There I am, the one in the Orange Jacket, enjoying a coffee in the sunshine in my first week back at University after the Summer. I am a 20yr old student, now in 2nd Year at university in Oxford. Looking back I was probably quite content here. After losing nearly 2 stone over the 4 month break i was probably in the best shape i’ve ever been but it’s not always been like that.
For as long as I can remember my fiends have always called me “thunder thighs”, which is true. I do have very large thighs which have a story of their own. When i was 11 i took up athletics competitively full time. Not through school but through a full time trainer; an ex common wealth athlete, who took on a small group us to pass on his knowledge and talent. I quickly realised i had a talent and was consistently winning my competitions both for multi and single events. I continued to train for a further 5years; moving through 3 different clubs and 2 trainers. I finally reached my peak when i was 16, acing my personal bests. Training was 6 times a week, which involved a regular McDonalds every Tuesday and Thursday at the nearby drive-through, much to my mothers dismay. On 22nd June 2009 all my dreams came crashing down. I was representing England in the Long Jump and had to jump 5.07 to qualify, i had done it in practice many times before and was confident this would be the day i would be going to the European Championships abroad.
Two no-jumps and 1 poor jump later, i missed out on the 7 potential places by 1cm; any athlete can understand how devastating it feels, especially in a discipline such as long-jump where board placement is so crucial. From that moment on, I have never stepped on a track since.
This was and still is the biggest mistake of my life to date.
This is one of my favourite pictures from all the years. As you can imagine after training 6 times a week as well as being in school full time and school sports i was tiny but as soon as i stopped the weight piled on. My eating habits remained and my fitness was reduced significantly. As the change didn’t happen over night it wasn’t until my clothes didn’t start to fit me that i noticed. Along with this i was still growing and moved to boarding school where they were “generous” with food. Easter 2011 I went on a 4 week family holiday and came back 1 ½ stone lighter. I practically starved myself and ran on the beach everyday, i was sick and it was not maintainable. Within 6 months the weight had come back, plus some more. I lost a bit in my 1st semester of Uni but in the 2nd Semester i reached the heaviest i’d ever been; i was miserable and self conscious. My clothes didn’t fit, i didn’t want to go out, i would eat in private and i did nothing about it. In the summer of 2013 I went on 2 family holidays and travelled around Europe for 1 month. I lost all the weight and probably became the fitest I have ever been in my life; but it wasn’t easy.
I said to myself I would never go back there; why did i put myself through all that pain and handwork for nothing. Its now coming to the end of January 2014 and although i have probably put on 6lbs I am now at a flatline. I train 5-7 times a week and eat healthy for 80% of my day.
I am now at a weight plato that i can’t seem to move away from. Im going to try new nutrition techniques and increase my cardio to see if i can drop the pounds back to where i feel happy and confident.
Although many will think ‘oh, i’d love to look like you’ everyone has their own insecurities and goals which we must respect. I am happy and healthy and most of all grateful for both of these qualities but every day it is the first and last thing i think about.
My aim is to improve every day, inspire and help others, share my passion for exercise but most of all premote health and well-being.
If you don’t have health – You don’t have anything.
R “Thunder” x