I am so excited to tell you all about an awesome new development over here at the Solemothership. There is so much to tell you though so I’ll have to tell you in separate chunks! Here is the first chunk… Ellen Bashforth (AKA Bashers) is going to be Solemothers resident Health and Fitness Guru!! She is fab and you will love her. Within the first minute of me meeting her I had asked her to help me put a dead wood pigeon (that had just committed suicide on my window) into a mini body bag. Ellen didn’t even flinch at my ridiculous request so in my eyes she’s a keeper! Many laughs later (not about the poor pigeon) we had devised a plan. But before I share the plans with you I think you need to know just some of the reasons why I think she is perfect for us. Ellen has been on her own journey that has led her to become the inspirational lady that she is today, supporting and motivating women to lead the healthiest lifestyles possible. Here’s part of Ellen’s story..

We all have a story.

I know we have all read many a ‘transformation tale’, but that is because most of us have our own story to tell in one way or another. I want to share my journey with you and how Fit for Life came in to being.

The picture of me in the middle was taken when I was about 17 (nearly 17 years ago…yikes!!)…. I don’t remember being particularly that self-conscious of my weight at the time. I was a bubbly, outgoing and confident teenager on the outside. But deep down, I was never completely comfortable in my own skin. I would make up for it by being the ‘class clown’. I don’t necessarily think that is how people saw me- but that is how I felt. And it really effected my self-esteem. I had no real confidence, and to think about any kind of fitness or exercise didn’t even enter my head.
Age 19 and a size 18, I knew the time had come where I was ready and wanting to make the lifestyle changes to get in better shape; not for anyone else, but for me and that was what was the difference. I was motivated and ready to shift the pounds! I joined Weight Watchers and started walking to and from my work every day. The weight started to come off gradually and within 18 months I had lost 3 ½ stone!
For a few years I maintained my weight mainly by eating a sensible, healthy and balanced diet. I didn’t really go to a gym or workout as such at this point. Not because I didn’t want to, I had just never really thought about fitness as being an integral part of my life! In 2012 I changed my career, I felt lost as almost overnight I had gone from having no time to have a holiday, to days on end with no real structure or routine. I joined a gym and met this great trainer who taught me so much new and exciting things about exercise and training. I knew I had the fitness bug in me there and then! I embraced the knowledge and skills that were being shown to me and soon I was in the gym everyday training in one way or another.
When I reflect back on that time now, I can see that after a year or so my relationship with diet and exercise became an unhealthy one. It was not a healthy balance. It was more that I had a routine that made me feel secure and like I had control of something in my life. Looking back, controlling my training routine and diet was the only thing I had felt I could control. The photo of me on the right is me at my thinnest. There are not many photos of me at this period of my life as I felt so uncomfortable having them taken. I am smiling in this picture, but the truth is that I was so low inside. Weighing just over 8 stone, I had no energy, strength and hadn’t set foot in a gym in nearly a year. I remember the one significant point when I realised just of dangerously thin I had become. I was in the changing rooms at Next on my lunchbreak trying on a dress- that was loose fitting so it disguised just how thin I had become. The size 6 just hung off me like an old bin bag. I looked in the mirror at myself for the longest I had in ages and I just cried. This was a defining moment for me and I just knew that I had to do everything I could to turn things around. But I knew that at this point it was now or never and I had to dig deep and make the change!
I packed my bags, rented my flat out and 2 years ago my brand new start in Manchester began! It was a fresh opportunity and crack at the whip and I was ready to give it everything I had. I got a job temping as a Social Worker while I got settled. I joined the local gym and was absolutely terrified setting back foot in there!!! I stuck with it and even hired a Personal Trainer for myself to mainly help me get some of confidence back on the gym floor. I was so weak and thin, I felt so self-conscious. On session one I couldn’t even do one whole press up. I felt utterly rubbish and like I was never going to get healthier, fitter and stronger. It felt like the biggest mountain to climb! But I just kept telling myself it was bitesize, set myself small realistic goals and to take each day at a time.
I wrote these 4 things and stuck them on my fridge:
1. Continued progress
2. Healthy balance
3. Consistency
4. Moderation
This is what helped to keep me on track, especially on the days where things were not as peachy as others! And we will always have those days/times in our lives-fact! But the difference is knowing that you are not alone it that is what I believe is so important. That is why it is important for me to share my story with you. I was surprised when I opened up a bit more about how I was feeling, just how many other people can identify and relate.
So finally, the picture on the left is ‘now’! I’m stronger, fitter and nearly 2 stone heavier! I am the happiest I have been for years and really appreciate all the wonderful family friends and exciting things I have going on in my life. I made the decision to become a Personal Trainer and Lifestyle Coach so that I could do what I am passionate about every day for a living- and it is one of the best decisions I have ever made!
I hope that me sharing this with you helps you to get to know a bit more about me, my story and what drives me and makes me so passionate about working with my clients to make the positive longer-term lifestyle changes for themselves. Set those goals and go for it- anything is possible with the right support, determination and most importantly -self-belief!
I would love to know your transformation stories…health and fitness journeys guys, so please feel free to share them with me! I really do believe that what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger and you need a tough skin in this life at times, so let’s take it on together!!!

xx

More information to follow on how all Solemothers will now benefit from having Ellen in their lives.

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