1. Mara

    Your online/social media presence disturbs me because it illustrates a severely unhealthy obsession with body image. What disturbs me more is that you try to sell yourself as a health guru, even though you have no legitimate qualifications. It’s dangerous and irresponsible of you. I hope that anyone who has actually conquered an eating disorder would have also conquered their obsession with their body image. An event like a bikini competition only feeds that obsession, further perpetuating the unfortunate societal expectations of what a woman has to be to be attractive, which is an incredibly low margin as it is.

    • Gillian

      Hi Mara,

      I respect your thoughts and opinions, although I do think it unfair to jump to conclusions about someone’s personal health and recovery.

      I would like to express the following in response:

      I have loved my body through every stage – through thick and thin – and currently, when I feel the strongest I ever have. My eating disorder had nothing to do with how I looked and everything to do with anxiety, depression, and unhealthy relationships. Following my passion for health and fitness makes me a happier, healthier person all over. I don’t think we should shame anyone for sharing photos of their body or physical progress.

      I do not claim to be a health guru. I am studying nutrition and am currently working with friends and family to further my education, hence why I call myself a “health coach” and nothing else. I have clients/friends in their 70s whose doctors are elated with the progress they’ve made working with me.

      Bikini competitions are not about the ideal female physique (is there such a thing?) They are for women who have worked hard to build muscle, but not as much as figure/bodybuilding. There can be some unhealthy practices in competing which is why I’ve chosen to be very open about my journey. That being said, the true motivation is the workouts, the community and the strength that come with it. I may pursue powerlifting in the future for the same reason which is more strength and less aesthetic focused. That being said, I also don’t think we should demonize pursuing an aesthetic goal.

      Please don’t feel like you need to respond to this. I wish you all the best on your personal journey and welcome you to unfollow my blog and social media pages if they disturb you.

    • Red

      I don’t respect that thought or conclusion MARA. who are you? This is exactly what is wrong with the environment.. you hide behind a cloak of secrecy, spewing out your babble claiming this or that… What are YOUR qualifications. Trying to discredit someone who is actually putting in work to hit goals – and helping people to hit theirs. Why bother commenting about her social media presence if you don’t put out a counter one yourself? If you think its so bad why don’t you present a different solution or option? Your comment is a waste of time and space and only serves to confuse women further. If you have no option, please refrain from stupid criticism.

  2. Jane

    Hi Gillian,
    Have been reading & following your story since your COYW days. I’ve always enjoyed your writing style! Would interested to see some of your lifting/workout routines!

    Sending lots of well wishes,

  3. It has been so interesting following your journey to the stage and I really liked watching your YouTube videos… I admit, it was both scary and enlightening to see your video immediately before the show – as you talked about being so low on energy, not being able to think properly, making mistakes or forgetting things. I always wondered what the impact on the body is to get to that level of leanness – especially right before a competition – so it was interesting to see!

    It is very tough to go after your goals, especially when I’m sure people thought you were crazy to do so at times! Congratulations on accomplishing something so huge, it sounds like it was an incredibly tough but enjoyable and rewarding process.

    • Gillian

      Thank you Danielle! I agree – low carb days were scary. I hardly felt safe driving! Not recommended for any extended period of time. Appreciate your support and love watching you smash your goals constantly!!!

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