Debbie Roberts

left marks

My story so far……..
Over the past few years I have been totally immersed in my work which is 7 days a week, all split shifts, frequently starting at 5am and not finishing until 8pm. I have a husband who works long hours so our evening meal was eaten at 8:30pm / 9pm accompanied by a glass or two of wine and then straight to bed. The limited time I had during the day was rarely long enough to start anything constructive so any time left after admin, shopping, cleaning and preparing supper was taken up by watching the news with a cup of tea and a few biscuits!
In October 2014 I fell from a ladder, landed on my back, broke my heel and from that moment onwards I felt as if I were 108 years old! Hobbling along day after day created a major problem with my knee along with occasional pain in my foot, leg and groin. The only way I can describe my torso is it felt as if all my organs had been shaken up and ended up in the wrong place! Emily had previously suggested I joined the academy, but I considered myself a) too fat b) too old and c) bearing in mind the last time I exercised was 30 years ago certainly too unfit. However, I was now aware I needed to do something quickly, so ‘bit the bullet’ and said “yes”.
Prior to my first session I completed the detox questionnaire honestly which put me at 70 – the top mark for “bad health” and just one short of “damaging health”. AP knew that I did not want to be weighed or measured which he was very relaxed with saying “just go by your clothes and we’ll do it whenever you feel ready”. I had attended a well woman clinic within the last 12 months, so new that nothing was a bad as I thought it may be, just being advised to lose weight and do some weight bearing exercise.
Session 1
It felt like the first day at school, excited but apprehensive. When I arrived I saw the previous class training and just thought “Oh my God”! I was quickly made welcome by 2 other ladies who assured me things would be ok and that everyone feels awful after session 1 but that the benefits “were amazing” (Thank you Gilly and Di x).
Post session I could not walk, my legs were jelly and I could not put my foot on the clutch to drive home. The following day I COULD NOT MOVE! I had heard the story of how a member couldn’t get on and off the loo, but now that was me…thank goodness for horizontal ladder type bathroom radiators!
From session 1 to present date I am amazed and thankful to all the instructors for their patience, the way they constantly stay on top of technique and suggest alternative moves if twinges are felt or if there is an existing problem.
Session 2
This was supposed to be 48 hours after session 1, but I had a problem: I still couldn’t move, so what would be the point of going? I was told that I must, but did delay until the evening session thus giving me a few extra hours. I was surprised what I actually did in session 2, but more surprised by the fact that I didn’t feel self conscious at my lack of ability. This was undoubtedly down to the acceptance and encouragement of other members of all ages and levels of fitness; there is no way you would find this acceptance and camaraderie by enrolling to a general gym or receive the individual care and support of coaches in a massive boot camp. I already knew that I wanted more of this!
10 Day Detox
So far as food was concerned I did not find this difficult and certainly was never hungry. What I did miss was TEA. I was a self confessed tea addict, regularly drinking 3 cups at a time (often with a biscuit or 2) and found only drinking water and green tea very difficult. However, by the time day 11 came, I could not face the thought of tea with milk and haven’t had a cup since!
I previously mentioned my detox questionnaire score as 70. Well, I did not revisit the questionnaire until today (week 9) but am proud to say my score is now 34. Still some way to go for optimum health but it’s going the right way.
Weight etc
So I did finally get on the academy scales at week 4(?). I knew I had lost weight, as I had more energy, a more positive view of myself and clothes were starting to become looser. I jump on the scales at home occasionally so think I’m approx 2 stone lighter, but am not obsessed….although I do want to lose more prior to a wedding in October! I get very excited when I can fit into smaller size clothes and am interested to see if my metabolic age has dropped.
Existing problems
So the big problem was my knee. Often whilst lying in bed I would need to think very carefully how to move in order to prevent excruciating knee pain. During the day any ‘wrong movement’ could debilitate me for a day or two. I am pleased to say the improvement has been unbelievable, and I am now able to lunge!!!! It is not perfect and I know my limitations but am not so cautious when I attempt things, but no more general pain. Legs, feet and groin all feel new! (apart from the age thing when first getting up in the morning).
This is Week 9
I mentioned unsociable working hours and feeling I did not have time to do things in between shifts. Well, a 45 min session is nothing out of a whole day and the feeling of well being I have following a session puts me in such a positive mood I could take on the world. 5am mornings are still hard and I’m still in bed by 9:30pm, but I feel hours between shifts are mine to fill rather than just hanging around waiting to go back to work.
We still eat late at night, but our ‘home food’ is always clean. The evening glass of wine is a thing of the past, although there is wine in the house and should I ever want a glass I shall have one. I do not crave biscuits or chocolate, but again, will never say never! If there is an occasion where I eat something ‘bad’ I do not get myself in a tiss, but just think of the 80 /20% rule and make sure that I’m extremely clean for the next 48 hours.
Again, just one final BIG thank you to the two Adam’s, Sean and Dave for their enthusiasm and cheerfulness and all the wonderful members at the Academy .

Right Marks