Back in May last year I was pretty unhappy with how I looked – I’d been unable to do much exercise because of a knee injury and my diet was a constant stream of cakes grabbed from a coffee shop on the way to work, stodge for lunch, and something quick and processed to throw in the oven or microwave when I got home. I was feeling tired and had no energy and it’s probably fair to say I was pretty fed up and probably not the nicest person to live with as a result.
I’d started getting back into running in an attempt to get some of my weight off – but it was slow going. My fitness had plummeted in the time out that I’d had, but I also knew I needed to do something about my diet – I just couldn’t carry on putting all that rubbish in my body.
When I saw Shred the Fat advertised on Facebook, a 10 day online group, complete with a clean eating nutrition plan and 20 minutes of daily exercises that I could do anywhere, I thought I’d give it a go. It was only 10 days – something I knew I could stick to. And, if it didn’t work, I hadn’t wasted any time or much effort.
So, after signing up I threw myself into it – following Dan’s exercises and nutrition plan to the tee. The nutrition was different to anything I had done before. No calorie counting, but instead it focussed on eating clean – cutting out refined sugars, bread, pasta, and replacing them with protein at every meal and lots of fruit, veg and healthy fats.
The exercises were hard work, but I enjoyed them and watched eagerly for them to appear on the Facebook page every day, bugging Dan if they weren’t there by lunchtime. I hadn’t ever done workouts like these, and when I started I could barely manage one push up. All I had ever done previously was run.
Within three days I was gobsmacked by the difference in energy levels and the way I felt. The bloated feeling that I always had was gone, the shakey feel I got in the afternoon which previously made me grab for a bag of sweets of a chocolate bar to stop myself passing out had disappeared, and my skin, hair and eyes were much brighter.
People were very sceptical about my sudden change in diet – turning down bread, crisps, chocolate and cakes, and eating lots of protein, veg and nuts seems to be an alien concept to many people. But it’s healthy, nutritious food, and I ate plenty of it.
By the end of the 10 days I’d lost 14 cm in total from across my body. For me it was like an epiphany moment and I knew at this stage I would be changing the way I ate for good. I keenly signed up for the next two phases of the programme and lost a total of 54.5cm from my body and 12 pounds in weight over the three phases. That saw me drop from a size 12 to a size 6 petite and feel the best I had ever felt.
At the end of the programme I knew I wanted to carry on – not to lose weight, but to become stronger and healthier, improving the shape of my body by getting rid of fat and replacing it with lean muscle.
When Dan suggested personal training with a plan written specifically for me using weights I jumped at the opportunity. Working in London makes it difficult for me to get to regular one on one sessions, but Dan wrote me a plan that I could do on my own, with regular touch bases with him.
I loved training with weights – seeing that I could lift heavier each week was a real incentive. It took a little while for me to see what was happening – but taking pictures and comparing them side by side each week was a real eye opener. My shape was changing completely again – this time getting much more definition. For the first time I loved the way my arms legs and stomach were looking.
I’ve been training for a little over seven months now with my plan being changed every six weeks to keep my body adapting. I’m in the best shape I have been. I am smaller, more toned, have more energy and feel so much happier than I did this time last year. And I have more drive and determination than I have ever had.
People still find the way I eat strange and seem genuinely taken aback when I tell them I’m lifting weights. I often get comments that what I’m doing isn’t healthy and find that I have to justify why I’m doing this. Ultimately it’s for me, and that is all that matters. I’m fit and healthy, I’ve given up running which is really bad for my knees, and I’m eating better more nutritious food than I have ever eaten.
As you can see, Emma has done amazing. Losing 55cm in 3 months was fantastic, I hadn’t even met her! I knew I had to coach her 1 to 1 before someone else did. I’m extremely proud of Emma and what she has achieved. She is a prime example of someone who has a busy life, but can be focused on feeling good about herself and going after it.
Amazing Emma, well done!