There’s a lot of focus on cosmetics today, which I don’t like. What I’m more interested in – aside from losing weight and looking better – is that my heart rate and blood pressure have come down.

Accelerating towards her 50th birthday, Dawn could no longer afford to ignore the warning lights flashing red on her health.

Her blood pressure was on the rise, her cholesterol was sky-high, and her heart rate numbers didn’t make for pleasant reading.

Doctors had warned Dawn that neither age nor time were on her side.

That alone was all the motivation she needed to get to work with Ultimate Performance.

Under the wing of her U.P. trainer, 48-year-old Dawn ditched her DIY “all or nothing approach”.

She was introduced to controlled weight training and a sustainable, realistic diet which began to work wonders for her health one day at a time.

But, incredibly, dropping 29kg was far from the ‘highlight’ of her eye-catching transformation…

It was the life-changing reduction in blood pressure and cholesterol which meant the most to her.

Despite countless failed weight loss attempts, and working with a long list of personal trainers in the past, this is how Dawn wrestled back control of her life in 28 weeks at U.P.…

  Dawnh F48 28wk Pt Lcw - Very Good Front | Ultimate Performance

What motivated you to start training with Ultimate Performance?

I was stuck in a rut. I like exercise and eating well, but I had zero motivation and whatever I tried didn’t work. This was the kick I needed to get sorted.

I liked the idea that it was weight training, it’s what I wanted, but I couldn’t do it on my own in the gym. I couldn’t motivate myself, it’s difficult, and you give up after a couple of reps.

I needed somebody to push and prod me sometimes to make me do that extra rep.

When I exercise, I tend to do classes, so I didn’t know how to do this. I felt rubbish, I looked rubbish, I was eating rubbish, so my body wasn’t getting what it needed.

I didn’t feel confident or happy. Doctors and nurses told me that it’s hard to make a change after 40 and 45. If you’ve got high cholesterol you need to sort it out.

I missed the boat around 45, so if it was only going to get harder and harder, now was the time to do it.

I’m 50 next year and my family have been talking about booking a skydive as a birthday present.

The last thing I wanted to be was a dead weight in front of this poor fellow and fall to my death!

How has U.P. helped you overcome the hurdles that had previously obstructed your goals?

When you haven’t got any time, and you don’t feel or look good, you make up excuses, because it’s horrible, sweaty, and unpleasant.

But you’ve just got to get through it and I’m exercising around 11/12 hours a week now. You have to make time. We don’t appreciate the body that we’ve got and we don’t look after it, especially when we’re younger.

It does everything perfectly and you presume it’s going to continue like that as you get older. However, things start to wane, so we’ve got to look after ourselves.

I’ve always had a sweet tooth, I’d always have to have pudding, or an ice cream, and I’d carry on eating when I wasn’t even hungry.

I’m eating more now, a lot more, but it’s all good stuff that fills you up. When the sweet tooth craves something, a peanut butter protein shake works.

I’ve changed things as part of my all-or-nothing personality so I’m trying not to think about chocolate.

I haven’t had it for a long time so I can do without it. That is how it’s going to be going forward for life.


How have family and friends responded to your transformation?

People have said that they don’t recognise me, which is a bit weird.

I’ve changed a lot; some people see it as extreme or obsessive, and there are comments like ‘Dawn’s eating a chicken again’, but on the whole they’re amazed by what has been achieved.

But that doesn’t bother me one bit. There’s a lot of focus on cosmetics and appearances, which I don’t like, but that’s the world today.

What I’m more interested in – aside from losing weight and looking better – is that my heart rate and blood pressure have come down.

Those are the reasons why we should be patting people on the back.

What changes have you identified in yourself following your journey with U.P.?

I’m much stronger. It’s all or nothing with me, and I’ve been in the ‘all’ mode since March.

I’m motivated and things are getting easier without you really noticing it. It’s amazing what your body can achieve when you put your mind to it.

If I’d have started off trying to lift what I’m lifting now, it wouldn’t have been doable. It doesn’t get easier, you just get stronger, and it’s similar with running.

It doesn’t feel like it’s changing, but you’re running faster or for longer. You’re always improving.

It’s like running with a different body, the stamina is there and I’m much faster. It’s added an extra dimension.

I’ve lost loads of weight, but I’ve done that before, so I’m not necessarily overly proud about that. Maintaining this, and being this weight in one year’s, two years’, five years’ or 10 years’ time will make me proud.

And I’m confident I know how to do that now. I’d be over the moon. I can put weight on and lose it. I’ve never been able to do that.


What do you think makes U.P. stand out from other personal trainers you’ve worked with in the past?

I love eating good food, I enjoy exercise, I enjoy how difficult it is. I like how the program isn’t focussed on just one aspect of your health.

It’s all-round and everything falls into place. It’s not a case of killing yourself and going heavier, it’s about taking a step back, doing less and getting the technique right. The weight training is a game-changer.

I’ve had personal trainers before, but this has been completely different. You have to make the most of it, you don’t want to cheat yourself, so you stay on top of it.

I like the tracking, I like the philosophy, and it just clicked. My trainer was completely honest and realistic. We did the exercise, the nutrition, and everything else around the training, which is a sensible approach.

People think there’s this silver bullet that will fix things, but that doesn’t exist.

I can’t even think about stopping weight training. It’s become a big part of my life.


It took Dawn 48 years to realise the importance of looking after her body. Personal training has been the best decision of her life – and it could be yours too. Get started here…


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