It’s all well and good starting out a fitness programme, but getting it spot on and sticking to it can be the different between reaching your physical goals and seeing no change at all. That was the case for Kat before she started her fitness journey.
It’s easy to think that just turning up at the gym and occasionally eating your greens means making gains, but unfortunately it takes a bit more work than that. Seeing a significant difference in your fitness and appearance means being consistent with what you eat and taking on some tough training — especially if you want to see results in as little as two weeks.
If you’re unsure on how to make the commitment to a serious training programme and start seeing results, then see how Kat got in serious shape in a matter of weeks for some inspiration…
Why did you put yourself forward for the challenge?
I wanted to really test myself to become a fitter and more motivated person. I’ve always liked going to the gym and working out, but I’ve never made it a priority to improve my fitness levels and lead a healthy lifestyle.
Prior to the start of my fitness journey, I would “try” and visit the gym 2-3 times a week. I was mainly going to classes as I knew that it meant that I couldn’t leave the gym after 20 minutes of ‘hard’ work, but I wasn’t seeing the results I wanted. In hindsight, this was mainly down to a poor diet and not giving my body what it needed nutritionally.
Tell us about your journey through the 12 weeks
At the start, I was really motivated and ready for the challenge. I knew the hardest part was going to be adjusting to the food, as I no longer was able to eat carbs, unless it was from a vegetable source. I was right, of course, as it was very hard to start with, but I knew that there was an end goal that I was chasing and knowing that I was going to see the results really spurred me on.
My first PT session was a challenge, to say the least! It made me realise that the gym sessions that I had been doing previously weren’t helping me achieve my goals. When I wasn’t training with the PT, I had to face the gym by myself. At first, I found this very daunting as I relied so heavily on the PT spurring me on and guiding me around the gym equipment.
In the first few sessions when I was in the gym by myself, I felt conscious that I didn’t know how to use the machines whilst everyone else around me seemed to know what they were doing. Looking back, that was far from the case — everyone’s got to start somewhere right?
Within the first 2 weeks, the changes started to come. My energy levels had increased, and I no longer felt so bloated which was a common issue for me in day-to-day life prior to starting this challenge. These two changes alone were enough to spur me on every time I felt that I couldn’t go to the gym or wanted to dive into a box of chocolates.
As I now knew what to expect from each gym session, each week I started to become more confident in each exercise and knowing how to push myself and get the most out of each session.
Week 4 was the first photoshoot since I had started my journey. I was very nervous and assumed the worst, but after comparing the photos, I was pleasantly surprised and was even confident enough to show others.
Around week 8, I had my first proper wobble — mainly around food. I was craving everything and anything and it was such a struggle to continue. I really had to dig deep and reflect on why I was doing this, how far I had come and how awful I would feel if I went and ate any of the naughty food I was craving.
The final 4 weeks flew by and before I knew it, it was the last week in the challenge and I was starting to think about life after the 12 weeks. I was mainly thinking about all the fantastic food I wanted to eat after the final shoot. However, I massively surprised myself, the final shoot came and went, and I continued the weekly gym sessions and didn’t go and pig out on all the chocolate and sweets I could get my hands on.
This was the moment that I realised that this 12-week journey was a turning point in my life. This wasn’t just a short-term thing, but a complete change that I was going to continue forward with.
What was your hardest moment and your biggest temptation? How did you overcome them?
The hardest times were always when I was socialising with friends and family. I was constantly seeing them drinking or eating and wanting what they had. I was sad about this because I used to be able to eat what I wanted, when I wanted it, but then I knew that I was working on something that was helping me both mentally and physically.
What kept you motivated?
Whenever I felt down or demotivated, I would look at my progress pictures to look at how far I had come. I knew that I didn’t want to go back to looking and feeling like I did.
People’s general comments and compliments on how I was looking also helped me to see that it was making a difference and helped me to keep going.
What did you learn from the fitness journey?
I can push myself a lot more than I thought I could — I know it is cheesy when they say it’s mind over matter, but it really is!
I also learned to say no when people are offering naughty treats. I realised that 99% of the time, you don’t want it — it’s just because it’s there. When I do have a treat, I feel that I’ve earnt it because I make sure that I add in another gym session to make up for it.
What are the most notable changes you’ve experienced?
My main weight loss has been from my face and stomach area. My family were shocked at the different in my face — that was the first place that the weight dropped off.
My sleep has improved massively too. Around 2 weeks into the challenge, I felt like I was sleeping far more deeply, which is obviously great for my energy levels too. I never used to be a morning person and I used to laugh at the thought of going to the gym in the mornings, but I now can’t recommend it enough. It set my day up knowing that I had smashed a workout and didn’t have all day to talk myself out of doing an evening workout.
My family were definitely surprised at my willpower to keep going and also at saying no to naughty food when they were eating it around me too.
What one thing are you most proud of?
I’m so proud that I can now do a full push-up. I know that it might sound small, but when I first started, I struggled to even do a push-up on my knees — let alone on my feet.
Will you build any of these changes into your lifestyle?
I’m going to be making sure that I make time for the gym 3-4 times each week. Not only did I see the benefits physically, it really helped me mentally to be able to switch off from everything else that’s going on.
I’ll also be incorporating the healthy food changes that I took on. During the 12 weeks, I came up against lots of temptations which I painfully had to turn away, but it’s made me really think about what I’m putting in my body. I’ll also be making sure that I food prep each week to keep away the tempting convenience foods.
One thing I’m going to ditch is my macro proportions, as it would be unsustainable in the long run to eat such a small amount of carbs.
What one piece of advice would you give others starting out on this journey?
Keep strong and keep focused. The first two weeks are the hardest, but the one thing that I will promise you is that it gets easier — and the results speak for themselves.
Take Home Message
If you feel like you could take your fitness more seriously, then do like Kat and get some help. You’ll be amazed by what you can achieve by talking to someone who knows their stuff. If you don’t have the funds, then do your research, work hard and fuel your ambition with all the good stuff, then you’ll soon be reaching your goals.