I asked Ashleigh to answer a few questions as a kind of testament to her time with me and Key nutrition so you can see from her perspective what really goes on.
Q1. What was your health, fitness and relationship with your body and mind like before we started training?
A. I had a pretty rollercoaster past with exercise efforts and have always considered myself overweight - particularly once I stopped playing sport in my student years! On and off gym memberships, short term diets etc that I never stuck to - mainly because I had minimal results or accountability! I had some success a few years back losing a bit of weight by resistance training for the first time ever (which I enjoyed WAY more than cardio), but that only lasted a couple of months as I didn't really know what to do technique-wise etc. A year after that I tipped out to the heaviest I've ever been and when even my 'loosest' clothes didn't fit, I finally said enough was enough. Mentally I was otherwise in a good place and I think that got me determined to change my circumstances instead of getting down on them as per usual.
Q2. What was the implications for you back then personally, I.e. how did this effect you day to day?
A. Self esteem when dressing for work or events as I was struggling to fit anything well, which knocked my overall confidence.
Q3. What are the main things you have learnt from your time training with me?
A. As boring as it may sound, how a gradual process has created genuine, 'can't argue with that' results - and not just on the scales! The progressive style of weight training has been motivating and fascinating to me in how my body steadily adapts and visibly strengthens week on week.
Q4. What were the biggest obstacles you faced going through this process that you have had to overcome?
A. Mindset and skepticism! Worrying whether the time, cost and effort THIS time around was just going to end up the same way as every other time before - i.e. at best a small improvement or at worst a complete waste. I just needed to give it a bit of time at the beginning (4 - 6 weeks) for the first lot of measurable results to prove it was working to keep giving me the motivation to continue.
Q5. Where are you now, how has your health, fitness and relationship with your body and mind changed over the last 6 months?
A. Incredible! As cheesy as it sounds, it's like a complete makeover but I actually get more of a kick from the difference on the inside vs changes in exterior appearance. My energy is always up, I feel elevated mentally and physically and stupid upbeat all the time, my skin is clear and actually glowing, and I'm now a lot stronger and fitter when indulging in my favourite sports that my body couldn't cope getting through before. Appearance wise? I don't look at my curves or lumps anymore with despair, as the muscular development has already 'reconfigured' my body and limbs in a way that I admire on my shape.
Q6. What are your 2 – 3 top lessons you have learnt along the way?
A. - Don't obsess over how long it will take to reach a certain goal. Without that added timeline pressure you just focus on what you're doing right ongoing, rather than punishing yourself for not getting there fast enough
- Technique during weight training is everything! Having an expert there who's incredible at spotting the tiniest things that need to be altered to make an exercise effective, while progressing you consistently is worth it's weight in gold!
- Changing between heavier loading vs higher reps vs posterior/anterior chains vs leg or upper body days constantly keeps things fresh and my body guessing! Plus avoids a sense of training fatigue (mentally that is).
Q7. Do you have any advice for someone who may be on the fence about starting personal training / nutrition coaching? Is it worth their investment?
A. 100% - if you want solid results and perhaps know you're a little lazy when it comes to doing a proper workout regularly like me, but also doing it properly without confusing/conflicting advice from different sources!
I've found cheaper gym memberships or programmes actually end up more of a waste of money when you don't know what you're doing to get the changes you want and have no accountability. The key is working with someone who you enjoy and trust to help you improve - and I can't imagine doing that with anyone other than Catherine now! She's personable, has a keen eye and sense of your limits, and she's a total pro! a far cry from an unhelpful drill sergeant or one of those shouty/clapping/motivational class instructors that seem a bit fake or disconnected from you. I genuinely look forward to turning up to each session which is something I would have NEVER said about the gym. Ever.
Q8. Finally in the interest of transparency is there anything you can think of that I can improve on in my
A. service to you as a client that would improve your experience?
Not really! I quite like the idea of combining more of my nutrition advice directly with you based on my training progress (or issues that arise with fluctuations etc) so I can make an immediate change, instead of booking into to see a nutritionist separately each time. The latter is good for long-term tracking and progress.
When Ashleigh first met with me and we started the consultation process I could sense a flatness in her tone. The first question I always ask (after our introductions) is "Describe to me if it were possible where your health and fitness would be in 6 months - 12 months time." I love this question as it really lets my potential client dream, imagine and gives someone a sense of hope. However for Ashleigh I think she had almost lost that hope and wasn't even sure why she wound up at Body Form. I'm so glad she did give it one more shot!
Fast forward six months and Ashleigh has achieved every goal she set! Hats off to her! truely, she now comes into the space beaming, even asking "will we do HIIT today?" When we started Ashleigh could barely do a burpee but just the other day we did a workout together just for fun and she had no problem doing1 minute of them. I am incredibly proud of her efforts and determination and it's a complete joy to see clients like Ashleigh reaping the benefits of their hard work.
The difference between a client that does reach their goals and maybe one that takes a bit longer is not simple. There's not one reason but a myriad of potential causes. It's my job to notice and encourage where ever I see someone may be going astray this can be mindset, nutrition, stress, sleep or any number of things. At the end of the day a trainer is only with a client max 4 hours out of a168 hour week. It's really important both parties - the client and the trainer must put in the work! There are some simple things Ashleigh did do to ensure her success.
1. She listened.
2. She trusted / waited.
3. She spoke up when she encountered problems.
Ashleigh is an example of many of my clients who after a little encouragement and commitment life has changed for the better. I truely love what I do so if her story resonates with you at all I would love for you send me a message under the contact tab so I can show you a better way. Xx