Category Archives: Fitter

The Weigh-In

First Day At The Gym

19.11.14

Grunting and puffing on the treadmill is not my idea of fun, but a 12-minute jog was my first bout of exercise with my personal trainer James Davis at Virgin Active, Chelmsford. I couldn’t drop out at this point because I would’ve been letting Sadie down, the Mail on Sunday journalist who had recruited me and two others to try to drop a dress size, within six weeks. If I stopped now, I would also be letting myself down and my downwardly drooping body!

A gym pic 3 A gym pic 2

I hadn’t run since I was a skinny teenager, but there was no way I would fail this task. After all, I had my Personal Trainer, James Davies, and Chrissie, his Manager, to cheer me on. As I started to jog, at every step, I had the strange sensation of my face dropping downwards along with my belly and boobs. The first three minutes were bearable and I gave it a 6 out of 10 on a scale of how bad I felt. Half way through James and Chrissie gave me some encouragement, but it was definitely feeling harder, 7 out of 10 this time.

Trying to focus on something ahead to distract me from the pain was difficult. Lifting each foot was getting harder and harder. At 8 minutes, James and Chrissie were increasing their encouragement. I didn’t want to stop to walk, I wanted to make it to 12 minutes, but this was killing me.

I tried to develop a breathing pattern and focus on that. ‘Come on guys, give me some more encouragement, please,’ I thought at 10 minutes. The trainers started to encourage me again. James suggested a sprint to the finish, but I didn’t have it in me. I could just about manage to lift one front in front of the other. At last, Chrissie and James started to count down and their cries dulled any feelings of physical agony. Finally, we got to the finishing line of 12 minutes. I had covered about 1.5km and used 135 calories. I felt like collapsing, but was told to walk and cool down for a few minutes.

A gym pic 4 James and Chrissy

James showed me how to stretch and helped me stretch out my hamstring to prevent and problems the following day. I was almost disappointed to be told that that was it for the day, but we had spent some time taking my measurements and doing a three minute step test to check out my heart rate before, after and a couple of minutes after exercising.

I had brought my swimsuit and after a shower, jumped into the refreshing pool. It was so lovely to do a few lengths for half an hour. It seemed easy after the challenge I had just faced. At the end of a pool was the image of a beach and I imagined I was on holiday swimming by an exotic shore. ‘Thank you Lord,’ I whispered. The dip in the Jacuzzi just finished this glorious moment off.

Driving home, I was still busy after my exercise and felt so good. The endorphins were buzzing make the long drive home seem a stroll. I had forgotten just how good you could feel after exercising. It flooded out any memories I had of pain and strain earlier. I couldn’t wait until my next session.

That night I tucked into a pork chop, jacket potato and veg. Knowing the effort involved to burn calories helped me to avoid having a chocolate cake as a pudding.

I had started my journey to getting fit and fabulous for business in 2015.

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What Have I Let Myself In For?

The Before Picture

The Before Picture

17.11.14 In a moment of madness, or outstanding courage, I put my name down for a project where many fear to tread. I have agreed to be a guinea pig for the Mail on Sunday and have a personal trainer at a gym for six weeks before Christmas. Well actually it is five-and-a-half weeks.

I’ve sent off a photo and all of my personal details, that normally I try to keep secret!, to a journalist who is going to tell the whole world! Ludicous, I know, but this is what I am prepared to sacrifice in a bid to get back in control of my weight, my size, my image, my self-appreciation and that of my clients, family and friends.

At first, the journalist, Sadie, pried into why I wanted to participate and I had to reveal my innermost secrets that I am borderline diabetic and have high cholesterol. I weigh the heaviest I ever have when not pregnant. On a recent family excursion to London, I kept getting out of breath and feeling tired, so we would jump on the bus or tube to the next tourist attraction. I blamed my son’s friend for being tired, but really it was me (shame on you Sally!).

I was so keen to get picked. I prayed ‘let your will be done, not mine,’ but when I was, the fear froze me. I could hardly believe my eyes when I read on November 11, 14:

‘Hi Sally,

‘You’re in! My editor has given the thumbs up to including you. What he’d really like to see you achieve is a drop in your blood sugar and waist measurement, plus a big improvement in your heart / cardiovascular health by Christmas. I think this is totally doable and it sounds like you’re very committed (which is what we need).

‘What I need from you now in order to enrol you at a club and assign you a personal trainer is:

‘Your full name

DOB

Full home address

Mobile number

Which Virgin Active club you want to join

‘They will put you through various fitness tests before and after the six week programme (we need you to get started at the beginning of next week at the latest) and will weigh you and track your body fat percentage etc, BUT we will also need you to pop along to your GP to get your blood pressure, blood sugar and cholesterol levels checked. Are you happy to do this? We’ll need you to do so at the start and end of the programme.

‘Please could you also let me know a good day and time during the next week when we could send a photographer out to take some photos of you?

‘Hope this is okay.

‘Sadie’

I am committed now or maybe I need committed! One thing is for sure, just to juggle my business, homelife and this new exercise regime, I will need supernatural help!

CONFESSIONS OF A COMFORT EATER

ME AS A CHILD 1 Red Shorts Me at Jean's party.

I was a skinny, stick of a child; so skinny that I asked my Mam to buy me a swimming costume because I thought my ribs stuck out as though I was suffering from malnutrition when I wearing my bikini!

I was always a good eater and used to fight with my three brothers for the biggest portion or last piece of cake. Comfort eating has been a sweet, satisfying solution to most of my problems most of my life, so it was no wonder that when my first boyfriend ‘chucked me’ at 16, I sought solace in the warm embrace of a Mars bar. In my teens I didn’t drink, but that soon changed when I went to Manchester to study. I started off drinking half a pint of orange juice in the Students Union, but there is only so much orange juice that a person can stomach in one night. I have always liked apples, apple juice and then cider. They are all the same, aren’t they? So drinking cider was the start of another sticky downward slide. Before long I was drinking pints of cider.

To cut a long story short, ‘Lanky Legs’ (a nickname at secondary school) soon became more rounded. I was probably ‘normal size’ when I was a student, if size 12 is what you call normal (as in the middle picture above). Well it is when you are 5ft 7inches and weigh 10 stones 8 ounces. I had low self-esteem and didn’t realise I looked normal. I thought I had a big bum then and lacked the confidence to wear clothes to show off my figure. Now I how have the confidence to wear what I want to, but lack the figure as I have piled on the pounds over the recent years (see third picture above)! Hopefully, all that is about to change!

See my assignment for a national newspaper http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2895463/Three-women-prove-fit-far-faster-thought.html