You’re gonna hear me roar…

Transformation is defined as;

* A marked change in form, nature, or appearance
* synonyms: change, alteration, modification, variation, conversion, revision, amendment, metamorphosis, transfiguration, evolution,

And this is truly how I feel – that Fitness Wild has metamorphosed me into someone who couldn’t, into someone who can. Standing on one leg, giving my kids a piggyback, getting in & out for a car, riding a bike. Seemingly small things but these are some of the things 12 months ago I couldn’t do. Mentally I am stronger than I can ever remember – The person I used to be seems so unrecognisable it’s hard for me to even imagine her.

I had always enjoyed sport and had been aware of the importance of eating a healthy balanced diet, so outwardly my lifestyle may have looked ok. Mentally as a women though I had also always battled the feelings of needing to be skinny, especially being so tall, and had succumbed to an eating disorder in my teens. Then In my 20’s/30’s having a corporate career meant even less focus on my well being and more hours at a desk, the insidious stress of working long hours , pressurised deadlines, time zone hopping and late nights networking had taken its toll.

Physically – a series of injuries brought on by a bone degeneration problem had resulted in two lots of surgeries and a life of painkillers. I had been left with a damaged hip and a broken neck resulting in loss of nerve function in my left arm and chronic pain. Pain is horrid -life sucking- depression inducing thing. You can’t sleep, you can’t exercise, you comfort eat and drink, a vicious cycle that wears you down.

I was due to face more surgery to insert c springs between my vertebrae when I found out I was pregnant. I saw this as the “get out of the rat race card” I needed – and in the summer of 2012 knowing things needed to change , I handed in my notice, sold our house and moved to Cornwall. 3 months later after the birth of my second child, my dreams of a better life were put on hold when I developed severe post-natal depression that knocked any last residual fight out of my body. I I was put under the watch of the psychiatric team when I reached a very dark place in my life. From there it was a downward spiral – I contracted viral meningitis the winter of 2013 and was hospitalized for 2 weeks. In spring of 2014, with immunity still weak, a burst ovarian cyst led to infection and I suffered a respiratory cardiac arrest resulting in my heart stopping. Consequently as a result of my organs being starved of oxygen I went into liver and kidney failure.

Just writing this it all seems so surreal, as now 2 years later, approaching my 40th birthday I am fitter and stronger, mentally and physically, then I have been in the last 2 decades of my life. So how did I get to this point?

After being given the all clear physically I tried various ways to get back on track. Running, yoga, chiropractors, fitness classes. Gym trainers wouldn’t touch me because of my spinal issues – every attempt I made was plagued with chronic pain flare-ups. I just couldn’t see a way out and had resigned myself to the fact this was as good as it was going to get.

But a serendipitous meeting in the summer of 2015 –with a friend’s partner, who trained with Fitness Wild, is where it started. He told me these guys were “different” and they had changed his life and they could change mine. Dubious, skeptical, unconvinced, …… all words that sprung to mind. A Personal Trainer, was that really the answer?? I had the typical preconception of some ridiculously muscled person barking orders at me like a sergeant major, laughing at the pathetically weak person in front of them struggling to lift the bar. And come to that I had never lifted a weight prior to this – was this really something I could, or even wanted to do, and stupid concerns of getting “big” floated through my head??

Within the first few sessions I knew I was in the right hands. Ben and Jimmy immediately put me at ease, never critical of my ability (or lack of!) and I truly believed they cared about what they did. Every session was tailor made to me – some sessions were literally spent trying different things over and over again from various positions/angles/heights – anything to allow me to work out in less pain. But they stuck with me, and their encouragement and belief in what I could achieve has held no bounds.

The differing approached between the two trainers meant work-outs as I developed were always varied – some slow careful &postural, others more grunt and power. But together they have literally have rebuilt me and without their expertise and patience I would not be where I am today

So what makes Fitness Wild so different?

Big bonus…no sweaty, claustrophobic gym with overhead televisions. There was something extremely liberating about being out in this beautiful place we live in. All elements, feeling the wind, sun, rain on your face and mud, sand grass between your toes, it feels almost primal.

The fact is being outside is SO good for your mental psyche. It immediately improves your outlook; gives your brain a break from all the overstimulation of modern day life. Allows you to focus solely on the job hand and to just stop, and be in this singular moment.

Best Health Magazine states: “A personal trainer can’t replace your doctor, nutritionist, counsellor or physiotherapist.” In the case of Fitness Wild this isn’t true. They are not your usual run of the mill fitness personal trainer. They have reeducated me in every area of my life; my diet, the way I approach a work out, the way I handle setbacks …to name a few. As for doctors, I am off all anti-depressants, painkillers & inhalers, and I have not seen my surgeon since I started with them.

This is what makes Fitness Wild unique, this is why no other gym, trainer can do what they do, because no one has the depth and breadth of knowledge and cares as much as they do. They keep learning, keep up to date with the latest scientific research surrounding training and nutrition passing it on to their team. They truly live and breathe what they teach.

Fitness Wild taught me what you put in your body is the fuel you need to build muscle and become stronger. Many don’t, or choose not to be honest, about what they eat yet seem mystified when they don’t get the results they want. By asking me to keep a food diary, there was no hiding from the truth, and the advanced Bio-print drills down to the supplements you need, on a macro level, to work at your optimal.

The knowledge I have been armed with means I eat what I do, not because I have to, but because I want to, because I know how much better it makes me. The high protein diet is superior for your brain, and aids your overall wellbeing. Improved quality of sleep, improved cognition, less anxiety, less fatigue, improved self-esteem, glossy locks and clear skin – need I say more to advocate such a diet change?!?

Most commonly I’ m asked: “Ohhh you look fab! How much weight have you lost?” But weirdly for the first time in my life my weight does not concern me. To note I have not lost one pound…but the very welcome side effect of training is I have dropped 2 dress sizes and 7% body fat.

“Strong is the new skinny”… “ It is not the pounds you weigh it’s the pounds you lift” – these are my new mantras.

As for lifting weights? There is no looking back; you are talking to the converted.

It is not just about the immediate affect of the instant release of “feel good” hormones – it’s knowing that if you can get through and stick to your program you can get through all the other crap life may throw at you. Coupled with enhanced endurance levels you have the confidence and energy to take on new challenges you once may have deemed impossible. I now turn any emotion I may have at the start of a PT, be it self doubt, anger, sadness, tiredness, into focus –seeing that loaded bar come of the floor is one of THE most satisfying feelings in the world!

Being a woman too I feel a humbling sense of power knowing your body is not just something to be objectified by men, judged by other women, or designed to bear children. Your body is AMAZING, capable of doing anything. I am not “strong for a girl” I am just STRONG. One of my favourite pictures is of me deadlifting, not only because it shows me how far I’ve come, but because my little girl is standing watching me and she will see that our bodies and minds can do so much that society sets limits for.

Humans have a basic instinctual need to come together linked back to tribes and village communities support networks which modern life has torn apart. The stressful hamster wheel of work, parenthood, school runs, email & texts – means increasingly we have become more and more isolated from each other. Modern society has also fuelled competitiveness, judgment, backstabbing, comparison and a go-getting selfish attitude of look after number one.

But what if it didn’t have to be like that? What if you could meet a group of people who wanted you to do the best that you could? A group who cheer you on to beat your own PB? Or supported you and picked you up when you failed? Who push you to try again? Who make you laugh so hard you forget about the angst going on in your head? ……..Well Fitness Wild is that group, and I couldn’t imagine my life without them.

This is what Fitness Wild has done for me…..I start each day now with the “I’ve got this” mindset which Ben and Jimmy has ingrained in me………. and every time I step up to a PT or workshop, I don’t sidle up with doubt & fear… I stride up with Katie Perry’s voice in my head “ you’re gonna hear me roar!!”

So if they can get these results with a nearly 40 year old slightly overweight mum of 2, with a broken neck, dodgy back and a history of mental health problems……Think what they could do for you?! ☺

What are you waiting for? ……….Step Outside