Mum fights through depression to shed 51kg
IT'S been a long and emotional journey for Rockhampton's Bec Martin to reach her fighting weight of 67kg.
The inspirational mother-of-two has come back from the depths of severe depression and the damaging effects of obesity to shed 51kg and capture a new lease on life.
The 34-year-old is now fighting fit and will climb into the ring for her second modified Muay Thai bout at the Rocky Rumble 18 fight night at Callaghan Park tonight.
Ms Martin says the combat sport played a huge part in her physical and mental transformation and the call to training and competition continues to be a major motivator for her.
She explains that weight gain became an issue after she suffered post-natal depression following the birth of her first child, Madison, 10 years ago.
Ms Martin found comfort in food and eating became a coping mechanism.
"I was really down, and started gaining weight," she said.
"I found I was putting everyone else ahead of myself and I faded into the background."
Ms Martin and husband Jeremy had their second child, Sienna, two years after Madison but the issues continued.
"For years I struggled with my weight and this caused health problems, such as sleep apnea, and I had severe depression and anxiety which I had to take daily medication for," she said.
At her heaviest, Ms Martin weighed 118kg and was a size 24.
The loving mum was coming to appreciate that something had to change when her weight was limiting her ability to interact fully with her young daughters.
"One day as the kids were playing they called out for me to join them. I physically couldn't keep up with them," she recalls.
"I felt like I was sitting on the sidelines and just watching on. I was too embarrassed to go swimming and I missed out on a lot of things with my kids."
While the realisation was there, it was the death of her mother-in-law at 51 that provided Ms Martin with the jolt she needed.
"That made me think that life is too short and I had to do something about my weight," she said.
"I wanted to be around for my kids and for my husband who has been an amazing support for me."
That thinking prompted Ms Martin to have gastric sleeve surgery in March 2017.
Six months later she started her fitness journey with Torin O'Brien at Snake Pit Muay Thai. "I went for a trial and he hasn't been able to get rid of me since," she said.
"I trained twice a day, six days a week for the first six months.
"Everything in my life changed, including my mindset, and within three months I was off all my medication."
Ms Martin decided she wanted to compete in Muay Thai and had her first fight in Mackay in June. "I was put in with a competitor who'd already had three fights and even though it was a split points decision loss, it was a massive win for me.
"Afterwards I felt amazing because I had just achieved something I never thought was possible."
Ms Martin said the surgery and demanding exercise regime had completely changed her life. "I have such a positive outlook on life now. I used to live in the dark but now I look forward to every day," she said.
"Once I couldn't keep up with my girls, now they struggle to keep up with me. We don't spend weekends sitting at home watching movies any more - we're out there doing things, playing games, going to the beach.
"The biggest thing for me is my daughters are telling me they want to be like me now and my husband is constantly saying how proud he is of me.
"I just want to let people know it's not over when you're overweight.
"You can change your life. I've done it and I'd love to think I might inspire one other person to do it too."
HELP THE CAUSE
- Rocky Rumble 18 fight night organiser Ruben Fraser-Parle will donate $1 from every program sold at tonight's event at Callaghan Park to drought- affected farmers. One thousand programs will be printed, and will sell for $2 each. "I wanted to factor the farmers in somehow because they need every cent they can get," Fraser-Parle said. "We're all affected by this so we want to support the cause as much as we can."