I am not sure how to begin my story, so let’s go to the very beginning. Back in August, I was moving out of a place, because me and my boyfriend got our own apartment. As I was packing, I had the TV on in the background. And that’s when I saw the commercial: “Do you want to change your life, do you feel like you are not realising your full potential?…” I didn’t make much of it, but I snapped a pic of the show and the e-mail for submissions.
Two days later, here I was, taking “before” pictures and writing my motivation letter. An emotional ordeal in itself, as I poured my soul into it. All the setbacks, all the injuries, the depression and the excuses I made for myself over the last 4 years… all in 1 sheet of paper. But I was determined. I had already lost 10 kg over the past year or so, I had 20 more to go to get back to my normal self. I soon found myself invited to the official casting, where the team got to meet me, we shot a couple of scenes and that was my first exposure to the whole business and what was to come. At that point I was just one of the many who applied, no idea that I would eventually get selected.
But sure enough, a week later I got the call and the adventure began. Looking back at it, I am so incredibly grateful to the team for all the opportunities they gave me, but I am also proud of myself for having the courage to take them. This is what Zdraveto Otblizo on BNT is all about – giving you the necessary tools to change your life, what you do with them us entirely up to you. That was the push I needed. The incredible support system the team provided me, paired with the healthy fear of disappointing not only the people close to me but an entire nation watching at home, was my recipe for success.
Make no mistake – none of it was easy, none of it was handed to me on a silver platter. I had to shed sweat, blood and tears to get to where I am today. But most importantly, I had to be ready for the journey. I have been preparing myself for over a year. I had stopped smoking almost 6 months ago, I had already changed many of my consumption habits. It was time to level up!
What followed next was weeks of hard workouts with a personal trainer, as well as group workouts emphasising on cardio. I was introduced to cross-fit trainings and using your own body weight to shape and tone yourself. I was always sore, my muscles burning from the tension. However, during the 3d week I started feeling stronger, faster…better! My knee, which had sustained a very serious injury in the past, was feeling stable. Nothing could stop me! All this was combined with a custom-tailored daily meal plan, meant to help my weight-loss process.
Perhaps the most helpful part of the program was the access to a psychologist, who helped me work on some of the deep-rooted issues, the hidden reasons for my initial weight gain of 30+ kg. I feel so much more self-aware today, then I was 3 months ago and that is what truly makes me stronger than ever before.
And that is not even all! I was able to get out of my comfort zone, to try out new things, like free-fall flying in an aerodome, like carting races with the team, like alternative mind and body therapies. And the people…I met so many, so different and so amazing individuals along the way. The memories we made together, this is what was truly beautiful about this whole experience.
What’s to come:
I am finally myself again – confident, full of life, full of hope for change. I can’t believe that I let myself get lost for such a long time. Thanks to the show I now know what my purpose for 2015 is: I want to help others feel as good about themselves as I do right now. I want to help teenagers in my country understand that they are beautiful, amazing individuals, just the way they are! I was bullied a lot while growing up, I never quite fit in anywhere, because I was a bit different, the way I perceived my surroundings was different. At the time I didn’t know that was OK. It took me 10 years of self-discovery to realise that each person is beautiful just the way they are!
This is my new mission. I have an incredible team behind my back, we have conceptualised the idea and are on our way towards founding and NGO that will travel the country, going to schools and talking to young minds about body image and promote anti-bullying. We are confident that we can grow this idea into a community with the help of our friends and supporters. BNT gave me the strength to dream again, and this wild dream of mine, I am yet to make into a reality! Wish me luck 🙂