Georgiana made an impressive transformation side by side with her husband at Ultimate Performance Dubai.
Being in her thirties, Georgiana had found it harder and harder to stay in shape and shift the fat around her belly – she thought she was stuck with her body type for good.
As a former hockey player, she always trained hard in the gym, but struggled with her diet and had a weakness for sugar and sweet foods.
Georgiana also had a number of health issues which causes her to feel constantly bloated, uncomfortable and tired, as well as suffering from acid reflux and acne.
Seeing her husband Sheridan make a stunning transformation at U.P. Dubai was all the motivation she needed to start her own fitness journey at U.P. alongside him.
From the moment she started, everything changed. She got on top of her diet, her digestion problems eased, her skin cleared up, and she developed the lean and strong figure she thought she would never be able to get back from her younger days.
“I am stronger and leaner than I ever have been and I feel happier and more confident. I think I am around the same weight I was as a teenager, but I feel like I have developed most of my muscle groups, rather than just some of them.
“I feel like I am in the best shape of my life. At the beginning of the process I would have settled for just not having daily pain and being able to eat normally. But I have seen improvements to so many aspects of my life.”
“I definitely have a better understanding of what it takes to keep fit as an adult, when you’re not just playing a team sport four or five times a week.”
Georgiana explains what she changed with her diet to get in shape, how her health issues cleared up, and how training alongside her husband Sheridan helped them both get great results.
What was your motivation throughout the whole experience?
My aims were to get stronger, lose fat, especially around my belly, and improve my posture, whilst learning the proper techniques for lifting and improving my form. Generally, I was curious to see how the training and results would differ from what I was already doing.
I had been pleasantly surprised, and was really proud of the incredible result that Sheridan had achieved, despite having done weight training for most of his life.
Given that I had problems with muscle imbalances, particularly in my legs, which had previously caused me pain and prevented me from training, I was encouraged by the fact that Sheridan had managed to hone his technique, and drastically improve an imbalance that he had in his shoulder from an old injury.
I am a self-professed foodie, but I was suffering from a number of health issues which were affecting my quality of life, and I wanted to get myself into a position where I could maintain a healthy body whilst being able to enjoy the tastier things in life.
What was your diet and lifestyle like before U.P.?
Before starting at U.P., my diet wasn’t too bad overall. I was eating the right kinds of foods generally speaking, but most of the time I was probably eating more fat and carbs and fewer veggies than I should have been. I was also eating a lot of chocolate to try and counteract my mid-afternoon slump at work.
I had horrible self-discipline, particularly when it came to chocolate, and felt I had no control once I had started eating a chocolate bar, or bag of something. I would often order high-fat takeaway meals when I got hungry and didn’t have food readily available, especially when I would get busy at work.
I considered myself to be fairly active previously, weight training three or four times a week, walking to and from work and playing golf at the weekend.
However, there were many days where I would just walk to work, sit at my desk for eight or nine hours, walk home and spend the rest of the evening on the sofa, clocking a pretty miserable number of steps, and telling myself that my gym time would make up for it.
Generally speaking, I had extremely low energy levels and very low motivation to do any activity outside the gym.
How were your previous lifestyle habits making you feel?
I was permanently bloated, self-conscious and uncomfortable and suffered badly from acid reflux.
When I was at my most unfit, I felt very uncomfortable and was lacking in confidence, especially given the excess fat I was carrying around my stomach and the constant bloating.
I often felt quite down about the way I looked and I was miserable due to the daily pain I felt because of my stomach issues. I was also experiencing some adult acne.
While I was relatively happy with the rest of my body, I was aware that excess fat around the middle can be a health risk.
I was a skinny kid and had always been quite athletic in my teens and early twenties, having been heavily involved in team sport (field hockey) to quite a high level, training and/or playing several times a week, and not having to do much else outside that to maintain my health.
I felt quite lost once I stopped playing hockey. I had quite a busy and stressful period at work and my diet slipped and I started to put on fat.
As I hit my thirties, I felt like I had no idea about how to get a healthy body back and maintain it, especially where I don’t particularly enjoy classic cardio like running or cycling.
Honestly, I suspected that it wasn’t possible to get back to where I had been and had almost resigned myself to settling for a different body type because I was “in my thirties”.
You mentioned issues with digestion during the process. How were the symptoms before you started and now having finished? How do you feel?
From the moment I woke up, I would have stomach pain and tenderness. I had no appetite for the first few hours of the morning and when I would eat, I would fill up so quickly that I got nowhere near eating the amount of food I should have been.
I would have stomach pain and feel short of breath on almost a daily basis, especially if a few hours went by in between meals. I couldn’t even put on a sports bra without suffering discomfort from the tension of the elastic. I had difficulty training because I would often get short of breath and dizzy, and I struggled with any exercises which involved any pressure on my abdomen. I seemed to come down with some kind of bug, or feel so run down that I couldn’t do anything, at least once a month.
How quickly did you start noticing results and how did it feel?
Quite quickly I saw a big drop in my body fat, which continued to decrease, albeit more steadily.
I went on holiday about two months in and noticed a huge change when I looked at those photos. On that holiday, I started noticing that I had real definition, particularly in my arms, and that my stomach had settled down and had started to flatten out.
What changed when you came to U.P.?
Being healthier has completely changed the way I feel.
Since starting at U.P., I find it easier to get out of bed as I don’t wake up with a headache every morning.
I now have an appetite as soon as I wake up and look forward to breakfast.
My energy levels are up and I feel more motivated at work. I don’t have an afternoon slump every day, like before.
Along with starting this process with U.P., I also saw a couple of doctors about my stomach issues and seem to have managed to get to the bottom of it. I no longer have stomach pain and discomfort and the bloating has improved.
I believe that getting on top of my diet and becoming fitter and stronger and being happier will have certainly helped me with the problems I was experiencing.
I am eating more than I did before and I don’t feel discomfort. I have also seen a huge improvement with my immune system; I have ‘touch wood’ been relatively healthy for the longest period I can remember. My skin has also cleared up.
My posture is so much better, following the back work that Blair had me do, and I now walk a bit taller and straighter, which complements the confidence boost I have thanks to my training at U.P.
What surprised me the most is the fact that I seem to have developed self-discipline. I can walk past the cake in the kitchen at work, knowing that I have a goal to achieve.
That is not to say I don’t enjoy the occasional piece of dark chocolate when I am craving something sweet, and that I won’t enjoy a bit of cake now and then when I have finished this process, but I feel like I have more control over my cravings and have made real strides in weaning myself off using fat and sugar as a daily crutch.
My golf appears to be (possibly temporarily) better, I think because I am stronger, and my muscles are working together as they should, particularly in my arms, shoulders and back. I am much more active generally and I feel happier.
How did having your husband go through the process as well help with your training and nutrition?
My transformation focussed on three main elements: training, diet and activity (i.e. steps).
Training: when you are lying flat on your back following a gruelling workout and a round of sled pulls, it’s useful to have a partner that has been through the same thing and therefore can sympathise with you and tell you to get up (rather than calling you an ambulance). Sled pulls are also that little bit easier when your rest time involves being pulled down the track by your other half (even if that means you have to pull him down the track afterwards).
Seriously though, it was a big morale boost to be able to talk to someone who has gone through the same process, who has the ability to recognise how hard you are working and encourage you. The fact that we were both going through the process also meant that we could easily create our own training sessions on holiday or on days that we weren’t training with U.P.
Diet: I’d say that diet was probably the hardest part for me, but it helped that my husband had also been through the process. It was easier to eat the right foods, as when he was at the end of his cut and I hadn’t yet started at U.P., I had already started to improve my diet, not wanting to sit there chowing down on something that was wildly unhealthy in front of him. We already had a good number of meals that we could make easily that fitted our macros. Having seen him go through the process, I also developed a sensitivity to recognising when I might be hangry(!) However, I do feel like he probably should have had more sympathy than he did when he defrosted a hot cross bun, buttered and ate it in front of me one evening just after we had started dialling in my macros!
Activity: I think my general lack of activity outside the gym was where I was falling down the most with my previous training efforts. It was a real morale boost to have a walking buddy, particularly where it is so hot in Dubai, with temperatures reaching 40°C, even at night time and walking outside is often akin to stepping into a sauna.
We go for daily lunchtime walks, and during the evening sometimes, if necessary. At the weekends we would walk down at the beach (or around the mall, if I could persuade him!) Unfortunately, the general improvement in my golf meant that I wasn’t clocking up thousands of steps looking for my ball anymore.
Georgiana’s Google review
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