Kim had the dream of competing for 3 years. But it always seemed so out of reach for her.
This is a story of someone who was sick and tired of being sick and tired; and decided to take a leap into the unknown.
Kim committed to compete – something that scared the hell out of her for 3 years.
But she made it happen because there was one thing that scared her more.
And that’s to remain the same as she was yesterday…
Written by Kimberley Drew
Wow – Here I am, winning both divisions that I entered in my first ever fitness competition, a dream that seemed so out of reach for three years due to my inner turmoil.
It all began three years ago. I’d gone through a relationship breakdown that left me feeling empty. My self confidence and self worth plummeted. I was felt numb from the inside out and was just going through the motions in my day-to-day life.
So I took a little time off from work, thinking that I would be able to get off to a fresh start.
However, it really wasn’t in a healthy way. I joined a local gym with the intention of competing, but I wasn’t doing it for the right reasons. I wanted to be noticed and to be acknowledged, not realising that this was not how to get to where I needed to be. I needed to find my true desire and purpose, not feed the ego.
I became obsessive about training, I was up at 4am, driving 1⁄2 hour to the gym, 1 hour to work, only to return in the evening for more. I couldn’t get enough, which slowly became an unhealthy obsession mentally and physically.
I was pushing people away from me, because I had so much anger within.The gym became my therapy; it was a place I could release the anger. It was a positive out of an unhealthy situation.
During this time, there was massive discipline and consistency, something I prided myself on in everything I do. However, there was no positive self -talk and no self-confidence. And by no means was I doing it in an educated way; I was going to the gym to smash myself, not to get healthy.
After a year of being in this vicious cycle, I was caught in this vicious cycle for a year.
After a year of living numbly, surviving on the short-lived endorphin boosts that comes with working out, I started to recognise within myself that something needed to change. I needed to do something that pushed me so far out of my comfort zone, so that I could “remember” my old self.
And hence I made the huge decision of leaving my hometown in Phillip Island and moving to Melbourne.
And so here I am in the city, away from all my family and friends, I was trying to get accustomed to the demands of a new stressful job, with no idea of how to get around the city. I was scared to death driving to work everyday, but it was here that I realised the power of the mind and positive self-talk. I would mentally rehearse things like “I can do this”, “I can make it through the day”, “I am capable of………”.
This became my new way of being, and I incorporated it in every aspect of my life. So funnily enough, it was in the stressful city life that I started my journey towards positivity and mental belief.
This in turn reflected on my fitness. I employed an experienced trainer who educated me in terms of nutrition, training and taught me about my body and what required more attention.
My body began to transform and I became much happier within myself. I began to socialise, to have a healthier relationship with food, and was content with how I looked.
But there were still underlying issues of low self-confidence that I had become so good at concealing.
I floated along in this state for a few months…
…until the end of 2016. That’s when the destruction started.
It came in the form of a knee surgery that rendered me unable to go to the gym. I thought I was happy within myself, so I began to let my discipline slip in terms of nutrition, training and self-talk. I was still eating fairly well, but was over-eating due to loneliness and lack of confidence to be around people. I was still training but the passion for it was decreasing. I found myself sitting at home eating too much, crying almost every day and looking in the mirror and hating what I saw.
From here, I continued to go downhill for several months. There were days when I literally couldn’t get out of bed and would cry myself to sleep with suicidal thoughts. It even went as far as writing goodbye letters to loved ones. I hated my job. Even the thought of leaving the house gave me intense anxiety.
The doctors said I had fallen into depression. They prescribed anti-depressants and sleeping pills and told me I had insomnia. I was taking days off work through exhaustion, and when I did work, I would be home in bed by 3pm.
I remember walking to gym (the same walk I would do every day) but now I couldn’t make it two hundred metres without having to sit down. I started to notice my significant weight gain, which in turn made me hate myself and isolate myself even more because I felt ashamed.
One day while I was sitting alone, I asked myself exactly what I was afraid of…
Did it matter what people thought of me?
Was I being who I really wanted to be?
Is the person I currently am someone I want my future children to look up to?
The answers will all “no”.
I realised I was afraid to be my authentic self. But I could not control what others thought, did or say, but I can control how I respond or react to the situation.
It was then that I decided to make the change in every aspect, I decided not to take the anti depressants or sleeping pills, and instead would tackle this head on and get back to the gym- and yes this took work, hard work, and the constant desire and determination to change, especially on days when it would have been easier to slip back to old habits..
First thing on the list was to get back to training! It took the courage of stepping back in to the gym, but I decided not to over think it but get back in there and dominate. I was on the hunt for a new experienced coach, and found Enterprise Fitness in Richmond. I signed up immediately on that day, not knowing that my life was about to change forever for the better…
Under the guidance of my Enterprise coach, my strength started to return. I felt amazing after each training session and and my anxiety lessened. My coach assisted me with my nutrition, lifestyle, sleep… and I was strengthening my discipline in every aspect of my life, from meal prepping to creating healthy sleep routines, to goal setting, to self-talk.
With more structure and balance in my life, I was starting to feel like my old self again. However, I knew that my journey was far from complete. There was still some mental changes that I needed to address.
I decided to remove some people from my life that no longer aligned with my personal growth goals. I started speaking up in conversations, smiling more, and allowing myself to let my guard down and open up. It’s hard, but once you master letting your guard down, the feeling is incredible!
I then started a new morning routine, which involved waking up early, heading to the beach, listening to meditation music and jumping into the water. I would think about all the things in my life that are great, I would write positive affirmations and put them all over my room. My positive self-talk had returned!
So here I am, proudly holding 2 gold medals from my first competition. I’ve lost over 21kg’s, and over 25% body fat. I have a new outlook on life, and I’m proud to say that I no longer feel depressed. I have mastered my ego and wake up each day excited to just be myself.
It took a lot of blood, sweat and tears to get here. But if you want to change badly enough, there will always be a way. And remember, it’s about consistency, and not just quitting when things get hard.
For me, it was fitness that has helped me overcome depression and a negative state of mind. However, I would encourage anyone to seek help if needed, to always believe in themselves, get active when they can and practice daily kindness and gratitude.
Embrace the beauty around you, and don’t take your mind, body or health for granted, life is so short- live it- love it- and always keep an open heart and mind. Stop and smell the roses, there is no rush.
And last but not least, a huge thank you to my amazing coach, Liam Fitzgerald for educating me with my training and for helping me fulfil one of my life goals. I couldn’t have done any of this without you.