Nothing beats feeling amazing in a bikini on holiday for Paige, after making an impressive transformation at Ultimate Performance Manchester.
Cheshire businesswoman Paige never felt comfortable or confident in beachwear whenever she was away.
It felt like a constant battle to lose weight and cut carbs to get in shape, before the inevitable rebound and having to do it all again for the next holiday or social occasion.
But now Paige knows exactly the training and nutrition her body needs to stay in shape year-round, and look great for those last-minute breaks in the sun.
She is eating more than ever (including plenty of carbs), her waist is thinner, and she is firmly in control of her diet and the way she looks training just twice a week with U.P..
“How I have changed from Day 1 at U.P. – I’m probably half the size, I’ve lost a lot fat, and I just feel so much happier.
“I’ve got a much healthier relationship with fitness and food. It’s so easy to get carried away and be obsessed with calories and training – and training for the wrong reasons.
“But now I eat to fuel my workouts. I do feel so much better in every aspect of fitness.”
Paige has the toned body she wants – her focus is now on getting stronger, including building on her pull-up numbers which she mastered at U.P.
She explains what changed with her training since starting U.P., the key things that have changed with her diet, and how she is now able to stay lean, toned and strong all year long.
What was your motivation for starting a transformation at U.P.?
My motivation throughout my whole journey with U.P. has been to feel comfortable every day in my own skin, to be able to go to the gym and know what I’m doing.
I want to be able to get in a bikini if I go on a last-minute holiday and feel completely comfortable after having lunch.
U.P. has completely changed the way I look at food.
Before I would spend Monday to Friday trying to be good and dieting, then I would get to the weekend and I’d maybe binge, have a bit too much to drink, and then start again on Monday.
I was just in this vicious cycle of being scared to eat carbs and not fuelling my workouts properly
But U.P. has taught me how to use food to fuel my workouts properly.
Even when I’m in social situations, I know the best things to eat and just to relax if I want to have a night out or if I fancy something, I know it’s not the end of the world if I’m training hard.
What food were you eating before U.P. and how did that change?
It was typically no carbs. I was rarely eating breakfast – I would have a coffee instead. I actually felt okay doing it.
When I got my plan from U.P., I thought ‘I can’t eat four meals a day. I’m only used to having two.’
At first I was so reluctant to have the four meals a day, and my trainer Howard encouraged me to give it a go and see how much better I would feel.
I had so much more energy, my waist started to go in, my training started getting better, and I’m probably the strongest I’ve ever been. I have energy in the morning and I never have those 3pm slumps that I used to have.
It was so nice at night to have carbs and enjoy them and not feel the pressure of ‘oh my god, I’ve had carbs, I need to go and do some cardio or a workout.’
It completely changed my mental health and probably my physical health with food.
How were your previous lifestyle habits making you feel?
My previous lifestyle, I was definitely having a good time. I probably had a little too much to drink.
I felt I was constantly chasing a fitness regime. I’d train for a holiday, reduce my food, go on the holiday, put it all back on, feel terrible again, then try and reduce my food, feel tired and fatigued.
Then it would be the same for another event I wanted to look good for.
How has it been leading up to this holiday?
I have been so strict coming up to my holiday. I followed my plan to the letter.
I probably ate more than I’ve ever eaten in all my life and I’m probably the fittest I’ve ever been. I’ve got so much energy.
It’s just trusting the process.
As a woman, it’s so easy to get sucked in to low calories, ‘you can’t eat this or that, you can’t have carbs.’
My body has changed so much, even in just three weeks.
I’ve been training with U.P. for quite a while now.
But even having my head in the game for a holiday, it’s just amazing what you can do when you’re completely on it.
What has kept you going with the training?
I couldn’t imagine U.P. not being in my life. The motivation I get from my trainer is unreal.
Whenever I’m having a bad day, or if I have cravings, I can quickly send a message to my trainer.
So it’s that guidance and the process. The results speak for themselves.
There’s nothing better than waking up feeling confident and energetic and knowing that I’ve got that training session twice a week to look forward to.
How do you feel now compared to when you started?
I literally feel amazing. Now I want to go to the gym every day. I don’t feel like it’s a chore or I have to go because I’ve eaten too much. I go because I want to and I’m enjoying my progress.
I feel energetic. I feel healthy. I feel like I’ve got a glow.
I’ve got so much more motivation within myself, my fitness goals, and in business.
There’s no better feeling than seeing your results and feeling it when you lift heavier and hit goals in the gym.
Mentally, I feel a lot better with stress. There’s nothing better than going in and busting out a hard session – you come out feeling like a different person.
How has your trainer helped you with your goals?
When I started with U.P., my trainer, Howard, asked me what my goals were. Initially, I wanted to lose some body fat and get fitter. I had just come back from a holiday and I wasn’t feeling my best. I had loads of water retention, I was having cocktails for breakfast – it definitely wasn’t a balanced diet.
So we did eight weeks full-on body fat reduction and getting back down.
I then had some photos done, and I was so happy with the results.
Then we looked at new goals. As a woman, I wanted to concentrate on legs. So for another eight weeks we really concentrated on my legs. We really got those down.
Then we looked at strength. I’ve always wanted to be able to do a pull-up.
I think I tried one a couple of years ago and I was pretty much dangling from a machine like a monkey.
Two weeks later, we managed to get one and a half pull-ups. There are no words that can describe the feeling when you do your first pull-up when you have been trying for such a long time.
Now, to date, I can do six in a row, which is a massive achievement. We went for three sets!
It’s the best feeling in the world to be able to do something that nobody expects you to be able to do.
Do you stay in shape for your holidays?
For me, holidays are such a motivation.
I absolutely love going away, but I also love feeling confident and comfortable when I go away.
In the past, I’ve thought I’ve got to an okay stage, then I’d have lunch and think ‘I cannot get back in a bikini now.’
Whereas, for the first time ever, I went to Dubai at the beginning of this year and I felt I could eat and drink and I felt so comfortable in a bikini.
All my friends commented on how well and toned I looked.
I think that was my realisation for how much I’ve improved and changed by training with U.P.
Do you feel more in control of your diet?
I feel so much more in control of my diet. At first, I felt I needed a plan that had everything outlined with everything that I could and couldn’t eat.
But I’ve learned so much about nutrition and food, and what works and what doesn’t for me, so it’s made me a lot more relaxed in my approach to eating.
Before, I was a bit worried about eating out, but my trainer Howard has given me the knowledge on what the best things to order are if I want to stick to my food plan.
It’s nice to know you can still have a bit of what you want and still stay on track.
Should you be scared of lifting heavy weights?
I think many women have misconceptions about what lifting weights will do.
I think it’s the media and what it portrays.
I think women think ‘I want to lose weight, I want to look good – let’s jump on a cardio machine.’
I’m not saying those things aren’t good for fat loss, but there’s nothing better than picking up some weights and you can just see how quickly your body changes.
It’s amazing for women to be strong.
I’m lifting so much more than what I weigh. I wouldn’t say I’m bulky – I’m toned, I’m tight, I’m fit.
Nobody has ever commented that I’m ‘hench’.
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