Thursday, August 18, 2011


For those of you that don’t know me I’m Shane’s girlfriend, Justine. Shane and I met almost 3 years ago when I started working at Fitness First – I was 18, single, and thought “oh yeah, I don’t have the “perfect body” but it’s ok.”

I’d always sort of wanted to work in a gym as I always had a keen eye for health and fitness but also I think mostly I liked the idea of a free membership. I thought it was the easiest way to keep in shape/to lose weight.

Throughout high school, I struggled with being happy with the way that I look ( like most teenage girls do these days.) When I was in year 8 I went on this huge “health kick”. I’d go for a run up to three times a day – probably running a total of 6-7kms per day, completely minimized what I was eating – for breakfast I had 1 weetbix with 1/2cup skim milk , for morning tea which HAD to be at 10.30 I would have 1 apple, at lunch time which HAD to be at 12.30 I would have 2 rice cakes- with tuna (sometimes) and then for afternoon tea at 3.30pm I would have another 2 rice cakes. Dinner was always around 6.30 and I always had to have what mum would cook because I didn’t want her to think I was trying to lose weight -but it was usually something like meat, potato and veges.

I distinctly remember one Saturday morning opening up the fridge to get out an apple after I had been on a run “ wow this is so easy, I can do this!”. And it was. The weight felt like it was just dropping off me I felt much skinnier and was getting compliments left, right and centre.

I probably lost around 4kg and then it just wouldn’t budge. I was still running and I had no idea why the weight had stopped coming off… I thought to myself that I was still eating too much…. SO, what I had decided to do was stop eating at school all together. I’d have breakfast in the morning (still the weetbix and skim milk) and then just wouldn’t take anything with me to school. Sometimes mum would question what I was doing but I was always saying that I was taking my food or that I was buying my lunch. I’d get home at around 3pm and it was always SO hard then. Mum would always ask me what I wanted but I was always “not hungry”. I became addicted to diet soft drinks because they would fill me but have hardly any calories and my need to chew was satisfied by chewing gum…. I decided to have a shower everyday when I got home from school as it would keep me occupied and out of the kitchen. As soon as I would get out of the shower I’d weigh myself. I always felt lighter after a shower… that way it kept my mind focused on my need to feel skinny and I was so used to always having a shower before I went to bed so it subconsciously took my mind off food. Once the shower thing stopped working and it was no longer taking my mind off the food, I decided to adopt what I read in a magazine that Mariah Carey had said. She used to brush her teeth every time she felt hungry and then she would do 100 crunches.

The hardest part was always at dinner time. Mum would have always cooked enough for everyone and I didn’t want her to suspect anything so again, I had to eat dinner! I felt sick eating I kept thinking to myself I shouldn’t be doing this I'm not going to lose any weight… but, I was wrong!!! At this stage, I probably dropped about 15kg, my period had stopped and I weighed about 47kg. – my goal was 40kg!!

I was thrilled by the idea that I could still have a meal and it wasn’t affecting me. It got to a stage now that Mum and Dad were getting suspicious because I was getting so thin. They didn’t know I wasn’t eating at school but some friends at school had sometimes asked “where’s your food Justine”. They weren’t suspecting anything at all, but I was incredibly paranoid. So, to keep everyone from questioning me, I started to eat little bits and pieces again. I’d have rice cakes most of the time because I knew they had only like 20 calories MAX in one or 2. Now, in one week I hadn’t really put on any weight so I was stoked. But in saying that I hadn’t lost any weight either. I was SO envious of my friends that were able to eat SOOOO much food (not really “sooo” much, but that’s how it felt to me) and not put on any weight. One day, I got home from school and mum had gotten out the rice cakes for me. I sat down at the table and started eating. I ate one, then two and before I knew it I had almost had half the packet. I felt so bloated and disgusted with myself. I wanted to cry and felt as though I had undone all the hard work I had been doing.. I just needed to get it all out of me.

I went to the bathroom and was sick.

I felt SO much better; I was so relieved and satisfied at the same time. I had just managed to satisfy my need to eat, but also satisfy my “need” to feel skinny. To me it was a win/win situation.

By Now, I was in year 9. Every day I would go home and the same thing would happen. I would eat almost a whole packet of rice cakes and be sick…. This got progressively worse and worse. From one packet of rice cakes, it went to bread, saos, icecream (haha notice the trend here)… I was eating it all, and convincing myself that It was ok because I wasn’t actually allowing my body to process all this. I didn’t want anybody to suspect ANYTHING so I started eating again at school. It was only small but again, the same thing would happen, I’d eat then purge. I felt so uncomfortable, hated what I was doing to myself but I just couldn’t stop. I thought I was so in control… but how wrong I was… I was spiralling out of control and just didn’t know how to stop myself. The worse it got, the more people didn’t suspect anything. I became more of an extrovert and I started to gain a few kilos…. My family and friends had no idea.

I started abusing laxatives, reading up on how I could get thinner looking at different diets and exercise. I absolutely hated myself and what I was doing. I was now at a point where I was purging after every little thing I ate, my oesophagus was incredibly irriated and I could purge on call (a few stomach contractions and I could literally push the food back up.) My weight was now hovering at around 54kg and to me I was obese. I had started learning about health, and eating disorders at school and realized what I was doing to myself could potentially kill me.

I was in the middle of year 10 and was in a terrible state. Mum and dad were now questioning me as to, why I would binge eat and then eat nothing and why I would go to the bathroom immediately after I ate. I was furious with them for questioning me and was humiliated that I was leaving “evidence”.

I kept making commitments to myself saying this is the last time…..but It never lasted… I think the longest I went was like a day. I was moody all the time, had terrible skin and was so depressed I hated what I was doing to myself and just couldn’t stop. All I ever thought about was food and how I wanted to be skinny.
I started googling ways to get help, there was no way I could admit to anything with my family and friends… but the only thing it ever said was to tell someone about it. I even remember ringing the kids help line saying to them “I think one of my friends have an eating disorder and even they said to me “you need to tell someone.”

I was now in year 11. Still binging, still wanting to be skinny and still depressed. None of my school friends suspected ANYTHING but my family suspected everything but couldn’t speak to me about it because I would just deny EVERYTHING and get so incredibly angry…

One Wednesday night I was on the computer, again trying to google ways to get myself out of a hell I had created. I went to the bathroom after some icecream I ate and did the usual thing…. I have no idea what it was that came over me but I thought to myself. Why the F am I doing this and started crying my eyes out. I went into my sister’s bedroom and told her EVERYTHING. I didn’t want to live like this any more. I hated the fact I couldn’t enjoy eating anything, I hated the way I felt about myself, I hated the way I was treating my family and I hated feeling as though I would eventually need to be hospitalised because I was going to get so sick. My sister hugged me and cried with me and said she would help me but I needed to tell my mum and dad. I didn’t want to tell them as I knew my mum would feel as though it was her fault even though she had nothing to do with it…

it was everything I had created for myself. After crying with my sister for almost 2 hours, my sister convinced me to go and tell my parents everything. I honestly think it was one of the hardest things I had to do. I was so ashamed of what I had been doing to myself but deep down knew I needed to do this to get better and I was going to need their support to be able to do it. When I told them I just could not stop crying. The look on my mums face I knew she felt so helpless and didn’t know how to help me. She cried and cried and said she was sorry. All she could do was hug me and tell me she was going to help me. I felt so bad that I had made my mum and dad feel this way.

The next day my mum and I went to the doctors. I got a referral to the eating disorder clinic at Nepean hospital and was seeing a psychiatrist. I had to tell these people EVERYTHING about the types of food I was binging on, what started it, when I started how long it was going for and how I would purge. The psychiatrist pinned it down to stress. Stress was my “trigger” and it was the only way I felt in control… I could control exactly what I was doing to myself and I was in control of the way it made me feel. I was off school for weeks and in all honesty it’s all a bit hazy. It was such an emotional rollercoaster. I wanted to get better so badly, but found it hard to stick to everything I had to do. Eg- I wasn’t allowed any soft drinks or caffeine as this would increase my stress levels and increase my inclination to binge but I was so addicted to it. After seeing the psychiatrist, I was also seeing a nutritionist as well. The day she weighed me and said this one thing to me, I never looked back. She thing she said was “you realize that even when you purge, your body will hold on to a lot of the food” it knows what you are doing to it and is trying to keep you alive. I was so upset as I had done this for the last 3 years and it felt like it was for nothing but I finally understood why it was now so hard for me to lose any weight. My metabolism had slowed right down and it was holding on to every last bit it could get. As hard as it was to hear, this was the point where I said to myself I am not going to kill myself, I want to live I am going to get better. – I know that sounds very extreme but at the end of the day it drilled it into my head that if I didn’t stop now, I could potentially die.

I had a set routine that I had to stick to. When I got home from school, I had to take my dog for a walk. Then I could come home and have a snack. I had to write EVERYTHING I did down from school work, to eating, to going out with friends, to going to the bathroom, to bed time absolutely EVERYTHING.

I continued seeing the psychiatrist for about a year and they “helped” me with my nutrition. They made it very clear to me as I started eating again I was probably going to put on weight, but it was something I had to deal with. And that I did. My weight went back up to around 62 kg…. but I finally felt normal again. I remember one specific day when I was at the end of year 12 I was so incredibly excited the day I felt hungry again. I hadn’t felt hunger pains in a VERY long time because I had always ignored the signs of being hungry – I ate, felt satisfied and didn’t feel the need to purge… it was that point that I said to myself im normal again.

The following year in March is when I started at fitness first. I was 18 years old, going out all the time, drinking, eating bad food and loving my life because I was “normal”. Obviously though, eating bad food, my metabolism being slow and drinking alcohol, I started gaining weight. Although it didn’t bother me as much as it would have previously, I wasn’t thrilled about it. I kept trying different things to try and make it shift but it just wasn’t working for me. I kept following the guidelines that the nutritionist set out for me eating my whole grain toast, sandwiches, rice, pasta, low fat dairy and sparing amounts of protein and I couldn’t figure out why it wouldn’t come off.

One day Shane came home with some Real milk. It was full fat, unpasturised and unhomoginsed. I was really weary about trying it but I gave it a go because Shane said it was really nice and explained to me all the nutritional benefits… and boy was he right, it was delicious (to bath in lol)! From that day, I went back to full cream milk. It all started there. I then started eating more meat, more eggs and then started having shakes with raw eggs, coconut oil and milk. Everything that my nutritionist DIDN’T tell me to do. At first I doubted it, I put on a kilo or two because I was actually feeding my body enough and my body wasn’t used to that. Then suddenly the weight just started falling off me – and I was still eating PLENTY of food and only training 4 times per week for 45 min at most. Over the past 2 years I have made SO many changes to my diet by increasing my fat and protein intake, reducing my carbohydrate intake and making changes to my training regime minimizing the amount of cardiovascular exercise I do. I now weigh a healthy 60kg with a body fat percentage of 18.5%.

Shane really has shown me how I can be 
fit, healthy, happy and strong. He is so incredibly good at what he does and is going to make a difference in the world. He puts so much effort and time into ALL of his clients and gets such a buzz when he sees them working hard and achieving results. His goal is to make a healthy and happy community and I know he will get there, just look at all the people he has already helped and the many more still to come. I am now his girlfriend and so it is easy for me to sit here and talk about him and how good he is at his job, but living the lifestyle he preaches to people from where I was before, I know it works. I wouldn’t have the knowledge I do now if it wasn’t for him. I know there are people out there that think we are a bit extreme with what we do with our nutrition but we know it works and we feel fantastic for it.

I’m now a personal trainer and absolutely love it. I hope to be able to inspire people to get fit, healthy and strong. When people use the excuse that it’s too hard to eat healthy or its too hard to exercise, I know it’s hard, it’s scary and it’s frustrating, but it’s so much harder looking in the mirror each day knowing you could potentially die if you continue to do the things that you are currently doing. I don’t know what it is like to be incredibly overweight, but I sure do know what it feels like to FEEL fat and to feel uncomfortable in your own skin and to hate what you see when you look in the mirror. From a girl who hated steak and would eat a whole bowl of MICROWAVED vegetables for dinner who now orders a steak to be cooked rare and eats the fat from grass finished and free range sources, smearing butter from grass fed cows all over it, I have come a very long way. Yes it’s been a journey and a half but it has been well worth it.

Justine Beath


  1. Inspirational, to say the least! Thank your for your openness and for sharing!

  2. Shane and Justine, thank you so much for sharing your experiences. Both of you are amazing people! Jack and I are so grateful to have met you guys. We had a blast hanging out with the two of you and being able to see you guys WOD. We learned a lot and hope to see you guys soon!!

    Justine, you have come so far and are such a beautiful person inside and out. You are definitely an inspiration for all of us. Keep up the awesome job and we look forward to seeing you at the games next year!

    Strong is beautiful!!!

  3. Justine, thanks for sharing your story and your journey. Truly amazing. You and Shane are very special people and have become part of our family not just in the gym but in our hearts. You are both very well thought of here and respected. Wishing both of you the best in all you do. Hope to see you back here soon.

    Buddah says: "The conquest of ones self is better than the conquest of all others"

  4. Shane and Justine,
    You are both an extreme inspiration, not just as athletes, but as a couple and as individuals. Thanks for sharing so much with us, from tips for specific workouts, to your history with crossfit and how you have both come so far, and especially Justine's amazing story which I know to be a very common one more and more these days. I just hope everyone in the position you were in will find the support that you did and the love for themself that you now have.

    Hopefully our paths cross again soon and I wish you both the best!!

    ~Sean (Animal Style)

  5. Hey guys,

    This is the first moment I have had since being back in Oz to read your blog.

    Thank you so much for all the kind, warm and friendly comments. It means the world to us that we have connected with you all so much.

    We only do the best we can each day. Everyone has the same time to create as much happiness within their days and we are glad that for the hours we spent in hawaii we were able to do that.

    Don't forget to congratulate yourselves for being so inspiring to us. Trust me when I say that looking in on your gym (family) it had a great effect on me. Seeing Danyelle and Jack so passionate and everyone of you guys who train there coming back day after day giving your best and improving your own quality of life is what brings a smile to my face.

    It sounds cliche but is spot on how I feel.

    We will be back soon. Hopefully 6 - 12 months time. Either way we'll need to be back at the games when Justine is there hahaha so a stop in hawaii is what we will need! :)

    Health and happiness,


  6. Shane & Justine,

    Thank you again for sharing your time with us. You are such awesome athletes and your advice and insight has been truly helpful. Your passion is so evident and inspirational! Thank you both for being a part of our family and we look forward to spending time with you again soon:)


    Thank you for sharing your amazing story. What an incredible journey you have been on. Life is not about the destination but the journey! Your story gives such motivation. Thank you!

    Take good care!!


  7. Shane and Justine,

    Thank you so much for coming to train with us. It was truly a honor to train with fellow crossfitters from across the pacific. Justine I am really truly thankful for you sharing your experience and story. It was very inspirational and encouraging since I too have battled my weight since I was young. Your success and you as a person has given me much to reflect on and uplifted my spirits. Seeing such kind hearted and beautiful people like you guys has been awesome. Take care and I can't wait till you can train with us again.