It’s not the end. It’s the beginning…
Ten weeks ago we set Leeds-based couple Simon and Victoria on the path to our first ever couples transformation. Busy with work and bringing up a young family, Simon and Victoria had neglected their health and fitness. Now, they’ve come to the end, it’s time to fine out how they got on…
Congratulations, you made it to the end! How do you feel after having completed it?
Simon: It’s a bit of a funny time for us now because, after having achieved the results we wanted, we’re trying to work out a way of keeping the fitness going while picking up the pieces of everything else, including work and family.
How do you plan on doing that?
Simon: We have to find a way to make it work. We definitely took our eye off the ball at work in these last 10 weeks, and so we do need to try and make the gym a bit more sustainable and realistic. Doing a transformation like this is probably quite an extreme way of getting your fitness journey started, and I think we’ll find a more realistic training regime rather than maintaining the lengths we have been going to in these 10 weeks. But it’s important to us that we do maintain it, so we’re now planning how we go about our journey in a way that allows us to work but also grow in the gym too.
Victoria: It’s easy to make excuses, and time is our biggest one, but we found a way to ensure we did what we had to do. Sometimes it meant taking it in turns to do bedtime with the kids while the other one trained, and that did lead to a bit of guilt at times, and sometimes it meant taking the kids with us… and on those occasions they loved it. Sometimes they didn’t of course, but I think it’s also important that they see you training. I think they became aware of what we were doing and that’s also a good thing.
And so to the results…
Victoria: I didn’t put too much pressure on myself in terms of a weight target, even though I wanted to lose weight. For me, it was just as important to find a better headspace mentally. But I lost about 17lbs and 16 inches from across various parts of my body, including the chest, thigh and waist, and I’m really happy with that.
Simon: We’re going to need new wardrobes! I lost around 22 inches and 40lbs. I’m trying hard to not pat myself on the back too much because I don’t want to lose the focus.
That’s amazing! Victoria, at the start of this process you mentioned one of your motivations was to be a less shouty mum. Has that changed?
Victoria: Absolutely. Don’t get me wrong, there are still times when they really push our buttons, but I’m using the exercise as me time to get a break. I now know when the kids are pushing me a bit; I can identify it and I know what I need to do to prevent things from escalating. I might go out for a run and think and process things a bit. Simon has definitely noticed the difference and I really notice the difference when I don’t train. It’s not just you that needs a break, I think the kids do too. Life is hectic and as adults we have work and all sorts to worry about, so if you’re getting time to process those things and they’re getting a break from you when things are stressful, then that’s a positive thing. That’s part of the next phase for me: seeing how we can include more exercise into our lives.
You’ve both enjoyed the cardio work, so Victoria the spin classes and Simon the running and swimming, so do you think you’re more or less likely to keep up that side of of training, or stick to the gym?
Victoria: Both I imagine.
Simon: I think I’ll do both, too. I’ve really enjoyed the weights and the swimming. I think now that the 10 weeks are up, it’s about finding which bits we really enjoy. I feel I’m getting a bit selfish in picking the bits I want to do, but then that’s how it becomes something we can maintain long-term.
I think doing three bits of exercise a week is the magic number. We’ve been going six or seven times a week in these 10 weeks but that has now dropped to three and that’s what I think we’ll be able to maintain. Three feels like enough to maintain the results we’ve built up while also being able to balance work and family too.
Victoria: I need the gym at the moment because I think without it I don’t think I’ll push myself as much. I need to be somewhere that spurs me on and the gym does that. It almost guilts me into working hard. In time, we might kit out our own gym, but I still think I’ll need somewhere to exercise that’s not home.
Simon: I’m not sure whether or not I’ll need the gym, it’s a really good question. Is going to the gym the thing that makes you work as hard as you can? Having a PT makes you accountable to someone other than yourself and that’s important. I’ve been to the gym on my own and not worked as hard, so I wonder whether I will need that interaction to get the best results. That’s something we’ll need to work out.
Victoria: I’m a creature of habit and I quite like to know what I’m doing and when. However, while variation is great, this process has taught me that not every week has to be the same, and that you can’t always do the same time at the same place every week because life can get in the way, and that’s fine.
Definitely, the key is to not beat yourself up…
Victoria: Totally. But I’m so pleased we’re at the point now that we have 10 weeks of solid work under our belts, because I feel that getting started in your exercise journey is the make or break part. Now, we’re trying to figure out when and how often we’re going to try and go to the gym, whereas 10 weeks ago that wasn’t even in our thought process.
You’ve been using the Power Plate. How have you found that?
Victoria: That’s been one of the main pieces of equipment we’ve used. I’d never used one before and though I’d seen them in the gym, I was a bit apprehensive. We used it in our sessions to help build strength and to activate our muscles. It was great for variation and I loved using it. We also used it to warm up and warm down, particular with accessories like the Piriformis roll, so was a pretty crucial piece of our training.