Yup, many of you know it was the final awards day of our body/lifestyle transformation comp - Total Loser 2019.
Here is the much deserved winners story and pics...
...read the story and use it for inspiration when you feel like things are getting tough! A fitting story to add further highlight to mental health week and how the right support, exercise, nutrition and mindset can all help with emotional and mental help:
Lost 31lbs and a massive 29cm round her belly...
...but it also about more than that:
Here's Shiva's story …
For as long as I can remember I have always been overweight. As I have got older I became aware that I was an “emotional eater” and contribute that to my weight gain over the years. I found I was stuck in a cycle of restricting myself to lose weight and then being unable to stick to it in the long term. As a result I was continuously gaining weight.
I first started training at the gym in 2015. I was at my heaviest at a size 24 and I realised it was taking over my life. I have always been overweight, and just like any other weight loss attempt I expected to fail. I realised being overweight was affecting all aspects of my life, I was struggling to keep up at work and I stopped going out with friends because I felt self-conscious. My biggest motivation for losing weight came when I had routine bloods at the GP which showed that I was diabetic. A few weeks later, I felt brave enough to join the gym but really struggled to know what to do. At that point weight loss seemed like a mountain I would never overcome and would spend hours at the gym but making no progress. After encouragement from my Dad I committed to signing up with a pro-fit personal trainer Chris Lenkowski and it was the best thing I ever did.
I don't think I realised how much being overweight had destroyed my confidence and self-esteem. My attitude was so negative, that in our first session when Chris suggested just 3 minutes on a bike to warm up I remember actually thinking this is what will kill me and was ready to quit before I had even started. From hating the gym and being forced to go by my family, I started loving going to the gym and as a result the weight started flying off.
In 2016, my fathers’ health deteriorated to the point that he needed 24 hour care. I found it a struggle to look after him as well as working full time. My father and I were very close, having lost my mother when I was younger and I loved looking after him.
I still managed to come to the gym but would often come shattered mentally and physically after working a 13 hour night shift and then staying awake to care for my dad. It's only looking back now I realise how much I struggled every day.
At the start of October my father unfortunately passed away. Since he became very unwell in 2017 I can count on one hand how many times I have been apart from my dad. To lose him suddenly and unexpectedly was something I couldn't process.
I have just had some of the worse months of my life. Immediately after it happened I can't describe how bad it was. I simply felt lost. From someone who’s every hour for the last 2 years was filled with being a carer or working, in one night I lost everything as a daughter, carer and a worker.
I would spend hours alone in my room binge eating, crying and had isolated myself from everyone to the point that if the post man came to the door with a parcel I wouldn't open it and told him to leave it outside. Everybody said to me that my life was tough looking after my dad and they questioned how I managed to cope, but the weeks and months after he passed were unbearable. Slowly I could feel myself slipping away, gaining weight, becoming anxious and withdrawn. I had started taking medication to help me sleep and relax but nothing worked. All the things I had fought for over these last few years...my confidence, self-esteem and self-worth were becoming a distant memory.
I was stuck in a rut and had no idea how to get out. I had given up and completely lost my fight and hope.
After meeting with Chris I realised that things weren't going to improve until I started helping myself. I had done total loser twice before and each time my motive had been to lose a little more weight and get me ready for the summer. But this year was different. All I wanted in these 12 weeks was to feel like myself and to feel happy again.
So I set myself the following goals of
1. Attending every single session
2. Giving 100% into every single session
3. Sticking to the nutrition plan
4. Giving up Diet Coke (I had about 9 cans a day) and chocolate
5. Lose a stone in 12 weeks
6. Stick to writing 5 mini wins everyday in a journal
7. To stop wearing hoodies as a cover up
8. Return to work
9. To do everything in my power to feel happy again, get back on track and above all regain my hope and
10. To make my dad proud.
I signed up to total loser with nothing to lose and everything to gain. After the first session, I immediately meal planned for the next week using the healthy recipe booklet for ideas. I found the nutrition plan easy to stick to as there was so much variety. I continued to do this each week and found it really helped. It became easier to resist the usual canteen offerings when I knew I had a delicious healthy home cooked meal to look forward too. The hardest part for me was giving up Diet Coke and chocolate, I relied on these to “get me through” the day but I realised that once I avoided them completely I actually had more energy and felt less hungry. That was enough to keep me going.
Initially I really struggled to keep up with everybody and control my negative thoughts. Other members and the trainers were so supportive, that it kept me going during my moments of self-doubt. Slowly but surely I was becoming fitter, from initially struggling to run 100m by week 4 I was able to complete 400m without stopping. These mini wins were enough to keep me going. I also felt fit enough to join the Pro fit Combine group class sessions. I loved the supportive community in the Facebook group and from other members of total loser. I was managing to stick to all my goals and a result my measures were coming down but more importantly I was feeling good.
When I was thinking what to write for this, I looked at my journal and was astounded at my progress. I love looking back at my journal now, the very first mini win I wrote from session one of Total Loser was that I didn't cry in public. Fast forward 12 weeks the last mini win I wrote was that I managed to run 11 laps of the track in total. I did need to rest in between them as I am no Mo Farrah!
I am completely overwhelmed and shocked at the progress I have made in the last 12 weeks.
Physically I have surpassed my 12lb goal, lost lots of cm and my my hair has started growing again (when I get stressed or have a poor diet my hair becomes very thin). Friends can’t believe the difference in me in the last 12 weeks, and I love it when people comment the “old Shiv is back”. I have also returned back to work after several months off.
It’s difficult for me to describe how I have felt the last few months, it almost felt like a black cloud was enclosing me but finally I feel like the clouds are moving away. I have started doing things that may seem insignificant to everybody else but mean the world to me. Within the first 2 weeks of starting total loser I decided to start going out again and little things that I stopped doing over the last few months like wearing my hair down and wearing make up I started doing again. I have started taking pride in my appearance again (ditching the hoodies!) and have even treated myself to a new work dress which was a size 14 (my smallest size yet). I have stopped taking medication and feel better than ever.
When I found out I was nominated, I burst into tears. I was so shocked. Everybody in the group has worked so hard and done so well, I couldn't believe that I had been nominated out of a massive group of winners. I loved seeing everyone smashing it each week. Initially I was very annoyed at myself for crying and then I realised that these aren't tears of sadness but tears of happiness and I can't remember the last time I felt like this. The fact that I have lost so much weight is just the icing on the cake.
I don't think I am exaggerating when I say that pro-fit has changed and saved my life. Without a doubt 12 weeks ago, I was hanging on by a thread and didn't care about myself. When I have had difficult times these last few years I have always been able to turn to Chris who is incredibly supportive and motivates me to keep trying to become the best version of myself. I am forever grateful to him and the rest of pro fit Preston. Every single one of the trainers Amy, Masood, Matt, Josh, Ryan and especially Tom, Chris W and Aimee have really encouraged me to dig deep and work as hard as I can. I have also made many friends through total loser, and must thank Hannah for her support these last 12 weeks.
When that little voice comes into my head that says you are not fit enough to run round the track or lift the weight. You can always rely on anyone of the pro fit trainers to say "you can do it" and "keep going". It's like having your own personal pep talk! Every single one of them have invested so much in helping us all try to achieve all our goals.
I feel like Pro-Fit Preston and Chris have given me my life back, and without a doubt there is no way I would have done any of it without them. I am now the lightest I have ever been, the fittest I have been and most importantly the happiest I have been in a very long time. My only hope is that I have made my dad proud in what I have achieved in just 12 weeks.
Wow...! and I'm sure we all agree your Dad is looking down...very Proud.
Remember, if you do want any help and support with your goals like shiva received then you know where we are...>>>https://www.pro-fitpersonaltraining.co.uk/trial.aspx