I have struggled with weight loss the whole of my adult life it was a constant battle of losing and gaining throughout the years. I had previously done weight watchers and slimming world and had been really successful but with no proper education I couldn’t maintain the diets and would pile the weight back on plus more. I was in a bad place physically, I was the biggest I had ever been struggling to walk, constantly exhausted and having severe feet, leg and back pain. Mentally I was done, I had given up. I was disgusted by how I looked and felt embarrassed for my husband and kids having to be seen with me in public, to the point I very rarely went out, I hid from photos and under as much baggy clothes I could find. I coped by making fun of myself being the butt of my own fat jokes and staying in a job I no longer enjoyed for comfort. The only solace I had was food it was a vicious cycle I felt would never break.
I had seen many TeamTanks transformations over the years and always wished I could be that person but I was scared of what it would entail. I had no knowledge of any form of exercise or fitness and thought it would be a constant barrage of gym and boot camp with hardly any food to eat. I never once reached out as I was terrified, I would let Martin and myself down.
Finally, I decided it was do or die (literally) and spoke to Martin about joining. We did our initial consultation and I was surprised at how the process worked. He met me halfway with what we thought I was capable of managing being the size I was and having no exercise experience, I was a little wary it wouldn’t be enough to lose weight but I had every faith and trust in the process and Martin so I got stuck in and followed everything we set out, and stayed accountable every day. It’s was simple but it was going to be tough, the road ahead was going to be a lot of hard work and dedication.
In the beginning it was a struggle, even trying to hit 10000 steps a day was exhausting and riding a bike for 15 minutes 3 times a week brutally hard but the progress began to show very quickly despite still feeling full and satisfied with my food intake. So, I built myself up along the weeks finally hitting 40 minutes on the bike and excelling in my steps each week. My confidence grew so much and after losing the first 3 stone Martin challenged me to run, I was terrified this was something I had never done before. However, with the support of Martin and the TeamTank group I had the self-belief I could do it. My first run was a 1k shuffle around the block extremely hard and I would run at 5am so people wouldn’t see me. I was determined and managed to build this up again along the weeks finally hitting 5k within 6 weeks. I did my first ever 10k on the 26th of September which is something I will never forget as this was a goal I had never once thought about or dreamed I would achieve. I shared this achievement with Scott and Clare both fellow Tankers who spurred me on when I felt it was getting tough. From then on, I smashed goal after goal hitting the peak of Tinto and eventually Ben Lomond both scenes, I probably would never have the privilege to experience if I hadn’t started this journey. My biggest step was joining the Gym in October, I had never set foot in one, the thought made me sick to my stomach but I signed up and walked in and I haven’t once looked back. My biggest win was receiving TeamTanks rising star award this year, I was completely taken aback and felt so proud my hard work was worthy of such an award given the fantastic year the Team has had.
My mindset has been the biggest surprise of all, going from the lowest point in my life I have noticed a drastic change over the past 36 weeks. I have changed the clothes I wear; my hair style and I have gained so much self-belief and confidence that I finally bit the bullet and changed jobs not once but twice and my positivity is increased tenfold compared to this time last year. I go running anytime I want and don’t think twice about people seeing me I am no longer embarrassed of how I look or being judged. I feel I can do anything I set my mind to now with determination and drive anything is possible when you believe in yourself.
Martin and the TeamTankers have been with me every step of the way constantly encouraging and celebrating every win no matter how small. Even when I managed to fit in a chute for the first time with my son because my legs and hips didn’t stick anymore! They give you the courage to push through and are always on hand for any advice or information you need. They have become like family and a consistent source of inspiration when some days feel tougher than others. My friends have been a pillar of support all through the journey chipping in on days I struggled with steps and supporting me on days I felt I couldn’t get my training done giving me the boost I needed.
This journey has been a life changing experience and it’s the best decision I have ever made. I have come to the end of this phase but it is actually the beginning of something new. I plan to keep on with TeamTank and explore the world of the gym as I have become interested in strength and weight training which I want to peruse, I feel the world is my oyster at the moment and I don’t plan on slowing down anytime soon.
For anyone who wants to do TeamTank if you really want to change you can. I have 3 kids, work full time and had no knowledge of anything fitness before I started, I was way below even beginner level but if you take on board what is set out and give it your all, you will achieve it. You need to make it work, whether it be doing runs, walks or the gym at 5am or even late at night you just stay accountable for everything and get it done. I have had to sort childcare work my training round my shifts and my husband’s shift but I always made it work.
Finally thank you Martin. Without you none of this would have been possible, you have given me a new outlook on life and my family a better wife/mum. I will forever be grateful.