By Liana Jacob
MEET the British aspiring personal trainer who longed for a curvy physique after admiring Instagram fitness stars that she has bulked up and gained three-and-a-half-stone in two years.
Student, Katie Neeson (18), from Belfast, Northern Ireland, has always had a body she wasn’t happy with throughout her adolescent life, particularly after discovering fitness fanatics on social media.
Her hunger for achieving the look she wanted caused her to limit her food intake, specifically protein, thinking it would make her ‘fat’, and focused primarily on cardio in the gym for exercise, resulting in her weight plummeting to 7st and a UK size four to six.
After feeling paranoid about her body, including her legs, Katie decided to change her lifestyle by adapting to her daily exercise routine and diet.
She has now transformed her formerly skinny body to a bodacious ten-and-a-half-stone with a UK size eight to 10.
“I guess I always thought being skinny or thin was the answer to a perfect figure, so I didn’t eat a lot of food because I thought I would get fat,” Katie said.
“Also, I always wanted to maintain a lean skinny stomach with definition, so I thought that if I ate too much proper food like good carbohydrates, then it make my tummy look fat.
“I felt really unconfident In myself before as I was unhealthy looking and super skinny with no body shape especially my legs and arms they were so thin.
“I felt paranoid about my body and depressed myself with photos of Instagram fitness models such as the likes of Michelle Lewin, she was my first inspiration to train.
“I wasn’t happy when I looked in the mirror; I felt an unhealthy weight and shape that I didn’t want to look like that anymore.
“In comparison to what I used to see on social media, my body just wasn’t were I wanted it to be nor did I feel pretty about myself.
“I slowly started attending the gym two to three days per week and then gradually I learned more by using google and YouTube to learn about weights etc.
“I became more confident with the gym, so I started attending more and it took a lot of confidence using the weights area than it did just using a treadmill for an hour.
“I have developed a love and a passion for the fitness life style, which I would have never thought would happen when I started.
“The gym itself it is literally my happy place – it’s where I go when I’m stressed, angry, sad and happy and it helps me with everything.
“I feel confident in myself now. I can show my body and be proud of what I have achieved instead of being paranoid about people seeing parts of my body like my legs as they were a feature I really hated but now I am comfortable.”
The length of the process before she noticed results proved to be unsatisfying for Katie, but despite the long wait, she powered through until she achieved the look she wanted.
“Some days I used to get up and say to myself ‘what’s even the point anymore I’m not changing or progressing’ but really, I was,” she said.
“My mind was telling me otherwise and I was lacking some motivation as I wasn’t seeing change overnight.
“Overcoming barriers such as not ‘having time’ with my A-level work instead of not going to the gym I made time and used my time wisely always.
“I get numerous emails and direct messages saying that my transformation has inspired so many people to start their fitness journeys and that they wish they had my motivation.
“I would always say start with baby steps and don’t throw yourself into the deep end. Look at the short-term goals instead of the long term as this can be off-putting and hard on yourself.”
For more information visit: https://www.instagram.com/katieneeson/