The picture above is of 2 girls. 2 very different girls. The girl on the right, she’s smiling, she has a drink in hand and is dressed for an event. Sure, you’d think she looked happy. The girl on the right, however, isn’t smiling, isn’t dressed for an event and she is very different to the other person. Both me, but can you tell when I was happiest?
The girl on the left (Breanne in 2013)
My 2013 was far from ideal, but then what year ever is? weighing 204lbs. I had no boyfriend, but multiple “friends” and spent my weekends binge drinking and passing out. All whilst waiting for my summer season abroad to begin again.
It used to happen between every season, I couldn’t wait to get back out to Europe and explore a new country, to fit in, adventure and enjoy my life. But, first I had to endure the UK. Being drunk used to help make the winter go quicker. So I drank lots, ate lots and then a drank a little more.
I had such hopes for summer. My previous 2 seasons were amazing, I couldn’t see how anything could go wrong.
Frankly, it was awful. My binge drinking spiralled out of control and I woke up on my birthday not even remembering what happened in the first place. I realised my life needed change.
I made small changes. I gave up alcohol. Gave up smoking. Then I gave up socialising. I became a complete recluse. I hid myself away from anyone who I deemed negative or a bad influence, yet I soon realised I WAS the negative one. It was completely the wrong way to go about things. I even ended up developing some severe anxiety. I hated being around people and I was so negative that people hated being around me. so, I made the decision to fly home. See my friends, family and hopefully, work on myself.
I hated being around people and I was so negative that people hated being around me. so, I made the decision to fly home. See my friends, family and hopefully, work on myself.
At home, things weren’t much different. I got a job in a hotel. Which at first seemed good until I had a panic attack on the way there and swore I was never going again. I got put on antidepressants. Life was crumbling beneath me. Spinning out of control and I Just couldn’t explain why.
People thought I was melodramatic. I THOUGHT I WAS MELODRAMATIC.
It didn’t take long for me to start drinking and smoking again. The alcohol gave me the confidence in social situations, that being sober I lacked so much. Yet, when I was hungover I was on edge more than ever.
Within around a month of starting to drink again, I managed to get so drunk. I walked home with people I didn’t know. Ended up in a caravan. Blacked out. Oh, and just so happened to lose a tooth, as well as my shoes, tights, handbag and dignity.
It was a nightmare. I walked home in tears. Made it to my bed and went to sleep hoping I’d wake up and it would all have been one big nightmare.
Messages started flooding my inbox of concern, worries and people who had already found out where I ended up. But nobody could tell me what happened to my tooth, nobody knew.
About a week later I was feeling stressed. I decided, irrationally, it was time to start smoking again. I drove to the convenience store. Bought 20 clicky cigs and got in my car. I decided that night to drive the backstreets home as a relaxing drive was just what I needed.
Into a ditch. In the middle of nowhere. Was it an accident, I’m not quite sure myself. My behaviour throughout the year had been pretty off the wall and reckless.
To make matters worse, I’d also somehow managed to develop Guttate psoriasis from all the stress (which actually took over a year to fully clear)
Anyway. I got a new car, a new tooth and started an administration apprenticeship.
That job kept me focused and busy, yet I still wasn’t happy.
One of my best friends convinced me to make a pro’s and cons list about working abroad again. The Pro’s slightly took the lead. With the returner form filled in, I told myself if I go to the same place she works I will accept the offer, if I don’t end up there I will stay in the UK.
I didn’t want it to be like 2013. If I knew somebody there It would be more comfortable and it would be someone to keep me sane.
The call came a few weeks later, I got it and I was off to the south of France.
I made one of the bravest decisions of my life that day. Not just going back out to a job I had fallen out of love with. But I decided I was going to solo drive all the way to the south of France.
I drove for 3 days!
Stopping In Dover & Lyon.
I even clapped myself as I drove through the campsite entrance. This was, possibly the bravest step I had ever made. It was unbelievably rewarding.
Anyway, the season went on and 2014 was epic. My previous issues seemed like a million miles away.
The girl on the right (Breanne Now)
In 2015 after my year in France ended and I dragged my now boyfriend hundreds of miles home with me. It was back home that I decided I needed to lose weight. In January I bought my Fitbit and started cooking slimming world inspired meals. I joined the class for a bit, however, I didn’t really find them very beneficial. Throughout 2015 my weight slowly dropped off and
I lost over 40lbs.
I’d like to say that the weight stayed off, however in 2016 I gained a little back. But you know, I don’t care. I spent the year attending the gym a few times every week. Ate reasonably healthy but not strictly restricting. I weight lifted and achieved so many goals in that time.
I couldn’t even bench press properly with the bar and now I’m doubling that weight, it’s the same with squats.
When I first started losing weight I couldn’t even run flat out for a minute. I was absolutely awful and now I run over 5k.
I am so proud of myself.
Not only for my fitness achievements. For my mental achievements too. I’ve always been a negative person.
A “no” person.
If you asked me to do something that was remotely difficult I’d have told you “I can’t do it” without even an attempt. I was miserable, grumpy and negative.
I’ve come a long way. I’m more motivated than I’ve ever been in my life. More driven, more disciplined and probably the happiest I have ever been.
I’ve replaced my negativity, binge drinking and hatred for myself, with health, fitness and respect. I have a new focus in life and it keeps me sane – much saner than a pint of vodka on a Friday night.
Was it easy?
Hell no… I’ve spent so long trying to make myself the person I want to be. I read self-help books, I exercise often and I work hard. To be positive you have to act positive. It’s literally a fake it till you make it kinda thing. A fake smile can develop into a real smile, but you have to take the time to work on it and yourself.
You are my year. I have so much more to prove Not only to you but, to myself and to everyone who has doubted me.
It’s time to keep working on my mental health alongside physical health and make a commitment to keep developing as a person. Whatever path life takes.
That’s why this year, I am my own motivation because, If I can achieve what I’ve achieved so far, then surely, I can move mountains.