“It was August 2018 and my 58th birthday was on the horizon. The scales said I weighed 12 stone – the heaviest I’d ever been. I didn’t really recognise this person in the mirror or quite understand how I’d got to this point.”
In her fifties and feeling at an all-time low, Jo realised that she needed some help to turn things around. With some trepidation she decided to give PP a go. In just four months since starting Jo has lost nearly two stone, vastly improved her fitness, gained confidence and discovered a love for lifting that she never imagined possible.
What made you start personal training?
It was August 2018 and my 58th birthday was on the horizon. The scales said I weighed 12 stone – the heaviest I’d ever been. I didn’t really recognise this person in the mirror or quite understand how I’d got to this point.
I’d probably gained two and a half stone gradually over the previous ten years and the menopause hadn’t helped at all. I’d avoided wearing swimwear for a while and spent the last summer in long sleeved shirts despite the weather, as I hated my arms so much.
I had a pretty good idea about what I should be eating but did not have the incentive to stick to a plan or the willpower to stop snacking (I could easily eat a large bag of Kettle Chips in one sitting).
By chance, within a couple of weeks of getting on the scales, a Performance Project advert popped up in my FB feed. The ad was offering a month’s trial for women aged between 40-70 and I realised I was going to need some help to turn things around.
I eventually plucked up the courage (this took a while) to call Jerome. He was encouraging, so I booked an interview with Chris (who was similarly encouraging) and in September I found myself, with some trepidation, in my first semi-private training session.
Can you describe how you were feeling physically and mentally before starting your journey?
My weight and procrastination was preventing me from doing anything about anything and was contributing to my low mood. I was not looking forward to the Autumn and Winter as I suffer from seasonal affective disorder (SAD) and tend to want to hibernate.
As for exercise, my excuse was that I couldn’t find anything I liked doing enough to stick at and that anyway I needed to lose some weight first. I had tried running a number of times and friends who loved it told me I would get hooked … I didn’t. I’d tried a boot camp and managed to tweak an Achilles tendon. I’d joined a number of gyms but was left feeling baffled by the range of equipment and intimidated by the Lycra-clad healthy-looking users, so I just didn’t go.
I was in truth a little sceptical about the whole ‘gym thing’ and couldn’t see how fitness and protein shakes applied to me.
What did you want to achieve?
My initial goal was to lose two stone and I planned to do this through a combination of diet and exercise. I signed up for three semi-private training sessions a week and as my confidence grew, I gradually added in two HIIT sessions as well.
At this point, I had not considered the benefits of exercise, it was just a way of getting where I needed to be.
What results have you seen whilst training with us?
Just four months after starting at PP I am only 5lb away from my target weight, which is really encouraging.
But what has been a real revelation is how much I am enjoying my progression in my training and HIIT sessions and the physical changes I have seen in only four months. I think I am possibly becoming a girl who likes to lift relatively heavy things and this is certainly something I would never have predicted!
Alongside this there have been improvements in my strength and fitness that I notice every day, for example I can walk up 46 stairs to work without feeling breathless, lift and carry much more easily, and even blow dry my hair without my arms aching!
I am feeling more confident about my physical appearance and generally more motivated and in control in more aspects of my life (eating and drinking being only one of these). I have more energy and I even sleep better than I did a few months ago.
I’m looking forward to setting my second set of goals at the end of February.
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Would you recommend PP and why?
I would definitely recommend PP (and have done to a number of friends).
The experienced PT team and the supportive environment in the gym have kept me motivated and working hard towards my initial goal. There is as much or as little advice on exercise and nutrition on tap as you need and regular check-ins and reviews with a PT help to keep your progress on track.
If, like me, you have been put off by gyms in the past or think you don’t belong in one, believe me, PP is different.
The varied semi-private training programme and different trainers mean you never get bored. There are people of all ages, shapes and sizes in each session and the small group size of sessions allows you to learn exercises with plenty of support, enabling you to feel confident that you’re moving correctly.
All the PTs are happy to explain and demonstrate anything you’re not sure about (plenty of times in my case!) and answer any questions, plus there’s a healthy dose of exercise science available if that’s your kind of thing. I know it’s their job, but I do feel staff are interested and invested in members’ progress.
The environment is welcoming (everyone says hello and chats before and after sessions) and the camaraderie between participants within sessions contributes to a shared sense of achievement.
The social events that take place also makes this place a community and not just a gym.
I would definitely not have made the rapid progress I have without this structure and support from PP. When I looked at the PP website back in August and read some of the client stories I was not at all sure this was the place for me but I’m so glad I did pluck up the courage to make that initial call.
If Jo’s story has inspired you to start your own fitness journey, contact us here.
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