This priceless feeling is something Sandi says she’s achieved after just 12 weeks of personal training with Ultimate Performance.
For years, accountant Sandi struggled to lose weight, felt her diet was out of control and wasn’t happy with her body – something that left her feeling down and demotivated.
“Twelve weeks ago I was feeling very low, I was feeling quite tired and was quite down in myself. I got to the point where my body wasn’t changing and I’d always felt unhappy with it.”
But it’s amazing how quickly you can change your body, your mindset and your happiness – all it took was an intelligent training and nutrition plan and some hard work and commitment to reach her goal.
Before coming to UP, Sandi spent endless hours running on a treadmill with little progress to show for it – and she had never lifted weights before.
But she has been blown away by how effective weight lifting has been at shaping her body the way she has always wanted and also giving her a stronger and more positive new mindset.
“The thing I’m most proud of is, I’m actually happy with how I look. I’ve never felt that way before.
“Confidence is something that’s really new and it’s just come about and I didn’t really realise I’d feel as happy as this. The thing I’m most proud of is that I can look in the mirror and not think ‘I don’t like this’ and ‘I want to change this.’ Now I’m getting closer to what it is I wanted to be.’
“I think it’s changing my mental state as well as my physical one.”
Sandi explains in her own words below how her training and nutrition plan helped her get stronger, fitter, leaner in the gym and happier, healthier and more confident outside of it…
“I was at the point where I needed a change. The motivation for me was that I’d lost some weight on my own, I went to the gym and did loads of treadmill cardio stuff and thought it was eating healthily.
But I’d got to the point where I’d just plateaued. I was not losing any more weight, I was feeling quite demotivated with the progress I was seeing.
I had never done any weight training, I had never done any personal training before and I didn’t really know what to expect but wanted a change.
I thought I’d give it a go and see if it would help change things.”
“I had spent 12 months prior trying to be healthy or doing what I thought was healthy. I was eating a lot of fruit during the day and trying to be healthy at weekends. But I was still having quite a lot of carb-heavy meals and spending around two or three hours a week just running on the treadmill.
Whilst I was doing stuff, it wasn’t the same as the things I do here around building my core strength and weight training and understanding about nutrition and what to eat and what not to eat. Even the insulin levels and blood sugar – I’ve got a real education on that side too which I didn’t have before.
I was at that point before where, because I wasn’t seeing the changes in my body, I’d started to pick up the bad habits again and I was in danger of spiralling back to eating takeaways every night, doing little, because I’d basically stopped going to the gym before I’d joined the gym.
I was sleeping quite badly, I was really stressed at work and things were stressful at home and all of those things combined made me feel like I needed to get a grip of it and do something.”
“It was the fact that I’d have someone to be accountable to. Someone who was invested in my transformation.
The ability to learn about nutrition and what was good, what was bad and put a programme together for me, that was right for me and worked around the things that I needed.
I’d typically be quite tired and lethargic and actually the focus, whilst it was on the training side, it was also on the basics like how much sleep are you having? How stressed are you feeling? How are you eating? Because actually all of those things are just as important sometimes to get the exercise right.
I learned that doing something is better than nothing and having that positive reinforcement from someone who says ‘what you’ve done is good’ and that really helped for me.”
“I definitely did start to see a difference really quickly.
Within the first week, it was noticeable. I felt less bloated, I had more energised, able to do some of the exercises better than I had on the first go.”
Then I remember getting to week 3 and seeing some pictures and things just changed for me massively.
It was hard and I was still getting to grips with the nutrition side, but it really motivated me to see how much I could change so fast within a couple of weeks and that kept me going?
“I saw results in the mirror and also my posture. I always had really bad posture and shoulders and I could see how much better I was sitting and with the pictures, I just looked so different so quickly.
I was actually quite proud. And I’m not a body confident person. I’m not generally happy with how I look but I was happy to show my other half and my mum ‘look at the difference!’
It was the reaction which was really nice too. It was like ‘wow! That’s actually made a really massive change!’ Seeing it was quite nice.”
“The whole process has been really motivating.
If I could say one thing is that I’m just a happier person in myself. I’m more confident. I feel generally in a better mood. I’m not as down on myself and it’s all about what you get from what you put in.
So I’m feeling motivated as well as quite proud for what I’ve achieved and being able to stick to something and do it and feel happier for doing it.
I don’t think I’ve felt happier at all. This is the first time where I’ve thought ‘wow! I’m really, really glad I did that!’
I don’t think I’ve felt better.”
“The thing that surprised me the most was the weight training because I had done nothing.
I had never lifted a weight in my life before I came here. I had no education on how to lift weights and how that would work for me.
It was quite a daunting thing walking in and thinking ‘this is going to be a totally different gym experience.’ But actually learning that sometimes you don’t actually need the biggest weights to work a muscle and really build that muscle, and actually small movements and the right movements are the right thing to do.
It was probably the biggest surprise for me.
I did have this ‘will I turn into a bodybuilding big person?’ And I didn’t want to be that. My trainer was saying to me ‘look, I lift weights and I’m not massive’ and I thought if you do that, it’s fine; I can do that.
I didn’t want to look like a big bodybuilder. I found the training quite intense.
You’ve got to push yourself to a point where it’s potentially hurting or it’s physically challenging. It’s stretching you, but that’s the point – if you’re constantly doing something that’s comfortable, you’re not progressing and you’re not necessarily seeing a change.
It was really helpful because I could see the weights I was lifting were increasing but at a rate that was right for me so you could really track that progress.
Looking back to what I was able to do in week 1 compared to what I’m able to do now is totally different.
It’s been really surprising for someone like me who didn’t think I could weight train, didn’t know how to weight train and now I know it will be something I do in my normal gym routine afterwards.
It wasn’t something I really you could lose weight doing. Now I understand how it works and it’s definitely something I’ll carry on doing.
With cardio it’s just what you do is what you burn, then it stops. But by building muscle you continue to burn.”
“The biggest things I’ve learned are probably that sleep is really important for having the energy to exercise in the first place and managing stress levels.
Nutrition and learning that having more protein is better than grazing on fruit, even though you think fruit is a good thing it isn’t necessarily the right way to go.
The third thing is that weight training doesn’t make you massive and really bulky. It can actually help you lose weight.
“I’ve never had a personal trainer before. I always thought it would be a bit intrusive and full-on for me.
But it got to the point where I thought actually I need an expert or someone who knows what they’re doing to help me and motivate me.
My trainer Emily was just brilliant at doing all those things and really understanding me and where I was at, what I wanted to achieve and putting a plan together that worked that was right for me in terms of where I wanted my body to go but actually how I was and how I was feeling at the time.
She made sure the diet worked too, because I’m a fussy eater and I don’t eat all the types of things, but she put something together that worked for me.
The personal training side of things, because I’d never done it, walking in was quite a scary thing. Not really knowing what to expect and how it would be.
I feel like with my trainer I’ve developed a really good relationship and one that’s been really positive for me in terms of what I’ve done.
It sounds really silly, but when she says she’s proud of you, it feels much better than anyone else saying that because she actually knows what she’s talking about.
It’s worked for me and I’ve really enjoyed it.”
“The support I’ve had has been constant throughout the whole thing – I’m still overwhelmed with how on board with my trainer has been with it.
I feel I’ve got a constant person who is here to speak to if I’ve got a problem, if I’ve got a pain or I’m struggling with my diet. There’s someone I can be in touch with who is totally invested in my transformation and wants to see me do the best I can for me. That’s just a really nice thing to feel and get.
You do need encouragement sometimes because not every day you feel it. There are times when I walk in and feel ‘I don’t want to be here.’ I would rather just be home in bed.
But when you’ve got someone smiling at you and saying ‘just do the best you can’ it’s really nice. You walk away and think ‘I feel so much better for doing that.’
I also don’t want to let her down. She is invested in my transformation so I want to do the same.”
“Every time I walk out of here I feel so much better doing what I’ve done. It’s another step closer to where I want to be.
I’m happier every time I’m here. Even though when I come I’m not always necessarily up for it, I never walk out of the gym feeling unhappy.
I feel tired or exhausted but I never feel unhappy for it.”
“I’ve definitely seen a change outside of the gym in terms of my posture – I’m sitting better in the office; I’m stronger when it comes to day to day things, so I don’t get tired during the day as I would with the afternoon lull – I’ve still got energy through the day to get going; as well as just doing training here, I’m conscious of doing more exercise during the day and incorporating more steps into my day and making sure I’m able to do little things like carrying bags of shopping.
Whereas I’d be tired before, by doing that it’s now really easy.
I feel a lot fitter and stronger for it.
“The programme itself gives you that control so that you’re able to know how to manage your diet and what your exercise looks like and how many calories you’re burning.
I feel a lot more in control of so many parts of my life that I just didn’t feel like I was on top of.
My diet, as I mentioned prior to coming, was just out of control, I was slipping back into bad habits with my exercise and food and what this has allowed me to do is just focus on the important things and control those in a healthy way.
I know that eating something is not that bad for you if you’re going to do some exercise for it.
So it’s a healthy way to be.”
Within the period, I weighed in at 65kg when I joined. I last weighed in at 55kg. From a weight perspective, I struggled just doing split squats with my own bodyweight. Now I am on 15kg dumbbells per arm. That’s a big improvement as before it was really difficult carrying my own bodyweight. My body fat was 19.2% and it’s now 13.4%.
Unbelievably! I’ve never been happy with my weight, the way I look, my strength. I don’t think I’ve weighed less than this. But I don’t necessarily focus on the weight, it’s more how I look and how I feel and the strength I feel – I’m not out of breath anymore carrying bags of shopping and going up stairs, so it’s the fitness side that I feel the most happy about, as well as how I look.
My lifestyle before joining UP was – I thought I was eating quite healthily. I was grazing through fruit most of the day, I would try and eat what I thought was a fairly healthy meal that was quite carb-heavy in the evenings.
I’d have a takeaway at the weekends. I generally didn’t think I was eating too badly, but in the run up to coming to the gym I’d had a very difficult weeks; I’d been really stressed at work, I was getting low on my self-esteem, I was struggling to even do a bit of exercise and I was starting to eat unhealthily with sweet foods, cakes and chocolates, and going out for dinner quite often.
The diet was out of control. When I started and what changed? It was a more protein-heavy diet and I understood the importance of managing my blood sugar and not having as much fruit because that would spike blood sugar. I was focussing on the good fats and proteins and just eating throughout the day and making sure what I was eating was the right composition of food. The volume of food I could eat was quite a lot. That was surprising. I didn’t realise you could eat as much as that and still lose weight – but you do, if you eat the right things.
I looked on the internet and read a load of testimonials, loads of stuff on the website I really related to about people who spent a long time at the gym and eating things they thought were healthy, but didn’t really see a change in their weight and their body looked. I really related to what was on there and thought ‘I’ll give this a go.’
When I was in the office, I would always complain about really bad shoulders and posture. I would be having massages and hot baths and I don’t think I’ve complained about having a bad shoulder for 12 weeks since I’ve been here. I don’t feel like I need a massage.
I don’t feel like I need to do anything with my shoulder. I feel fine. It’s perfect. It’s completely eliminated that.
In terms of stress, I still have stressful days in the office because you can’t control those, but my reaction to that and how I deal with that is different.
So I know that I might want to go for the closest chocolate bar for the sugar and I know why I might want to do that because I’m stressed, so with that knowledge, I know that’s what my body wants to do and I can do something else instead.
I will go out for a walk or do something more positive than what my body is wanting me to do.
That knowledge is so important. You don’t realise it’s something everyone would feel. You just think ‘it’s probably just me because I want a chocolate bar’ but actually that stress does make you want to do that and there is a reason for that. It’s a powerful thing to know.
I would absolutely recommend UP. For me, it’s changed my life. And it actually has because how I felt when I walked in to how I feel now is totally different.
I would encourage anyone who feels they’ve never done personal training or never done any weight training to give it a go and put those stereotypes aside and just walk in because it really can actually change your happiness and that’s the biggest thing for me is how happy I am now.
I thoroughly recommend it to anyone wants to change things for themselves.
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DISCLAIMER | Results may vary | Results are based on individual circumstances | Timeframes for results are not guaranteed | Willpower is always required!