So, how did an overweight, non exercising middle aged woman become a personal trainer at the age of 49? Well, let’s start nearer the beginning….
I’ve had a few jobs in my time. In fact, I could be called the Madonna of the employment world – reinventing myself every few years! I didn’t go to University. I’ve been a nurse, cared for disabled kids and adults, worked in bars and restaurants, been a legal secretary, a PA in the music industry, a fulltime mum and a self-taught professional photographer.
Whilst finishing off my All Woman book/exhibition project, I saw a couple of photographs of myself in the local newspaper. I’d been unhappy about my weight for a long time. My clothes sizes had increased over the years and I was reduced to wearing shirts that covered my muffin top and dresses with sleeves because my arms seemed to have lost all definition. I felt old and unattractive and like I was disappearing. I had been attractive and slim for most of my life but when I hit my forties, things just seemed to go downhill and, although I didn’t like the way I felt, I had previously been too lazy to get on and do something about it. It was much easier to stay in my comfort zone and do nothing. I had never been sporty and the most exercise I ever took was walking from the front door to the car. But it was when I saw those pictures it was the final straw to get me motivated to hit the gym.
The gym was big and scary and, although I had done weight training in the past when I lived in London, I really had no clue what to do to make sure I reached my goals so I hired a personal trainer to help me understand what to do in there. I also realised that I needed to change how I ate and that I needed to educate myself around nutrition so I researched on the net and attended a couple of seminars to improve my knowledge.
By the time my All Woman exhibition opened 6 months later I had dropped two dress sizes and I was looking and feeling fabulous. I was fitter than I had ever been; I was toned from all my workouts with weights and I was looking younger. I felt gorgeous and sexy at the opening night and I feel even better now over two years on. My fitness, strength and overall energy seems to increase all the time. I’m 51 now and can out burpee many a 20 year old!
When the All Woman exhibition came to an end and, after many attempts to get funding and/or publishers to publish the book, I decided to give up my art photography. It was a hard decision to make but it was the right one financially for my family. Then one day, whilst wondering what the heck to do with my life, my daughter suggested that I consider a career in the health and fitness industry. The gym and healthy eating had become such a huge part of my life that it actually seemed natural for me to be involved in it somehow. My friends laughed heartily! Although they were proud of me for losing my weight and keeping it off, I was still the woman who just one year earlier had scorned exercise and was regularly eating date scones with lashings of butter!
I thought I might be too old. I was six months off my 50th birthday and I knew from being in the gym that most of the trainers were young enough to be my kids. But then I remembered how I had felt when I wanted to lose weight but I didn’t know how. I remembered how it felt to worry about the summer approaching and how I was going to look nice in my clothes but still cover up the bits I didn’t like. And then I realised that to go into Personal Training would be to help women of any age to feel better about themselves.
It’s now well over a year since I made the decision to begin a new career as a Personal Trainer. I love the fact that I go out every day to work with women of all ages – making them stronger, healthier and, consequently, happier.
It’s always hard to change, whether you are embarking on a new career or making a decision to lose weight and get fit, but sometimes you just have to take that leap of faith. We only have this life once so let’s enjoy it to the max and live the longest we can by eating nourishing foods and exercising regularly. And if you’re sitting on the fence right now thinking that you’d like to get fit and lean but that it’s too hard - look at my pictures and believe in yourself. Seriously - if I can lose weight and do what I’ve done – anybody can!