Annette – Age (approximately!) 52
Why did you decide start personal training and wellness coaching?
I spent a few decades working at a desk all day and then getting caught up in family type stuff every night and weekend and eating on the run. Ironically I was always pretty careful that my family were healthy and got lots of physical activity – I spent a lot of time sitting in gyms reading books and chatting. The result was I was obese and it was limiting my ability to enjoy life. I had tried every diet available and failed miserably. I had always thought about it as a weight problem and all to do with food and it had never really occurred to me to think of it as part of a bigger issue of just living a healthier life, including exercise and generally taking care of myself. I don’t think I had ever heard of wellness coaching before I met Chris. A friend had worked with a personal trainer for a while and was really happy with the results but she was pretty fit to start with so I was a bit hesitant. I heard about Chris’s Healthy Living Project which was run through the gym where I work so it seemed a great opportunity to try a different approach rather than just another diet. The program Chris runs offers a lot of support which I figured could give me a better chance of sticking with it.
What goals did you have when you first met Chris?
Lose some weight and be able to walk up a hill without needing a rest half way.
Did you have any injuries or special concerns that you needed Chris to be able to work around or improve?
Not really – just incredibly unfit and overweight so couldn’t move at all well.
What changes or achievements do you feel you’ve made to your fitness and well-being to date?
Most obviously I have lost a lot of weight (about 34 kg) which is fantastic and just makes life all round easier. I still have more to lose but I am really happy with how this is going.
When I first started I really struggled with even the most basic exercises and now I am feeling the benefits of getting stronger and fitter and actually enjoying being able to move.
On a general level life is just easier, I don’t avoid day to day physical activity like I used to, and I feel all round more positive about life. I can also walk up that hill really easily!
How do you feel now, compared to before you started your program?
A lot more happy, relaxed, confident and energetic and more focused and engaged with whatever I am doing.
What sort of training have you been doing?
A mix of cardiovascular, strength, balance and flexibility.
How many sessions do you do each week?
It varies. At the moment I am trying to work pretty hard on my fitness so I do something most days. Other times if I have other things going on or I just need to rest a bit it is less.
Do you train on your own sometimes? Or do you only do the sessions with Chris?
I do both but the stuff I do on my own is set by Chris and he checks on it regularly.
How do you find the nutritional program and guidance?
It took some getting used to because it is a different way of eating and thinking about food. Calories are still a big factor for me as I have weight to lose, but the emphasis is on giving your body the fuel it needs to function well. I like to cook but I have kept it pretty simple up until now which is easy to do as it is all regular food. In terms of losing weight it definitely works[Symbol]. I noticed a while ago that my mindset around food has certainly changed from being focused on what I shouldn’t eat to thinking much more about enjoying great healthy foods so I am currently trying to learn as much as I can and add in more variety.
What text message from Chris has made you laugh?
I have terrible balance and once pointed out I topple over a lot less if I can keep my arms down doing an exercise. The response text was “[Symbol] keep them up then”
What line has Chris used during training that made you chuckle or roll your eyes?
“This will hurt a bit but I don’t mind that”
What are your favourite words of wisdom from Chris that have really struck a chord for you?
Taking some time to look after yourself does not make you selfish.
The longer I continue on the program the more I realise how much the effects of making my own wellbeing a priority flow over so much into the rest of my life. I have a lot more energy and focus for important things in my life like family, friends and work. I also know how distressing it is when people important to me suffer through ill health so that is strong motivation to do whatever I can to stay healthy.
How has Chris helped or supported you with achieving your goals?
My goals have been quite general so far as I just knew I needed to lose a lot of weight and get some fitness and that it would take a long time. On weight loss Chris sets the guidelines and keeps me both accountable and motivated and comes up with solutions if I have any questions or problems. Because my fitness level was so low when I started, Chris took it pretty much from the beginning with stretching etc. to get to a point where it was possible to do more and he continues to build it from there in terms of quantity and intensity. He keeps track of everything and changes things around regularly and makes it interesting and challenging. Working with Chris also means I will attempt things that I wouldn’t try if left to myself. When I first started he mentioned running and my immediate thought was “Well that’s never going to happen”. I was wrong about that so now I just try and keep an open mind. I have a long way to go but I have come a fair way too.
What part of your training program do you enjoy most?
I really like the classes. I feel committed to those so I never just decide I don’t feel like it today and skip them. Even though everyone is working hard we also have fun and I have met fantastic people.
What part of your training program do you enjoy least?
Anything requiring stomach muscles (especially leg raises).
How did you find out about Chris?
Through an email that came around at work.
Would you recommend Chris to your friends and family? Have you recommended Chris to your friends and family?
Absolutely I would and I have.
What’s your next health and fitness goal and how are you planning to achieve it?
I want to make exercising and being active and healthy not a finite project or something I go to the gym to do for the sake of it, but just a normal part of how I live my life. I have a few friends who ride bikes and I recently bought one so it will be great to go for rides on weekends with them. Chris has given me some workouts and I am looking into some some other lessons designed for people like me who haven’t ridden ever or for a long time. I also want to learn a lot more about eating well and creating healthy food so I am reading quite a lot and planning a vegetable garden. Apart from that I really just want to become generally as fit as I can so my body actually helps me do whatever I want to rather than getting in the way so I plan to continue working with Chris to see how far I can take it.
How has your life changed since you started your program? How do you feel?
Physically fitter and stronger and also much more mentally focused on what is good in life.
Any other experiences, thoughts or background you’d like to share.
Before I started this program I was at a point of just accepting that there were limits on what I could do based on my physical state. The task of getting fit and healthy just seemed so daunting that there was no way I would have attempted it on my own and would not have had a clue what to do. Working with Chris means I have someone who does know what I need to do and has the knowledge and skills to help me do it. It is fun, challenging and so worth it.