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Time: 12-week programme
Fitness goal: Reach a healthy BMI, lose weight and get fit.

Progress report

  • 20lb / 9kg weight loss
  • BMI – Overweight (28.1) to Healthy weight (24.7)
  • Body Fat reduction from 40% to 32%

Background story

My reason for starting Personal Training was a bit of an age-old cliché.  I had just come out of a 4-year relationship at 36.  I was feeling miserable and my confidence was very low; the turning point was just before Christmas, my friend sent me some photos from a weekend away and I was shocked at how big I looked.  I had fallen curse to the relationship weight gain and hadn’t changed my eating habits after the break up – in fact, I was eating out and drinking every night.  In the words of Bridget Jones (who I quite comically channelled for several months) – ‘and that was it. Right there. That was the moment. I suddenly realised that unless something changed soon I was going to live a life where my major relationship was with a bottle of wine… and I’d finally die, fat and alone, and be found three weeks later half-eaten by Alsatians. Or turn into Glenn Close in Fatal Attraction.’

One of my friends had talked about how PT was the only thing that worked for her in terms of kick starting a healthy regime.  I made the first step and started looking for a trainer and found Joe.  I was extremely nervous before my first session. It had been so long since I had last exercised that I was getting out of breath walking up stairs.  I always thought that gyms were scary places full of people who eat kale and drink almond milk (more of that later).  From the very first meeting, Joe put me at ease and I knew I had made the right choice.

The personal training journey

I can’t say I absolutely loved the whole experience from the beginning.  It was hard at times getting up at some ungodly hour and I felt so out of my comfort zone that, at first, I found it frustrating that I couldn’t even do the basic exercises.  It also soon became very apparent that weight loss is not something that happens instantly, or even quickly – not if you do it right and want to sustain it.

What I quickly found out was that feeling after you leave the gym having trained hard. It is like no other. I felt great.

Having just picked Joe randomly from a local Personal Trainer directory, I had hit the jackpot.  I am about as cynical as it gets when it comes to PT motivational ‘speak’ and I do like distraction techniques in-order to try and stall doing a particularly hard exercise. But Joe is clearly very professional and able to adapt to everyone he trains.  He was able to make it fun and interesting, giving me encouragement when I needed it but also pushing me when he knew I needed it.

Joe suggested I keep a food diary on an app (myfitnesspal). It’s quite scary to see how many calories you can load into your body without thinking and the monitoring helped to identify and review this.  Joe offered feedback weekly and managed to do so without being judgemental. I decided to be totally honest and put everything in, the good the bad and ugly, to get proper constructive feedback from Joe.  It’s like when you go to the Doctor and lie about how many units you drink a week. Ultimately it is only you who knows what you are putting into your body and Joe can’t help you change if you are not honest about what you eat and drink.

Reaching weight loss goals in a sustainable way

Since starting Personal Training with Joe, the lifestyle change has been huge.

After 6 weeks where I had only lost 1 pound, it felt very easy to give up completely and reach for fried goods. It did take a while to start noticing the progress I was making, but I was reassured by Joe that I would soon start to see the results I wanted.  When I started getting compliments about how much weight I had lost it made not eating cakes/crisps/fast food that much easier.  The biggest change for me was alcohol. As I said to Joe endlessly, I love a drink and that was one thing I wouldn’t compromise on. But since starting this journey, I have cut down and now drink more ‘sensibly’.  I have stopped drinking for the sake of it and when I do drink with my friends, I am more careful about what my choices are.  It’s been the same with food. I never wanted to be someone that is fanatical about food to the point where you lose your love for it.  But I have made fundamental changes to what I eat. I am now one of ‘those’ people that eat kale and drink almond milk!  I eat masses of fresh veg and fish and have cut down on pasta and bread.  However, quinoa is still one step too far ….

Looking forward

Now I have completed my training with Joe, I am out on my own! I have kept the nutrition side of things going.  I am still logging everything I eat every day in the myfitnesspal app.  I am so programmed now to doing it I complete it as I am cooking and it has really helped me stay on track.

In terms of future goals, I want to maintain my weight having reached a healthy BMI. I want to continue to keep active and stay fit.  I want to be able to walk up a big hill with my 71-year old Mum and not be the one complaining about being tired!

I want to say that if you have any doubts about getting a Personal Trainer, then don’t.  One of my friends told me that this training has been my point of happiness after a bit of a rubbish year and I would agree; the results of my final weigh in made me feel brilliant.  And Joe has been amazing – incredibly supportive, kind and encouraging.

Do not regret for one minute those early morning sessions. It’s all worth it!

Photo by Matt Howard on Unsplash