Go on, get strong, be happy!

I had a great workout at the gym today. I’m doing the Stronglifts progam (check it out – it’s free, and there’s even a free app!), and I followed it up with 40 minutes of cardio.

Getting my body moving makes me happy. There’s something about lifting huge weights that just makes me feel awesome. I’ve been a bodybuilder for about three years now, and my goal is to compete in the 2016 South Island Championships in the Women’s Physique class.

But it hasn’t been an easy road. Last year, dealing with depression caused by a divorce and a whole stack of other associated pressures, plus some other stuff, I stopped going to the gym. I put on a lot of weight, and started feeling really bad about myself, as the fat crept on, the junk food I was relying on made me feel awful and sick, and my fitness slowly disappeared.

It’s true that our bodies reflect out innermost selves. When we’re younger, they’re more a matter of luck I think – you can be unlucky and have a bad family that don’t help you out with good food, or you can be that poor kid with cystic acne that really brings you down.

But when we become older (I’m in my early 40s), our bodies more and more reflect the love and care we’ve given them, and our state of mind and wellbeing. If we’re feeling good, our bodies reflect that. If we’re sick and treat our bodies badly with poor food choices and drugs, our bodies show that too. And if we’re depressed and stressed, our bodies bear that heavy load.

Everything is connected. You can’t be mentally unwell without it taking its toll on your body. Likewise, if you start healing your body, it will begin to have positive effects on your mind. I’m back training again, and already feeling better about myself.


I’m glad I’ve come out the end of a very long, dark tunnel. Sometimes we need to recognise that we need help, and by giving our bodies the love they need, we can move away from our dark places and step into the sunshine.


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