Well what a difference a year makes!

I joined Total Fitness in October 2015 as I used to enjoy swimming so decided I would try swimming a few times a week to improve my fitness. At this time I weighed probably the most I ever had. I’ve never been skinny but have gained a bit more weight year on year.

My attendance at the pool was a bit hit and miss so needless to say my fitness, weight and eating habits didn’t change and in fact if I did swim I probably ate a little more as it gave me an appetite and I felt I deserved it for having exercised!

In January of last year I was unhappy with my appearance and weight. My weight did have some impact on my ability to do certain tasks too. For example if I got down on the floor I would have to hoist myself back up! It also made me feel tired and sluggish.

In the 3 months prior to joining both my Mother and my Mother-in-law were diagnosed with cancer and unfortunately my Mother-in-law’s was terminal. This made it more important than ever for me to address my own health. I am In the fortunate position that I have always been in good health but being a trained nurse appreciated that my health would not remain good if I were to continue to eat and gain weight as I had been doing. I also felt I needed to maintain my fitness to care for my family, especially my lovely Mum and equally lovely Mum-in-law.

A friend who also attends Total Fitness had been working with Olivia since September and had lost weight and was looking fantastic and kept encouraging me to try some sessions with Olivia. My 47th birthday was looming at the beginning of February so I asked my husband for some Personal Training sessions for my birthday. I can honestly say it was the best birthday present I have received and I never thought I would ever say that!

My first meeting with Olivia was for her to understand what I wanted from my time with her and to get to know what my diet was like and changes that I could make. I was a carb addict with bread and crisps being my particular favourites. In fact I always had carbs at every meal for energy or so I believed.

Olivia made me look at food differently. Previously I have tried practically every diet known and so it was difficult initially for me to get out of the mindset that if you are eating healthily then you should have all the low fat options. This is not the case. I went cold turkey and completely ditched bread and could honestly say I didn’t miss it. I was filling up with proteins and vegetables as I’d been advised to do so breakfast changed from cereal or toast to scrambled egg and spinach and remarkably kept me full for a lot longer and I didn’t get the sluggish tired feeling of a sugar dip so all was good.

Not long after I started my sessions with Olivia my Mother-in law came to live with us so we could support and care for her for whatever length of time she had left. This obviously was a very emotional time for us all. Historically I have always been a comfort eater so I know if I hadn’t been attending my twice weekly gym sessions which kept me focused and on track in addition to being some “me time” I would have been eating more gained more weight and very possibly ended up depressed and unable to care for or support anyone!

I can’t say I’m always saintly now but if I do have a bad day it is never as bad as it was and I try to revert to my good habits as soon as I possible.  I have lost 3 stone over the past 12 months and still have a little way to go but I know for the first time after trying all the different diets in the past that I will get there this time!

Now the exercise. I have been a member of a few gyms for the past 21 years and as I said previously I have consistently gained weight as my gym attendance was very hit and miss. I worked shifts and would always use this as an excuse. If I enjoyed a particular class I couldn’t go every week due to work patterns so it would get that I wouldn’t bother at all. I never enjoyed going into the gym as I didn’t really know what I was doing even if I’d been given a program. I would potter about and I certainly didn’t push myself not like my sessions with Olivia!

I can now say that I enjoy my gym sessions with Olivia and that although I might not always want to go I enjoy them when I get there and Olivia is always so encouraging and supportive you feel you can achieve anything! In addition to my sessions with Olivia I also attend 3 classes, that I enjoy and they are very sociable, and you meet some lovely people. My favourite group session has to be Strongman run by Pro-fit. There is a great mix of ages and abilities within the group but everyone works to their own level and ability and has a fun time.

My most recent achievement was yesterday 29th January 2017 when I ran (yes ran the whole way!) the 5K organised by Pro-fit. I did a personal best time and was encouraged and supported by Olivia throughout. So as I said at the beginning what a difference 12 months has made!

If anyone is thinking about using a personal trainer but is undecided you have to think of it as investing in your health and your future. I’m the fittest I’ve been for many many years. I’m 3 dress sizes smaller so I no longer dread going out because I won’t fit into anything. I don’t avoid clothes shopping and head straight for the loose, baggy clothes. I would still as I say like to be a little smaller but I know I can do it! At the beginning Olivia took photographs of me in my underwear which I have to say I was reluctant to have done and certainly wasn’t my finest moment but I had them taken because that was me at that time and it is also a visual record of how far I have come! I still don’t enjoy having photo’s taken but it does give me some satisfaction that they are much improved than the initial ones.

Olivia has been both a fantastic Personal trainer but in addition is a lovely person who has supported me through some very difficult times. I couldn’t have achieved all I have without her and will be forever grateful to her.