This is a guest post from my longest standing client Darshna Kshatri. If you're looking for some inspiration before starting your own fat loss journey, I suggest you read this!
Take it away Darshna! 😊
In June 2016 I renewed my gym membership. It was a spur of the moment decision and I had decided to commit to going to as many classes as possible to justify the monthly payments. As part of my membership I was given 2 free Pt sessions. I was told a PT would contact me to arrange my first session.
I received a message from a PT introducing themselves as Lou the allocated PT. I was in no rush to do this free PT session. I enjoyed the fitness classes and loved the pool facilities, but The Gym Floor - that wasn’t for someone like me.
I’d ventured there a couple of times, awkwardly spent a little time on cardio machines and quickly left. The huge open space of the gym floor was daunting and the exposure was to me embarrassing compared to the safety of the small studio classes I liked. I had zero confidence and felt way too self conscious to use the actual gym, with actual “fit” people.
After a week or two of reluctantly trying to arrange a convenient time to have my first session via text I decided to bite the bullet and walk into the gym to find Lou. I had no idea who I was meeting - I didn’t even know if Lou was a guy or a girl!
I arranged my first session and when the big day came I was quite excited. A lot of the first session, Lou spent time asking me all the right questions and I found myself telling Lou how lousy I felt and that I lacked any self esteem when it came to how I looked. I felt that other people in the gym were going to judge me for being there.
I’m generally a confident person in most aspects of my life, so it was a big deal to able to share these insecurities with someone I had just met. Not once did Lou make me feel uncomfortable or small about it. In fact he was hugely positive about it all.
As the first session moved on from a gentle walk on the treadmill and chit chat, Lou gave me some simple exercises to do to establish what I was capable of. Looking back, I can say they were simple, yet at the time they seemed anything but simple!
I battled through that first session. I think it was most likely pride that kept me going - stopping would be way too embarrassing. So I soldiered through, cracking some jokes and laughing through it. I didn’t want Lou to know I was struggling (although I’m sure my face gave it away)
At the end of the session, I went to the changing rooms and sat down for a second before opening my locker. My heart was thudding and I felt a little dizzy. That sitting down for a second turned into laying down for a few mins. My body didn’t understand what I had just done to it! A lady who saw me go from sitting to laying down asked me if that was my first Pt session. I nodded and she walked past and said “don’t worry, it will become easier, keep at it”.
And I did just that. I booked in my second free session, during which I decided that I wanted to keep doing this. I wanted to keep pushing myself and I wanted it to become easier. I wanted to become better at it. At the end of that second session Lou took my infamous “before” snap. I still can’t believe that is how I looked.
I trained with Lou twice every week, and would do other exercises every day I wasn’t training with Lou. I got a Fitbit and made sure I nailed my steps. I completely overhauled my diet. I learnt about macros and calorie deficits from Lou. I logged all my food and all my exercise. It became a whole new way of life. The weight dropped off me and more importantly I became fitter and stronger. I could do so much more, so much more comfortably.
Almost two years later and I still start my week training with lou. The nutrition side of things may have eased up, but I can’t skip the gym. Being able to do exercises I thought were impossible at the start of this feels amazing. Beating personal bests, finding things easier than the last time I did them, feeling confident enough to walk into a gym, train amongst the “gym bros” - all of hers things mean way more than the numbers on the scales.
Personal training is a huge commitment - time-wise and financially. But it is the biggest investment you can make in your health, and although it may sound cliche it is so very true. Unfortunately I’ve had family members who have suffered from heart attacks, strokes and diabetes, and I’ve realised that by being overweight and unfit I was making myself vulnerable to all these things. Simply losing weight has reduced the risk of these preventable illnesses which I don’t want to suffer from when I’m older!
My advice to anyone contemplating starting their own journey is to remind themselves constantly why they want this change. It will keep you focused and determined. Once you start seeing and feeling the changes you’ll have all the motivation you need to keep going. Having a guide, someone who’s been through their own journey, definitely helps. Experience is the best teacher - and Lou has tonnes of it!
Hi, Lou here, I'll be sharing my thoughts and insights via my blog regularly, so please stay tuned!