A mum-of-two has overcome an eating disorder which caused her to ‘purge’ and now feels stronger than ever.
Shelley Beaty, 46, only started strength training four years ago but since then has completely transformed her body, so much so that she feels fitter now than she did in her 20’s.
The 46-year-old ‘absolutely hated’ exercise in her 20s, but thanks to strength training now boasts a healthy physique, with sculpted arms and toned abs.
Shelley now shares her journey via her Instagram page, which has more than 2.2K followers and features posts about her transformation and inspiration to exercise.
The mum-of-two, from Longview, Texas, used to be a keen gymnast in high school but a torn ACL saw her fitness journey grind to an early and unexpected halt. Throughout her 20s, she hated most forms of exercise but discovered competitive sport at 34.
I tore my ACL. I did a little exercising in my early 20s, but I absolutely hated it. [At 34] I fell in love with competitive sport, so I went on to train for and complete my first Ironman Triathlon in 2007.
From there, there was no stopping Shelley, who completed four more Ironman races in 2010 and raced her first Spartan three years later.
As the mum-of-two reached 40 though, she began to notice her body ‘getting slower’ and ‘gain[ing] more fat’ and so made the decision to move away from cardio and towards weight training.
Shelley says she went from strength to strength, explaining:
My body was getting slower and I started to gain more fat. All those years of cardio had their benefits, but without a focus on strength things stated to work against me.
I was very weak, with no upper body strength. I started training with dumbbells in my bedroom, and that evolved into a love and passion for strength training.
For the first time in my life, I had a good self body image and growing self confidence.
Shelley’s relationship with her body wasn’t always as positive as it is now; instead of focusing on her strength, the mother says she would only pay attention to her weight or physique.
Explaining how she had a ‘borderline eating disorder,’ the 46-year-old said:
I had a borderline eating disorder, and would have an overwhelming feeling of anxiety when I ate ‘bad’ food.
I would purge. I had never really told anyone about this struggle. If I can turn things around, anyone can.
Despite now looking so confident in her body, Shelley says she used to hate the attention and would actively avoid a camera if she saw one.
I really wish I had more old pictures of me, but I simply hid anytime someone would bring out a camera.
The 46-year-old hopes her Instagram page will help inspire anyone who struggles with their goals and says ‘it’s never too late’ to achieve them.
Congrats to Shelley.
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A Broadcast Journalism Masters graduate who went on to achieve an NCTJ level 3 Diploma in Journalism, Lucy has done stints at ITV, BBC Inside Out and Key 103. While working as a journalist for UNILAD, Lucy has reported on breaking news stories while also writing features about mental health, cervical screening awareness, and Little Mix (who she is unapologetically obsessed with).