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.

Fitness Is For Life: Cristian Dode | Diabetes And Fatherhood

Kickstarting my fitness journey

Xercise4Less Hounslow member Cristian Dode had all the reason in the world to improve his fitness. After recently becoming a father, Cristian decided it was time to kickstart his fitness journey and with the help of Xercise4Less Gyms, he has been able get on the road to a healthier life.

Cristian also suffers from diabetes and constantly has to monitor his sugar levels. Having a better level of fitness and a more active lifestyle will help Cristian to achieve these goals and be able to combat diabetes.

'I feel slim for my height'

Whilst weight loss is a primary target for a lot of gym goers, Cristian wants to gain weight as he feels he is slim for his height.

“I want to gain weight as I’m too skinny for my height. I want to do this in a healthy way and be able to balance my sugar levels.”

Finding solace at Xercise4Less Gyms

Attending the gym up to four times a week, Cristian performs a range of activities to help develop his fitness and give him the best possible opportunity to reach his goals and targets.

“I enjoy working out with all sorts of equipment. The main ones I use are; kettlebells, dumbbells, the bike and the cable machine. I like to lift free weights and do my cardio to keep it balanced.”

Aside from making the most of our dedicated training zones, Cristian also participates in some of our fun, functional fitness classes.

“Classes I like to attend are health and wellbeing, high energy and toning and conditioning.”

Setting realistic targets

Every fitness journey takes time, and Cristian is certainly no different. He is aware that to be in the best physical condition he needs to keep up the good work and remain dedicated. He has set himself a target and made a plan of how often he intends to use the gym.

“I think it will take between 9 and 12 months to achieve my target. I currently visit the gym four times a week and I spend around an hour for each session. In addition, I will try my best to eat more healthily and avoid certain foods to complement and optimise my training.”

“The biggest challenge will be if I can keep my motivation going as well as having the time to keep going to the gym.”

Keep up the good work, Cristian! Get those gains!

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Eating Disorder Awareness Week 2020 – James Tanner

James Tanner - Eating Disorder Awareness 2020
James Tanner - Eating Disorder Awareness 2020

Surviving a health scare to kickstart my fitness journey

After a health scare and an uncontrollably poor diet, James Tanner knew it was time to tackle his health by embarking on a fitness journey, taking part in body transformation camps at his local Xercise4Less Gym. Having previously had treatment for brain tumour, James wanted to totally transform his life through exercise and diet, helping to prolong his life as well as making sure all the treatment he had been through was not undone by making a few adjustments to his lifestyle.

“10 years ago, I travelled to Sheffield and had stereotactic radiotherapy for a benign tumour on my brain. The treatment was to stop it from growing any more, so I said to myself; why go through all of that just to end up like this?”

As a result of this, James signed up to Xercise4Less Gyms and enrolled on a transformation camp to enhance his fitness and begin his weight loss journey. This gave James a starting point to begin the process of boosting his self-esteem, developing a healthy diet and an incentive to lose the weight.

“I joined the transformation camp and was given a plan of everything that would happen. I also had the food app on my phone to help log my food intake. The camp took place three nights a week and we were put through our paces with different exercises.”

Transforming my fitness with Xercise4Less Gyms

Taking the plunge to join the gym and enrol for the transformation camp was a real struggle for James as he was intimated about going into the gym. Thankfully, at friendly, inclusive Xercise4Less Gyms, James was welcomed with open arms and joining the gym was much easier, and much less daunting than he initially suspected.

“The thought of walking into a gym was quite intimidating but I convinced myself to go in and ask for a look around and I’m so glad I did! I felt a bit silly for being so anxious about it, as all the staff put me at ease immediately.”

“After that it was pretty straightforward. Listening and learning from the information you’re given is pretty much all you need to do.”

All bad foods must go - controlling my diet

With all the hard work he was putting in the gym, James knew he also had to stay on top of his diet and made the necessary changes to supplement his fitness. All the typically unhealthy foods were subsequently replaced with healthy snack options such as fruit.

“Almost immediately after joining the camp I started to count calories and switch up my eating habits. Processed foods went from being an every-day item to being pretty much non-existent. Sweets and chocolate were replaced by raisins and carrots. I knew I had to put 100% effort into my diet, or I would wane off and slip into my old habits.”

This is a far cry from what James used to incorporate into his diet. He would regularly turn to fast food for convenience, especially when going to and from work.

“A typical day would see me have a packet of crisps, a breakfast bar and a bag of sweets for breakfast. Then for lunch I would have convenience food such as KFC, McDonald’s or the chippy. After work I would grab a pizza or something similar for my tea. Finally, before bed I would take a packet of crisps, a small cake and that all important bottle of pop that I convinced myself I couldn’t sleep without by my bed.”

Fixing my physical and mental condition through fitness

Aside from his poor diet and lack of exercise, James has also struggled mentally. James works full time as a bus driver, spending a long time on the roads and being sat down for extended periods has not helped his physical condition. He spoke candidly on the impact this has had on his lifestyle.

“I have struggled with my mental health for a long period of time, especially since my father passed away when I was in my early teens. As a result, I have struggled with depression and anxiety during certain periods of my life.”

“I had put these bouts of depression to working long shifts but then it started to dawn on me that although they were part of the problem, they weren’t the root cause. The root cause was mainly down to me, and how my eating habits had killed off the very little self-confidence I had left.”

How to tackle your own body image/self-esteem issues

James has conquered his own battles, and now he feels in a much better place to live a healthier lifestyle. He firmly believes that you are the master of your own destiny and having a network of good people around you can really make the difference.

“Only you can change what you’re not happy with. There are a lot of great people who will help you and give you all the guidance and tools to make the changes, but you are the one who has to make the effort and make it count.”

Eating Disorder Awareness Week 2020 – Liberty Buxton

Eating Disorder Awareness Week - Liberty Buxton Bike
Eating Disorder Awareness Week - Liberty Buxton Bike

Transforming my life through fitness

Liberty Buxton from West Yorkshire struggled with Anorexia Nervosa as a result of anxiety and bullying at high school. This understandably took its toll on Liberty, and following a scare from the doctor, she decided it was time to gain control and turn her life around, finding fitness through Xercise4Less Gyms.

Joining Xercise4Less was the starting point on Liberty’s fitness journey, giving her the confidence she needed to make the initial small steps on her quest for big results. Liberty admitted she felt nervous before walking into a gym but making strides with Xercise4Less has helped her to find her comfort zone and her happy place.

“I used to feel nervous walking into the gym, but now I’ll walk into Xercise4Less and be completely comfortable, deadlifting away!”

During the slump of her eating disorder, she weighed 6st 7lbs.

Feeling part of a gym community

As a friendly, inclusive gym, Xercise4Less is always on hand to offer support and help to members such as Liberty, and this is something she experienced first-hand, giving her the sense of being part of a team and able to ask for assistance when needed.

“I’ll be the first to admit that when I started weight training I had no idea what I was doing. The staff at Xercise4Less are always happy to assist if you’re stuck. With it being a much bigger and much more popular gym there’s always someone around to help.”

Making healthy progress with Xercise4Less Gyms

The facilities and convenient opening hours provided by Xercise4Less also helped Liberty to get into a structured training plan, ensuring she can come to the gym and do exactly what she wants to do and not be restricted by a lack of equipment or having to wait to use weights.

“Until I had made progress with my eating habits, I then started going back to the gym. Initially I trained at another local gym, but they didn’t have much equipment and facilities – nor were the opening times accommodating. So, I moved to Xercise4Less.”

Facing an eating disorder head on

Admitting you have a problem or are struggling with something is often the hardest part of the re-building process. Liberty accepts that knowing she had an eating disorder and not being in denial was the most difficult to comprehend.

“The first step was to admit to myself that I had an eating disorder, rather than be in denial. From then on, I slowly started to incorporate more food into my diet and tried hard to not feel guilty after doing so. I even quit the gym for a while to get myself back on track until I had a healthy view on fitness.”

Changing her habits and exercise regime was also a catalyst for Liberty to overcome her eating disorder. Finding the motivation was difficult, but luckily, through fitness, she was able to change her life for the better. This resulted in her mental state improving alongside her physical condition.

“Once I had realised the damage I had done to my body I began to change my eating and exercise habits. I hadn’t had a period for over a year and combined with the news the doctor gave me about conceiving, I slowly started to realise that the life I was living was not healthy at all.”

Eating Disorder Awareness - Liberty Buxton Hopper

Self acceptance: block out the demons

With the help of Xercise4Less and the drive, motivation and discipline to succeed, Liberty has been able to transform her life and finds herself in a much better place. She regularly works out and has dramatically improved her diet and state of mind to live a healthier life. There are many people out there who are suffering in silence with conditions such as an eating disorder. Liberty has some advice for anyone struggling with body image or self-esteem issues.

“Firstly, ignore anything anyone has to say about your body. It is your body for a reason, nobody on the planet has a right to say anything about your looks so don’t give them the satisfaction.”

“Secondly, stop comparing yourself to others. You are your own person and that person is beautiful regardless of what you or anyone else thinks.”

“Finally, true beauty comes from within. Reduce your time on social media and focus more time into yourself; have a long bath, go for a walk, read a book or go lift some weights!”

Liberty now weighs 9st 1lb. A fantastic effort!

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!