My ENJOY Journey….one year on!….
So this time last year I was feeling low! I had just been diagnosed with arthritis at the ripe old age of 40, my body ached and I was constantly plagued by anxieties and insecurities in every aspect of my life. I felt uncomfortable in my own skin and I decided that enough was enough. Drinking a bottle of wine every night was only exacerbating how I felt rather than making me feel any better, although at times I had pretended it did! I decided to pluck up the courage to seek out a local PT to help me make some changes and get a little fitter and loose a little weight. I have yoyo dieted my whole life (I don’t think there’s a diet I haven’t tried!) and at some points I have felt I was winning and was finally in a good habit of exercise and food… but, unfortunately these tended to be short lived. I’ve always been an emotional eater and retreater so when things got tough I would fall off the wagon in real style and not want to exercise or see people. Instead I would hide away with my faithful friends Rioja and Cadburys!..who are, incidentally, mere acquaintances these days!
When I first met Mark at ENJOY I plastered on a smile to hide my insecurities, but his warm, kind and understanding manner quickly put me at ease. I set out to feel better about myself and lose some weight. With Marks knowledge and advice, I had to accept for the first time in my life that there really are no quick fixes…especially when you’re on the wrong side of 40! I learnt that over the years my metabolism had been shot to pieces from sporadically starving myself or eating classic “diet” foods and combining this with spurts of HIIT workouts and absolutely no muscle/strength building exercises had done me no favours!
I have seen Mark twice a week for the last year, and week on week my love for exercise, fitness, nutrition and a real appreciation of what my body is capable of has grown. In the last few months I have also started running, which in that first meeting with Mark I had told him I would NEVER do as I hated it! To be honest I am really not great at running, Mark would probably wince at my technique and I’m a slow and steady kind of girl with a hint of Phoebe…but I now LOVE how it makes me feel! It helps me to clear my mind and earn some MEP’s, which I also told Mark at the start wouldn’t really bother or motivate me as “I’m not competitive” …now I’m desperate to hit that top spot…who even am I?!…Maybe one day!
So many changes have happened since that first meeting with Mark. With his constant support and encouragement, I am stronger physically and emotionally than I ever thought possible. I have more energy, I am calmer, more patient and I believe following the intermittent fasting of 16:8 since December has really accelerated my weight loss, (a total of 12.3kg to date and a drop in 3 dress sizes). Whilst I’m not a complete saint on the food front (nor do I want to be!) I seem to naturally now stick to a happy balance over the week of 80% (healthy) 20% (not so healthy!)… I still enjoy a glass, who am I kidding…a bottle of wine on a Friday night with nibbles!..but I’m Ok with that, as I now get up Saturday and blitz a run. When I now feel anxious, stressed or worried I grab my trainers rather than the wine or chocolate and believe me when I say I NEVER thought that would happen.
This last year has had such a lasting impact on me that I have now decided to take the plunge and train to become a Personal Trainer myself. I would never have had the confidence to even dream of attempting to do such a thing a year ago. I would love to think that one day I can support someone else on their journey to be a healthier, stronger and happier version of themselves just as Mark has done for me!