I've been lurking for a couple of weeks and have got to say that this is a wonderful site - so much information and there seems to be a really good atmosphere.
A little about me. My name is Beki and I'm 35, married and living in Sydney, Australia. I've been a long time sufferer of depression and last year it all came to a head. I was drinking a bottle of wine every night, unable to cope with working, getting more and more overweight as I'd stopped caring about eating healthily. I'd also given up my long term passion which was running and hardly ever left the house. For 18 months I avoided my friends, wouldn't answer the phone or return emails. I was pretty much a hermit and didn't want to see or talk to anyone because I didn't feel as though I had anything worth talking about. I also couldn't face being asked "so what have you been up to lately?".
I'd been talking to a friend online about how I used to love running and had always wanted to run a marathon or ultramarathon when it was suggested that I run the MdS in 2012. For some reason this idea finally sparked some kind of interest in me and I began to feel excited about it - the first time I'd felt anything other than numb in a very long time. I realised I had reached my breaking point and I had to do something about my physical and mental health right then and there, I couldn't go on any longer as I had been.
I started out making small changes over a few weeks. I would do a walk/run every second day and just walk on the other days. I quit drinking (that was hard) but took it one day at a time and congratulated myself at the end of every day that I didn't have a glass of wine. There were a lot of days that I simply didn't feel like doing anything but I promised myself I could feel sorry for myself only AFTER I had done the things that I needed to do. Things like my planned exercise for the day, prepare meals and write in my blog. By making sure that I went through the motions every day I gradually started to feel better and things began to feel like habit. After one month I decided to join a local health club so that I could do pilates and work on my core strength for distance running. I made it to about three classes before I decided I wanted to get into the gym there and start lifting. About 5 years ago I was lifting regularly and really enjoyed it.
Well, it didn't take long before I remembered how much I enjoyed weights and this combined with a healthier diet meant I began to see some changes in my physique. Over the course of three months I lost about 20 pounds but more than that, my shape was changing and I was loving the differences I could see.
I downloaded a copy of Tom Venuto's book and started to focus on increasing my protein and decreasing my carbs slightly. The more I read the less I wanted to focus on running and the more I began to think about Figure. I have known a few girls through blogging for a few years who have competed but I never thought I could do it and so never really considered it. But now, the more I thought about it, the more inspired I felt by the challenge. The goal of running an ultra through the desert had been the huge goal that had inspired me initially to change my life around but I felt that it had done what it needed to do without me having to do the race. It had got me out of my dark place.
I went to watch at a couple of natural bodybuilding shows and that was it. Watching the girls up on stage doing their thing was so uplifting and inspirational. I was hooked and I knew I had to do it. A week after the second show (last October), I went to visit a coach recommended by a few friends and the rest is history.
This is without a doubt, the hardest thing I have ever had to do. Self discipline has never been a strong trait of mine but I am learning more and more about myself and what I am capable of every day. I have had some spectacular falls from the diet wagon but every time I keep climbing back on. The wheels will stop falling off one day, but if I don't keep getting back on I'll never know which day that's going to be.
My first goal date is in mid-May and I'm just about on track for it, this is my "just in the nick of time" goal to keep me on the straight and narrow plus get my initial nerves out of the way. There is another show in July (the INBA All Females Classic) which is my main goal and I'm really excited about. It's interstate but I have a lot of friends who live nearby and also my blogging competitor friends will be there - most of whom I've never met before. I just think it will be a wonderful experience.
I now haven't had a drink since the 22nd June 2010 and while I would love to indulge in the occasional glass, I just don't think there is a place in my life for alcohol any more. I'm still on antidepressant medication, but I'm down to a maintenance dose now and am happy to stay on it long term.
So there you go, that's me. It wasn't meant to be such a long introduction but once I start typing it's hard to stop! Thanks for reading, those of you who are still awake