Sarah first found Primal Life Gym through work, she was part of the lovely team at CityX who covered the opening of the gym.
During her time here she showed curiosity and interest in what we do and after a short chat with Ryan, it became clear that it was something she had always wanted to do but had been fearful due to a poor gym experience and some lingering self-confidence issues.
When I first spoke with Sarah, the opening hurdle wasn’t actually anything training related, Sarah had never done any form of weight training but her movements were in a reasonable place and it was clear she would likely progress well when coached.
The problem, however, was a very poor relationship with food, the weight on the scales and calories in general!
When we went over her nutritional restructuring, Sarah was consuming an average of 900 calories a day (max 1200) she was heavily under-consuming protein and as we touched on above had not been weight training.
An initial foundational training program was put together and the sessions started, but the main focus was on helping Sarah realise that calories aren’t evil and that the weight on the scales isn’t a true sign of her health, strength or even her body composition.
In the photographs below, you can see Sarah’s starting point and then about 5 weeks in, in the first photo she is not lifting weights and consuming an average of 900 calories per day and performing a lot of cardiovascular training (mostly running or walking).
In the second photo, Sarah is weight training 3 days per week at an average session time of 50 minutes, and consuming on average 1400 calories (some days maxing at 1600).
The overall improvements in her physical strength and stability are tremendous as well as a very solid rate of body fat loss, the main result in my eyes is her new-found relationship with food and the diminishing fear of both body weight and eating well.
Sarah’s Journey (in her words)
Growing up being ‘bigger’ it is hard to get out of that mentality, focusing on the scales and what they say determining your mood. Looking in the mirror and seeing the girl that was over three stone heavier – despite that being almost 10 years ago.
My life has consisted of having a bad relationship with food for as long as I can remember, and I think that, along with that lack of confidence in myself and being diagnosed with polycystic ovary syndrome – which can affect your size among other things, stopped me properly working at the gym sooner. I remember almost five years ago going to a gym in my hometown, walking past a bunch of guys working out on the weights whistling at me – and it stopped me wanting to work in that zone – I stuck to cardio upstairs away from them which only helped me so much.
Fast forward to 2019 and I was lucky enough to meet Ryan through work and discussed the ‘transformation’ – so many thoughts went through my head, what if I don’t see a change? What if I give up and let people down? What if I let myself down?
A week later I bit the bullet and arranged my first session with Ryan, thinking I’d probably do one or two sessions, get embarrassed at how awful I was using weights and then give up – I’d almost accepted that before even starting.
But Ryan was able to reassure me, gave me guidance and helped me through each step – and after less than four weeks I feel different, I look different. I can go into a gym full of people, probably lifting 10x more than I can and not feeling intimidated. I look at what I am doing and what I am doing alone and focus on my own goals – and the change I’ve seen in this short space of time is incredible – not only physically but also mentally.
In less than four weeks people are commenting on how I look, noticing a difference and my confidence in myself has grown, not only in my personal life but at the gym also – I’m constantly pushing myself, going from deadlifting 20kg during one of my first sessions, to lifting 57.5kg three weeks later – almost my bodyweight!
I genuinely can’t thank Ryan and the team enough for the support they’ve given me and I’m proud to say I haven’t given up, and I’m not going to. Primal Life Gym has been the first place I’ve been to where I have felt 100% comfortable and I think that’s partly because every member becomes part of a community.
I can’t wait for 2020 – and smashing my 60kg deadlift target and beyond!