Personal trainer and professional fitness writer, Betsy Green is sharing with us her story about her own mind and body transformation. As it happens to many of us, sometimes we get caught up in life and temporarily forget our own identity and purpose. Falling is not the issue; the challenge is rising back up and creating the individual you were born to be. This is an inspirational story of personal growth, and we are sure some of you will relate to it. Today, Betsy is a full time writer and PT and helps people transform their bodies and minds, day by day.
The mind is the limit
As long as the mind can envision the fact that you can do something, you can do it.
Usually the only real problems we face in life are those ones which our mind creates for us – some of which we have a choice over, some we don’t. What we always do have though, is a choice in how we react to our situations.
Back in 2013 I had spent a good few years doing jobs; I pretty much hated being a ‘graduate’ I assumed the correct way to live life was to get a job with a company, get a house, get a car etc. and live for the weekends.
I’d forgotten what my passions were and what made me tick, I was simply existing and kept thinking to myself ‘are we supposed to live like zombies? Are we supposed to wake up, carry out habits, clock watch all day, go to sleep, only to wake up and do it all over again? This is existing but it’s not living’.
Well, it turned out my brain had also had enough of this life society thought I was supposed to have and had decided that enough was enough.
I’d had planned a trip to go to Centre Parks for a weekend away and this was when something happened to my brain I would never forget. On the morning we were set to go for a weekend of fun and adventure my brain gave up.
I underwent a pretty terrifying panic episode, which lasted for a good hour.
Heart racing, extreme nausea, sheer terror, extreme shaking and fatigue. I found myself begging for someone to call 999 I felt as though I was dying.
To my absolute delight, this then happened again and again and again for days, then weeks.
I’d lost control of my mind and life at this point. I couldn’t do anything, I couldn’t eat, I couldn’t leave the house and the prospect of doing anything was too much to bare.
Sleep was the only relief I got usually with the hope that my body and mind were so weak I might not wake up the morning after.
I had lost everything. My social life, respect from my friends, my job – oh my job, for one of the UK’s biggest fashion blogs I’d worked so hard to achieve – Gone. Everything. I couldn’t function without diazepam at this point.
I spent months and months lurking in the purgatory of somewhere between giving up and seeing how much more I could take. I had a feeble and malnourished frame and regular nose bleeds were just another daily reminder that things were pretty bad.
At last I managed to see a private psychologist in the local hospital which I remember being horrific just getting there. This was to be my turning point.
Usually most people only required 6-10 sessions to help with panic disorder and general nervous breakdowns – I had 7 months worth and we worked daily on building myself up and pushing myself to do things that terrified me on a daily basis, some days were so hard I had to spend the next day in bed to recover from the exhaustion of it all.
During the course of these sessions it was suggested I try a tour of a gym to feel safe in a new environment and then build myself up to trying to workout.
With a background in sports this is something I used to enjoy. After having a walk round a gym I then built myself up to try it. I sat outside in the car panicking, crying and freaking out at the prospect of going in, but I managed it.
It was in there I picked up a fitness magazine, and on the front I saw what I considered to be the most beautiful women in the world, muscular and shapely – I’d never seen anything like it.
I would love to aim for a look like that! I thought. This is where my journey began. I started to get myself to the gym a couple of times a week and even managed to get a protein shake down after a workout which was a HUGE deal for me back then.
As the weeks went by confidence grew and my body started to get stronger.
The fighter in me decided I needed a goal. I decided to compete in a local bodybuilding show to give me a focus and a reason to try as hard as I could.
It wasn’t going to be easy, it would be just as hard mentally as it was physically but what did I have to lose? Nothing, everything else had already exited my life so this was my focus.
To help myself learn more I embarked upon Level 2 fitness instructing, nutrition and then Level 3 Personal Training while I had enough time on my hands. It was great for occupying my mind too.
I embarked on posing lessons and a tough 12 week prep to get myself in shape following a rigid 6 meals a day. When the day came I wasn’t the same person, and I did it.
I don’t know how in less than a year I’d managed to get myself onto a stage in front of hundreds of people and it became the start of a burning desire to do it all again.
During the days of being housebound I started to build up a small client base with freelance fitness writing, which built the foundations for the career I have now.
I am a full-time fitness writer and write for a global client base helping to educate and inspire others to train. I have written for Andrea Brazier, Michelle Lewin and the Shredded Academy to name but a few.
I am now spending all of my days doing things I am passionate about, and I am forever expanding my skills, hobbies and interests.
I have another progress photo-shoot planned next month so I can value the changes I’ve made, and who knows what this year may bring. I may have a few surprises up my sleeve.
I think the moral of my story is that of ruin.
It may not feel like it at the time, but ruin is in fact a gift. Ruin is the road to transformation.
Stars can’t shine without darkness, so no matter how bad things get and how hard times may test you, keep fighting because you are the only one that can make yourself stand up, dust off and start winning again.
Have you undergone some major transformation? Send us your story!