I have struggled with my weight ever since I can remember and have spent most of my life either on a diet or feeling guilty about breaking one.I knew the time had come to do something when in January 2011 the scales tipped 100kg. On holiday the month after, my backache had got so bad it was preventing me from enjoying myself. I also had serious issues with my right knee. Something had to change.
In March 2011, my fiancée and I set a date for our wedding and this really spurred me into action. I bought a vintage 1940s wedding dress after Easter and when it arrived and I could not do up the zip, this gave me the added motivation to seek some professional help in the gym with my exercise plan. My trainer, Dave, set about designing a tailor-made exercise plan for me on the basis of my needs, level of fitness and goals. I was impressed because he really listened to what I was saying and made sure that the plan he had devised was doable in terms of the time I had available and that the exercises would help me both lose weight, improve my weakest areas and tone up through a combination of strength exercises and cardio. This was new for me, as other times I had been to the gym, the trainer had always insisted on cardio-vascular alone for weight loss with little focus on strength or core.
What can I say? From April to September I lost around 15 kilos and gained a set of triceps, some budding biceps and glutes into the bargain. I felt much fitter, had got rid of my backache completely and the knee was much better, too.
I also found that Dave in particular is one of the most patient and motivating trainers I have ever worked with – he doesn’t just give you your plan and let you get on with it. He takes time to run through all the movements and equipment and knows just when to push and how to convince you that you can do it! What he also does, however, is really listen to you when you simply can’t (not at that stage anyway – you do get there in the end!) He was quick to make alterations to the plan where he could see that I was struggling – either by making the same basic exercise a little easier or by getting me to do the same basic movement in a different way. He also made sure I knew exactly what muscles each movement was tailored to or the principles involved in each cardio exercise – for example, talking me through the benefits of interval training for weight loss. Not once did he tell me I was ‘doing it wrong’, and he made sure I felt that even if I could do things partially or slowly at first, that it was still worth trying.
By February I had managed to lose 20 kilos. The dress was now a perfect fit. And with my new found fitness, dancing the night away at our wedding ceilidh was a much more enjoyable experience.