Rachel Ross

I had never been on a diet before I started but as I hit my 40s weight just slowly started creeping on. My life was over busy and I was unwinding and destressing every night with wine and crisps. I had a whole wardrobe of clothes that were too tight and I realised I was letting myself go and not thinking about my health.

I was annoyed with myself for letting my life overtake me! Everything else and everybody else were more important than me so I never gave myself the time I needed for exercise. I thought I could only exercise alone because the thought of a class full of super fit gym bunnies who knew what they were doing was totally off putting. I kept seeing the banner on the road advertising the gym and eventually I mustered up the courage to go in and climb the stairs of doom.

The first time up the stairs was the hardest. After that I have never looked back. It took about 3 months to lose the stone that I wanted to shed but more important was the amazing feeling of starting to get fit and feel my body start to tone up. I recognise that is a long, never ending journey so it has just become part of my life. I diarise all my gym sessions like they are business meetings that everything else works around. I hate weeks when I have to miss a session. I have found exercising with other people totally opposite to what I thought – it is friendly, supportive and non judgmental. Everyone is at different stages of fitness and different body weights and it really doesn’t matter – just the fact that you make it the class is the achievement. The instructors are all different and you never know what each class is going to be – you can’t worry if you don’t know in advance! They are all supportive, professional and human! We even have fun and laugh at each other! Diet – it is hard to be good and stick to the plan all the time but I have maintained the weight loss because I now know what is good and bad for me and I drink a lot less wine!

I am determined and motivated when I put my mind to something and see the benefits. I respond better to praise than a boot camp telling off approach!

Losing the fear factor of going to a gym. Starting to learn the exercises eg burpee, lunges etc so I know what to do and don’t have to keep asking to be shown!

Every person that is a member was scared once so they all know how you feel. It goes after the first session.

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