Since Margos amazing transformation I have asked clients to try keeping a blog or diary of their experiences at No.17 personal training.
Here is another exceptional story from a client who wishes to remain anonymous. She really has transformed her life. Her unbelievable hard work, dedication,and persistence is awe inspiring.
September 2011 a friend mentioned No 17 Personal Training to me. At the time I was keen to lose weight AGAIN and thought enough is enough I had finished having children (2 years previously!!) so no more excuses. In time honoured manner the old motto took over “Never do today what you can put off till tomorrow”! I made all the excuses I could think of i.e. having a full time job and 3 kids to look after, no time etc. etc. 4 months later the excesses of Christmas 2011 over I decided to give up the fags on the old clichéd 1 January 2012 and headed off skiing with trepidation the next day. I was dreading the holiday I once loved because I knew I was not going to be able to keep up as I was completely unfit and hugely overweight. Add to this the cravings… well you can imagine how that went….
In February the same friend gave me a not so gentle reminder about No 17, gave me Grainne’s mobile number promising faithfully that she was nice and I would not regret the decision and there it began. I spent Valentines night drinking to excess and with the mother and father of hangovers mustered up the courage at 12 noon on the 15th of February to walk in the door of No 17. I had never had any experience of personal training before, was terrified beyond belief and imagined a slow painful death for my so called friend (which made me feel marginally better). Grainne (very nice), hugely welcoming put me at ease and then said you have to meet John (owner) and he will show your around. I was wondering if they had a defibilator because I was definitely going to have a heart attack before I even started!! John very nice but all I really heard was blah blah blah… until he said you have to be committed and give 100% (my head was screaming you can’t do this) and then “sorry I have a client waiting and I look forward to seeing less of you”. Then I thought wow that’s rude before the penny dropped….
The belief of the trainers at No 17 very simply interpreted by me (and I hope I have got it right) is:
• Anyone can do this (whatever this is and it is different for everyone) if you want to.
• Follow the plan and it is impossible to fail.
• Give 100% and you will get 100% results, give 80% and you will get 20% results (unfair isn’t it).
• Keep it simple i.e. break it down into small manageable goals (whatever those goals are). Obviously for me the starting point was to lose weight and as I am a pretty impatient person, as fast as possible.
Anyway enough of all that for now, back to Grainne I went and in next door (No 18) for an assessment. First impression, great airy basement space felt quite comfortable here. The moment of truth, I won’t give you my measurements but suffice to say at 5ft 2 inches tall weighing in at 89.1 kg made me think of that defibilator again! Of course I lied on the how much do you drink question and was liberal with the truth on the food front, I think she expected that.
The customised plan for me was simple:
• Consistent and regular exercise, it then becomes habit forming.
• Paleo Diet – I did not know what this was either and am not going to explain it with the exception of saying no processed foods, high protein low carb and sugar diet. Look it up it makes sense if you do a bit of research.
• NO ALCOHOL – Back to that defibilator thought again! What in the name of god was I going to do without my beloved wine? I thought, ok I can do this for a couple of weeks and then have the sneaky glasses of wine and maybe not admit to it.
Off I went back to work relieved that the first ordeal was over and in a strange way looking forward to my first training session the next day. I have to say I was extremely self-conscious and anxious but the guys completely understood and allowed me to train in No 18 (not always quite as busy as next door).
First session 30 minutes, went great, a series of lunges, squats, rowing machine and god knows what else but all manageable I left elated!! The problem was I woke up the next day and felt like I had been run over by a bus. I thought that was bad until the day after (Saturday) when I simply could not walk up or down the stairs without a series of expletives coming out of my mouth if you get my drift. That, together with what seemed like all of my children feeling the need to be lifted and carried all weekend, feeling hungry and deprived of my beloved wine made me think IS THIS WORTH IT? I sat down nearly in tears thinking for the hundredth time I can’t do this. Then the text on my phone from Grainne wondering how the weekend was going, words of encouragement to stick to the food plan until our next session. There was a complete belief from her that this was doable and the very idea of giving up or failure was unimaginable. I think for me one of the very first impressions I got of all the guys at No 17 is that fitness and health is their passion. It does not matter who trains you all of them know your name, are genuinely interested in how you are doing and make it their business to know where you are at. I have never experienced this anywhere else.
Thank god the aftermath of that first session has never been repeated, yes I have felt a bit stiff and sore but hey no pain no gain right! On the other hand the food was a struggle for the first few weeks. The words which stick in my mind were Grainne saying,” it’s not forever; you can get back to it at a later date”. She never referred to what “IT” was but I took it to mean alcohol, (I know you must be thinking definitely has a drink problem!)
In the past I have tried so many diets from Weight Watchers to Motivation to Slim Fast to Celebrity Slim the list goes on and on. It stands to reason therefore because I have never achieved my ultimate goal I genuinely believed that it was impossible to do so. Over the next 2/3 months this belief gradually changed as I began to see results. I put this down simply to the single minded faith and belief that the trainers in No 17 have in what they do and anyone can achieve their goals if they really want it and are prepared to put in the work. In my limited experience (if weight loss is your goal) the key is the combination of food and exercise.
I remember training with Kevin once and asking him how do you know when you are fit. His answer was it is different for everybody, for someone it may be 2 laps of Merrion Square (that’s 2 km by the way) for someone else it could be deadlifting 100kg. He asked me what defined fitness for me and after a little thought I said I would like to be able to run 10 km not that I liked running but just to be able to do it. At the time I don’t think I could have run the length of myself (5ft 2 inches!!). Without hesitation he said that’s good so I’ll enter you in a 5km in August and we’ll take it from there. Me and my big mouth. Having said that I can now run 10 km (not very fast) but I can do it and it is still August. I now enjoy running by the way.
One of the key differentiators with No 17 and any other gym I have joined (and let me tell you there have been a few) is the varied training. All of the guys seem to have their preferred disciplines so when you do train with someone other than your regular trainer you get a different perspective. Yep just when I thought I was getting somewhere I had a session with Sophie and felt the effects for a week!! None of this walking forever on the treadmill (god I hated that) and of course there is no treadmill in No 17/18. I don’t think any two training sessions have been the same. I won’t go into the detail as that is what the experts are for but I can promise that it is fun, sometimes painful and always challenging.
You may think from the above that it has been easy and all plain sailing nothing is further from the truth. There have been days when I have really wanted to give up mainly on the food front. If I’m honest I have become addicted to the exercise and find it difficult to imagine how I dealt with the everyday (and some not so every day) stresses of life without it. I have felt very deprived on some nights out when yet again I ordered a sparkling water. I have of course had the few slip ups and paid for it on the scales (again back to that unfair but proven 100% – 80% theory).
Time 23.44 pm 15 August 2012 I now weigh 66 kg, have reduced my measurements by over 30 inches my cholesterol is down from 5 to 3.5 (bad cholesterol is 1.5). I can run, cycle and play football (badly) with my kids with ease. I suspect I have eliminated what would have been the inevitable diagnosis of type 2 diabetes and increased my life expectancy significantly. I have not yet reached my desired weight but will do so by Christmas (because the guys know what that is!). I have set new fitness challenges of doing a mini triathlon (John I don’t know the proper name for it) next year and being able to do 5 pull ups (can’t even do half a one now).
Signed: A very grateful client and now friend of No 17 Personal Training