Jo’s Journey

I’d like to share with you my weight loss and fitness journey with Body Complete and Stronger For Longer.

New Year, 2015, and there was a photo taken of me, which, to be honest, horrified me. It’s now my ‘before’ photo. However, it still took a while to get my head round the fact I needed to do something, and it wasn’t until April that I dared to go and try the 21 day challenge. I was over the moon with the results, and became a SFL small group member.

I’ve always been prone to gaining weight, and Chris helped me keep a lid on it. My weight did fluctuate, but I never felt that Chris was anything but supportive and helpful.

Then, due to some personal issues, I had to leave for a while. And predictably, piled on the pounds until I was more or less back to square one. I knew I had to do something, but still wasn’t in a position to return to BC, so it led me to go to a Slimming World meeting. Now, obviously this is just an eating plan, but it was achievable in the situation I was dealing with. And I did manage to lose the weight, and more. In fact, I’ve lost around 4 stone! But I still felt that something was missing, and things had changed at home, so I was able to start exercising again.

So, of course, I contacted Chris, and went back to the Body Complete studio! And these are the reasons I wouldn’t consider going anywhere else:

1) The classes are a laugh! Don’t get me wrong, there are times when you wonder if you’ll ever walk normally again, but you never leave without a huge grin on your face; even if that face is a little bit redder than usual! I’m happily late-40s and plus size, but I do want to be fitter and stronger, and Chris gets that.

2)  Chris is one of the most supportive and understanding people I know. He listens and gets it when you’re having a wobble. He knows when to push you and how to get the best out of you. And he does it all with Tigger-like enthusiasm. And this is emulated by the other trainers, Jon and Zoë, so I’m confident I get the same experience with whoever is leading the training.

3) I’ve always been intimidated by gyms and classes, and boot camps scare me to death. But Stronger for Longer is so inclusive, all those insecurities seem insignificant. I’ve never felt anything but supported and respected by, not only Chris, Jon and Zoë, but every single person who goes through that green door! Other members have become friends and the closed group FB chat site is full of positivity, support and laughs.

Recently, I’ve had an accountability session following the 9 Day Cleanse, and I am over the moon – 4kgs lost, and 21 cm (8 from my waist!). It was much needed after some over-indulgence in the summer. And I feel great, with more energy and far fewer cravings for sugar and carbs.

So, now, onwards and upwards! I feel like I’ve re-educated myself. I’d got stuck in a rut of using a lot of processed food when calorie counting. I’m now back on the straight and narrow.

And I know Chris will support me with regular 1-1 accountability sessions. And, more than anything, it’s not just about physical fitness – it’s about how the programme helps me manage a good work/life balance and reduces my stress levels.

I can’t recommend SFL enough. I’m not a typical gym goer… in fact, the chances of you finding me in a ‘typical’ gym are very slim. And yet, SFL and their members feel like family to me, and I absolutely love the feeling I get when I know what my body can do, despite not being a traditionally ‘fit’ body type. There’s nothing like being complimented on your form by other fitness fans to make you feel good!

I absolutely know that the team treat everyone with the same care, respect and dreadful jokes! If you’re nervous (I was! It was almost desperation that first lead me to that green door), don’t be. Go and meet Chris, Zoë and Jon and see what they can do for you. I promise you won’t be disappointed.


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