I moved through the ranks and started competing. I wasn't bad, I wasn't the best, I always came second or third, never first, but I loved the adrenaline. I competed on the NSW Karate Team for about six years.
When I was 16, I caught glandular fever off one of the many boyfriends. I went down to my lowest ever weight at my current height - 61kgs. I was like a walking skeleton. The picture (right) was taken about 12 months after I was cleared. I had no boobs, and those curves were a bustle built into the dress.
When I turned 17, I moved into the Senior Women category in karate tournaments. Under 17 I was a Colt, and there were no weight categories But once you got over 17 you became a Senior. The three categories were Light Weight (<50 kgs), Medium Weight (50-60kgs) and Heavy Weight (>60 kgs). I was a Heavy Weight at 17, but I only weighed around 65kgs at that stage. Now you tell me that doesn't play with a teenager's head.
And for me I think that was the turning point. Here I am now more than double that size, but still see and carry myself the same way. I don't want to be Heavy Weight anymore. I just want to be healthy.
So how did I get here? I work in a sedentary job - I can sit at a desk for 12-14 hours without even realising it. I skip meals, but I love good food and good booze. But at 9 pm when you are working on a client submission, you go for the easiest option to get fuel into to keep going, and that s usually junk food.Pizza, crisps, chocolate and soft drinks. I had a serious Red Bull addiction ten years ago - that stuff gives you wings alright - bingo wings!
Heck, I even love bad booze. But not green chartreuse, I draw the line there. That stuff is pure evil going down, and even worse coming back up.
I learned to play the happy fat girl. The wing woman. I am always the first to make a fat joke to beat other people to it.
Over the years, there have been injuries, illnesses, every time I make a few steps down the weight ladder something happens, and I bounce back up it again.
But now I am looking forward. Dad has Type 2 diabetes. As my Mum puts it I got the worst genes from both sides of the family - she was big, my Nan was big, my Nans sister was even bigger (even having to get rescued from the bath by firemen once!)
So how did I get here? A combination of genetics, poor life choices, and a fucked up sense of body image all contributed. I don't want to be big anymore. I want to be healthy. Changes are coming - surgery is in just over three weeks. Stay tuned.