Ellie went from feeling “very negatively” about her body at 55kgs to “incredible” at 63kgs. This is her story.
Image: Instagram. @elliesilversfitness
While most of us at this time of year are looking to drop a kilo (or five), personal trainer and fitness expert Ellie Silvers has a different attitude.
Having gained 8kgs (all positive, as she’ll tell you herself) since starting weights training around three years ago, Silvers has not only transformed her body – but her relationship with it, too.
“I always loved exercising, but I got into weight training with the desire to ‘tone up’ and shape my body. But when I started, my relationship with my body was very negative.
“I would sometimes get angry at myself just looking in the mirror and would punish myself if I didn’t exercise as much as I wanted or ate something unhealthy. I also had a very bad relationship with food/ a borderline eating disorder for a few months or a year (it’s kind of blocked out of my head), so the relationship with my body was built on negativity,” says Silvers, who admits, like many of us, her days were filled with negative self-talk and criticism.
“I wasn’t very proud of my body and would look in the mirror feeling so ashamed and helpless. I thought that no matter what I did, there would always be way too much of me and that the stomach that I despised so much would never go away,” so much so, that at one point she was doing two hours of cardio a day.
“I would make myself burn 700-800 calories in total on a number of different pieces of cardio equipment, and would sometimes do a bit of abs at the end. I then moved into doing classes only and really loved them, before I started following a generalised 30 minute circuit-type program to try and achieve my goal on toning up. Still, even though I stopped the two hours of cardio, I didn’t really know much about diet and nutritional value and intake at all,” she says.
Enter: weights training, which, according to Silvers, transformed her fitness regimen – not to mention, her outlook.
“I cut down on cardio, started eating more and changed my mindset. I started to trust the process, and it was easy to stay motivated in the early stages of weights training – I fell in love with it and really enjoyed seeing the results as my approach to fitness transformed,” she says, sharing she now feels “incredible.”
“[I’ve transformed my lifestyle] and it’s an indescribable feeling – I am genuinely so grateful that I was approached by a trainer who led me towards weight training (that’s how I got into it), because I don’t know where I would be now or who I would be as a person without it. In terms of fitness in particular, I am SO glad that I have found my calling with heavy, powerlifting-style training. It makes me feel so empowered, happy and grounded.
“Still, though, it’s a never-ending process – there is always more to learn and try and you go through phases of wanting to dedicate yourself to different goals and training styles. It took me about 6 months to really transition over from those circuits and classes into weight training, however I only discovered my love for heavy lifting and powerlifting training about 18 months ago or so,” says Silvers, who says at this stage of her journey she’s “not bothered by the number on the scale. I just use it to keep track and get an idea of where I’m at in relation to my goals at that time.”
“I wouldn’t have understood patience, determination, commitment and passion without committing to this process of training and lifestyle transformation,” she says, and has some salient advice for others who know they want to start their health journey – but don’t know how.
“Give it 110%. I’m yet to come across someone who hasn’t gained overwhelmingly positive results, whether they be physical or psychological, from training and fitness.
“Also, don’t rush it! Fitness is a marathon, not a sprint. You may have a specific event that you wish to achieve your goals for, but other than that, you have your whole life to train, so don’t give up if you don’t see results instantly, and make sure you do a HEAP of research and consider investing in a reputable trainer or coach to get you off on the right foot.
“It’s important as well to find a form of exercise that lights that fire within you, and stick to it! When you get sick of it, try something else for a while, but I guarantee you, you will always come back to that thing that keeps you grounded and awakens your soul. For me, it’s heavy lifting. For you, it could be anything, but you’ll never know until you start.
“Don’t be afraid!”
(So… where do we sign up?)
Game of Thrones workout by Bodyism’s James Duigan.
If you need help or support for an eating disorder or body image concern, please call Butterfly Foundation National Helpline on 1800 334 673 (ED HOPE) or e-mail email@example.com.