Violeta Ivanova Team KT: “Don’t give up! Be strong!”
Don’t give up! Be strong! Powerful and motivating words, which we more and more often hear and read under posts in the social networks. But what do they mean for every one of us, how many of us are capable of hearing them and dressing them in real actions? Isn’t it to be strong when you are actually helpless, the most difficult thing for a person? When you fight against powers such as nature, genetics, health (or illness), which are beyond our control and much stronger than our aspirations, desires, dreams and ambitions? No! The belief itself, that you will succeed but the true, indisputable belief, the one that makes you face every new day, get up from bed in the morning, this belief already makes you a winner! This is my story!
I will go quite back in time, to tell you about my childhood and mostly about my teenage years. When I was a little girl I was skinny and without significant appetite. My mother was a ballet dancer and I grew up with her at the ballet barres and acquired skills such as doing a side-split (even to the wall with a leg raised at 90°), I learnt the foundation of ballet and felt extreme pleasure in practicing it. Fortunately, this laid the foundations of my physique, I developed my muscles and started to love physical activity. Until the moment when things started changing under the influence of puberty and a routine surgery to remove my tonsils. My appetite increased and I gradually started to gain weight, which was the opposite of my fading desire to do sports (I had already passed through rhythmic gymnastics, modern ballet, standard and Latin dances). All this had an enormous impact on my self-esteem and mentality (at that point, I did not realize the health risks), sometimes I even had to bear the offence of malevolent boys in my class, the gym classes were not my favourite. This is what my teenage years were like and soon I become 18, a young woman who started paying more attention to the way she looked. And then came the moment of exhaustive diets and starvation and I went to extremes as there were days when I ate only an apple and yoghurt, depriving my body from the most important nutrients which would cost me a lot later in life! Yes, I got the figure I was dreaming of, I lost the excess weight, I felt good, I liked myself. I did not feel how I went to extreme and I found myself on the verge of mental disorder, close to anorexia! I had unrealistic idea of my appearance and despite my low weight; I found myself chubby and did not eat adequately. This is how several years of my life passed and then I became a mother for the first time. Fortunately, my pregnancy went good, I gained proper weight and forgot about diets and starvation but immediately after I gave birth to my daughter, I started losing weight quite fast and came back to my unhealthy lifestyle – starvation, cigarettes, coffee, lack of sport. Very often, my relatives told me that I was too skinny and I had to eat but I did not listen to anybody. Another few years passed, my weight continued to be very low and situation got worse when I started vomiting after I ate, you can guess….bulimia! I realized how far I had gone and fought with myself to change things but I got lost in the reflection of the mirror and my fear to gain even a kilogram and I limited my calorie intake to 1500 kcal per day!
I was close to becoming 30 years old and I started thinking that years passed – did not go back and it was high time I started some sport – just to get fit and avoid gaining weight because even the thought of this horrified my. I started pilates, jogging in the park, aerobics. This gave me a breath of fresh air, I started feeling more energetic, healthy and fulfilled. I started eating a little bit better, relieved from the fact that I train and would not put on weight. I started to find myself.
Soon I became e mother for the second time! Of course, during my pregnancy, my motherly instinct prevailed, I managed to gain sufficient weight and I did not go to extremes in nutrition. Fortunately, my child was born safe and sound. As I insisted to breastfeed it, I continued to eat regularly and adequately. I started to think more and more about the moment when I would start training, (I had to wait 6 months after the Caesarian operation). And the moment came, I subscribed to the nearest fitness gym and started with the workouts. The man I started training with lead me into the fitness world very quickly, gave me a lot of advice, helped me in the workouts; he was next to me all the time for which I am extremely grateful to him! In the beginning I expected to lose the final 6-7 kg., to make my body fit and keep a healthy weight. With every passing day and every workout I felt better and the bonuses of all this were more energy, good mood, distraction from mundane cares and obligations, well spent time.
Thus, before I realized, fitness became my favourite activity. I waited eagerly for every workout, I spent my time in the gym with great pleasure and I did not feel tired and bored, just the opposite, I was full of positive emotions and satisfaction! There is nothing more stimulating than seeing the results on yourself. This is the best motivation and reward for a training person! I started to want more and more from myself, tried to upgrade, put new goals and challenges in front of me! Of course, everybody has one of those days when nothing is ok. In fitness I found the means to cope with these moments because the moment I stepped in the gym, I forgot everything negative and unpleasant and I always managed, no matter how bad I felt, to improve my mood and feel better!
Although I quickly achieved good results, I was still quite critical of myself and there were parts of my body on which I had to work more. It was clear to me that this could be achieved only with a suitable nutrition plan. At that time, a friend of mine recommended me Kiril Tanev as a person with a lot of experience in this field and a lot of clients satisfied with his work. I contacted him immediately. He did what was necessary to find more about me, my lifestyle, nutrition and training plan. Based on this information, he prepared for me an individual nutrition plan which I started following immediately. In the course of time, Kiril became my advisor about nutrition, supplementation and training and gave me precious advice, helped me throughout my way to my goals and every time I had any questions he gave me exhaustive and professional answers! And soon, came the results. I saw how my body changed. My muscles were much fuller and visible, my body was fit, I felt stronger, healthier and tough. Everything was wonderful! But you know life has ups and downs, so I got slapped again! Health! After I noticed some changes in my organism, I did some tests and they showed that I have autoimmune disease known as Hashimoto’s thyroiditis! A slap in the face! This taught me that health is important not only in words! Everybody who has encountered an autoimmune disease knows how insidious it is, although I often heard words such as “So what, you do not die from this!” Yes, maybe you don’t die in a month, six months a year or five but this suddenly decreases your quality of life and you fight with it every day! With these diseases, your own body (immune system) attacks your organs and destroys them! In this particular case, your thyroid gland is attacked by antibodies, which destroy it but as you know, the thyroid gland produces hormones, which are of vital importance for every function in your body and should reach every organ in your body. These hormones control metabolism, body temperature, growth and development. When you have this disease, you take hormones under the form of medicine throughout your whole life (needless to mention the side effects)! The symptoms you may have are incredible fatigue, lack of energy, hormonal misbalance, incapability of the body to regulate body temperature, tachycardia, anxiety and depression, mood change, distraction, change in appetite and taste and many others which accompany your daily life. Additionally, the autoimmune process causes you constant pain in the joints and muscles, exhaustion, problems with the immune system, headache, anxiety, bad concentration etc.
Now you understand how difficult it is for an active person to encounter such a disease! Here, I would like to mention that in the case of 1 in a 100 people, the additional hormone intake is not completely assimilated by the body and this person is forced to live with all these symptoms to the rest of his life. Of course, I am lucky enough to be this person! My body does not assimilate 100% the synthetic L-thyroxine! I take it every day, but I do not feel completely healthy! Very often, after a 10 hour sleep I wake up tired, without energy, mood, with headache, pains in the muscles and joints! You can imagine what discomfort this is for a person who cannot live without sport and fitness, for whom stopping this activity would be devastating and even the thought of it is terrifying!
I don’t want to give up and I won’t! I will not hide that sometimes in the gym, I feel terrible exhaustion and fatigue and I cannot do the exercises to the maximum but despite this, I am there 6 times per week! Sometimes, when my hormones decide not to perform their functions, apocalypses occurs in my organism and you know how important hormones are for sports! As I mentioned above, the thyroid gland controls our metabolism and I live aware of the fact that whatever nutrition plan I follow at some point it can become ineffective but despite this, for more than 3 years, I eat in the above-described way and things are ok! And I will not stop! I fight all the time! By using supplements of high quality, daily workouts, nutritious and clean food, proper rest, positive emotions, well-spent time with my family and friends, more outdoors activities, enough sleep, constant laboratory tests and belief! My belief that I will succeed, that life is wonderful, that sport is irreplaceable!
I would like to tell everybody – women and men that there is a way! That if you care for yourself, if you like and respect what you are, if you believe in yourself, there is always a way! Yes, sometimes life is not fair and you ask yourself “why me” but you have the power to change things, at least what is in your hands. Do what is necessary, give a 100% of yourself and believe me your efforts will be rewarded! There is nothing better than the feeling that you have succeeded! There isn’t a bigger satisfaction than exceeding yourself and your abilities, fulfilling your dreams, there isn’t! Don’t give up! Be strong!