It’s the kind of pain that just festers and festers – people can say all they want, “it wasn’t your fault.” “There must be something wrong with her for your mother to have abandoned you like that.” It was all just words to me, because inside I just wanted to tell everyone to leave me the f#@k alone because regardless of how you want to smooth things over with your well intended words, the answer was clear to me – I’m obviously not good enough! What did I have left after that? I knew I wasn’t good enough for my own mother, the person who should love me unconditionally. I knew that the person I should be able to trust the most had betrayed me. I had a solution – trust no one, like no one, and use the only thing I did have complete control over, my image, to gain what I thought was respect and love. This took me on quite a self-destructive rollercoaster of poor relationship choices which resulted in abuse, anxiety, depression, anger and resentment. There were times my anxiety was so bad I couldn’t sleep alone at night because I really believed if I went to sleep I was going to die.
My body image became my armor – people needed to see straight up that the person they were getting involved with wasn’t going to take any shit- I didn’t realize though that without treating the growing wound inside me I was actually attracting the wrong people in my life-people that fueled my belief that most were out for their own selfish gain and didn’t really care about me. It was a world of smoke and mirrors from all angles.
The only constants in my life were my dad and my auntie Elizabeth Kalabakas – she became a maternal role model for my brother, sister and myself. Being in the fitness industry, my auntie was able to guide me with my fluctuating body weight. With the voluptuous Greek genes embedded firmly in my body, just looking at a piece of spanakopita seemed to put a kilo on my hips. Given image was the only thing I felt I had going for me it was just another blow that this also had to be a difficult area in my life, but at least it gave me another reason to be angry and anger was a good distraction from pain.
Before Metabolic Precision became Elizabeth’s training style the favorite catch phrase was ‘skinny bitches go to bed hungry,’ and that’s exactly what I had to do to control my weight. Obviously this wasn’t sustainable so my weight fluctuated with my will power. I started MP training and nutrition at It’s Personal Transformation and things started to settle. It was almost like the hormones balancing themselves out gave me the clarity and space I needed in my head to deal with the pain and loss I’d spent my teenage years avoiding. The routine of a clearly structured training program became a grounding force, because I could clearly see progression and I could see results. I was good at something, I was getting stronger, my body was becoming leaner and my mind was becoming clearer. What’s more, I didn’t need to go to bed hungry, I didn’t need to go for big runs. Just 10 weekly points of F.I.R.E and I.C.E consistently with the right nutrition and my body changed.
I’ve finally come to a place where I can be happy with my body. I know I will always have the ‘voluptuous gene’ but I’ve been given the tools now to manage those genes and I don’t need to do anything ridiculous in order to do so. I can even make some poor food choices at times but then get straight back to my habits without going through a whole cycle of self-destruction first. The sustainability for me is having real food and eating regularly enough to not feel constantly deprived and hungry. I can maintain this lifestyle into the future, I can combine it with raising a family in the future and I can combine it with my social life. What’s even better is that I can do all this for me. I’ve gradually learned that I’m in charge of showing people how I expect and deserve to be treated and my image actually doesn’t have anything to do with that. As my confidence continues to grow the armour is slowly coming away and I’m reconnecting with the real person I am. Being rejected and disowned is something that has happened to me, but its no longer allowed to define and control me and I firmly believe that my increasing physical strength has helped me developed the mental strength to move forward into a much more positive future.