Weight Loss Success Story – Amy Mathie

Weight Loss Success - Amy Mathie

Overcoming personal tragedy to succeed

Weight Loss Success - Amy Mathie

Xercise4Less Hull member Amy Mathie has overcome personal trauma and bereavement to successfully accomplish her weight loss success. Less than a decade ago, Amy had spinal decompression surgery as four of her five discs in her back had slipped, leaving her in agony and paralysed in her left foot. This was understandably a difficult period for Amy, and something she struggled to comprehend.

 

“I was in hospital for two weeks and when I eventually left, I was immobile and unable to walk. It was soul destroying and this caused me to become depressed. I started to eat a lot and I gained so much weight and when I went to my first Weightwatchers meeting in June 2012, I weighed nearly 20 stone. This was a wakeup call.”

Finding solace through Xercise4Less Gyms

From this point, Amy was determined to lose weight and get herself going on her fitness journey. Signing up to Xercise4Less Gyms has given Amy the platform and the confidence to boost her health through exercise, especially cardio workouts.

 

“I was always afraid of walking through gym doors and it was something I always avoided, worried about being stared at for being so big.”

 

“But last year, something changed. The crippled girl who hated looking at herself started to see more clearly. I introduced exercise and immediately fell in love. I can’t do all the exercises, but I make sure I give it a damn good go! I started by completing 10-minute treadmill walks and a little bit of rowing to build up to 45-minute walks.”

'Doing it for Dad'

If dealing with severe injuries wasn’t enough for Amy to deal with, her world was rocked again on New Year’s Eve 2018, when she had the heart-breaking news that her beloved father had passed away. After the initial shock, Amy used her late father as motivation to continue her weight loss journey.

 

“I was going on holiday in early 2019 to remember my dad and I had a goal in mind. So when speaking to Alex I started doing PT sessions to help me achieve my goals of getting into a size 12 dress. Alex worked on a programme with me and even got me doing deadlifts to help improve my strength. My best was 75kg, which I couldn’t believe I was lifting.”

Fitness classes to boost confidence and health

As well as performing solo workouts, Amy began to attend fitness classes with her friend and thanks to helpful and friendly staff, the classes were adapted to suit her injuries and making sure she was able to gain the most from the classes and enjoy them in the process.

 

“I joined my first fitness class on a Saturday morning, the PT Alex was funny and friendly. As soon as I explained my injury, he adapted all the exercises for me, allowing me to join in with alternative exercises. This became a way of life and I wanted more. I started doing spin classes and through this I was able to lose 3 stone. I love the buzz and the calorie burn.”

Finding that inner belief

Seeing real fitness results and blasting the calories through exercise really gave Amy the confidence to continue her amazing progression. She started to restore the faith and belief in herself and found the gym a place of solace and fortitude. Having the support of her PT and friends, Amy was smashing her fitness targets on a regular basis.

 

“This crippled girl had finally done it! I was strong and building muscle definition. Alex always believed in my ability and I seriously couldn’t have done it without his help and support. Now, I have a gym buddy who I work out with three days a week and it has become a key part of our lifestyle. I have fallen in love with exercise and the way it makes me feel. I have now lost over 4 stone and I feel amazing – walking into the gym feels like home!”

A revitalised diet to supplement training

In addition to exercise, Amy has also revolutionised her diet and nutrition. She wants to supplement her exercise with a clean diet, and this is clearly paying dividends for her. Hard work and commitment are just as important to your fitness journey as the time spent in the gym.

 

“My nutrition has also changed massively. I have turned to veganism to help with my performance and strength in the gym. Through everything we need to not give up. We need to make ourselves a priority and last year that is exactly what I did!”

 

“Have faith and trust in the process. We will always succeed!”

Incredible success story, Amy! Keep up the good work!

Why Xercise4Less Gyms?

We are proud of our friendly staff and inclusive community in our gyms and welcome people from all backgrounds and experiences to join us. Whether you’ve never stepped foot into a gym before or are an experience gym goer, join the Xercise4Less community today and take those all-important first steps onto your health and fitness journey.

Our members find everything they need to reach their personal goals in regard to health and fitness from our friendly staff to dedicated Ladies Only gym zone, special Spin studio or group fitness classes including Les Mills workouts and also toning and conditioning.

Weight Loss Success Story – Debs Knight

Weight Loss Success Story - Debs Knight
Weight Loss Success Story - Debs Knight

Tackling Snowdon made me climb my own fitness mountain

Losing weight can feel like you are at the bottom of the highest mountain and have no way of conquering the obstacle facing you. For Xercise4Less Rugby member Debs Knight, this was a literal realisation as it took for her to climb Mount Snowdon to realise she needed to begin her weight loss journey.

“I took part in a charity climb of Snowdon. I really struggled to complete it and had to keep stopping. People kept asking if I was alright as I was so out of breath.”

“I knew I had to do something to improve my fitness and general health.”

Improving fitness and health through Xercise4Less classes

Since taking on Snowdon, Debs has signed up to her local Xercise4Less gym and attended several classes to get herself on the right path and gradually begin to lose weight through fitness and exercise.

“The classes I go to are BODYCOMBAT, BODYPUMP, Boxercise, Pilates and Zumba.”

All these classes help towards improving your cardiovascular fitness as well as burning significant calories. The classes are a great way for you to interact with like-minded members, going through similar journeys to you, and most of all, are friendly and inclusive in your membership.

Looking and feeling better

Over the course of a typical week, Debs attends the gym on numerous occasions in her battle to lose her target weight of 5-7 stone. Training in the Ladies only zone, using the treadmill, Debs has already found herself having more energy and her general health improving. Debs also attributes the gym to some other physical and mental benefits.

“Going to the gym helps me to clear my head, and that is one of the reasons I keep coming back. Group exercise has also helped me to lose weight.“

Great work, Debs!

Weight Loss Success Story – Chelsie Brown

Weight Loss Success Story - Chelsie Brown
Weight Loss Success Story - Chelsie Brown

Holiday photos were the turning point

We all work hard to pay for treats such as holidays, and Doncaster member Chelsie Brown is no different. Unfortunately for Chelsie, her holiday was overshadowed by feelings of insecurity and being extremely self-conscious of how she looked.

“I was incredibly self-conscious on holiday, and the photos reflected what I was worried about. I was upset about the shape of my body, and the wobbly bits that stood out on pictures.”

“Even though I never considered myself fat, I was always maintaining a size 12. I just saw the photos and I knew my diet and exercise had to change to bring me some confidence.”

Staying motivated with Xercise4Less Gyms

As a result of the holiday photos, Chelsie signed up to her local Xercise4Less gym where she has participated in group classes such as 15/15/15, Abs Blast and Legs, Bums and Tums as well as bootcamps to help kickstart her weight loss journey. This is something which Chelsie cites as the catalyst to her success.

“Seeing my progress through the bootcamp was a great motivator. By measuring and weighing myself every two weeks I knew I was doing a great job, even if sometimes it didn’t seem that way!”

“The group class leaders are fantastic and are always around to offer help and advice when needed.  Also, the message board is brilliant for keeping up to date with all the latest news.”

Chelsie’s brother and sister-in-law join in with the Bootcamps for additional support and motivation.

Seeing the results

Noticing the results makes a massive difference when it comes to a weight loss journey. Seeing visible differences can inspire you with confidence to push on and further achieve your goals or give you the satisfaction of being able to see the fruits of your labour. For Chelsie, seeing results was a milestone moment.

“Everybody is so complimentary and pleased for me since they can see my happier in my own skin. But best of all, dropping a dress size was the best feeling and seeing a slimmer and more toned body in smaller clothes just made me burst with pride, because my hard work did that!

Maintaining a new figure and a new home

Not only is Chelsie succeeding in the gym, she has also bought a new home. Obviously, this has taken up a lot of her time and effort, but she has still managed to attend the gym and continue her weight loss journey.

“I’m still working through it! After Christmas I got the keys to my new home which needs renovating. It’s very hard at the moment to find time to get to the gym. I’m doing my best to get to as many classes as possible, or weight training if it’s just for 30 minutes.”

“In addition, I plan to come back to the gym full force as soon as my house is finished, maybe another bootcamp!”

Keep up the great work, Chelsie!

Weight Loss Success Story – Tim Bell

Weight Loss Success Story - Tim Bell
Weight Loss Success Story - Tim Bell

Focusing fitness around shift patterns

Having mixed shift patterns can make going to the gym and getting into a workout routine very difficult. For Chesterfield member Tim Bell, he has to juggle his fitness journey around his changing work schedule.

“When I’m on the morning shift, I go straight to the gym after work. This means I tend to get home around 5:30pm, which is ideal as I still get a few hours with my family before bed.”

However, when Tim is on the later shift, he sees his training time reduced, meaning he does not attend the gym as often as he does when on the morning shift.

“On the late shift, I leave for work at 8:30am and don’t get home until 10:30pm. This makes it very hard as I don’t go to the gym as much as I do on the opposite shift.”

“When I’m on the late shift, I need to drag myself out of bed and get to the gym as early as possible.”

Balancing weekends off with family time

Even though Tim does not attend the gym as frequently as he would like when he is on the later shift, he still makes sure he gets his training done at the weekend.

“At weekends I get to the gym as early as possible. This means I have the rest of the day to go out with my wife and kids, or just spend time at home with them.”

Losing weight and maintaining that 'happy place'

Tim has been on his weight loss journey for a number of years, and he has had his ups and down during this process, but he is now in a place where he can consolidate and maintain a weight he is happy with.

“I’m 4 years in from where I started and have lost well over 3 stone in weight. I don’t lose as much these days, but my main focus is keeping the weight I have already lost off. I’m in a happy place with my weight.”

Staying focused and on track

It has not always been plain sailing for Tim, and he sometimes needs a reminder of how far he has come and the work he has put in place to get to this position.

“I stay focused by looking at how I used to be and seeing how I look now is all that it takes for me really. Seeing how far I have come and reminding myself I do not want to go back to that.”

Great work, Tim!

Weight Loss Success Story – Jodie Kissack

Weight Loss Success Story - Jodie Kissack
Weight Loss Success Story - Jodie Kissack

Losing weight to be more active for my son

The turning point to lose weight for Sheffield Hillsborough member Jodie Kissack came when she took her son to the funfair and was unable to accompany him down the Helter Skelter. This was the moment that kickstarted Jodie’s weight loss journey.

“When my son was at the top of the Helter Skelter and too scared to go down on his own, I couldn’t go down with him because I was too big.”

Setting an example to my family

Since then, Jodie has set herself a target of losing 5-7 stone and is well on her way to achieving this. Setting a good example to her family, as well as the obvious health reasons, she used her family as an additional source of motivation to lose the required weight.

“I wanted to set a good example to my family. They showed me great support and encouragement. “

Looking and feeling better through fitness

Enhancing your fitness and shedding the weight can have a positive on the way you feel about yourself, giving you confidence to wear different clothes, go to busier places and even improve your general self-esteem. For Jodie, she has found confidence through fitness and from being a regular visitor to her local Xercise4Less Gym.

“I look and feel better. At my biggest I could barely breathe and did not feel good about myself at all. Now I am more confident and able to feel better when I am exercising.”

Jodie used a range of fitness equipment during her training sessions, finding the stepper beneficial to losing weight and improving her cardiovascular fitness in the process. She also used free weights to tone up and give herself more definition once the weight began to come off.

Excellent progress, Jodie!

Weight Loss Success Story – Nicole Steele

nicole steele - before and after
nicole steele - before and after

Mixing up my workouts for more enjoyable training sessions

Setting yourself a target and planning for a weight loss journey is advisable, but it is still imperative to enjoy your fitness session. Sheffield Hillsborough member Nicole Steele varied her workouts to gain enjoyment alongside results.

“I switch up my exercise routines so they are new and exciting. I have also signed up for tough mudder so I had a different goal to aim for to keep me motivated.”

'I never want to go back to that'

Nicole’s inspiration to lose weight came from seeing pictures of herself, giving her the motivation to improve her fitness and wellbeing.

“I saw pictures of myself and realised how much weight I had actually put on. I wanted to change it. Looking at these old pictures now reminds me that I’ll never go back to that.”

Support from friendly, inclusive Xercise4Less Gyms

Whilst Nicole is not completely at her target weight, she is well on course to achieve her goals. Xercise4Less gyms have played a pivotal role in Nicole finding the confidence and belief she could succeed.

“I’ve still not reached my final goal, but every time I reach a mini target I’m always amazed that I’m actually doing it this time. What helped me a lot was in the gym, someone saw me performing an exercise wrong and helped me to correct it.”

Training in a gym where the environment is comfortable and friendly has helped Nicole a lot, especially by being able to train in the Ladies only gym zone.

Overcoming the hurdles

Nicole has tried to lose the weight in the past, but always found obstacles in the way, preventing her from being at her ideal weight. Junk food has been a particular stumbling block, but Nicole feels that this time she is managing to find a compromise which is helping her to enjoy an occasional treat.

“I’ve tried to lose weight and get healthy before, but I’ve never been able to stick to it and see proper results. I like junk food and I’ve not cut it out completely this time because that’s when I want to eat it more.”

Incredible progress, Nicole. Keep it up!

Weight Loss Success Story – Stacey Robertson

stacey robertson - before and after
stacey robertson - before and after

Old holiday pictures helped kick start my weight loss journey

Sheffield Hillsborough member Stacey Robertson used old holiday pictures as inspiration to begin her weight loss journey. Seeing older pictures made Stacey want to improve her fitness and burn calories to help transform her life. Changing her fitness through the gym has been challenging, but also extremely rewarding for Stacey.

“I kept looking at old holiday pictures and knew I had to change things to feel better about myself. It feels good when you reach targets, and amazing when you exceed them.”

Using Xercise4Less fitness classes to shed the pounds

Xercise4Less gyms offer an array of fitness classes to help get you on the way with bolstering your fitness. Stacey found HIIT, abs blast and 15/15/15 classes the most effective for weight loss. She also used dumbbells to help tone and turn excess fat into muscle. Over a period of time, Stacey gradually lost her target weight of 3-5 stone. 

Finding that inner motivation

Starting the process can often be the most difficult, finding motivation and strength to get through the early phase of your fitness journey. For Stacey, this was no different.

“When I first started, the aching and constant hunger made me feel like giving up. I was consuming around 3000 calories per day and my BMR is only 1500. This was the hardest part for me.”

Making sacrifices to achieve results

Anyone embarking on a weight loss journey needs to make sacrifices. Whether it is giving up certain foods, drinking or making the necessary changes to your lifestyle. Stacey got herself out of the old routine of comfort eating to supplement the hard work she was putting in the gym.

“I needed to give up comfort eating. I was eating when I was happy and sad. Sometimes you don’t want to turn to a salad or something healthy in the evening. You just want comforting carbs like chips or pizza.”

As with any change in lifestyle or diet, adaptations have to be made. Stacey may have found it difficult in the beginning, but once she got herself acclimatised with her new fitness regime, she began to notice the benefits.

“I got new-found energy and no longer felt sluggish or tired after eating.”

Great work, Stacey!

Weight Loss Success Story – Michelle Birbeck

Weight Loss Success Story - Michelle Birbeck
Weight Loss Success Story - Michelle Birbeck

Improving mental health through fitness

While the primary focus for Xercise4Less Hartlepool member Michelle has been to improve her physical health and lose her target weight, she has also found fitness has helped to enhance her mental health. She explains how she has struggled, and how working out at the gym has improved her confidence, morale and state of mind.

“My mental health is an ongoing battle. Some days are good, and some are bad. But going to the gym helps so much. It is time that I get to myself, time where I’m not running around after my daughter, or sorting something out for my hubby, or doing housework. And I always feel better after a couple hours at the gym. The little victories are fantastic, like adding another minute to my running time or another notch up on the weights. Those little things help me keep going especially on the bad days. “

Seeing results can be a fantastic source of motivation to continue training. For Michelle, she has tracked her progress and is able to achieve more in her sessions than she could before. Even the smallest improvements can have the biggest differences.

“I have an underactive thyroid, pcos, depression, and anxiety, so there is a lot to keep on top of.  My physical health has improved no end since I started at the gym. I’ve gone from being able to run for 3 minutes to over half an hour. I can now do squats with 25kg instead of 5. And I can manage a whole ten mins on the stair machine, where I struggled to do one when I started.”

“I am also a lot happier with myself. My self-confidence has always been on the low side, by a lot, but since starting at the gym I am happier with how I look, with how my clothes fit, and how I feel in myself.

Gaining positive results thanks to Xercise4Less fitness classes

As well as providing you with all the facilities and equipment you need for a solo workout, we also offer a range of fitness classes to help further improve your fitness. Plus, fitness classes are a great way to meet like-minded people and feel part of a team.

“Classes are new to me. I’ve never been one for group exercise where people can see me, especially if I don’t know what I am doing. But one day after a couple of months in the gym I didn’t know what to do and there was a class just about to start.”

“My favourites have to be BODYPUMP and spinning. I’ve never done any serious weightlifting before, so going into BODYPUMP was all new to me, but I love it. It is so great to see the improvement every week.  I forget that there are other people there, so I don’t feel self-conscious at all. “

Whilst Michelle hasn’t always seen eye-to-eye with fitness classes, she has come through the other side and finds them a great way to relieve stress.

“Spinning and I have a love/hate relationship. I hate it because it is so hard, but I also love it because it is so hard.  I’ve also tried out the punching bags for the first time, too. They are fantastic. There is a lot of stress in my life at times, and I’ve loved being able to work out that stress on the punching bags.”

Balancing the gym around a hectic family life

Balancing your busy life with a weight loss journey can be extremely difficult. Sacrifices have to be made along the way in order to achieve the best results. Michelle has a small child to look after, as well as making sure her disabled husband has everything he needs on a daily basis. With help from her family, Michelle is able to get some breaks throughout the day to get her gym sessions in.

“Currently I go to the gym mainly in the mornings. My little one started nursery last year, so I drop her off, and then head to the gym, and pick her up afterwards. During the school holidays I end up there in the evenings after she has gone to bed. That is easiest for my husband to handle, as he is disabled, so we work our days around me looking after him and our daughter. “

Fantastic progress, Michelle!

Weight Loss Success Story – Beth Whithorn

Weight Loss Success Story - Beth Whithorn
Weight Loss Success Story - Beth Whithorn

Devising a fitness plan to see visible results

Having a consistent workout and fitness plan has helped Chesterfield member Beth Whithorn stay on track of her target of ten stone weight loss. Understandably, this has been a long battle for Beth, and she has endured many ups and downs along the way.  

Beth usually participates in a weights session at the gym, as she believes that delivered better results for her. However, she also goes on the treadmill to help improve her cardiovascular fitness as well as targeted weight loss.

“I feel that mostly weights work best for me as I feel that’s where I started noticing the results. An average gym session would consist of 10 minutes on the treadmill at the highest incline followed by an arms, legs and bum or back workout.”

Remain patient and stick to your goals

Making progress can often be in small steps, and for Beth this is no different. She has found gradual progression has worked better for her.

 

“I started noticing results about six weeks into my journey. I noticed I wasn’t getting out of breath when walking up the stairs. I also noticed my clothes were not as tight, which made me feel a lot more confident. About six months into my journey I was able to buy clothes in most shops again and not have to buy from plus size sections.”

Recovering from setbacks

As previously mentioned, Beth noticed results improved over a period, giving her the confidence and enthusiasm to follow her journey. Whilst there is still a further target in mind, Beth is happy with the progress she has currently made but is in no doubt about where she wants to go from here.

 

“I would like to lose a further two stone to hit my ideal goal of a ten stone loss since starting my journey. I would also like to become fitter and healthier, building my strength back up as I am currently on a break from the gym as I am unwell and awaiting surgery at the beginning of February. I am already missing the gym and can’t wait to be back there doing the things I love.”

Keep going, Beth!

Weight Loss Success Story – Samantha Hunt

Weight Loss Success Story - Samantha Hunt
Weight Loss Success Story - Samantha Hunt

Using cardio to improve fitness

The thought of an intense cardio workout can often be daunting or intimidating. For Samantha, she has found cardio workouts to be the most effective for weight loss. Sticking to similar training patterns, routines and outputs for her results.

“I tend to stick to an hour and a half of cardio when I go to the gym. This is normally made up of 30 minutes on the bike, 30 minutes on the treadmill and 30 minutes on the stepper. To have variety when I’m exercising, I often mix it up by doing a walk on incline, sprints and interval training.”

“In future, I would like to attend the classes but right now it is difficult to fit them around my shifts.”

Supportive gym, supportive friend

Here at Xercise4Less gyms we are all about friendly service and an inclusive feel, generating a comfortable atmosphere for all our members to work out in. Samantha found this particularly resonated with her weight loss journey, as she remarked on the environment created by our helpful, professional staff.

“The staff are always happy to help and are very friendly. It makes a massive difference! Having the separate female only zone also helps a lot.”

As well as finding help through Xercise4Less, Samantha has enjoyed sharing her fitness journey with a close friend, who has also supported her along the way.

“Going with my friend has supported me during this journey because during days where I’ve really felt like I’m lacking motivation, having the support from my friend, knowing we’re going together gives me the boost to just get to the gym. When I’m at the gym, I usually have the motivation to have a good session!”

Cleaning up eating habits

Eating well is also important to a fitness journey, as you want to supplement your exercise with a healthy diet. Samantha has made a conscious effort to improve her diet so that her hard work in the gym has the best chance to pay off.

“I’ve made a change to my eating habits. I find going to the gym and working hard to burn calories makes it easier to stick to better eating.”

“I also try and go to the gym on days off instead of previously, I would opt for a cinema trip or have a lazy day in front of the TV!”

Slow and steady wins the race

It can be difficult to stay motivated or keep the faith, especially when you don’t instantly see results. Typically, positive weight loss results do not happen overnight, and it is a gradual process. As difficult as it may seem at the time, you must keep searching for the drive to succeed. It might not be a visible result, as Samantha can recall, she found she was able to perform exercises for longer and that kickstarted her motivation to continue.

“Sometimes I do really struggle with motivation. My weight can often be up and down due to shifts at work, and unpredictable sleeping patterns. When I feel like this, I just remind myself of how far I have come and even if I go to the gym and only do a 30-minute workout, it is still 30 minutes more than if I hadn’t gone. I track my workouts on my Fitbit, so this keeps me motivated as I can see progress.”

“I had a few weeks off over Christmas, so I am feeling it at the moment. I enjoy seeing results. For example, a few months ago I could only do 5 minutes on the stepper – now I can get up to an hour!”

Great work, Samantha!