Fatima’s story truly touched me. She was presenting at a working mums expo in Adelaide and I was just in awe of how candidly she shared her life story. She opened up, guts and all, why? “My hope and prayer is that it encourages or inspires other mumma bears or mumma bears to be", she explained. We reached out to Fatima because she is a model of a true survivor, discovering her inner strength one challenge at a time.
Fatima recounts, “I grew up with 4 adorable (sometimes not so adorable!) younger sisters and a dedicated and loving mother. Growing up I witnessed and lived with the effects of domestic violence at the hands of men from a very young age. I always vowed never to live that life when I was an adult. As a young girl I dreamed of getting married, having children and living happily ever after…I believed in fairy tales. I held on to this desire although, having been in an abusive 15 year relationship with my husband and father of my 3 gorgeous little boys, I knew I had to get out.
At 30 I had what I call an epiphany – I saw myself at 50, with a husband still treating me badly and three children that became grown men…grown men that believed it was normal, or even worse, that is was acceptable to treat the women in their lives the way they had witnessed me being treated. Then I saw them having their own children, Sons that would continue this unacceptable behaviour and Daughters that would expect or accept this type of treatment by their own partners. The ripple effect was enormous.
It was at this moment I made the decision to save my life and that of my boys from the fate I had so clearly seen for us should something not change. This decision to save our lives is the one that very nearly cost me my life. My husband took his own life and almost ended mine.
Five months later I moved away from the place I had called home all of my life, I left my family, my friends, my support network and everything that had been safe and comfortable to me for so long. That environment had become toxic to me and I could see no way that I would recover, heal and be able to find peace and happiness. I often asked myself what terrible thing must I have done to have all this happen to me? One day along my journey I decided that I would no longer be a victim, I chose to be a survivor. I chose not to live my life as a victim being angry, revengeful and blaming the world for my situation, obstacles and challenges that seemed to never stop and were relentlessly happening to ME.
I discovered FAITH, FITNESS and FOOD…I learnt the awesome power of using these 3 F’s as tools in my life & discovered my true inner strength.
I became the handy-woman of the most valuable house I would ever live in – my mind, body and soul...setting about fixing, mending, repairing, ripping down walls, digging up foundations and rebuilding my life.
My children and love for them gave me the strength to set off on the journey I have been on since my husband took his own life. I started to invest in myself and my physical, mental and emotional well-being. I became stronger on a mental & physical level by incorporating fitness into my daily life, learning and understanding the connection between my mind and mental state with the movement of my body; choosing what to feed my physical body (food/nutrients) and mind (prayer/personal development).
My sons are the most important people in the world to me. I came to a very confronting realisation that if I did not care for myself physically, mentally and emotionally and happened to become unwell with a disease or depression or simply felt low in energy and regularly unhappy, I would be no good to my children, the most important thing in the world to me. Like most mums I had always put my children, husband, home, work and everything else before me (there was never any time left for me).
I understood that in order to raise my sons to be well rounded, healthy, loving and grounded members of the community I needed to first prioritise my own well-being, I learnt to ditch the "mum guilt" first of all; Mums prioritising themselves is not selfish it is actually selfless and I am passionate about sharing this message with mums, helping them become empowered to put themselves first and start living a VIBRANT, ENERGETIC life.
I am Fatima Ingles, and I am just like you…
An empowerment warrior
And a Freedom Fit crusader.