My story is a bit of a life changing story so I would like to share my whole story with you in this box.
I guess you could say I was a normal kid. A far cry from who I am today. I had a normal name, brown hair and was shy and sensitive but filled with smiles and got the nickname midge mouse because I was so tiny. I kept up with the other kids and I was just like everyone else for the most part.
My life changed when I was nine. I was diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome as a result of whooping cough. Every 6-8 weeks my body would mimic the symptoms of whopping cough and I spent a lot my childhood completely exhausted with poor concentration, headaches, body aches, a weakened immune system and a horrendous sounding cough.
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I was given an adult shock dose of prednisone (a steroid) to try and help my weakened immune system, but one of the side effects was massive weight gain and I became overweight. I couldn't do exercise because I was so exhausted all the time and only attended school part time which meant I missed out a lot socially.
My Mum had to quit her job to look after me and I blamed myself for becoming sick. During this time I became interested in alternative music and fashion as it was something I related to but between this and my illness I became very different to my peers, didn't fit in, felt not good enough and I hated myself for it.
The Chronic Fatigue Syndrome lasted for 7 years until I was 16. However, when I was 15 I had read eating healthy helps with the symptoms of it and I began chopping out some foods, I found I felt better and eventually I chopped out more and began eating less and less as the voices in my head were telling me I'm not good enough, worthless and fat.
My weight dropped drastically and I was diagnosed with Anorexia Nervosa. I felt worthless, ugly, fat and disgusting beyond words like I was nothing and that I wasn't good enough for anything or anyone including food because I wasn't good enough to live.
I was terrified to eat a single blueberry, weighing myself up to 9 times in a single session and had a tortuous bathroom ritual which involved trying to make myself throw up. The "voices" demanding me to stand in the mirror while ridiculing and torturing me and then being demanded to do a certain amount of sit ups, it left me feeling like any part of a soul I had, had been shattered into tiny pieces.
Every single part of my mind was tortured and possessed by the demon living in my head in which I didn't want to live or die so around I went in a vicious circle of its mind games, body dysmorphia, self hatred and felt trapped, lost, stuck, broken and alone.
Someone once told me I would wake up and realise that there was more to life and that I was worth more than this. I had that day on the 22nd of February, 2011. I was sick and tired of being told what I could and could not do and I realised how much it was hurting my parents and that I wanted to reach my dreams of becoming strong and gaining muscle, going vegetarian and leaving home so I decided to fight for my dreams and began the process of recovery.
Recovery is one of the most painful things to ever do because you are confronting your demons and every single thing that has gotten you to where you are but it is also one of the most beautiful as you start climbing the ladder of being free and growing as a person. My parents took full control of my food during my weight gain phase, I struggled with self harming and water loading but I visualised my dreams while I ate and my goal was to see food as fuel and that we eat to live.
A couple months into recovery I wanted to give up but I started to realise I really did want to make my dreams come true and I discovered Radical Self Love from a blogger called Gala Darling. I was learning to love myself for the first time in my life! I knew if I was going to get through this I wanted to do it in style and be something extraordinary and most importantly be me to the fullest!
I decided to legally change my name as a way to let go of my past. My birth name had taken on dark memories and reminders and never truly felt like me. I had been having my hair dyed bright rainbow colours since I was 16 and had very eccentric fashion, rainbows also had another very special meaning to me through my pain (the rain) I discovered my style and who I am (the sun) creating all the colours of the rainbow (who I am today and my growth).
My full name Rainbow-Rose Blossom means growing into different colours of love representing through everything you go through in life it grows you and you become a better person.
Once I reached my goal weight I moved cities, went vegetarian, joined a gym, got a personal trainer and an amazing counsellor and began my fitness journey. Some of my gym highlights so far include a 10 minute plank, 60kg 1 rep max deadlift, 62.5kg 1 rep max squat, 10 pull ups unassisted and 34 push ups.
My fitness journey has also come with challenges from struggles with food, gaining weight to build muscle, sickness and injury but I have found a true passion for exercise especially lifting along with muscle building and clean eating. Exercise and being able to be healthy and strong is one of the greatest gifts that has come from recovery after being unhealthy and unable to do it for so long, I am the strongest, healthiest and happiest I've ever been.
I have good and bad days but I am truly grateful for my journey. I wouldn't be who I am today and have the knowledge, wisdom, strength, gratitude and the relationship with my parents that I do now and I wouldn't change that for the world. I love that I am different and that I am me, it is truly the most beautiful, inspirational and powerful thing you can ever be is the unique person that you are.
I decided to study personal training and I write a blog under my name where I share my knowledge, inspiration and uniqueness. My dream now is to be a fitness model/inspirational personality teaching people how to love themselves, to fight for their dreams, be healthy and strong and to inspire the world.
Please Detail Your Turning Point
I realised how much my anorexia was hurting my parents and how they were never going to be able to enjoy their lives, and that I would never reach my dreams of getting healthy and strong, going vegetarian and leaving home.
What Were Your Major Struggles or Challenges?
The battles of anorexia trying to get through meals and to cope with gaining weight through bulking.
Detail Your Workout and Cardio Plan During Your Transformation
My lifting days are between 4-6 days, doing both split routines and upper/lower body routines throughout my transformation between 45 minutes to 1 hour long. Always including compound lifts.
My cardio is kept to a minimum since I'm an ectomorph but when I'm cutting or when I like to do a little bit of cardio it is 20 minutes walking on a treadmill with highest incline 1-2 days per week or 20-25 minutes HIIT training on a bike once a week on a non weight training day.
Detail Your Diet/Eating Plan During Your Transformation
During bulking phases my macros are 50C/20P/30F, during cutting 45C, 35P, 20F and maintenance 50C/30P/20F. It's important for me to include all food groups (Besides meat, veggie in the house!) during ALL processes to make sure I'm not deficient in nutrients/falling back into old ways.
- Pre Workout: 1/2 cup oats, 1 apple, 1 Tbsp. peanut butter, 1 cup yogurt
- Post workout: 400mls milk, 1/2 scoop whey, 1/4 cup quinoa, 1 orange
- Meal 3: 1 whole grain wrap, 1 whole egg, 2 tomatoes, 2 cups spinach, 1/4 avocado, 1 slice whole grain toast, 1 Tbsp. peanut butter
- Meal 4: 460mls milk, 1 Banana, 1/3 cup oats, 1/2 scoop whey, 1 Tbsp. peanut butter, 1 Tbsp. Flaxseed oil
- Meal 5: 4 egg whites, 1 cup broccoli, 1 cup mushrooms, 1 Tbsp. peanut butter, 1 Tbsp. flaxseed oil, 1/4 cup brown rice
Detail Your Supplement Plan During Your Transformation
- Dymatize Elite 100% Whey Protein (1-2 scoops a day)
- Multi vitamin
- Flaxseed oil tablets
Wow so many.
I remember squatting my lowest weight at one point and that was crazy to me, getting my first pull up. Now doing weighted ones! Deadlifting 60kg for my one rep max, squatting 62.5kg for my one rep max, 10 minute plank and being healthy and strong has been such a valuable gift.
Detail Your Biggest Mistakes
Not finding a suitable way to exercise when injured to let my body heal, going into cutting phases when I was freaked out with bulking and dropping my food intake too fast in the process. Also in the beginning I was freaked out by eating more food so I would try and burn it off which meant I wasn't able to gain muscle.
Biggest Things You Learned During Your Transformation?
Lifting is the sh*t!, understanding how food works for my body, leanness and abs don't equal health.
Final Works of Advice for Others Looking to Make a Change?
For anyone struggling with eating disorders and anorexia, it is possible to get better... It gets better. It does take time with many lows and highs but you are strong enough I promise!
Surround yourself with a great support team and I highly recommend investing in a personal trainer on your fitness journey who has your best interest at heart to give you that support and knowledge. Also always be on your journey of self love because you are worth it and the best thing you will do is to work on yourself not just physically but emotionally, mentally and spiritually.