In 2006 I met a guy called Tim Sharp who became my boyfriend. Tim was a Personal Trainer and nutritionist who had had experience of women with eating disorders before, so I felt brave enough to talk to him about my own problems - without fearing a bad reaction. My diet soon changed, I was eating 6 small meals a day, which put a stop a stop to crashing blood sugar levels. I was inspired by his job and trained to become a Personal Trainer myself. He got me interested in weight training and I entered my first Natural Bodybuilding show a few months after we met. As it turned out I discovered I was good at competing and loved being on stage. I entered my first BNBF show (in the Miss Figure class) after only weight training for 3 months and qualified for the UK Finals, where after only a further 8 weeks training, I came 2nd in the country! I went on to win 3 regional Miss Figure titles with the BNBF during 2007,2008 & 2009 and also came 3rd & 6th in their UK finals. Along the way I also won 3 Best Female presentation awards; these are given to one female (at each show) that the judges feel have 'out shone' the other competitors in their on stage presentation throughout the day's competition.
However competing brought a new level to my Bulimia as competing put me under huge pressure to look a particular way, how lean I could get and also it was all about trying to conform to a judging panels ideal of a perfect figure. Dieting for a show is extremely controlled and I would constantly want to eat more, but if I did would then panic I had over eaten and would make myself sick. After months of dieting for shows I would then spend months binging and purging and hating seeing my body become less lean. However since becoming well, I have competed in shows in 2010 and 2011 and not placed in the top 5 girls at either show, BUT it didn't bother me one bit! Why? Because these days I know my own true worth and that has nothing to do with?my body at all.
Finding myself STILL struggling (now aged over 40!) to cope with being in my own body which I still hated, I sought further help, though just talking to a counsellor again was not what I wanted as counselling looks at your past rather than finding a way forward. Instead I found a CBT therapist. She gave me coping strategies, ways to feel proud of myself and new self understanding. Despite all those things I was STILL spending every waking moment feeling completely on edge with myself and my body. I spent every waking moment desperately trying to control my over-riding urges to binge or purge food I'd eaten. Tim and I broke up and got back together many times and following a particularly big bust up and I found myself at a low ebb, I finally picked up an NLP book by Paul McKenna that Tim had bought me months before and begun to read! It's weird (and slightly annoying) to know that I had looked into NLP 10 YEARS before, after learning that sports people used it to get better scores or results, but at the time having found an NLP therapist I had decided (without ever having a single session) that it wouldn't make any difference to me, as nothing ever had....how wrong could I be?!!
I am proud to say, Ladies and Gentlemen, that not only have I not binged or purged since April 2010 BUT the more I have practised NLP techniques the more my Bulimic 'demons' diminished until at long last they have disappeared. After more than 30 years of hell to FINALLY feel at home in the body I have been blessed with, is a feeling I can't even begin to put into words - but Blimey it feels GREAT!