Julie lost 15 kilos and 54cm in 5 months and looks and feels amazing. But this isn’t a transformation story. Nor is it an advertisement for my services and what you too could achieve if you joined my team. In fact, past recognising Julie’s commitment, consistent effort and perseverance, I’m not a huge fan of transformation stories. Why?
- Because one person’s transformation has absolutely nothing to do with another person.
- Comparisons made on body size/shape alone are not only shallow, they only tell part of the story.
- One person’s goals and what’s driving them may be completely different to another persons.
- How someone went about achieving their goal may not work for someone else.
- Nutrition and exercise is part of a much bigger lifestyle picture and our ability to practice good nutrition and exercise can be dependent on many other things.
Yes, Julie made some significant changes to her diet. She stopped drinking wine, cut out a lot of unnecessary sugars, included mainly whole foods and lean sources of protein. She also exercised four to five times a week.
What Julie ate and how she moved is just one part of the overall picture of life. She was highly motivated and in a position to fully focus on herself and her goals. While we may love looking at people’s transformations and can use them as inspiration, be careful not to pick-up what worked for someone else and think you can overlay it on your life with the same results.
When contemplating dietary changes or a weightless goal, zoom out a little wider than the fridge. Consider your working hours, family commitments, children, their ages, your sleep volume and quality, your stress levels or any underlying health conditions you have. Then decide what level of sustainable change is possible. Consider also your goal and what it will really take to achieve it. Then decide if you really want it. This is where some nutrition coaching may help. More often than not, my clients need permission to do less, not more.
For a girl who admits to needing a lot of encouragement to get out of her comfort zone, Haley Bilston now knows no other way to train. Haley joined the Gladstone training group in mid-2012 after a lot of encouragement from her good friend Robin. She has since revealed herself to be one of those natural athletes who just “get it”.
Haley is an easy person to train. She grasps even the most technical movement patterns quickly and with a bit of practice is performing them like a pro. Whether its front squats, kettlebell cleans, boxing or double-unders, she quickly nails the technique which allows her to increase her load and her output.
Strength and fitness however, didn’t happen overnight and like most new group training participants her first few sessions weren’t without the usual waves of nausea and delayed onset muscle soreness. She wasn’t deterred by this and with consistent persistence achieved fantastic results.
“I can do things now that I never dreamed of a year ago and I’ve learnt so much,” she said. Haley was not overweight when she joined the group but has nevertheless managed to shed 5kg. And you can notice every bit of it.
“I’ve lost around 5kg since I’ve been training with you but that’s not really why I joined your group training or why I enjoy it,” Haley said. “Yes, I’m happier with my body now but I’m even more happy with how I feel now. I’m the fittest, healthiest and strongest I’ve ever been and because of that I’m more confident and more resilient.”
The results of all Haley’s hard work were evident at the Noosa Half Marathon in April where she ran a 1:53 at her first attempt. This is a fantastic result given a few hiccups with her preparation and in her race wrap-up she reported a max heart rate in excess of 185bpm and waves of dizziness and nausea as she pushed toward the finish line.
Haley is thankful to Perfect Fit Training Solutions and Robin for encouraging her to join the fray. “I’m now so very glad she did,” she said. “Training is a great stress release as well and has changed my lifestyle for the better.”
Kerry has been in pretty good shape most of her life but came to Bec in July this year after a couple of injuries in 2010 left her unmotivated and struggling to get back on track.
Kerry weighed 68kg in July and her goal was to lose 5kg and to fit into her size 10 shorts by November this year.
This 36-year-old mother of two loves to train hard and pushes herself to new levels of effort every week in her personal training session.
She combines two strength-based training sessions per week with four runs and one other cardio class which she does at the gym.
Kerry has a more relaxed approach to diet these days after spending her 20s obsessed with food, counting calories and watching everything she ate.
She has achieved her results this time around through healthy, balanced eating and hard, consistent training.
She didn’t need to lose the 5kg to fit into the size 10 shorts. She lost just 3kg, gained muscle mass and achieved significant drops in cms at her navel (8cms), waist (4cms), hips (6cms), thigh (3cms) and arms (2cms).
Her total body fat reduction was nine per cent.
I first met Nat nearly two years ago. She weighed over 130kg and had been inactive for a year after a bout of surgery and ill health. Since that time a lot has happened. She’s lost 16kg of body fat, 14cms off her waist, 14cms off her hips, 10cms off her thigh, 4cm off her arm and added a couple of kilograms of lean muscle to her frame. She also gave birth to her son Liam and continued to prioritise training with the demands of running her own business and motherhood.
While Nat’s numbers tell an impressive tale, her physical and mental achievements prove there is much more to her story. Nat’s always been a large girl and before starting with Perfect Fit was never inclined towards playing sports or doing a lot of physical pursuits. However, this only served to keep hidden her natural abilities. Nat is blessed with good co-ordination and flexibility which help her pick up movements well and, as her strength improved, also allowed her to progress to more advanced variations. She also isn’t afraid to hurt and with a bit of encouragement, regularly pushes herself into the ‘red zone’.
It’s a joy to watch someone getting the best out of themselves but it isn’t something you can teach. I’ve seen it time and time again. Some people are naturally inclined to hurt and find their limits, others aren’t. In saying that, there are a couple of movements she still hates and refuses to do like running and boxing but luckily she LOVES skipping and has recently mastered the double under, which is by no means an easy feat. She’s also great with a kettlebell and barbell and I’m always impressed with her depth and range of movement on exercises like lunges and squats. Nat considers herself a work in progress and would love to inspire other large ladies to get out and give things a go.
Sacha started training with Perfect Fit in September of 2010 and during the past 18 months has worked to completely turn her lifestyle around.
While her success hasn’t happened overnight, her results will last a lifetime.
When I first met Sacha she weighed 72.4kg, had a body fat percentage of 36.5 and was struggling to find any consistency with her approach to healthy eating and exercise.
This 35-year-old former dance teacher wanted her athletic body back and nine months after the birth of her second baby she needed motivation, knowledge and a permanent change to her self-sabotaging attitude.
Sacha’s results have been achieved through consistency. She has attended a personal training session and group training sessions every week for the past 18 months and is also a regular participant at Saturday Super Sessions and Sunday runs.
She has a firm knowledge of kilojoule consumption and actively seeks information and guidance on how she can make further improvements to her diet.
Last year she lined up for the 100km Oxfam Trailwailker event and trudged two thirds the way through before a past injury put a stop to her event. This year, she plans on finishing.
Sacha now weighs 58.5kg, has a body fat percentage of 25.3 and trimmed over 10cms off her waist, 15cms off her hips and 12cms off her back/chest.
When Glen walked into his first group training session in January 2014, he weighed 114kg and his exercise routine consisted of walking.
That afternoon, he got through his first high intensity circuit workout with the help of exercise modifications but from that moment, was hooked.
Glen now weighs 88kg and no longer walks but runs. He runs to supplement the 3-4 cross-training sessions he attends with Perfect Fit each week. With dedication, commitment and consistency, Glen has worked to master his exercise techniques and pushes himself to new levels with the support and encouragement of his training buddies.
Having lost the weight, he is now looking forward to working on building more strength.
Glen encouraged anyone of any size to make a change by making a start. “When I first came to Perfect Fit my weight-loss had plateaued and I decided I needed to mix things up as the walking was no longer enough,” Glen said.
“I’ve achieved so much in the past year and really just enjoy the training. It’s a great stress reliever after work and regardless of what you achieve, there’s always new goals to set your sights on.
“You really don’t need to be fit to start, I definitely wasn’t, but you won’t realise how much more you’re capable of if you don’t start.”
Gail Griffiths – April 2015
After years of yo-yo dieting and weight-loss, Gail decided in 2015 it was either now or never. “I’d just decided this was going to be the last time,” she said. “If I didn’t change this time, I’d have to be happy to stay the way I was.” This new and focused mind-set worked wonders with Gail’s commitment to her exercise and diet and in just three months she lost 10kg and exactly 8cm of each of her waist, navel, chest and hip measurements. At 54, Gail’s transformation is a wonderful achievement and has allowed her to gain a new lease on life. “I’ve participated in events I wouldn’t have before like the Pyjama Foundation walk, the colour run and I’m also registered for the Mother’s Day Classic and I find all these things also help to keep me motivated.” She completes one personal training session each week together with her husband Noel and said the session definitely served to keep her on track. “It was tempting to want to give up after the first couple of sessions because I always knew it would be hard and I felt like there were a lot of things I couldn’t do. But I was always going to stick with it and as the weeks went by I knew I was getting better at things and started to feel more confident. This makes sessions a lot more enjoyable and we both really look forward to coming now.” Gail supplements her PT sessions with lots of walking and has worked up to completing a 90min walk before work each day! With Bec’s guidance she’s now working on incorporating more intensity to her home training and plans to start adding more hills, some jogging and other exercises into her daily walks.
Roz came to Bec in April 2009 at a time when exercise was not a regular part of her life and had not been since the birth of her son in 2007.
She weighed 67.1kg, had a waist measurement of 88cms and could not run 2km without stopping. Her goals were quite simple. Roz wanted to lose 7kg by the end of 2009 and dearly wanted to be able to go for long runs without gasping from breath.
Roz trained 1-on-1 with Bec once a week, participated in one group training session each week and supplemented this work with her own training at home.
By the end of 2009 she had achieved her goals and more. Today, Roz weighs 59.4kg (7.7kg loss), has a waist measurement of 74cms (14cm loss) and has completed 3 half marathons, a full marathon and a 100km Oxfam Trailwalker event in NZ.
Roz is a perfect example of how to go about achieving weight loss – progressively, consistently, without diet or deprivation.
She’s has maintained her weight loss and fitness since she started all those years ago.
Di Gibson – 2009 until present
Big shout out to long time Perfect Fitster Di Gibson who has been one of the most consistent group training participants for the past five and a half years. Shy and unassuming, Di quietly goes about her business at training without complaint, noise or drama. While she often flies under the radar at training sessions, her results are not so easily concealed.
Last year she turned 50 and celebrated by dropping a dress size. This year, she celebrated by running her first half marathon at the Gold Coast and did it in 2hrs1min! She is fitter, stronger and in better shape now than she was in her 40s. An avid basketball player, Di was an average size 12 when she joined Perfect Fit in July 2009 (inset photo) looking to improve her playing fitness. She is now a toned and terrific size 10 and a powerhouse of strength who can back squat and deadlift her body weight. She enjoys her strength and HIIT training and has mastered many technical and challenging lifting movements. She can also swim! Di regularly attends Perfect Fit swim squads, beach and swim cross sessions and has finished the Tannum Sands Triathlon on more than a few occasions. Congratulations Di and sincerest thanks for your support through the years.
Marisa Kent – 2014 until present
I’ve been meaning to share this case study for months. Not because it’s the most dramatic weight-loss transformation. It’s not. But it does epitomise what Perfect Fit and I am all about.
Not only carving out a fitter, stronger and more confident version of oneself, but falling in love with the process along the way.
The hallmarks of any long-term lifestyle change have got to be patience (there are no quick fixes), consistency, a commitment to steady progress, hard work, lifestyle change and a ‘have a go’ attitude. Marisa has all this and more which has allowed her to change physically, aesthetically and psychologically.
Marisa has never been a big person and her original training goal read as follows:
“Get fitter, healthier and cut out the laziness.”
In the past year she’s nevertheless dropped 5kg of body fat while increasing her muscle mass. The fat loss has largely come off her waist (10cms), her hips (6cms), her thighs (4cms ea) and her chest/back (5cms).
In addition to her well-rounded aesthetic improvements, Marisa’s strength has skyrocketed. She can deadlift 80kg, squat 65kg and has worked tirelessly to turn her weaknesses – upper body strength – into strengths. The humble push up was a real struggle for Marisa who often performed them with the help of benches and depth finders. Not anymore.
This year she also ventured further out of her comfort zone and into the race arena, completing two obstacle events – one 10km and the other 15km long – which further fuelled her confidence and passion for training.
Marisa is often overheard in conversation and on social media jokingly asking “who am I?” in relation to the person she’s become and her preference for early morning training over late night drinking.
Her fun-loving and bubbly personality makes her a well-loved member of the Perfect Fit group training scene.