In June 2016 I embarked on a journey that I did not expect to be life changing, but truly has been. I found myself at a very unhappy place in terms of my weight. I felt uncomfortable in my skin and knew that something had to change.
Reflecting back, I ask myself why I felt that way. I’m reminded of my master’s thesis which explored the experiences of breast cancer patients. Within this study, body image and the way in which people responded to physical change played a major role in the emotional experiences of breast cancer patients. The physical change they experienced and the visible evidence cancer provided, proved to be a difficult aspect to deal with not only for the participants but also for their family and friends. These results speaks to the continuous societal pressures on women’s bodies. How, so often, we construct our bodies in ways that comply with accepted views of masculinity and femininity without actually focusing on what it means to be healthy.
When I no longer looked the way I used to, people did not hesitate to let me know that I was fat.
The change in my appearance affected my self-esteem and my social life. It was about the way I looked and not once had I considered the unhealthy lifestyle I found myself living. A path so easily traveled when life knocks you down. People often say “love yourself the way you are”.
Loving yourself is so important, but we still need to be healthy, something that was not on my mind when starting this journey.
I was more concerned about the way that I looked and how others saw me and not about my overall wellbeing. Little did I know this journey would be so much deeper than that, it has been a journey of self-discovery, determination and self-love.
Living a Healthy Lifestyle is 80% Nutrition and 20% Exercise
On March 31st 2016 I completed my master’s research internship and I expected to find a job not long after that but God had something else planned for me. He gave me the opportunity to stay home and focus not only on my physical health, but my mental and spiritual well-being too. For that, I am so grateful. In the past eight months I lost 18kgs, totally transforming the way I live. I attended fit club twice a week, ran at least twice a week but most importantly I was taught how to eat better by my amazing health coach Amanda Jensen and Herbalife nutrition. Due to the fact that I am not working, a gym contract was off the table and I was forced to find other ways of reaching my goals. The Herbalife fit club was key as that is where Amanda taught me about nutrition and health. My mind-set started changing as I was more mindful of what I was putting inside my body and I understood that living a healthy lifestyle is 80% nutrition and 20% exercise. My coach once told me that “you cannot outrun the spoon”, something that really stuck with me and has really kept me motivated to eat better. I soon realised that it was becoming less about how I looked and more about living a healthy lifestyle.
And then, I started running …
Running was another important factor in my journey. I started running after registering for Parkrun. I was reluctant as I thought I was not capable of running. I always looked at athletes wondering how they manage to run a marathon and I never understood it. After a few Parkruns I was determined to get better and I did. I then came across CMIYC via Facebook. Joining the CMIYC ladies running group provided me with a space where I felt safe, where I was encouraged and motivated to keep going. It was an environment that catered to every level of fitness, helping each other along with each stride, I felt right at home.
Running taught me that I’m capable of so much more than I had imagined. It challenged my body, my mind and my soul.
Running, Fitclub and Herbalife helped me loosing 18kg in six months
Before each run I prayed, asking God for strength as I knew running was not an easy activity. It never got easier, but through determination, perseverance, the desire to be more than I am and most importantly, God, I grew in all areas of my life. I realised the importance of balancing ones physical, mental and spiritual health. Health, as defined by the World Health Organisation is “a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity”, something I now, truly understand.
by Nicole Scullard, CMIYC Tokai Leader