EnergyWise Inspiration - part 1
18th March 2011
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Are you sitting comfortably? Have you ever wondered what sort of people might benefit from the services of a personal trainer? Then I'll begin... to tell you the fantastic story of an EnergyWise client who's put in some great work and got brilliant results with our help.

Toni is a little camera shy, but is very happy to share her story with others. And to demonstrate that health and fitness is relevant to real people with real bodies, real minds and real lives.

She first came to see me in early 2010 feeling very frustrated with herself, her body and her lifestyle. With a strong desire to change, but no idea how to get started. At a bit past 50 she was a lifelong exercise avoider who was starting to reap the 'rewards' of a long term inactive lifestyle.

Toni had always struggled to manage her weight, but was finding this a losing battle. Years of yo-yo dieting, coupled with poor nutrition habits and constant evenings and weekends settled on the sofa had left her with a variety of problems. In addition to the extra padding she found she regularly had a niggly sore back and was tired all the time.

The hardest part for Toni was actually for her to see herself as a fit, slim, active person and break the self destructive habits which had led to her getting so stuck. Luckily, she's a very determined person and really believed that she was able to change. So my role was mostly as a facilitator, sounding board, educator and fitness coach. Once we'd spent time understanding her goals and motivations, we got to work making the gradual changes she needed to make a transition to a healthier lifestyle. She had a mixture of very specific goals and general lifestyle aspirations:

  • Drop a dress size for her nieces' wedding in June

  • To be able to walk up the stairs to her sons third floor tenement flat comfortably all in once go

  • Improve her diet to break her reliance on coffee and sugary snacks to get her through the working day

  • Not to have to worry about her back

  • Boost her confidence and self esteem to

  • Tackle the challenges of everyday life

  • Stay active, fit and healthy to be able to continue to enjoy life long after her two children left home

Toni was horrified when her food diary revealed an almost complete absence of fruit, vegetables and protein. This was coupled with up to six coffees a day, with the bulk of her calories coming from white bread, pasta with creamy sauces, cake and biscuits. I explained how this contributed to fluctuating blood sugar, tiredness and weight gain. We then looked at what a healthy diet should look like and worked out a plan that fitted in with her busy life, family and food likes/dislikes. It took some time, but she and her husband now enjoy a colourful, tasty, interesting diet which is easy to plan and cook.

Fitness work started off in the EnergyWise studio where I introduced Toni to the delights of cardiovascular exercise, weights and Pilates. She was initially scared to get hot and out of puff. But we pushed her gradually a little harder each week until she was confident to work her heart and lungs hard without worrying about exploding! We identified that Toni really enjoyed being outdoors, so I encouraged her to add in regular brisk walking. This fits brilliantly with her routine and she's ditched the frustrations of regular bus trips to work for a clear head, invigorated lungs and the fresh perspective you get from getting regularly out into the outdoors.

Toni was very excited to be able to buy a smaller sized dress for her nieces wedding and has since gone from strength to strength. Her back is no longer sore, her energy levels are much higher and she no longer feels the need to have an 'emergency' packet of biscuits in her desk drawer. Her main exercise is brisk walking, with a weekly Pilates class to keep her back supported and help her switch off from a busy working life. She also still attends EnergyWise once a week to push herself a little harder and to get her weights 'fix' without having to go to the busy local gym. She's a real inspiration to her friends and family who love the new, enthusiastic, up for anything Toni.

About the Author

Jenny M

Member since: 18th May 2011

I believe that exercise is for everyone - let me help you build your fitness, confidence and energy, set realistic goals and have loads of fun along the way

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