“I hated seeing photos of myself in a bikini at the start of the year, but now I am happy to share pictures documenting my progress.”
Making a decision to change:
When I stepped on the scales after Christmas 2016 weighing 70kg (the biggest I’d ever been), I made the decision that something needed to be done.
I’ve never had a great relationship with my body. I spent a decade, spanning my teen years and university education, with an eating disorder and had such a low opinion of my body image that it wasn’t until I was 22 that I could look at myself in a full-length mirror. Fast forward two years after finishing uni and I was fully recovered, with a positive outlook on my life. However, body hang-ups, a common theme with many women and I think increasing numbers of men, still festered. A difficult period while living away from home led to a few too many evenings comfort eating and I convinced myself that my long cardio based workouts would be enough to compensate for the extra calories.
My first training session:
Sadly, the scales don’t lie. While I was happy to be healthy, I sensed a need to reboot my eating and exercise patterns. After a consultation with Jerome, I stepped through the doors of The Performance Project on a chilly January morning in the new year for my first training session. I understood the ethos behind The Performance Project following my introduction – an emphasis on weights-based training alongside nutrition to manage fat-loss and improve physique – however, I was still quite nervous. How could I lose weight while strength training? How will I manage without cardio workouts? Surely, I can’t deadlift? What if my leggings are see-through when I squat? Actually, this last one still makes me nervous…
My doubts, along with my nerves, were soon put to rest. During my first week, I watched a fellow gym member throw herself into a workout and look completely badass; this provided the inspiration I needed and sparked a determination to battle through my self-conscious nature. Over the past six months, I have squatted, hip-thrusted, deadlifted and bench-pressed barbells; I have slammed medicine balls; I have pushed, pulled and ‘prowled’; I have loved and hated the ski-erg in equal measure and I have achieved a long term goal to do a body-weight pull-up. My strength has gone up and my weight has come down. Now at a happy body weight, I am in the position where I can focus on how to stretch my performance in the gym.
Turning preconceptions on their head:
Initially, I was concerned too about tracking my nutrition, which to most people sounds downright boring, but which had also been destructive for me in the past. Here I was proved wrong on both counts; tracking nutrition hasn’t been boring or destructive. The Performance Project and its gym members have turned my preconceptions on their head and made tracking nutrition not about how little I fear I will eat, but about how much I can pack into my day and how creative I can be with food. Recipe, protein powder and protein bar recommendations have made tracking a quaintly nerdy idea in my mind. And yes, I did say protein powder! Not previously part of my diet, I enjoy drinking and cooking with protein powder and the benefits which come with it.
A different kind of gain:
I called this post muscles and more. Indeed, I have dropped some fat and gained some serious muscle since starting at The Performance Project. And I would have been satisfied if it had stopped there- I’m stronger, leaner and 10kg lighter than I was last year and this is all I aimed to achieve when I joined in January. However, along the way, I have gained quite a bit more.
I have become more ambitious with my fitness goals; setting targets, staying on track and achieving goals are all manageable with the right team around you. I have shifted my focus to nutrition tracking which is now a positive principle for me. The Performance Project is scientific in its approach, using researched methods to instigate their programmes. This has resulted in a new passion which I can indulge in as there is plenty of opportunity for those, like me, who wish to learn more about the science behind exercise and nutrition. Furthermore, I know I have a place where I can get complete escapism from the chaos of life, leaving each workout with an endorphin-charged buzz to see me through the day. And the gym member who I watched in my first week smash her workout is now a good friend, still providing as much inspiration as she did a few months ago.
I hated seeing photos of myself in a bikini at the start of the year, but now I am happy to share pictures documenting my progress. To me, this shows not only the progress I have made with my body shape and strength while at The Performance Project, but demonstrates how this hard work, in turn, has led to another progress; building a self-confidence which wasn’t there before. With some new performance goals in place, I look forward to seeing how this progress will develop through the rest of 2017 and into the New Year.
If Molly’s story has motivated you to start your own fitness journey, contact us here.
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