Mother-of-two Joanne says she feels like she now has a second chance at life after suffering from crippling Hashimoto’s Disease since she gave birth 22 years ago.
The thyroid condition, which can cause weight gain and extreme fatigue, has left her bedridden for weeks at a time, unable to exercise or even work.
This led to a chain reaction of health conditions and hormonal problems which left her depressed and feeling hopeless.
Every time she would feel better and try to exercise she would be back to square one, ill and in bed.
With her 50th birthday fast approaching, Joanne had all but given up hope of regaining her health and fitness and felt her life was over before it had even begun.
Joanne says coming to Ultimate Performance was the last roll of the dice to salvage her health aged 49.
The results have been utterly life-changing for her.
Not only has she lost 15kg of weight and halved her body fat, but her health has improved to the point where she is back studying and able to work full-time again.
“Oh my god! It’s fantastic! It’s changed my life! It’s the best thing I’ve ever done and I’ve had two children!
“I read recently that ‘health is not about the weight you lose, but about the life you gain’ which really resonated with me as for the first time in over 15 years I have my life back because of U.P. Fitness.”
“It has reset the clock for me. I feel as if I have my original life back on track and I can live again. My outlook is so positive now and I’m really excited about my future.”
It is a testament to Joanne’s heart and determination in the face of setback after setback over the years that she has finally achieved what she always wanted – getting her health and life back on track.
She was resolute to give it one last try before her 50th birthday.
“This ‘50-year-old’ thing was a big thing for me. It’s six months away, and I just thought ‘nobody is successful after 50 in fitness, are they?’ It’s just like you give up.
“I saw this date coming towards me and I just thought ‘I haven’t had my life yet and I’ve got this date where my life’s going to be over.’
“That really scared me a huge amount. It scared me big.”
Joanne had tried everything to claw her way back to fitness, but every attempt ended in failure.
For Joanne, her health and her own body were her biggest obstacles and she felt she could not overcome it on her own.
“I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s – thyroiditis, an underactive thyroid – after the birth of my son 22 years ago.
“That set off a domino effect of issues which led to lots of hormonal problems and that led to gut dysbiosis, and something called SIBO – small intestinal bacterial overgrowth.
“The three of those things worked together in conjunction on a permanent basis to disable me to the point where I was in bed regularly for two weeks out of the month.”
The impact on every aspect of her life was severe.
“I couldn’t hold down a full-time job. I had to schedule my life around these illnesses.
“In addition to that, I also had a shoulder injury. I’m a really positive person, and I would bounce out of bed after the two weeks, pull myself together, get myself down to the gym, get myself running and doing things.
“But then I’d be straight back to where I started two weeks later, basically unable to do anything.
“I did that for 15 years.”
This endless cycle took a heavy toll on her and she was beginning to lose hope of ever getting back to where she was in her twenties.
“Emotionally, it was actually really relevant, because that led onto depression which led to social isolation.
“I don’t like failing and yet I just could not stop failing. That was mad for me. I just couldn’t work out how to fix it and what to do about it.”
Then Joanne read in a national newspaper about a woman in her 50s who had achieved a remarkable transformation at U.P. and she got in touch immediately to start her own programme.
“Inside, I knew that I had something in me. I knew that I wanted to achieve something extraordinary. I just didn’t know how to do it. I just needed help to find out how to do it.
“I knew that if I could get my body functioning properly, that everything would fall into place.
“I didn’t want to have the shoulder problem that was stopping me from training. I didn’t want to have the issues with my gut. I didn’t want to have the issues with my hormones which were stopping me from being able to function.
“Obviously, I really wanted to wipe away the results of the fact that I’ve had all those issues. I had put on an awful lot of weight because I just couldn’t function every day.
“I think I chose U.P. because I wanted to challenge them to fix me because every single thing I’d tried for 15 years had failed.”
Joanne says coming to U.P. was a liberating feeling, knowing she had someone invested in her results and with her every step of the way.
However, for the first couple of weeks, she felt it would inevitably end in failure again and that her health limitations would stop her from ultimately achieving the life she wanted.
“The belief came with my trainer.
“I didn’t believe it for the first few weeks. I was just like ‘ha! You’re going to fail!’
“Very quickly, within two weeks, I could see something was different about U.P.
“My trainer, the exercises, the response that my body was having. It was really hard, but within my capabilities and it pushed me beyond what I believed were my capabilities.
“That’s really what U.P. is all about. It’s about taking your personal beliefs, challenging them, and building on them.
“Then it was ‘the sky’s the limit!’”
Joanne had always yo-yoed in weight in an unhealthy range and always felt unhappy with the way she looked.
But seeing her weight coming down week after week and the impact weight training and the right nutrition was having on her, was incredibly motivating.
“It was exciting! I loved the training. The irony in all of this is that I absolutely love physical exercise. I love doing well at something.
“It was really enjoyable being able to talk to my trainer about how we were going to achieve things and why I was doing the exercises I was doing.
It was a positive experience.”
By following the process with her trainer, working hard and being consistent, Joanne achieved incredible results.
“U.P. has had such an impact on my life – it has changed it totally.
“It has given me back the life that I thought I was going to have when I was 20 years old.
“It’s taken me right back there and given me a second chance.”
Now she is fit, strong and healthier than ever ready for her milestone 50th birthday.
Joanne still can’t quite believe how far she has come and what she has achieved training with U.P.
“It’s been a total transformation. U.P. have managed to take the hormonal issues I was having, the gastrointestinal issues I was having, the shoulder issues I was having, the energy, the depression – all of these things – and through the diet and exercise, they’ve actually managed to physiologically change my body and enable me to function again!
“I have not had any of the side effects that I was having before, and since starting U.P., I’ve been able to go back to studying. I’ve been able to do some work.
“I’ve taken on a full-time position, knowing that that’s something I’m able to do now. That’s opening up my life and I’m excited about it!”
It has also fundamentally changed the way that Joanne thinks and feels about herself.
Before, U.P. she described wanting to ‘hide away’.
“I wanted to be invisible. I didn’t feel like I stood out for the right reasons. I felt 50. I felt invisible. I felt irrelevant.”
She says that this programme has helped her fundamentally change that mindset and embued her confidence, happiness and self-worth.
“I am seen now! The interesting thing now is not other people seeing me. I see me!
“It’s a weird thing to say. But this isn’t about what other people think of me, this is about what I think of me.
“I think I’m worth it now. I think I’m worth something now. That’s a total game-changer, for life.”
Thinking back to her lowest point, Joanne is just glad she took the first step and committed to her programme.
“If I’d have never started, I dread to think where I’d be. Hiding, depressed, lonely, nowhere near reaching my potential, and a mess, quite frankly.
“Even when you think there’s nothing you can do, being positive and finding just a glimmer of positivity and getting some support and following a healthy diet and a really great exercise plan will improve your life.
“From those improvements, you can build further improvements.
“Ultimately, we only have one life and that’s worth it. U.P. is worth it for that.”
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DISCLAIMER | Results may vary | Results are based on individual circumstances | Timeframes for results are not guaranteed | Willpower is always required!