Tamrin’s story started as a teen at age 17. She describes herself as a ‘curvy’ girl in school. She felt out of place, not quite good enough to hang with the slimmer, more athletic girls. And that’s when she decided to adjust her eating patterns, shedding 15 kilos in the process. Anorexia set in – a battle that she was to fight for the next several years. She hated the body that would face her each day in the mirror. At varsity, the problem grew progressively worse as she developed Bulimia. She was constantly unhappy, in conflict with her body and the way she looked. But it wasn’t going to end with Bulimia. By age 22, Tam had fallen into deep depression, battling constant highs and lows. She was on a treadmill to nowhere. Diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder she found herself deep in medication. ‘I literally became like a zombie’ says Tam. ‘I couldn’t stand myself or my situation. I was once happy and vivacious, now I was just a dull, worthless nobody.’
Tamrin tried living without her medication but soon found herself either falling deeper into depression or higher into a manic phase. Then one day it happened. She decided to take her life. She overdosed on her anti-anxiety drugs and was fortunate enough to wake up in a clinic. At her lowest of lows, she now found herself checking into and out of clinics on a regular basis, battling against her body, battling against her self image. Then, one day, her brother gave her a free week to CrossFit. That voucher didn’t just change her life, it saved it.
A week into CrossFit and Tam could already feel her body getting stronger. ‘I started doing things I never thought I could like pull-ups and push-ups. My life started to turn around. I’d made a complete U-turn and was heading back towards living a real, awesome life. I slowly went off my medication, one step at a time. Before I knew it, I was using CrossFit and a healthy lifestyle as a way to handle my ups and downs. I was conquering my beasts! I was starting to lift really heavy weights and achieving terrific results. I then decided that I wanted to make fitness my profession. I realized that if my fit and healthy regime could change my life so profoundly, then it could surely impact others as well.’ Tam obtained her CrossFit Level 1 to be a coach. Shortly after that she discovered Yoga which helped her understand her body, appreciate it and fall in love with it. She began to understand what her body could do for her and became immensely proud of it. She’s currently studying to become a certified Yoga instructor.
Tam’s opinion on her illnesses are extremely inspiring to those who find themselves in the same situations as she once was. ‘Go and seek help,’ she says. ‘It’s not a journey you can do alone. Look for someone who you can trust and who you think you can speak to. Then go talk to them and your journey of healing will have begun. Sure, it can be long and tough, but it’s so worthwhile because you get to discover your real self. And that means finding out just how beautiful and amazing and wonderful you are – inside and out. Also try finding positive ways to deal with your emotions – painting, drawing, singing, Yoga – whatever makes you truly content and for no other reason that it brings you joy.
For Tamrin, it’s been one heck of a journey, but she’s rightfully immensely proud of where she finds herself today. She fought the hard fight. And won. Fitness helped her rise up from being that ‘curvy girl who felt uncomfortable’ to a confident woman who can look in the mirror today and say: ‘I’ve overcome my darkest battles. I did it. My name is Tamrin and I’m cool with myself.’ Tam, you are a true role model indeed and we’re hugely proud of you.
If you’re suffering from depression, check out this video, you’ll be glad you did.