Where to start……My name is Smudge Thomson, I’m a 26 year old woman from Perthshire. I joined The Body Academy Gym in 2013. To describe a little bit about me and my life before that. At the start of 2005 a major tragedy occurred in my life, my lifelong best friend was killed at the age of 18. I had nobody in my life to tell me or help me with how to deal with that so I ended up locking myself in my house and not wanting anything to do with life. I became very down and depressed and couldn’t see any point in being on this earth anymore. I discovered alcohol, and that by drinking, it took away the pain. I didn’t realise it was taking me further in to the dark hole I would never get out of.
A short while after this, two of my close friends sadly took their own lives. I had no one. My life would never be the same again. I fell out with my family, I pushed any friends away, I quit my job, ended my relationship, I wanted nothing to do with anyone or anything. How dare I ever be happy again. Maybe I should end it all. So over the years all I did was bottle up my grief and anger and then lash out at anybody who came near me, I drank and smoked and ate junk. I hated myself and I hated life.
Skipping ahead to 2013, I was drinking mostly every night to the point of no return. I was being continually bullied about my weight and how I looked. I felt disgusting.
People always ask me “what made you start going to the gym and change so drastically?” I’ve not really given much explanation as I didn’t really know. The truth… I guess the reason I first joined was due to the amount of bullying and how unhappy I realized I really was. People everywhere all the time putting me down, calling me fat and ugly, not being able to be in a relationship because I hated myself so much, looking in the mirror and thinking what a fat, horrible waste of space I was, just like the bullies would tell me. I guess I just wanted to see if I could fight back and change. I never imagined anything quite like this all happening though.
I started going three days per week not really doing very much and had no confidence or care really, it was probably just to relieve some of the anger inside me, I wasn’t losing weight or really even trying I don’t think. Head down, cap on, trying to be invisible. It still took some time but it really did take one person, saying one thing to me, one day in the gym that made me feel a little spark, like maybe I could be worth something one day, maybe I could make someone proud of me.
I was invited to watch the BNBF Scottish bodybuilding show where I discovered a bit about bodybuilding and thought “wow, I wish I could do that”. Then it was just like I had been taken under a wing, nice things being said to me, people wanting to talk to me and help me, people saying they were proud of me. For the first time in so long I had people wanting to be friends with me and I managed not to push them away. Obviously these guys had seen something in me that I didn’t see and for whatever reason wanted to help me and have managed to pull my guard down. Things got better and better and I decided on a new way because I had a new inspiration. I also had belief in myself because someone believed in me, so there was no way after them going out of their way to help me that I was going to let them down.
I went to The Body Academy Christmas meal, after sitting in the car park for half an hour thinking of an excuse to say I couldn’t go as I felt I wasn’t worthy I guess. Again I was included and looked after and had a great time. I think it was after this that I decided I was going to change and not be so scared.
I asked Vicky McCann if she could do me a diet plan which she kindly did, I don’t think anyone thought I would take it remotely seriously let alone to the stage I did. I don’t think I even thought. I had my last takeaway and my last alcohol on January 1st 2014 then started dieting on the 2nd of January 2014 and I weighed 87kg, I also started training every day hard and heavy without fail. I didn’t stray off the diet or training, I had something to prove. People in the gym were talking to me, helping me train, slowly building my confidence and telling me they were proud of me and how they could see I was losing weight and becoming a different person. This constantly pushed me on and made me feel a wee bit happier each day.
It has now been 33 weeks and I weigh 59kg, nearly 30kg off. I cannot believe it! I feel amazing, I can buy nice clothes, look in the mirror and walk down the street with my head up seeing the world. My confidence is coming on and I feel totally at home in the gym. I like myself, I have friends, family, I love life. I can’t remember the last time I was this happy and I don’t feel guilty about it. I seem to have not only changed in body but also become a completely different person.
This will always be an ongoing journey, but I have changed so dramatically not just because I am determined, but also because I have these guys in my life now and I love what I’m doing. I have fire back, I have passion and I’m good at this. My dream is definitely to be able to do The Body Academy proud and get up on stage and compete. I know it has been me that has done the work but I absolutely wouldn’t be who I am now without the ongoing help and support of The Body Academy and everyone there, down to anyone who has even given me a spot to squeeze out one more rep or a simple smile. I don’t think I will ever be able to put across how thankful I am for everything they do. It’s more than just a gym to me. It runs so much deeper. I have made friends for life here. I look forward to the rest of this journey.