A personal journey

In 21 years of working in the wellbeing industry I have never shared photos of my clients 'before and after' bodies. I have shared photos of fun activities, postural tendencies, client mindset shift comments - but never a before and after. Why? Because to me it's a personal matter, my clients are working on their health & wellbeing for their own reasons and I've never asked them to share publicly. If they choose to, that is up to them. I also don't want to be pressured by the 'you're only as good as your clients results' because to me there are many markers of success both in someone's wellbeing journey and in my business of body + mind coaching.

So why do I have a semi naked man here - a few months ago I posted that I was embarking on what could potentially be my biggest challenge. Supporting my Significant Other to get healthier (& still stay together). Now for some, they would say hey that's easy, you spend time together, you can enjoy it - but you have to consider the delicacy of ego's, emotions and different personalities. I am a fit, active 53 year old woman who genuinely lives, breathes and thinks wellbeing. Al is the same age and whilst fit when younger fell into the very typical of his age pattern of working exceptionally hard, commuting a lot, wanting to spend time with his family, ultimately getting injuries and developing a 'dad bod'. Then Covid hit and like so many others piled on a few more pounds as the kids found a passion for making tray bakes which were heavenly at 3pm.

In the summer as we sat in Brighton planning the departure of the eldest over a glass of wine. Al mentioned again an aching back, bloated stomach ... in a nutshell he felt slow, lethargic, heavy, stiff, sore ... actually crap. That was just over 19 weeks ago. He accepted my offer of support and with us creating parameters and boundaries that would work for him we got started.

His demands ....

No extremes (he's watched me do all sorts of challenges over the years)

No 'diet' per se.

No alcohol abstention on special occasions.

No crazy cooking requirements.

It has to fit into my lifestyle and be achievable.

My additions ....

No dad bod mindset. Total commitment for minimum of 10 weeks. No arguing over it.

On Monday it will be 20 weeks since we started.

We started slow. Walking. Dietary changes - starting with 6 timed meals a day so that he did not get hungry and snack away on a packet of biscuits when bored or hit by the mid afternoon slump! Some basic easy exercises every day (literally 5 minutes that could be done in normal clothes). I gave a plan and then as the weeks progressed we upped the ante. We changed eating & exercise patterns to stop plateau hitting. We talked about the benefits to encourage continued commitment.


He has lost 31 pounds, 10% of his body fat. His metabolic age (how effective our body is at burning energy) has reduced from 89 (eek!) to 51 (yay!) so he now functions like a man of his age rather than an old man and we will aim to bring that down by at least another 10 years.

He feels "energised, sprightly(!), happier, regular with his digestive system, no tummy aches or bloating, more of an even mood and generally good"

He exercises on average 4x per week.

He has done this whilst also celebrating 3 special birthdays (18th, 16th, 80th) plus 2 others, had nights out with friends, gone to concerts and been on holiday for a week. He can now run 10K in under 60 minutes.

We are moving into the next phase - he has more weight to lose but he is now going to focus on toning a little more too - there will be more weights now his body can cope but on the whole his time commitment will stay steady as that works for him. His food will continue to be healthy and balanced - his ditching of the stodge will continue. He has committed to run the Brighton marathon (on the proviso that I can pull him out if I don't think his body is ready due to past injuries - the longer term is more important than 1 event) as part of his mindset change that you are never too old. Ultimately his motivation was feeling and looking better and living longer well.

The journey is not over but in the run up to Christmas it is more important than at any time that we take stock so that he is not overwhelmed by the 'feastivities'. You can get through Christmas without piling on the pounds and feeling rubbish. I have just held two retreats in November where the participants ate "delicious" and nutritious food without any weight gain because I was considerate of our bodies needs and balances and our mindset was all about feeling fabulous not frazzled.

So why am I sharing this?

To highlight that anyone can make change (whatever sex, age, life stage)

To highlight that we can all feel better even in these challenging times

To highlight that balancing our mindset, fitness and food helps us thrive

& Because I am incredibly proud of him for his dedication, the fact that he now admits that my way has been right all along (even through a gritted teeth smile) and that he is willing to show his "blobby former self" (his words not mine) online to help me support others because I am using his story to invite others to feel better.

His story is not the only one I could tell - but it's just not my place to share them publicly.

Your story - owned by you. What's your next chapter? .....

Why not join me on our programme Be the Best You in '22

to feel happier, energised, re-vitalised, stronger.

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