When I was 16 I had a holiday abroad in Spain with my family. I'd left school 4 months prior and had started working for a heavy haulage company and the transition from school days to being sat at a desk all day I had put on a little weight. I was a size 12 and weighed around 10 stone (63 kg) when leaving school and on my holiday I was still a size twelve but weighed around 11 stone (69kg)

On that holiday I was so conscious of my weight gain that I wouldn't wear the nice little bikinis I'd bought, instead I covered up with shorts and baggy t-shirts. (Much to my mam's dismay).

From that holiday I should of taken the fact I was young and agile and could of done something about it, like joining a gym to get the extra pounds off, but instead I ate my feelings and my emotions got the better of me. The worst I felt the more I'd eat and the more I'd eat the worse I felt. You see, I was a victim of my own self loathing. Being young and impressionable at 16 years old I'd look at pictures in magazines of super models like Cindy Crawford and Claudia Schiffer ( remember this is 1992, before technology and Instagram . Yes I know I'm old ) and I wished I looked like them, but my mind told me I was fat and I'd never look like them.

Skip forward a few years. 1997 to be precise. I was getting married. Time for the wedding dress shopping. Yes, you'd think I would of been on cloud nine. What should of been one of the best days of my life, was a nightmare from beginning to end. You see in those five years, I'd been on a roller coaster with food and emotions and just life in general. I'd got comfortable and had a son and I'd been whisked up in a fantasy fairly tale of a Cinderella wedding. However on the day of looking for a wedding dress I was now a size 24 and weighed around 18 stone (114kg) . So the beautiful dress I'd dreamed of since being a little girl was not, as the woman in the shop put it, "available to women of my size". I had a choice of two dresses. Yes two. So I picked the one that was the most flattering and left the shop feeling the worse I'd ever felt. But instead of doing something about it, I went home and ate the entire days emotions. Chocolate, cake, crisps. You name it, I ate it. Again, it was my own mind telling me I was fat and to deal with it. I've lived my whole life in my own head.

Fast forward to 2014. A lot had happened in those years and the rollercoaster had twists and turns and ups and downs. I was coming up 38 and knew I didn't want to be fat and 40. A friend suggested I try a bootcamp with her and that's when my love of fitness started. After each session of sweating profusely and putting my body under enormous amounts of movements but seeing results, made my mind stronger and I wanted my 16 year old body back so much that I knew I'd fight for it. My mindset had changed slightly, but I still ate the wrong foods.

2016 was the year I found Ulysses (again through the same friend) and I've never looked back. You see for me, CrossFit Ulysses isn't just about the sweaty workouts and feeling great getting into smaller clothes, it's about how much this place focuses on your mind as well as your body. Ulysses is all about health and wellbeing and how with little subtle changes to your everyday life, you can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel.

I only wish there was a Ulysses in 1992 and I could be the Sam Briggs of Teesside. ️‍♀️️.

My mission in life and through the chance I've been given by Ben at Ulysses is to help you make those healthy choices. It's to help you become the best version of you, it's to help you overcome your demons and to help you make those choices I wish I'd made back in 1992. It's never too late to start your journey, it's never too late to have the mindset and body you've always dreamed of and it's never to late to start living your best life.

So what I'm trying to say is that, body dysphoria was only a symptom of my own mind. Looking back I wish I'd worn all those lovely bikinis with pride and taken care of my mind and body from that young age of 16, but I didn't. I wish I'd ate healthier and not been a size 24 on my wedding day. But me being me, I made things worst by living in my own head and letting myself think I was "fat". I jokingly say I wish I was as fat as I thought I was when I was 16.

But the point is, I can have that body again and I can wear those bikinis. And you can too. It's all about your mindset and getting those negative voices out of your head and filling them with positive ones. Be positive and fight those demons and you can achieve anything. DREAM, BELIEVE ACHIEVE.

We just have to work hard and stay consistent. Because hard work pays off.

I'm already looking forward to buying my dress for Christmas and with consistency I'll be back in a size twelve again. SOON.

I've battled loads with my weight and been up and down for years. But one thing I've never had before is HSN and the mindset of its not a diet, it's healthy eating at its finest. It's about making healthy choices to help fuel your body and not just picking up random crap like cake and biscuits when you're hungry. It's about having the right mindset to know what choices to make on a daily basis and how your eating habits affect your mindset and attitude.

I cannot stress enough about mental health and how your bad eating habits have a negative effect on how your mind and body works.

Someone told me I'd make a great nutrition coach as I've been through it all. I've battled with food, I've battled with weight, I've battled with mindset and I've battled with body dysphoria. It's taken me a long time to find who I am and what I want from life. Let me help you on your journey of self discovery, let me help you shred those unwanted pounds and I'll promise you, you'll thank yourself for it. Your future self believes in you, I believe in you. You have to believe in you too.

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