Wellness, Meditation, Yoga, Detox, Muay Thai

I lost my dad 13 years ago and didn’t deal with it very well. I threw myself into my career in events and marketing – it was my absolute priority before anything. I loved my job – it was my dream, or so I thought… ‘Things started to go downhill. Over the last three years of it. I gained a ridiculous amount of weight. Marketing is a very sociable industry and drinking was a big part of the working culture, so it was easy to make poor choices and form bad habits. Slowly. I realised I wasn’t happy. ‘Really, my work was a way for me to numb the pain for what I now realise was a huge sense of loss I hadn’t dealt with after my father died. Not only that, but there was a deep loneliness; my friends had all got married and I was one of the only single ones. ‘My health started deteriorating big time. There were times when I thought I was going to have a heart attack. Everything was out of sync. I started getting recurring infections, pelvic pain and my periods became irregular. I went for a lot of blood fests and scans – I was petrified.’

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The turning point ‘I didn’t understand why I was crying every night. I didn’t know how to reach out – I was ashamed. One night, I went to my mum’s after work and fell ill with a serious infection. My mum had never seen me like that before. She’d lost my dad and I didn’t want her to lose me, too. That was my wake-up call. ‘The next day, I made the decision to change my life and make my wellness a priority. I wrote a letter of resignation to work and decided to take a year out to travel and get healthier. I had to do it, or I was heading for an early grave. ‘I went to Thailand, starting off at Phuket Cleanse (phuketcleanse.com). The coaches suggested doing the walks to ease myself into it. I remember going on the first 8km walk and crying the whole way. I couldn’t keep up and was embarrassed. It knocked my confidence.’

New skill, new me ‘I loved boxing, though, so I asked to try the Muay Thai. I was intimidated by it and it scared me, but I remember doing my first session and falling in love with it, though it was tough. I started doing it every day. Every session I did, I felt an improvement. It gave me more and more confidence as I started to master the technique. ‘I had so much respect for the trainers. They taught me discipline, focus and being in control. That moulded my approach to training and, after three weeks, everybody saw a massive change in me. I learnt about determination and that giving up wasn’t an option. That, to me, was life changing. ‘Muay Thai also taught me to relax my approach to everything, and the weight came off even faster. But weight-loss wasn’t my sole focus any more; if was about leading a healthy, balanced life and having the confidence to try new things. I now realised I could do anything. ‘It’s about having avision and, step by step, making your way until you get there. I’ve been back from Thailand for a year now and have become a personal trainer so I can help others. I also organise fitness events to inspire people to challenge themselves. And I still box, of course.

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