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From chronic illness to bodybuilding success

0 3 years ago

Rosie Bailey began experiencing chronic fatigue at the age of 14 and struggled to get out of bed and climb the stairs.

The 21-year-old had her third bowel operation last year after her bowel wall collapsed.

She said: “Chronic illness is a part of me and it would be very easy to let it take over my life, but to me that’s not a life worth living.”

Miss Bailey, from Bristol, was diagnosed with postural tachycardia syndrome (PoTS) in 2016 then later Ehlers-Danlos syndromes (EDS).

As a result, she experiences extreme dizziness, hypermobility, joint pain, physical discomfort and irregular periods.

She said the combination of symptoms was “tough [as] when I’m in a flare-up everything flares – they’re very linked”.

Reluctant to follow medical advice “to do less”, she started seeing a personal trainer once a week for a gentle session.



She said: “I had to gradually train my body just to walk a short distance then over time built that up to a run.

“The training gave me a lot of hope and strength to keep pushing and gave me something to look forward to every week.”

Soon after, a joke with her trainer about entering a bikini competition – a category in women’s bodybuilding – became reality and she competed in the United Kingdom Drug Free Bodybuilding Association’s junior class.

The fitness coach said: “I threw myself into a posing workshop and fell in love with it.

“I fell in love with the routine and structure it provided and the mental release it gives me.”


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