My journey with Vision almost didn't begin!!
Since having my second child I had struggled to lose the "baby" weight, I then had a couple of years of bad health which was topped off when I tore my ACL trying to "relive" my childhood playing netball!
Once I got through all the physio on my knee it became quite clear that I really needed to strengthen the muscles in my leg to assist with the recovery. Around this time, I was also diagnosed with Coeliac Disease where one of the side effects is low bone density so this, mixed with the fact that I'm female (getting older and approaching menopause) meant that doing weight bearing exercises were even more important.
I also have two small children so being fit and healthy for them was also at the forefront of my mind. So, I had a lot of things going on, driving me to turn things around and get fit and healthy not only for myself but for my family.
I had tried various different methods to lose the weight only to end up putting it all back on. I had never before had a personal trainer - partly because I think I was scared to (what if I failed!) and partly because of the cost. With a young family and a mortgage, I felt it would be too indulgent to splurge on a personal trainer when I had so many other expenses.
What I loved about it was that each session was tailored to me and my strength and abilities. I really needed to build up the strength post my ACL surgery and Max was able to assist me in the exercises that I needed to do, but more importantly, the correct way to do them so that I didn't injure myself further. Max also went above and beyond to research which exercises would be best to assist with my recovery which was amazing and I very much appreciated him taking the time to do this.
I am not a gym junkie and I find it a little intimidating going into the weights area in a gym so I found having someone with me, showing me how the equipment works, ensuring that I had the right technique was invaluable. Max started me off with baby steps and over time increased things as I was able to improve in strength.
Having Max to keep me on track has been amazing and invaluable. I think when you have someone putting so much of their time and effort into you, you don't want to disappoint them. Max has been so supportive through my journey especially in helping change my mind set and boosting me back up when I have bad weeks. I always knew that weight loss was more so about what you put in your mouth, as opposed to exercise, however, I have learnt that mindset also plays a big part in this too. I'm still a work in progress, navigating my way around how to cope with kids and marriage and school and work and general upkeep of the household etc but rather than eating my way out of the stress and boredom I am learning to find other outlets.
When I initially joined, I thought they were going to make me sign up to some crazy diet and protein shakes! I am pleased to say that what it really all comes down to is being sensible and eating good, wholesome foods. I've tried to cut out all the "sneaky" snacks and substitute these with something healthier. Portion size has also been something to watch because it's so easy to over-eat. Paying attention to how I feel as well has helped - rather than just reaching for food it has more so become a matter of "am I really hungry and do I really need to eat that chocolate bar."
I have seen some great positive changes in the food choices that I have made, but also learnt that you still do need to enjoy yourself so splurging on that chocolate or having a drink, in moderation, is also ok.
One of the big things that I noticed was that when I eat well, I tend to sleep much better. If I have a blowout day and eat all the wrong sorts of food, I find that I have a terrible night's sleep and I feel really "blur" the next day.
I have been amazed at my ability to build muscle, although I still have a long way to go! It's hysterical to hear my son say that he wants me to come into his school to show his friends my muscles!
I've never wanted to be a stick figure - it was more about losing the weight so I could once again fit back comfortably into my clothes and about being fit and healthy for my family. It has been amazing and very self-satisfying to be able to fit back into clothes that I haven't worn for almost 5 years! Everyone thinks I have a new wardrobe!
I often question and ask myself "why did I leave it so long to do this?" I'm not sure why really - maybe a mixture of feeling scared of failure on top of being stuck in a rut with a young family, juggling work and home etc.
One thing I have learnt is that it is possible to be in your mid 40s and still be the size you were 10 years ago! I didn't think it was possible and I may have even used my age as an excuse to be complacent about my health but it has been so satisfying to see the results and look back on my journey of ups and downs.
I couldn't have done it without the support of Max - I hate it when the scales go up! Not because I've put on weight but because I feel that I have disappointed Max. Max never rouses on me when this happens! Thanks to Max I have learnt that weight loss is not a straight diagonal line going down - it's got its bumps along the way and that's ok. What matters is how I pick myself up afterwards to change the direction of the line, instead of allowing myself to continue on it.
Whilst on the program I did my first ever triathlon (albeit a very mini, mini, mini one) and would love to do more of these in the future. Before having children, I had also ran a half marathon so would be great to work towards doing a 10km run and eventually build up to doing another half marathon.
If anyone is sitting on the fence, trying to decide whether or not it is worth it, all I can say is just do it! I know it is a big expense but at the end of the day, you can't put a price on your health. The benefits in feeling physically and mentally stronger definitely outweigh the new handbag, shoes or night out. I know it is a big sacrifice and I certainly don't have an endless budget, however, I have learnt that being a mother is both physically and mentally exhausting at times so to do something for "me", to make me feel better is totally worth the expense and sacrifice because my whole family have benefited from me being a fitter, healthier and most of all, happier mother and wife.