For as long as she can remember, 37-year-old associate director Daniela had been overweight.
Outwardly she was always dynamic with a strong personality, but inside she often felt unhappy.
When she separated from her long-term partner, she felt it was the right time to face her unhappiness head-on and make lasting changes to her health.
With her cousin’s wedding six months away, she wanted to look and feel her best – and this gave her a goal to focus on.
Despite never having lifted a weight in her life, she came to U.P. to start a transformation journey that would help her achieve the fundamental lifestyle change she was after.
The results of her transformation have been incredible – lighter, leaner, happier, healthier, stronger – the list is endless.
But fitting into a beautiful dress that was her mother’s was the icing on the cake.
“Since I was a child, I always loved this red dress my mother had.
“She is very thin and petite, and in summer I asked her for the dress and said I wanted to wear it.
“She was trying to be polite and say ‘we are very different and I don’t want to disappoint you, but you know you’ll never fit that type of dress.’
“I wore it yesterday for my photoshoot. I really can’t wait to send that picture to my mum!”
The transformation Daniela has undergone is inspirational. It didn’t happen overnight, and it wasn’t always easy, but she had a partner and trusted advisor in Ultimate Performance with her every step of the way.
Thinking back, the last time Daniela remembers being a healthy weight was when she was a child.
For years, the only thing she saw in the mirror was a woman who was unhappy and overweight, but she was determined to bring positivity back into her life.
Even if she was struggling inside, Daniela had always presented herself to others as a cheerful person. But now she wanted that to be her reality inside and out.
“The thing with overweight people is that to be socially integrated, they build this kind of fantasy defence guard. You have to show yourself as a very strong character and a strong personality. Nothing can kind of hurt you.
“But deep down when you’re upset you eat because it gives you pleasure, but it’s like temporary pleasure. Then you go back to feeling miserable and then it’s like a negative feedback loop and you are stuck in a vicious cycle.
“When I decided to change, I knew that I couldn’t do it alone. I just can’t go to the gym and do whatever is needed. I can’t be left alone; I needed someone to push me, and I think that’s probably the best part of the programme here – that there’s someone behind you tracking you and holding you accountable.”
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Holding on to the family wedding as her goal, Daniela dived into U.P.’s intensive programme.
The lifestyle and training changes were not easy, but she stuck to it and slowly started seeing results.
“Probably the most difficult part was the initial phase because you’re adapting to a new lifestyle and a new transformation, and you are constantly questioning yourself.
“Being new to exercise, I was constantly worried about managing my goals. In the beginning, I had to hit 15,000 steps a day, and I was like ‘Oh my gosh, I can’t even reach 9,000!’ and you know that you have to hit that 15,000, so you change your lifestyle, and you adapt. You try and reach that goal, and you try and raise the bar.
“One of the biggest lessons that you learn is accountability – that you’re accountable for your results at the end of the day.
“Sure, you have a personal trainer there who is helping you, but that’s an hour, three times a week. For the rest of the week, you’re by yourself. So the thing I learnt at U.P. was about trying to find ways of being accountable for reaching your goals, pushing yourself to get better.”
Daniela obviously enjoyed the physical side of her transformation, but she also saw all the benefits manifesting in her work and her general mental wellbeing too.
“To me, the number one thing that has actually impacted my career is the confidence in my posture. You don’t perceive that in a photograph – how you are mentally healthier, but when you talk to colleagues that really comes through. I’ve become more confident with myself, whereas before I was more on the defensive side.
“I think the first three or four months after I left my partner were really catastrophic mentally, but now I see myself as a person that is stronger and happier for sure.
“The biggest compliment that I got is that ‘you actually smile with your eyes now.'”
It hasn’t always been easy, but Daniela and her trainer, Reid, have worked shoulder to shoulder to make changes that will hopefully last a lifetime.
It has been quite the journey, but the best bit for Daniela is knowing that it has only just begun.
“When I joined U.P., I didn’t know what to expect. I knew nothing about personal training; all I knew is that I was unhealthy, and I needed to do something.
“My journey uphill is not over, but I’ve finished my first chapter, and I am excited to start a new one.
“I believe that changing your lifestyle is all about courage. So you have to be very courageous and put your heart and mind to it, and only then will you make it happen.”
Our personal training programme has totally transformed Daniela’s approach to life, and it can change yours too! Contact us to get started today!
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DISCLAIMER | Results may vary | Results are based on individual circumstances | Timeframes for results are not guaranteed | Willpower is always required!