Badass Mum Kirsty Shares her Incredibly Brave Journey and Talks About How Running Helps her Battle Anxiety, Depression and Bulimia Nervosa
For many years, 12 years to be exact.. it's been a tough journey for me, from being that quiet, reserved teenager to the person who I am today. I've always been the big girl with chunky legs and flabby stomach, I got very self conscious with my body as I got older by not being able to fit into the clothes I used to as a teenager.... At 17 years old that's where it all started, my eating disorder of bulimia nervosa. My constant battle with food began and still hasn't gone, a love hate relationship as I love food and I know it's good fuel for my body especially when I am running I need it for the energy but I don't like the weight I put on when I am eating more carbs for carb loading and struggle with the negative thoughts I have in my head about putting on weight.
In 2013 I had my first daughter, Violet, and I was at 20 stone during pregnancy, 6 months down the line I started running with my sister. It used to be just 2 miles round the block just to get my legs moving, then my sister told she was going to run the London marathon and asked me to run with her on her training, which I did. The furthest I've ever run is 17 miles and that was a killer due to the weather being so hot and we both ran out of water but we had no choice but to keep going and get home.
Noticing the weight dropping off I kept going and decided that it was time to sort my diet out. I got down to a size 14 and under 13 stone, that's a massive 7 stone loss which really helped me improve my fitness and my pace went from 13 minute miles to 11 minutes. I was super happy. A few years went by and I moved to a different job where it became more difficult to keep my bulimia nervosa under control, it was that bad I went down into a dark hole and couldn't snap out of it. I stopped running because of the hours I worked and with the change of jobs I got myself into a workaholic mode and just spent most of my time at work, hardly saw my daughter and I didn't know her bedtime routine at all. She missed me, my partner missed me. Scott was the mother and father most of the time. I worked that much it took its toll on me and I was that bad I ended up going down a really dark road, wrote goodbye letters and I nearly did it; I nearly went to take my life. I wanted to escape that horrible hole I was stuck in, I wanted out. It was like someone was making me think these awful thoughts, wanted me to go and jump with that rope around my neck... Take those tablets and make me suffer... I eventually got myself out of that rut by talking. Something one day just got me out of the deep hole and I now don't go down that far anymore. Once I notice the symptoms I seek help straight away. I don't want to get anywhere near close to how I felt in 2015. Those two years of not running ruined me, ruined friendships and I nearly lost my family. I didn't have that escape which I needed to think about my thoughts and put everything into perspective. You could be in the most beautiful environments with great company of family and friends, wealthy with a nice bank balance and have everything you could possibly want in your life, yet you feel completely victimised, alone, useless, worthless and selfish. It's destroying and makes you wonder why you have a purpose on this earth. What is your mission in life. Some ask, 'what is god's plan for me?', 'Why was I created to be in this beautiful world?'
Having to pretend that I don’t ever feel sad, anxious, overwhelmed, or even panicked is not healthy. It is also incredibly exhausting, in all honesty. I always put a brave face on but right now it think it's right to only tell it how it is and admit to what has been going on because I thought I could carry on and cope. For the best part I do manage. However, like recently, every so often I hit a rough patch, as hard as I try to prevent it from happening. I've loathed it, put up with it, been overpowered by it for so long. It's buried my self-confidence, energy, the enjoyment of things I love. It's made me feel so isolated, yet still push people closest away. It's made me mask my emotions and feel unworthy of help. It's made me believe I am a failure especially as a partner to Scott, a mother to my children. I pushed my friends away, because of just a craving person's attention, not a cry for help but the attention where I just want to talk so much or need to be around them. It's made me have to reassess everything I know, to feel lost without hope of being found. Turned the daily activities I took for granted into huge tasks - the more its hung around, the more I've needed to dig my heels in to fight.. I know that even in my weakest moments, I have strength, However many times I get knocked down, I will always get back up because the more its made me feel this way, the more I've learnt to appreciate the little things. I've seen that, by living my life the best I can while having it bringing me down at unexpected times, I am doing one the strongest and bravest things I can ever do.
I think about my children first thing in the morning, they help me get up on those days when all I want is to hide myself under the duvet and wait for the storm to pass is one heck of a massive victory, I know on those days when I can’t be strong for them, I know deep down that it's okay, because I have the courage to try again tomorrow. This is why I started running again. After having my son Joseph, in 2018, I promised that I would start again and get myself back on track and touching wood I am back on track and it will stay this way!
During the 6 years of running on and off I have run 3 half marathons, 10ks and 5ks. My favourite run was the Anglesey half marathon as it was my first one with my sister, we helped each other get round the route and had lots to talk about too, not only that but the views were incredible. That was it, I got the running bug and entered more races, it actually got difficult to get to some races as my sister decided to stop running after the London Marathon, so after not being able to get to some races I decided to start the virtual runs and completed many of them until September this year I started ‘Race at Your Pace’. Having a target of miles to run a month helps me keep getting my trainers on and running more miles each day.
RUNNING IS MY THERAPY, IT HELPS ME THINK ABOUT EVERYTHING AND I PUT ANY WORRIES THAT I MAY HAVE AT THE BACK OF MY MIND AND KEEP PUSHING HARDER. IT'S HELPED ME WITH MY MENTAL HEALTH, ANXIETY, DEPRESSION AND MY EATING DISORDER.
I am making the most of my running time whether it be outdoors or on the treadmill at my local gym, I never used to like running on the treadmill until I joined The Rage Fitness Company, the owner helps me get the miles in by giving me targets each time I go. It's pretty awesome having someone there to motivate you and keep you on your toes. My plan for the new year is to join as many races as I can so I can get my weight off again and get a bit faster on my runs, also get my children running more too.