TeamTank is going to be introducing 'Guest Blogs' onto the website. This will be covering a whole, wide range of topics and I look forward to sharing them with you in the future. If you like this type of content, please feel free to leave a comment on the blog.
The first guest blog is Claire Murray, who I am sure you will agree, looks absolutely fantastic!!
Claire is a client of mine and is now an in demand Peronsal Trainer and Coach herself and is currently thriving in her new business.
With her story and her own life experience, I am pretty sure she can motivate anyone and give them the tools that they need to help them progress in their own journey.
Most people seeing Claire's pictures for the first time are always shocked and amazed and more often than not think to themselves, ' How the hell did she do it?'
So, for me, it was an absolute no brainer to ask Claire to do my first guest blog, and I really hope that you enjoy it too.
I sent her over some questions and asked her to elaborate on each of them in her own words...
She was more than kind enough to do so... Claire's social media is also linked below if you wish to contact her.
First, Some Background, Let's Go Back
So people often ask me what were your habits like before you lost weight. The honest answer is 'terrible'.
I would either not follow any kind of structure to my eating and that mostly lead to me skipping meals and then binging out on whatever I could get my hands on during the week. I thought I was being good by missing a meal but would then overcompensate ten fold on the next two haha! It’s a common mistake we have all done.
Then the weekend! That was a whole different ball game that would be fuelled by drinking every Saturday night which then lead to eating all sorts on a Sunday. I must have owned shares in Dominoes at one point. I could easy polish off a large pizza and two sides. Its important to note here I was still fairly active maybe did some exercise a few times a week. I should probably have addressed the main problem of low self esteem but we all live and learn. It makes us better people.
This Must Change - The Turning Point
Another common question I get asked is ,'What was the turning point when you decided enough was enough?'There were three main things here. The main one being I was going on holiday with my friends and had an anxiety attack thinking I wouldn’t fit the seatbelt round me. It almost didn’t, it was a close call. The second was like many others, being bullied for my weight. The third if I am totally honest, was a string of bad relationships where food was my crutch and always made me happy until after I had like ten times more than I should have. When I realised my own weight was stopping me experiencing things in life I wanted to, enough was enough.
' So I woke up one day and said enough is enough'
So I woke up one day and said enough is enough. The first thing I did was I joined a gym and started going to spin all the time and running on the treadmill. Like many others when they first start out. I went straight to cardio like most people do, twice per day. Running before work at 5am and then spin at night after work. So in total, probably twelve sessions per week. I then altered my eating habits. I switched to healthier foods and low fat like most of us do but did not portion control as I never knew what it was or meant at that point in time. That resulted in a drop of body fat of around 9 stone in the space of 12 months. Now I am aware I sound like a lunatic here, but I am your all or nothing type of gal. So when I go for it, I go full speed. Meals wise, I would eat a healthy breakfast, salad and protein for lunch and dinner was protein and carbs all low fat options.
Anyone who knows me knows I am a big believer in everything in moderation now but that takes time to learn. I got to a point where I was then ready to start shaping my body. You don’t just lose weight and look the part. I wanted to be stronger, tighten up my skin and start to feel like I was becoming who I deserved. In comes Martin (TeamTank). I was recommended him from a good friend. A no nonsense sensible talking person who gives tough love when you need it, but will literally go out of his way to help if your putting in the graft. My type of guy.
Changes To Training & Nutrition
Then weight training walked into my life. It was like a miracle had happened. Instead of having to bust out a million spin classes and runs, I went to four days resistance training with classes if I wanted. I had so much more spare time on my hands to enjoy things I wanted to. I never thought about it before but with the previous amount of sessions my whole life was consumed by planning in cardio sessions. The minute I lifted a weight I felt empowered and like I was taking control. I am all for empowerment! Nutrition changed to tracking, so literally eating within my means and within a small calorie deficit. I could eat whatever I wanted as long as I stayed within my calorie goal, which at no point I struggled with. This piece of information literally changed my life. I used view food as the enemy, as it was the amount of food choices that i had the problem, and I now had the tools to control that.
As said before, my goals before would have been eat as low fat as possible and bust out as much cardio as I could and hope and pray that on a Sunday weigh in I had lost something. Changing to tracking along with resistance training meant I knew exactly what I could expect within reason every Sunday. I knew if I stuck within my caloric allowance combined with putting in the work at the gym, then I would see the results. My body began to change, it began to tighten and I could actually see muscles, even in the weeks when I never lost weight. You can't lose weight every week. The body is a weird and wonderful thing but you have to be consistent. I was consistent and stuck to my plan and if I was going off plan, I was prepared to not make as much progress that week because you still need to live life. I had goals. It is so important to have sub goals. I would set amounts I wanted to lose by what month and made them realistic and talked them through with Martin.
Advice to anyone else wanting to change their life
If I was to give one piece of advice to anyone about having to lose large (or any) amounts of weight, it would be don’t wait. Don’t start on Monday. Start now. You need to form habits and behavioural patterns and learn that it takes time. There is No Quick Fix. There is no shake or pill that will do this for you. Its you, your own determination and your own hard work. You have to be your number one fan and believe in yourself. In the beginning, having an awesome coach like I had can certainly help! I don’t regret a second of my life or the choices, both good & bad that I made, because they have made me the person I am today which is literally 50% in volume! I have experienced things I never thought I could and most of all, the biggest one, is that I AM HAPPY. I don’t wake up thinking what will people say to me today, what shall I wear so that I don’t look fat and stress out all the time. Your mind is your biggest weapon. Start to train that and your body will follow. Your only limits are the ones you set. So have a bit of faith in yourself and be the best and happiest version of you! I believe in everyone starting their own journey and you should all believe in yourselves too.
Where To Follow Claire
If you wish to follow Claire along in her ever continuing journey, you best follow her on Instagram where she posts every day:
Claire Instagram - Click Here
If you wish to conatct her for personal training etc, you can follow her Facebook Page:
Claire's Facebook - Click Here
Please take the time to leave a comment, share this with your friends and if there's anyone else you think I should contact to feature, please don't hesitate to let me know!!