In my 20s, I was a skinny thing who could eat whatever I wanted, spend entire weekends lounging around and not put on a single pound of weight. I had no idea how lucky I was! Fast forward to my early 40s and it was an entirely different story.
I had two young boys, was working full time in a fairly demanding job and studying to become a solicitor. Although my husband and parents were all really supportive, I found that there were never enough hours in the day. I was constantly thinking about all the tasks I had to do – sorting out a costume for World Book Day, sewing on Cub badges, writing college assignments, preparing for business meetings, laundry… the list went on and on. Finding time to exercise or eat properly seemed impossible.
I realised that all my clothes were getting tighter; I didn’t feel comfortable in anything. Pencil skirts for the office would cut into my stomach so I started wearing loose fitting trousers and shapeless tops. A night out with girlfriends would involve me wrestling my body into a pair of Spanx in the hope of disguising the bumps and bulges.
I told myself that there was nothing I could do. I was a busy working mum and, although I wanted to be healthy, I simply didn’t have the time to prepare nutritious meals. By the time I got home from work each day, I was so shattered I just chucked a pizza in the oven or ordered a takeaway.
At a family christening, I bumped into my uncle, a former personal trainer who commented on the change in me since he’d last seen me. “Well I’m very busy, you know. I don’t have time to work out!” I blurted defensively. “But you still find time to eat, don’t you?” he replied and walked away. I was devastated.
In an attempt to shift the weight, I joined a local gym. I would go along on a Sunday morning and spend 10 minutes on the cross-trainer but, as soon as I got out of breath or broke a sweat, I would stop and head for the jacuzzi. None of the staff at the gym seemed bothered about how often or how long I worked out and, after a couple of months, I stopped going altogether. The gym membership would still leave my account every month and I would tell myself that I needed membership because I intended to go back. But I never did.
One day, I saw that a former colleague was checking in on Facebook to PW Physique and Fitness. She was doing it A LOT and at “silly o’clock” in the morning before I’d even rubbed the sleep from my eyes! Upon further investigation, I found that many friends and acquaintances were or had been members and all wrote really positive reviews. I noticed there was an offer – Drop a Dress Size in 21 days – and decided I’d give it a go. So I got in touch with Anthony and went in for a chat about what I wanted to achieve and how he could help me.
I was quite nervous on my first day but everybody was so welcoming and friendly. A big plus was that I walked into the 06.30 class and instantly recognised my friend Tracey who I hadn’t seen for ages. Within no time, I had made lots of new friends who all encouraged each other and had a laugh whilst working out.
At first, I struggled with some of the exercises but Anthony explained that there were variations depending on ability and I could take it down a level if needed. In the first week, I got lots of emails from Anthony explaining how to cope with sore muscles and encouraging me to keep going.
Using Anthony’s online meal plans and recipes, and sharing ideas with the team, I started planning and preparing meals in advance so my family was eating healthier.
At the end of the 21 day challenge, I was amazed to find that I had lost 6lb of fat and gained 2lb of muscle. My clothes were looser and I felt much better in myself.
That was in February and it’s November now. I’ve lost nearly two stone but, to be honest, I’ve stopped worrying about the scales. It’s about what I see in the mirror. My arms are looking toned, my legs and bum aren’t wobbly anymore and I have abs! Turning up at 06.30 three times a week and spending 30 minutes doing push ups, planks, squats, lunges and crunches with my pals has paid off.
More importantly, I feel so much more energised and I can cope with the challenges of being a busy working mum. That 06.30 workout sets me up for the whole day, no matter what life throws at me.
I cannot recommend Anthony and his team of knowledgeable, friendly personal trainers highly enough. If you’re looking for a fun and welcoming fitness class, at times which suit your busy lifestyle, come along and give it a try. You won’t look back!