Samantha Brander was an unhealthy and overworked bakery worker one year back. She was fighting with borderline personality disorder and anxiety. She also lost her grandfather some time back and this added to her heartache.
But now she works as an instructor in one of the top-rated gyms in Stirling. She recently took part in one of Scotland’s top bodybuilding events and she also works out seven days a week to maintain her physique.
Samantha used to suffer from Type 1 diabetes even then she regularly used to binge on sugary and sweet things. But when she decided that she will begin her journey towards bodybuilding then the lady went ahead and shed 13 stone when she was heaviest to 8 stone.
“After suffering for years, last year I decided to take on the challenge to try conquer my demons and train to take part in a bodybuilding competition on a stage in front of a hall full of people.
I spent years hiding my mental health. In 2014 I tried to take my own life, which not many know. I was at a point that I felt I couldn’t carry on and I’ve worked hard to try get on top of my mental health but I always got dragged back under.
Then I found that exercise helped my moods, it lifted me up when I felt down. There were days when I couldn’t face it and wouldn’t go or times I went and had to leave.”
In March 2018, she got herself enrolled into Gregg Thompson at GPT Personal Training after one of her friends suggested the same.
“I wanted to lose body fat and find myself,”
“We went through ways to lose the fat and I started to feel great most days but still found it hard going but then I decided to set myself the challenge to push my mind and body to places it had never been before.”
The 33-year-old was working out seven days a week and she was lifting heavy weights and even engaged in brutal workout sessions.
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She gradually started to earn muscles. She said
“That fire was in me to keep going, so I battled on. It was first time I really understood what it felt like to lose someone and said to myself I was doing this for my papa. Preparation for competition is not easy at all. There’s so much training and reduced calories. The further into prep, the harder it got.
The last two weeks were very tough. I had contemplated giving up so close to the end but I battled on as it really did come down to how much I wanted this.”
She is extremely thankful to her husband and four kids who have supported her wholeheartedly.
“When I came off the stage I was so happy. I had not won a trophy but achieved my own goal. I battled my mental health and went out of my comfort zone.”