I can hear you think it as you are reading this; ‘There we go, the next Fitgirl blogging about fitness and lifestyle and how she gets a thin waist using waist trainers and drinking detox juices.’ Let me stop you right there because first, waist trainers are absolute nonsense. Second, I am no professional nor an influencer of some sorts. Ok so then why would you read my articles? Because I rely on experience and knowledge gained throughout the process of building myself. Because I believe that knowledge is power when it comes to taking care of yourself. And because I believe knowledge must be shared to be meaningful.

Having said all that, I think it’s time to introduce myself properly. My name is Farunya, I am almost 33 years of age at the moment of writing this and I live in the wonderful city of Utrecht. Although I was born in Amsterdam and have the Dutch nationality, I grew up in Belgium from a young age before spending puberty in the south of France and afterwards moving back to the Netherlands early in my twenties. Growing up in different countries is hard. You never really settle although you learn to adapt to your environment quickly. You never seem to find acceptance amongst your classmates, even though I managed to build a few lasting friendships in France. But the hardest part of all is that you don’t truly learn to believe you can realise your dreams because you get used to having to start from the bottom repeatedly.

What does all that have to do with nutrition, fitness and lifestyle? Well… everything to be honest, as it happens to be the foundation of my journey in fitness. It is the reason I have the desire to become healthy and happy. For me it’s a way to start believing in my dreams and make them come true. And that is what bodybuilding is all about; setting a goal for yourself (in my case achieving a certain physical look) and working hard to get it right.

In March 2015 I was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis which is an Irritable Bowel Disease (from here on referred to as UC and IBD in the following articles). It took several health professionals and 4 different diagnoses before finally someone had the good sense to come to the right conclusion. In the meantime, I had quit one job to start another before quitting that one too because I was feeling miserable physically and believed the work environments to be at the root. So, there I was, no job, no money, no energy and in constant pain.

Fast forward a little (because I really don’t see the point in troubling you with unnecessary details) and it’s November 2016. I meet someone that to date is still one of my best friends, who introduces me to fitness. Not the kind where you go to a gym, sit on a bike for an hour or so, follow a workout schedule that is made for you without you knowing what it is that you are doing and then go home again, feeling completely dissatisfied because you aren’t seeing any physical progress. No. I was introduced to the kind where you lift heavy weights, squat with a barbell on your back, try to pull yourself up (literally), the kind where you sweat and leave the gym with burning muscles and a smile on your face because you feel f***ing great (oh, she used a swear word!).

It was a world that fitted me more than I ever thought it would and it saved my life. Although I still have to battle my illness every day, I now have a way of dealing with it from a different perspective and actually use it as fuel for my motivation to get healthier. Daily.
There is a note in my phone that says, ‘first time doing a barbell squat 9-11-2016’. That date will forever remain the starting point of my personal revolution and I will never forget it. We all must start somewhere and grow from that. But we must never forget where we came from. We should always stay true to ourselves and our beliefs. Only then will we be able to achieve our goals putting in the hard work, consistently. Peanuts, right?

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