Sitting here, typing this, I can’t quite believe what I’ve lost; 20lbs, several inches and the wish to be invisible. More importantly I can’t believe what I’ve gained; strength – of all kinds – a fitness level that allows me to pull off my very best crazy lady dance moves without collapsing and a body that I genuinely never thought I’d see again.
There were several cringe moments that started me on the path back to fitness, but this before photo sums it up in one shot really, I was out with my Mum and beautiful daughter, eating Tapas to celebrate her turning 6 months old and I thought I wasn’t looking too bad that day – I’d made an effort for once, put on a colourful top and scarf and had even found some clean leggings. But looking at the photo I realised not only was I bigger than I’d thought, but I didn’t put make up on anymore and I didn’t know how long my hair was because it only ever got washed and jammed into a Mum bun.
I was raising two children and had great hopes of teaching them (amongst other things!) that women are to be treasured, respected and valued whatever they look like and here I was hiding in plain sight because I didn’t like the way I looked. I was mourning my pre-baby body, punishing myself for changing while creating these glorious creatures and I needed to stop.
After a hideous 14 days doing a juice detox cleanse (read two week long starvation because those things are disgusting) I found Anthony and a home based work out programme on Facebook and without knowing it then, changed my life. I did the work outs at home, much to the bemusement of the kids, and was startled to find that although most of what I was eating was good, I was possibly eating three people’s worth. I was also very good at not eating anything during the day and then having a huge pasta dinner with a pile of cheese. The novelty of three meals a day plus two snacks felt very indulgent for a while!
I was really pleased with the results and ended up doing two 6 week programmes back to back. Christmas came and I gave myself a couple of weeks off and signed up for his 28 day challenge in January to undo the festive damage and ramp things up a bit. That involved doing the classes at his studio which terrified me, images of being surrounded by Goddesses’ planking and leaping about gracefully while I thundered and panted like a warthog had me shaking that first morning. But the people, and the instructor were lovely, there were options through all of the exercises so I could do what worked for me without feeling like a failure and I left on a real high.
My determination was set; I followed that eating plan to the letter, scraped ice off the car at 05:30 three times a week to get to the studio and lost 12 lbs in those 28 days. I not only felt very much part of the team but as if I was getting a sense of self back. Doing something for myself and getting genuine results. It was the happiest I’d been for ages!
I was hooked, signed up as a full member, have continued with the classes and eating plan and the latest programme we did ended with a bikini clad photo shoot, something which I would have avoided at any cost less than a year ago. I cope better with life now and with the kids, my body is healthy and strong and that is reflected in the other parts of me. My jeans no longer fit, in a good way, and my hair and make-up are done more often than not. Anthony is awesome, he makes us remember that we are too.