When Claire messaged me she was 'punishing' herself with exercise and food. Working out for 45 minutes every day on the exercise bike in her bedroom and eating no more than 2 meals a day totalling 600 calories. Not only did she have a dress that needed to fit in 7 weeks' time but as a mother of two daughters, she was concerned she would pass her body confidence issues and weight struggles onto them.
Below is the lovely letter Claire wrote me after she achieved her goal a week earlier than anticipated. The likelihood is you'll recognise the feelings and the situation; I certainly do.
I'm incredibly grateful to Claire for the trust she placed in me; it couldn't have been easy when I was asking her to do seemingly counter-intuitive things such as increasing her calorie intake and decreasing her exercise time but that's for another article. For now, I'll leave you with Claire...
I don't know how I can thank you enough for the last 6 weeks.
I began this journey as a fitness and nutrition cynic; believing that weight loss had to be gruelling, unpleasant and self-punishing. I believed I was a lost cause. I believed I had something wrong with both my body and mind.
I was desperate when I text you for a quick fix, and when you told me your plan, I didn't believe I could do it - but I trusted you and I believed in you.
Today, I have not reached my ultimate goal but 2 weeks early, I fit into my dress! I have lost just over a stone and that fat back is no more.
I have found exercise that I enjoy and I am no longer irrational and guilt-ridden when I eat.
You have inspired me in so many ways. You have changed my life. You are a true friend and I will be forever grateful.
I wish you every success, happiness and fortune in the future, Maggie. I honestly don't know what I would have done without you. It takes a very special person to connect with people who feel hopeless about weight loss, and you were the first and only solution I have encountered in my 42 years.
At 29 years old, I was at my lowest weight and a size 8, but I was obsessive about exercising (between 2 and 3 hours per day) and faint with hunger. Regardless of how much weight I lost, I was still incredibly unhappy.
I now have a different vision, thanks to you. I don't want to be skinny, I want to be strong. I want my daughters to see me role modelling healthy habits, and understand that nutrition and fitness are part of enjoying life and maintaining a healthy mind and body.
I actually enjoy the food I eat now and no longer have food cravings. I understand moderation, and don’t see eating out or the odd treat as a failure in my quest to lose weight. I no longer complain that I have no time to exercise. I look forward to my fitness sessions, both the HIITs and the weights, and I don’t feel guilty about my rest days.
I will never go back to that person I was. You have broken my vicious cycle and the whole world should know how amazing you are.
I owe you so much. This is the short version of how thankful I am.
Claire's story can be your story, Spark Fitness with Maggie now.