Jodie’s Journey – Part 1
Jodie came to our co-founder, Ross, after having struggled with her weight for over a decade. Many diets, trainers, and a son later, Jodie is finally hitting her fitness goals…hard! Here’s what she says about her journey, along with first-hand tips to staying the course.
Tell us your story in a nutshell
I have struggled with weight gain since my late teens. During my twenties, I would put on weight and then work hard to lose it all, but struggled to get it all off, or to get properly into the mentality of a healthy lifestyle. This was even worse after I started to work full time and then had my son. It would take me a year or two to find the motivation to start any sort of weight loss regime and I would only stick to it for a few months before a change in routine would set me off course again.
What was the defining moment to make you change your lifestyle?
By my early thirties I was the heaviest I had ever been and it started to impact my health (my skin, my hair, my joints, my posture, my ability even to breathe properly) and even the engagement I had with my son. I struggled to even put my shoes on or to walk around the mall. I was embarrassed and started refusing invitations to almost every social event as I didn’t feel good in any of my clothes. I became ashamed of my physical appearance at work and worried that someone would think I was pregnant and say something in front of one of my bosses.
How did you pick Ross from FitLife DXB to be your trainer?
I researched loads of trainers as I have had personal trainers in the past, who were all good, but who never ultimately got me to where I wanted to be. When I met Ross, he seemed to understand where I was coming from, on a psychological point of view, as well as understanding my fitness and health goals. I wanted someone who would motivate me by varying sessions and pushing me hard, but who would also have a genuine care for and interest in my food patterns.
What was your ‘Ah ha!’ moment? When did you start noticing a change in your body?
It took a few weeks to feel a difference. I knew I was getting fitter and felt a lot less bloated quite early on, but I still looked at myself in the mirror and didn't like what I saw, so it took a while to be persuaded that I had genuinely lost quite a bit of weight and was also reshaping my body. We did my first measurements after about 6 weeks and that was the first time I had the facts in front of me about my progress.
Compare how you feel now to when you first started this journey.
I feel so much better. I wish I could remember exactly how bad I felt when I started as that would help continue to motivate me, but I think I have forgotten a little how bad a position I was in. I now have so much more energy and can do things I would have never done before – I took my son to Ski Dubai, I have been on girls' nights out where I've felt pretty good about how I look, I did the Colour Run, the Palm Fun Run… Its so much better to have this energy and to be able to look forward to taking my son to the park to play football on weekends, instead of dreading weekends and wondering how I will find the energy to entertain him!
Have you reached your goal weight/body? How long has it taken?
I am only using weight as a loose guideline. However, I had about eight stone to lose and I have lost half of that weight already (it’s been about five months). I know I still have a way to go and this part is the harder half of the journey for me, due to my pattern of losing the initial weight and then putting it back on again, but I am determined to do it.
What motivated you on days when you wanted to give up?
Mainly my son, and the fact that I want to make him proud and set a good example for him to want to be healthy too. But also, nice comments from friends and enjoying the feeling of being fitter and healthier. Some days I have given in and eaten badly, but I think that is OK now and again – we are all human - as long as you get back on track and don't let things slide.
Jodie’s Words of Advice:
The ‘perfect timing’ doesn’t exist, so don’t wait to ‘feel’ ready to start – just get on with it, and your mind will eventually catch up with your body.
The first few weeks are always the hardest, so if you get through that, then you are well on your way.
Find any way you can to stay motivated, whether it’s a 'slim' picture stuck on the fridge, a little treat to yourself when you hit a milestone (like a massage or new dress – not food!) or a fitness event to prepare for.
Set small and achievable goals within your main goal, so you get a sense of achievement.
Allow yourself a break every now and then – slipping up is OK – it’s how you deal with it once you’ve done it that’s the important thing.
Find exercise you enjoy!
Part 2 of Jodie’s Journey will be up soon. Read Ross’ side of the story – how he keeps her motivated, and the approach he’s used to make sure she will not fail!