Lisa Clinton entered Educogym unhappy and stuck in a rut. Eleven months later she’s a happier and stronger version of herself. Here’s her journey.
In 10.5 months Lisa lost:
- 5 stone 11 pounds
- 75 inches
- 14 percent body fat
What made you want to begin your fitness/weight loss journey?
After a tough year in 2016 with lots of ill health I ended the year at almost the heaviest I’d ever been. New Year came and I was heavy, bloated, deeply unhappy, constantly exhausted, getting caught for breath walking up the stairs in work, never mind bursting out of my size 20 work pants and my XXL work top. I’d hit my lowest point and decided I couldn’t do it anymore and something needed to change. I felt that at 27 years of age my whole life was passing me by and I was too unhealthy and unhappy to partake in it. I didn’t want to meet up with friends to the point I’d cancel plans at the last minute. I didn’t go out socialising. There were definitely no selfies or pictures allowed. I was afraid to do everything. If somebody laughed then I assumed they must be laughing at me and the size of me. I started getting really bad anxiety on a regular basis – I couldn’t sleep and just used to hide away in my room. I had found my breaking point by January 30, 2017, and decided there and then that this wasn’t the life I wanted and that I needed to join a gym and get on a healthy eating plan.
Why did you choose Educogym?
It’s actually thanks to my mum Educogym came into my life. She won a competition for their 12-day programme when the Ballincollig branch opened up. She loved it so much after the 12 days that she joined herself, and so she had been going since the previous November and was looking and feeling amazing. The day I decided I needed to make a change she actually came into work and said to me: “You’ll either love me or kill me but I’ve gotten a three-day trial for Educogym for you. I think you’ll love it.” And so, I told her I’d love it – I needed to change my unhealthy lifestyle. So the next day I got a phone call from Educogym and they booked me in for that Friday February 3 for a consultation and my first day of the trial.
How long have you been on this journey?
It’s been 11 amazing months with Educogym and being on this journey. I always say February 3, 2017, was the day my life changed for the better.
My journey has been a rollercoaster. Educogym is a gym like no other. From the minute I entered the door I was welcomed with a massive smile and made to feel totally at ease. I was so nervous that first morning. I’ve gotten incredible results with the Educogym model. Its resistance/weight training on a machine called the time machine. It’s a three-day split of exercises. Day 1 – Legs; Day 2 – Chest and Back, and Day 3 – Arms and Shoulders. The sessions are only 20 minutes long, so really easy to fit into any lifestyle. For the first three days you get one-to-one training and then after that it’s group training but there is never more than three others with you, so you are well monitored throughout your sessions and to be honest you still feel like you’re getting one-to-one attention from the trainers, even with others around. When I started I made the decision I would like to train four days a week because that’s what I felt I needed and I felt that I could manage it too.
I would often be asked by my colleagues in work did I even sweat by the end of the 20 minutes and trust me, you do. It’s an intense but focused 20-minute workout that has altered my shape completely. In the last 10 and a half months I have lost almost six stone and shaved 85.75 inches off my body. I’ve lost 14 percent body fat and I have gained a new life.
There is a real sense of caring in Educogym. They are willing to help in any way they can to get you to your goals. I class the staff in Educogym as like my second family. They support you and encourage you throughout the journey. They push you to get the best from you. I’ve actually really enjoyed the last 11 months of training. There have been birthdays, weddings, hen weekends and holidays and yet look at the success I have still achieved.
Other than the weight loss, what differences have you noticed in yourself since beginning your fitness journey with EducoGym?
I am a completely different person physically but also mentally. I am happy and healthy. From my perspective when I started I was so incredibly unhappy and I really hated myself and what I saw in the mirror. In the last 11 months, thanks to the support of my personal trainers and nutritionist, I have implemented tools into my life that have totally turned my mind-set around in relation to my own self-acceptance, my relationship with food and my relationship with exercise. In Educogym they like you to set goals and mini-goals to work towards and for me that has been brilliant. I was also introduced to the concept of a vision board and I can’t begin to describe how motivating that has been for me. I have a much more positive outlook on life now. I’ve changed so much and I’ve such happiness; I have even decided to change my career. I’m currently doing the New Minds Fitness College Personal Training Diploma. Mentally I’m in a much better place and I don’t get as stressed out as much as I used to. My anxiety has only flared maybe three times over the last 11 months; a big difference from previously when it would be a weekly, sometimes daily, occurrence of heart palpitations. I can honestly say I don’t feel like life is passing me by anymore. If anything, joining Educogym has given me back my life and if you asked me last February did I think in September I’d be walking around Lanzarote in a bikini top and shorts, then I’d have laughed. However, that’s exactly what happened and that feeling was unbelievable. The confidence I never knew I had inside of me and being comfortable walking in my bikini top and shorts meant more than any number dropped on the scales.
Did you have a nutrition plan to follow? How did it differ from the way you fed your body prior to joining Educogym?
So, when I joined Educogym I started with the 12-day program.
The 12-day program is proven to show on average a loss of 7.5 pounds of fat and a gain of three pounds of muscle. I lost 15 pounds on my 12-day program and I wasn’t starved. After my 12 days, then I sat down with the nutritionist and got an individual nutrition plan to follow. What I love about the plans are that it’s normal everyday food. There is no starving yourself just to get results.
The way I fed my body before joining Educogym was all wrong. I have PCOS and a thyroid condition and I would often not have breakfast until hours after I’d gotten up, so by the time I sat down to eat I’d be so hungry I’d have a lovely healthy omelettes but have two or three slices of brown bread toasted with it because I needed the carbs for energy. Then I’d probably grab a chicken wrap or a roll for lunch and then in the evening a massive dinner; too much of everything on the plate. I was a secret eater and a share bag for one in the car en route home from work kind of girl. Now I still eat loads of healthy food but regularly throughout the day. I have the right balance of carbs, protein and veggies, so I’m always full and my energy levels are so much better. I don’t get a slump in the middle of the day because my blood sugar has dropped. Life is just much better. My cholesterol levels in the first three months dropped from 7.8 to 4.6 and my doctor was and still is delighted with me. Educogym teaches you to fuel your body to get the best from it. When I think back even to my hydration levels I would only have one glass of water every day. Now I drink up to three litres a day. It started at one and a half to two litres but I’ve gradually increased it over the months.
Can you describe how you felt on your first day, how it went, and your reflections looking back on it now?
I will never forget my first day. I was so nervous. I went in the door and was greeted at a reception with a massive smile and a “good morning, Lisa”. I was brought in to do my full initial consultation. I remember going through the motions with pictures and measurements and filling out the consultation form. I was so ashamed to have my photos taken but I’d worn my dark clothes, layered up to hide the body I hated underneath. I remember being asked my goals and what I looked to achieve and I simply said I wanted to be happy and that I didn’t want life to pass me by anymore and to this day I remember my nutritionists answer: “We will get you there.” She was so positive and so sure and it gave me such optimism that maybe I actually could do this. Then I remember meeting my trainer James. I was sick with nerves and when he opened the door to call me in I got the biggest smile and welcome and he shook my hand and I remember how impressed I was with the handshake. Actually, this is one thing I love about Educogym; the handshake when they greet you and also at the end of your session usually followed by a ‘well done’ or ‘great job today’. It makes all the difference.
Because it was Day 1 it was legs. I thought I’d be okay with leg day because I have always had good solid legs but James put me through a short easy leg session and I struggled more than I expected too. I loved it though and afterwards I felt great and I decided based on my experience alone that morning that Educogym was for me and I joined up for the year. I have never looked back since. I can’t believe how far I’ve come personally and physically in the last 11 months. It truly has been a life-changing experience. I will be forever grateful to my trainers for all they’ve done to help get me to where I am now. I look forward to seeing what changes I can make this year and what goals I will achieve.
Has your mind-set towards exercise and/or food changed since beginning? If yes, how?
My mind-set has changed towards food and exercise completely since the beginning. I see that there are no ‘good’ or ‘bad’ foods. Food is fuel for the body and it is so important to fuel it and nourish it properly with carbs and protein and veggies in correct quantities. As someone who has PCOS, I have a tendency to look for more carbohydrates in my diet for energy, so my answer before Educogym would be cut carbs if I wanted to lose weight but carbohydrates are actually my friends and that was the worst thing to do because then I looked for quick sugar hits instead. Now I have a better understanding of how and what to eat to keep my body working at its best. My mind-set towards exercise has done a 360. I couldn’t, or wouldn’t, walk for long before Educogym. I loved doing Zumba but I used to get so out of breath I struggled getting through a class. Now I love to exercise. I enjoy getting out for a walk. I love walking along the beach or walking up mountains. I get such a release from it and feel so happy after exercise. If I’m ever in bad form going into one of my training sessions I can guarantee you I’m like a different, ridiculously happy girl coming out afterwards, albeit sweaty.
It’s easy because Educogym has such a positive environment. I know I’m biased but my trainers in Educogym in Ballincollig are so supportive. Highly skilled and knowledgeable too and I really do feel when I go training that I’m going home to my second family. There’s a great rapport between clients and staff. I’ve met some other wonderful clients in Educogym that are now actually friends.
Seeing the results is also a massive motivator for me. I can be accused of focusing on the scales too much but having the measurements and pictures done every few weeks is a life saver. To visually see the changes in progress-pictures has been a huge motivator and then when you see the inch loss coming down too you just want to keep working hard and reaping the rewards.
What advice would you give to others thinking about starting a similar journey for 2018?
- Make the first step. I know how hard and how scary it is but make that phone call or send the email; you won’t regret it.
- You are worth investing in. Your happiness and your health are worth investing in. It’s not selfish to put yourself first.
- It’s all about working on one step at a time; don’t try to do too much at once because it can get overwhelming.
- Be prepared to be patient. I get told a lot to trust the process because I am incredibly impatient but honestly, as much as I hate to admit it, my trainers are right; if you trust the process and take the steps the results will come. Sometimes its quicker for others but the results do come eventually.
- Be prepared to have days where you fall off the wagon. It’s life and the staff in Educogym are the first to tell you life is about having balance. With Educogym you don’t get a diet; they implement healthy, long-term and sustainable lifestyle changes.
- Acknowledge all the little victories. Set little goals and targets to work towards and when you reach them acknowledge them and treat yourself for reaching them by the set time. All the little victories add up to the big success.
- Lastly love your body for what it is right now. It might not be where you want it to be but the body and the minds are incredible things and when they work together they can achieve a lot.