Before coming to Ultimate Performance, she had been HIIT training and following celebrity diet books, but saw little change in her body for over a year.
Jennifer was not ready to slip into dowdy middle age – she didn’t want to feel podgy anymore, she wanted to feel happy with what she saw in the mirror and look agelessly beautiful.
Fast forward 11 weeks and that’s exactly what she has achieved at U.P. – a stunning new body simply from lifting weights and eating well.
“I have lost 17lbs (8kg) in weight and just over 10% body fat. I am now maintaining 121lbs (55kg) and 14% body fat after my transformation.
“I dropped from a (tight) size 6 to a size 2-4. I now have a more healthy and balanced approach to food.”
Jennifer explains how she achieved her new body, took control of her diet and saw big benefits from changing her training from cardio to weight lifting that have helped her improve her asthma and overcome anxiety too.
My motivations for starting this transformation with U.P. were mainly driven by vanity. I wanted to feel beautiful.
I had been on vacation for Christmas with some friends and didn’t feel entirely confident or fantastic in my bikini or clothes.
I had been working very hard on diet and exercise for 12 to 18 months prior to joining U.P., but my results had plateaued and I was starting to feel down on myself and was losing motivation – accepting that this was the best I was ever going to get and the washboard abs were out of my reach.
I was fed up with looking in the mirror and not being happy with what I faced, not having the confidence to wear clothes I wanted to wear – feeling attractive on a day-to-day basis was very much a roll of the dice.
There is so much information out there, that I didn’t know where to start, and going at it alone with no real understanding of nutrition or proper accountability often meant that I gave up after a week.
I wanted to learn how to train properly and effectively and how to properly nourish my body.
I’d seen the results that U.P. had with other clients and thought ‘why not me?’ So, I took the plunge and invested in ‘me’.
Before starting with U.P., I felt mentally and physically exhausted.
The lack of progress with training was getting me down, I wasn’t getting the results I wanted and I was starting to fall out of love with the process.
My asthma had been getting progressively worse and I frequently had attacks of anxiety which caused me to feel quite down and often made exercise difficult.
Heading into my mid-30s, I didn’t want to become doughy or dowdy, I wanted to be in the best shape of my life, ageing well so that I could confidently wear clothes I enjoy and feel good in them.
My diet prior to U.P. was, I thought, balanced and healthy, with weekends a ‘free for all’ when pizzas and chocolate buttons were the norm. I worked out five days a week, why couldn’t I have the odd ‘cheat’ meal at weekends?
In 2016, I did the Body Coach plan, which admittedly did help me shift a few pounds. But looking back at the food I was eating, knowing what I know now, it really wasn’t the best for sustained fat loss – there was no portion size, no calories anywhere and a lot of fat.
If I was busy, I’d grab a sandwich at my desk for lunch or a tiny Pret salad. A few glasses of wine after work and a snatched pitta and some hummus when I got home.
I trained a lot. I did HIIT training five or six days a week at 6 am for an hour at a time.
I was constantly tired which led to binge eating, and whenever I felt like I was making progress, I’d get hit with illness every 4-5 weeks and have to take a week off. It was a classic tale of ‘two steps forward three steps back’.
The diet was the biggest challenge for me, particularly the first ‘two-week bootcamp’. Quitting carbs and sugar cold turkey and making time to meal prep was hard, but the almost-instant improvement in my body over those first two weeks kept me going.
I am not gifted in the kitchen so there was a lot of repetition, but every two weeks I’d mix it up and introduce a new recipe and started to feel more confident with my available food choices so my recipes did become more interesting and easier to prepare as time went on. By the end, I was looking forward to broccoli!
The lifestyle changes introduced to me had a huge impact on my health.
For example, I went back to my old HIIT class. Before U.P., I used to struggle at a beginner level with breaks and the constant use of an inhaler.
Six weeks into U.P. (and having no cardio for the whole six weeks) I was expecting the HIIT to kill me (I’d also forgotten my inhaler!), but I was on the treadmill suddenly smashing out intermediate level, finishing exhausted but without the wheezing and coughing fits that usually followed sprint intervals.
I had much more energy and could concentrate for longer periods of time at work without distraction.
In the gym, I was getting stronger and starting to see my muscles come through. Seeing my body change week on week (even if sometimes I didn’t feel like it) kept me focused.
I was also sleeping better. Prior to U.P., I was surviving on four or five hours a night. I am now getting in a solid seven hours, restful, sleep a night and feel so much better for it, waking up feeling energised and rested.
The improvements in my confidence and self-belief. If I can do this in just 11 weeks, what else can I do? I am no longer reliant on an inhaler to get me through cardio; my lungs are completely self-sufficient.
I sleep better, and the biggest benefit for me has been no more anxiety attacks or self-doubt. I’ve come to love my body for what it can do, not what it can’t.
The most important thing which helped me during my transformation was remembering why I started in the first place. When I felt myself getting tired or having cravings, I wrote down the reasons why I started:
Why? To age well.
Why? To look good naked.
Why? To feel good in a bikini.
Why? To feel confident.
I learned that I am very disciplined and have a lot of self-control. I used to think this made me boring, but I now see those qualities as a strength. The results with U.P. will be my reminder of what I can achieve when I put my mind to something. It does make me feel very proud to know what I am capable of.
I learnt how my body worked, what made me feel sad and why, what made me hold water and why, what caused me to bloat and why.
I learnt that I could eat carbohydrates, and when to eat them to get the best results.
I learnt that everything I put in my mouth would influence how I felt and this has made me feel very conscious and mindful of my choices.
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DISCLAIMER | Results may vary | Results are based on individual circumstances | Timeframes for results are not guaranteed | Willpower is always required!