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The Weighty Topic

May 1, 2013

Sarah-Simpson-NCD123

Like most other people weight is an issue for me! This photo was me back when I was about 15 or 16 years old, I’d just quit competitive swimming because I was never going to get very far in it – Mother Nature had blessed me boobs and hips (glad now) but not a good combination for a swimmer (drag coefficients and all that) .  From swimming I made a change to go and play rugby, but this was also at the age I found boys and pubs – I think this photo is actually from a collection of me and my friends getting ready to go out! I don’t think all those pints of cider and black and lager and lime were offset with the drunken dancing I was doing! I certainly wasn’t doing the same amount of exercise I had been when I had been swimming – the rugby team didn’t last very long before it had to fold.

Then off I went to University – cooking for myself and taking in all that university life had to offer – more pints of cider & black – plus the fact that my boyfriend at the time was a fantastic pastry chef! My weight started to rocket – I did sign up to the university rugby team but injuries plagued my attempt to play!

 

I’m not one for fad diets but my mother had me doing good old weight watchers, and for a while it worked – then I hit the plateau, and lost interest – carried on like this for the best part of 10 years, every time I stopped I’d regain the weight I’d lost and then put on more!
fat

This is me in Seville in June 2011 probably at my heaviest when I was pushing 19st (266lbs). Not long after this my husband and I split up and I decided that I’d carry on with our plans to move to Canada on my own – time to start anew.

One of the things I was most looking forward to about moving to Canada was doing more outdoor activities, hiking, kayaking and eventually I’ll get round to learning to ski/snowboard! One thing I didn’t want to do was re-join a gym – I’d spent the last 6-7 years sweating it out in a gym.

Once I’d got myself set up in my new city I found the www.meetup.com website which is home to lots of different interest groups, who knew that throwing a frisbee around in a game of Ultimate could be so much fun!

Then I started my new job and part of the perks package was a corporate discount at the local gym. Figured I’d sell my soul again and join up – hey the winters aren’t ideal for outdoor activities – frisbee’s don’t fly too well in the wind either! So I thought I’ll do some of the classes – the gym is right near work (it’s a 5 min walk from my office to the gym and I don’t even have to go outside!) What excuse can I come up with to not go – I was miserable about my weight, everything else in life was going great – time to fix it once and for all! Ok so I’ve said that about 5 times in the past 10 years, but something was different this time, this time I was ready to do it! Some of the other perks with the corporate membership was a free personal training induction! Figured what the hell, I knew there was going to be a hard sell bit involved but I’d just tell them I wasn’t interested, I just wanted to see what was what! I’d seen the PT’s at my old gym and to be honest they didn’t instill confidence in me – one of my friends had a block of 10 sessions with 1 and after 8 she had had enough and had given me her last 2 sessions. In the space of the 8 sessions she had completed her trainer had changed once and the current 1 was leaving after her 8th session, she said “I can’t be bothered to break in another 1”. So I had no intention of signing up for it. I met with the gym manager and she put me through my paces – I’m one of these lucky soles that go bright red as soon as I set foot in a gym – it’s such an attractive look! She does a few measurements – ugh the scales – I had lost a few pounds since moving – so much walking and exploring of the city – plus I think I’d lost about 5lbs in sweat due to the high humidity I wasn’t used to. But the biggest shock I think was the body fat machine – 41% body fat! I almost wanted to cry!

After much cajoling – yes I signed up! Did I want a male of female trainer? Hmm, after a bit of thought – it doesn’t matter to me. My biggest fear was the being watched and having my body scrutinised as I did squats and other exercises but I figured, this person is a professional, I’m sure they’ve seen it all before! I just prayed that they didn’t just stick me on a treadmill for an hour!

100_0582 She assigned me a trainer and I was all set to come in and start twice a week with them, nervous much – hell yeah, but it’s too late I’m signed up – and hey what (apart from weight) have I got to lose – it’s better than surgery!

Well this is me now – 8 months and 100 sessions later and 50lbs lighter! I’m so happy that she assigned me the most awesome guy possible! Someone who had also been through the rigmarole of having lots of weight to lose. I’m about half way to my goal – I don’t have an exact weight in mind to aim for! But I’ve learnt so much from him and he’s made gym exercise fun – no he didn’t just leave me on the cardio machines for an hour – I’ve been thoroughly introduced to squats, burpees (hated these at first, but now not so bad, shh though don’t tell him) and planks to name just a few. But also I got a few weeks of weight lifting – think my max deadlift was 205lbs! Still rather chuffed with that! And more recently lots of body weight exercises as I’ve entered into the local Mud Hero event in July – 6km run/walk with 16 obstacles, I’m really looking forward to this!

So the next phase starts soon – no more in the gym trainer as he’s leaving the gym to set up privately, and yes I’m sticking with him – why stop something that’s working!

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