By Liana Jacob
MEET the inspiring mum-of-two who broke her vicious cycle of mental illness by dropping SEVEN STONE in just ten months and changing her life dramatically.
Business owner, personal trainer, health coach and mother of a six and two-year-old, Abigail Broell (26), from Iowa, USA, spent most of her adolescent life severely depressed. Her anxiety led her to comfort eat, making her feel even more depressed and the cycle continued for years until she reached her peak weight of 17 stone 12 pounds and a UK dress size 26-28.
Abigail woke up one day and snapped after feeling worse than she ever felt before and decided to change her lifestyle, leading to her losing seven stone two pounds, now weighing a slender 10 stone 10 pounds and UK dress size 6.
“I have dealt with severe depression and anxiety for most of my life until I changed my lifestyle. I found myself in a viscous cycle of binging because I was depressed, then feeling worse because I binged and repeat,” Abigail said.
“I let that cycle continue for years and the weight just kept piling on. I didn’t like the person I had become. It just wasn’t who I knew I truly was.
“I didn’t follow through with my commitments, I had no confidence and no discipline or drive. I felt ashamed at how far I had let myself go and masked those feelings with a pessimistic attitude and deflecting humour.
“I changed my habits drastically. I recorded and measured all my foods. I drank USANA meal replacement shakes and took their vitamins.
“I did beginner home workouts or walking. I increased my water intake. I made visuals and set goals for myself; I was extremely consistent and didn’t falter.
“I did whatever it took to keep myself motivated and accountable. Using the internet and social media; I taught myself correct form and learned new exercises. I stopped giving myself excuses.”
Making this dramatic change has completely changed the way she sees herself now and it has made a difference in her everyday life.
“If you would have told me two years ago that I would lose seven stone, become a personal trainer and health coach, I would have laughed,” she said.
“My life went from sedentary to active. Where I once hid in the comfort of my own home, I now raise the bar for myself daily and I am constantly putting myself out there for new opportunities.
“I love myself in a way that I never have before and feel a true sense of self and inner peace. For the first time in too long, I am genuinely happy and excited for the future.
“I have learned so much about myself along the way; it’s almost impossible to accurately list all the wonderful things that have come from my journey.
“I feel physically and mentally strong. I feel confidence in a deeper sense, more than confidence of my physical appearance but in who I am and what I can offer and contribute.
“I love the woman I am and the woman I am becoming.”
While before she would binge eat on all junk food, she has now developed a new eating routine; eating lean proteins, vegetables and fruit.
She says she tries to stay away from anything processed or ready-made and she drinks three to four litres of water a day.
“I do whatever activity brings me peace. Sometimes that means lifting weights at the gym and sometimes that means walks at sunset,” she said.
“I knew I wouldn’t stick to activities I didn’t love, it’s important to me that I truly enjoy my lifestyle and listen to my body.
“The hardest part for me was the internal work. I didn’t just want to drop weight, I wanted to learn why I was over-eating and what I needed to do to overcome it.
“People are always very positive and happy for me. I almost always hear how I have inspired them in some way and that to me is the most rewarding thing of all.
“Through learning to love myself, I am positively impacting the lives of others. To me, that’s beautiful.
“Start with what you have; do what you can. I knew nothing, I had no plan. I started obese. I started broke. If you truly want something, you can’t let anything get in your way.
“Cloud your mind with motivation, inspiration and encouragement. Stay focused on your goals and remind yourself why they are important to you every single day. It will always be you versus you; only you get to decide how successful you will be.”
For more information visit: https://www.instagram.com/alb.fitnessjourney/