, hitting 52kg— the heaviest I had ever been. I felt big and bloated, and seemed to constantly feel ill. I began to worry about my health in the long run — and knew that it was time to make changes.
At first, I thought that exercising would make me healthy, but I realised that instead of just exercising, I needed a lifestyle overhaul.
So I committed to making a change. It felt like one of those transformations you see on TV. I began monitoring my calorie intake and protein consumption; going to bed and waking up early; doing strength training; and taking supplements. I also set myself a step goal to hit every single day.
I didn't think too much about it. All the other methods I’d tried had failed, so I just listened to what my coach told me and decided to keep going.
Eventually, I found that I had slowly become a new person — without even realising it. People around me also noticed the changes I was making. Friends were complimenting my new shape, and I was even told I was a role model.
In the past, I was often told how slim I was. But being fit is a whole different thing. Once I began to see results and hear compliments, all the while improving my physical performance, I became more and more confident in the path I am taking.
I now weigh 46kg. I can do a 55kg back squat; a 80kg sumo deadlift; as well as chin-ups and push-ups. Looking at my own before-and-after photos felt surreal.
My lifestyle now looks completely different to how it was just a year ago. I feel healthier both physically and mentally. Body checks indicate I’m healthy.
While changing my physical shape was an important factor, what’s been the biggest transformation has been of my mindset and lifestyle.
Life is unpredictable, and there are so many things out of our control — like genetic factors, for example. But I now believe that as long as I put in the work, I can take control of my own health. And of course, at the end of it all, health is truly everything...Tess