So it begins! I have never made my advocacy for the Abby Pell’s of this world a secret. Those amazing super humans who embraced the “no excuses” hashtag with both hands and got mostly hate for their effort. I remain an advocate for all body shapes. But, why is it that these women who have chosen to push their physical limits get so much hate? As anyone who has followed me knows I used to weigh over 350 pounds. I am certainly not the poster girl for gym bunnies by any stretch of the imagination. But, this topic intrigues me, particularly in light of the recent controversy over Eugenia Cooney’s YouTube channel and the petition to ban her. Now I do agree she certainly has an eating disorder. But, has the pendulum swung so far that it is now ok to body shame those we consider too skinny? There are super sized (by their own description) fashion bloggers that if they were experiencing the same vitriol as Eugenia we would be going out of our way to defend them. Are they not just as much of an example of an eating disorder as Eugenia? I don’t know the answer. But, I digress. This is about really digging deep and saying NO actually there is no excuse for this middle age spread. Yes, I have lost a lot of weight and have been incredibly lucky to have been able to have the extensive plastic surgery to remove loose skin. But, that just put me on a more level playing field with the majority of women. I am an extremely busy mum of seven year old twins. I don’t want to get up at 5am to do crunches in my living room any more than anyone else. But, having lived most of my life in a fat suit feel I would be doing myself the ultimate dis-service by not finding out what is possible.
So, my question was; what happens when an average mum drops all excuses and hits the gym? Well the first step like most of my body transformation would require expert help. This would seem the easy part. But, I soon found out that picking a personal trainer is very much like finding a therapist or partner for that matter. You need someone you trust and that you can work with. I searched for months before I found Darrell Wilson of DW Holistic Fitness. During our first meeting he blinded me with the science of exercise. It’s not that I expected a personal trainer to be dim. But, I suppose we all hold silly stereotypes of the super fit perhaps being more muscle than brain, to which I profusely apologise. Darrell has an incredible knowledge of not only the science of behind exercise, but also knows everything you can possibly think of about the nutrition needed to lose weight and gain muscle. His ability to explain the reasons behind every movement is nothing short of astounding.
Over my many years as a serial dieter I have possessed many a gym membership. For the most part it was the usual story. Following the obligatory “New Year’s resolution” I happily handed over my bank details to a very pushy sales person and for a month or two religiously went to the gym losing that same two stone repeatedly each year only to gain it back the second I eyeballed a cream cake. But, the fact is walking halfheartedly on a treadmill and pushing around a couple of dumbbells for an hour does not a six pack make.
There is certainly much more reason to be motivated when you have someone at your side to tell you exactly what is happening to your body during exercise. Having thought I knew quite a lot about the topic myself soon learned I didn’t know much at all. So, having found “the one” we started training. I think the best part of working with a great PT is that you are really motivated to make progress. Was I sore the next day? Yes! I found muscles I didn’t know existed. The feeling of satisfaction following each workout cannot be put into words. The truly amazing thing is how quickly I felt the results. I am obviously a work in progress, but having been working with Darrell for just over a month now the difference in my body is very noticeable. The satisfaction in seeing the free weights go up each week is an awesome feeling. He is a ball buster in the nicest possible way! The workouts are always challenging, but the fact that I am seeing the results is such a great motivator. I started out with a marked weakness on my left side as compared to the right. But, over the last few weeks I have seen such a big difference that my left side has nearly caught up.
I have certainly come a long way from the “Davina” hand weights collecting dust under my bed. Having that support from someone at your side each session is extra motivation to stay on track. I have been resistant to having a trainer in the past because I felt self-conscious. But, Darrell in addition to knowing what he is talking about is a genuinely nice person that spurs you on in such a positive way. I can’t think of a better cheerleader in this very foreign territory.
So, I remain without excuses and on the way to finding out what is truly possible. This is chapter one of a series on building a better body. Will I end up with a six pack? Don’t know! But, what is certain is that building a better body is so much more complex then losing weight. So, with science, good nutrition and a truly inspirational Trainer there are no excuses and no limits!