Paula’s Success Story
We all love reading a good success story for a good helping of inspiration and a chunk of motivation to go and achieve something ourselves.
Today I bring you a success story from Paula.
A Bride I have worked with to help through (and around) various things, including:
- A hectic work schedule
- Overcoming temptation in the office
- Getting healthy to start a family
Her Journey, In Her Words…
In late 2013 the wedding planning was in full swing. Venue booked, save the dates sent and even the cake (8 layers of cheese) had been purchased. Next on the list was the photographer and as we both love hiding behind our lenses, this was going to be somewhat of a challenge. Our brief was simple, we wanted a limited number of “posed” shots and to be in the shot as little as possible – not really the norm for a bride to be 9 months before her big day.
“I actually wasn’t all that comfortable in the way I looked”
As we sat and discussed our plans with our prospective photographer, questions were raised in my own head about why I didn’t want to feature so much in the pictures. The more I thought about it, I realised that I actually wasn’t all that comfortable in the way I looked. Over the last few years I had become less active, a lot more desk based and as a result had gained 3 dress sizes. Of course these weren’t the only 2 reasons I had gained the weight – but it would be a few months from now until I realised this.
At the start of 2014, we moved into our new house and the count down to our July wedding began. First stop, joining the local gym! We had started doing some cardio work-outs before Christmas and were keen to continue with this in our new surrounds – In my head this was how I was going to shift some weight, 45 minutes on the treadmill, a little rowing machine action, mix in a few weights every now and then and by July I would be in the dress I hadn’t yet even bought as I couldn’t bear the thought of seeing myself in anything feeling as uncomfortable as I was.
“It was at this point I met Matt and so much changed.”
We sat down and discussed my goal, why was I there and what did I want to achieve. For me it wasn’t about losing “X” amount of weight, I wanted to concentrate on body shape – arms, tummy and thighs were my focus areas and actually if I could do something with those areas I might just enjoy being in front of the camera. At the end of our goal discussion, Matt talked me through some basic exercises which he filmed so that he could tailor a plan bespoke to me.
Next step was to look at nutrition – now I thought I ate well and tried a detox for 15 days, where I cut out wheat, diary and sugar, and focused on controlling insulin through eating plenty of veg and an increasing protein. No alcohol, no caffeine – for now! A month later (detox was 2 weeks) I had lost 11lbs and several cm’s from around my waist. Now, believe me this wasn’t down to anything other than clearing my body from the toxins I had been feeding it. I had grown to accept that I was the shape I was – not realising some of it was actually because I was bloated from being intolerant to some of the food types.
As I continued to work on my nutrition under Matt’s guidance, Matt and I started on the exercise plan. A car accident a number of years ago had left me with a weak left arm (that weak I couldn’t manage a 5kg pull down), so Matt coached me through some very basic, low weight exercises. Although I found these easy on the right arm, Matt explained how we needed to build the strength to match across both limbs before we could then look to increase resistance and even think about tone. This felt like a slow process but as the weeks passed by the weights increased and so did my range of movement in my shoulder – and I am now matching weights with my gym buddy.
By the time June came around I had dropped 2 dress sizes and was starting to enjoy my new look body. How I dressed was changing, tighter fitting clothes started to feature in my wardrobe as my confidence in my appearance grew. Perfect timing for the July wedding day (and our honeymoon)
“I now realise how much the changes I made have put me in the best possible place to look to start a family”
This wasn’t easy, but Matt was on hand at every stage – each week we took a little time out to review what was going well and what I needed to work on (less cheese/bread and more water mainly). I can’t thank Matt enough for the support he provided – the confidence change in me was evident in the number of photos of me on my wedding day – far more than I ever thought there would be.
Seven months later and I am still working closely with Matt. Although this time last year my focus was the wedding day, I now realise how much the changes I made have put me in the best possible place to look to start a family and for that I will always be grateful to Matt for his guidance, patience, support, motivation and at times kick up the backside to get me to my goals. But no matter how much he asks, Matthew is still not on the shortlist for baby name 😀