Barely 18 weeks ago, 39-year-old Shapla was feeling tired, low and unhappy with her body image.
She had cared for her disabled brother for 15 years, but even the simplest of household tasks was leaving her exhausted. She felt depressed because of it.
Shapla knew she wanted to make a big lifestyle change but there was so much confusing information online about how to improve her health and fitness.
It was seeing British actress Gemma Atkinson on Strictly Come Dancing and finding out about her weight training transformation at Ultimate Performance that inspired her to start her own journey.
Eighteen weeks later and her life has changed immeasurably.
Shapla lost 30lbs, shed a third of her body fat and build new-found mental and physical strength lifting weights just three times a week.
Now Shapla feels strong and capable caring for her brother, and her renewed confidence helped her land a job as an archivist, something she had wanted to do since she left school.
“It has changed my life. It has made me realise that I can achieve my goals, which I never thought would be possible.
“It’s unbelievable how three hours of exercise per week can have such a huge impact.
“My outlook on life is much more positive now.”
Shapla explains the changes she made to her carb-heavy diet, changing her activity levels for fat loss and how weight training has benefitted her life outside of the gym.
Last summer I was at my worst. I felt throughout the summer that I needed to change things, but I didn’t know what to do and just going online and trying to find something there was so much information.
When I looked after my brother, who is disabled, for about three or four weeks full time, I realised how unfit I was.
It was only when I was watching BBC News and Gemma Atkinson was on there talking about how she’s on Strictly and I went on her Instagram and she posted a lot of pictures of U.P. and so I thought I would try them first.
So, my brother can’t do anything for himself. It’s up to myself and my mum to feed him, take him to the bathroom, shower him, all that.
Fifteen years ago, when he first got sick, I was able to do everything on my own quite easily, but now everything is quite hard and physically it’s very demanding.
I was really unfit, I couldn’t do the simplest things without getting exhausted and then that would make me very depressed and upset. So, I knew I had to change my ways.
I didn’t think my diet was terribly bad before. I would eat normal Asian food, like rice and curries and spicy food, but I didn’t realise how much unnecessary food I was actually eating until I started to track what I was eating.
My lifestyle was quite sedentary and I did not move around or exercise very much.
I would spend most of the day caring for my brother or doing other things that needed to be done around the house, but I would get easily depressed because I wasn’t happy with my self-image.
I started moving much more. I was given a step target each day and I had to hit this no matter what.
My diet changed a lot. I had to leave a lot of the food I used to eat behind. It was weird for me not to have rice with each meal, so it was a big change.
We worked on bringing food that I enjoy in after a while, and this helped a lot. I felt much better after a couple of days when my diet changed, and when I had rice once or twice throughout the plan I actually felt awful in comparison.
This had a huge impact on my entire life. I feel healthier, stronger and more able in everyday life.
I am now much stronger in the gym than when I started training and I feel as though this strength has fed into my life outside the gym.
I feel mentally stronger and more ready for each day. I am definitely a more positive person since making the changes that I did.
The biggest benefit without a doubt is being strong enough to care for my brother adequately.
I am able to do everything required on my own and it’s now easy to move him around, whereas before it was a real struggle.
I also got a job in my industry for the first time during this transformation and I know I was only able to get the job because of my increase in my confidence levels since starting with U.P. It has changed my life.
Incredible, I went from 154lbs to 123lbs, lost 6 inches off my waist and over 10% body fat in just 18 weeks!
I learned that I can do anything I put my mind to. I don’t have to rely on anyone for strength anymore, I am my own strength.
I don’t have to accept things that I don’t appreciate anymore. The help and support from my trainer is what kept me on track all the way through the transformation, even on the tough days when I wanted to throw in the towel.
Absolutely, my transformation seems so simple but it was very closely monitored by my trainer. I just did what I was asked to do and I saw results consistently. It changed my life forever and it can do the same for others.
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DISCLAIMER | Results may vary | Results are based on individual circumstances | Timeframes for results are not guaranteed | Willpower is always required!