Personal trainer Kristal Stirling had a health wake-up call that changed her life writes Laura Brodnik.

Like many girls Brisbane personal trainer Kristal Stirling spent her teenage years unhappy with her body and suffering from low self-esteem but it wasn’t until she had an health wake-up call that she began to take her health seriously.

“I realised things needed to change when I woke up one Sunday afternoon with two empty paper bags of McDonalds sitting on the side of my bed. As a result, I was having another ‘fat’ day.

“Something clicked and my decision was made, I finally decided to walk into gym and sign myself up. I have never looked back,” she says. Stirling admits that when she first stepped foot inside a gym she had no idea what a squat was, but knew there was no easy way out when it came to adopting a healthy lifestyle.

“Everyone has body issues or something they don’t like about themselves. You can blame your genetics, you can sit back and do nothing but complain or you finally make the decision to make positive changes in your life,” she says.

“When I first have clients come to me many of them are intimidated by the gym and by the idea of taking on this challenge.

“So I share my story with them, tell them how I felt when I started and show them how far I’ve come. “I explain that it is not just about exercise but also about diet. I’ve really gone back to the caveman style of eating. I mostly eat vegetables and lean meats.” Stirling said that her mission is to help people be the best they can be, rather than trying to change the body shape they were given.

“It’s not about trying to make yourself look like a different person, we are who we are,” she says. “I’ve tried everything – diet pills, weight loss teas and yo-yo dieting.

“But what works is finding out what foods you need to eat for you and doing the exercises that make you feel good.”