I'd always been fit and active growing up, but a bit on the skinny side. I first joined a gym when I was 17, and gradually learned about exercise, getting bigger and building size and strength. People couldn't get their heads around me wanting to put weight on! While it's a challenge to lose weight, it's just as tricky trying to build lean muscle, but after several years I'd got the body I wanted.
All of this changed in August 2013 when I was diagnosed with cancer.
I underwent an initial operation, followed by nine weeks of chemotherapy in the autumn. Here I am meeting Jessica Ennis-Hill, the Olympic gold medalist heptathlete, who visited patients in the Queen Elizabeth Hospital where I was treated.
The treatment involved three months of chemotherapy and two operations. In January 2014, I underwent major abdominal surgery, leaving me with a foot long incision along my torso. The weeks afterwards were definitely not the time for any sneezing!
With my core strength gone, and struggling against ongoing fatigue, I began to rebuild my fitness. It was months before I could stay awake all through the day, and over a year before I dared touch a weight again, but gradually I recovered to where I'd been before.
I then decided to begin a career in personal training. I'd exercised for years, and enjoyed helping others, but now had the added experience of starting over from scratch, and of knowing the value of fitness not just for appearances, but for health.
Prior to my illness I'd been a care worker, and although it could be very rewarding, it was also heartbreaking. I was attracted to the idea of doing a job instead which would add years onto the lives of my clients.
After qualifying as a personal trainer, I started Home Fit and Healthy, and began my new career.