Today we'd like to share with you an amazing physical and lifestyle transformation story from a member of our team! In just a year Laurie has gone from walking the Manchester 10k to comfortably finishing the Wilmslow half marathon, has lost a stone and a half and has dramatically improved her energy and focus levels!
Laurie, please tell us a little bit about yourself
As a teenager I was ill for well over a year with ME, which meant that I was constantly exhausted. There was months where I would only be out of bed for minutes at a time. I missed most of a school year and had constant doctors or hospital appointments or tests. The simplest little task or action would zap me of any energy. It is still something that still hangs over me 15 years later and I still find that I can get tired easier than some of the people around me.
What made you want to get fitter?
A couple of years back I slowly began to realise how unfit I was getting. Even walking up the stairs or a slight incline would leave me tired and breathless. I would need to take naps all the time and still sleep 8 hours at night.
It reminded me of how I felt going through ME as a teenager and I wanted to make sure I never felt like that again. I realised that my low energy levels were not only having an effect on me but also my boyfriend. He was taking my signs of tiredness as signs of depression even though I never felt depressed. I also got to the point that I looked in the mirror and I wasn’t as happy with what I was seeing. I started noticed that my legs, stomach and arms were getting much bigger. So I decided that I had to really start looking after myself and needed to make some changes.
What type of training do you do?
I mainly do classes I find that it is the best way to keep myself focused because I know that when I start the class I have to stay to the end. I decided to try a lot of different types of classes to see what I enjoy the most. I started to go to Body Attack and Body Combat which quickly became my favourite classes at Total Fitness. I also started to do lunch time group sessions which mainly resolved around the rig or a circuit class. For a long time I didn’t feel like I was getting any fitter, until I realised I really was, but the more I trained the most I was pushing myself and the harder I was working.
I also started to ditch the car and started to walk anywhere which was in walking distance.
How do you keep motivated when you are feeling tired/busy?
I always think back to how hard I have worked and how far I have come. In the past, I have always managed to let myself down by finding any excuse so I could not to continue with my routines. I also work out with a great group of people and we are all fantastic at motivating each other. It is great to have a support network when you start doubting yourself.
Have you made any changes to your nutrition in this process?
I started my making simple changes I swapped white breads/rices/pastas for wholemeal and gave up milk which made the biggest difference to my weight. I lost a stone and a half when I made these changes. I looked less bloated and also ended up having much clearer skin.
What’s been your biggest fitness achievement?
I have just completed the Wilmslow Half Marathon and was really happy with my time of 2 hours 26. I wanted to complete this whilst running the whole distance which I managed to do. Only a year ago I had to walk most of the Manchester 10k. It was my aim to complete a half marathon before I turned 30 and I managed to do this with two weeks to spare!
What advice do you have for anyone who is just starting out on their fitness journey?
It will sound like a cliché but take baby steps. Find a class that you can have fun doing and try to drag a friend along the way. It never feels as hard when your brain thinks you’re having fun.
Do you have any fitness goals for the future?
I now want to do complete a 10k in under 1 hour and I also want to complete the 3 peaks challenge before I reach 35.