"Working out helps to give me routine and discipline which has also helped me in other areas of my life." - Hilary
I’m Hilary, and I’m 24. I joined PureGym Leeds City Centre South in December 2017. Last summer I started having heart palpitations which was very scary at the time. I would wake up some nights with my heart rate at 130 BPM, which is high for someone at rest, and it wouldn’t settle. This went on for about 3 months.
It really brought attention to what I was putting into my body and how my body was reacting into focus.
High calorie processed foods would trigger my heart rate to go up so I've reduced my intake of these foods and have made a conscious effort to eat more fresh wholesome foods. My GP suggested I limit my caffeine intake. I have also cut out alcohol to help prevent me from experiencing further heart palpitations. After a while, my weight loss slowed down and I knew it was time I should start exercising so I joined PureGym.
Getting into working out
At my first visit to PureGym Leeds City Centre South, I had an induction with one of the personal trainers called Reanne. I really liked her energy and approach towards exercises and nutrition so that afternoon I emailed her to set up sessions.
I knew I needed a personal trainer because honestly, I had no idea where to start or what to do.
Reanne takes my thoughts into account when planning my programmes. Having a PT has really helped with my confidence by knowing what to do in the gym. As a teenager, I loved boxing so we incorporate pad work into my PT sessions, and I’ve really been enjoying it. I’ve currently been going to the gym 3 times a week but I am looking to increase to 4 times a week.
Improving my diet
I’ve been improving my diet as well to help me lose some weight. In order to lose weight, you need to be in a calorie deficit, which means that you need to burn more energy than you’re consuming. To work out a suitable calorie deficit range, I calculated my basal metabolic rate (i.e. the calories my body needs to function), and from there worked out how much deficit I should be in to lose weight sustainably with the help of my personal trainer. I find it helpful to track everything I eat into an app as it keeps me accountable. In terms of the actual food I eat, I used to have a real problem with binge eating so I identified my trigger foods and I don’t buy these anymore. I try to eat as much homemade food as I can and I include as many vegetables as possible with a good source of protein.
Changes I've noticed
Since going to the gym, I’ve lost a considerable amount of weight.
My stomach and my arms are much smaller and I’m starting to see a change in my hips too. I don’t get out of breath as quickly as I used to.
I’m really proud that I’ve been going to the gym consistently.
To help me stay motivated to work out, I think about how far I’ve come and I think about how great It’s going to feel when I finish. I post pictures and videos of every time I go on Instagram so people do ask me how it’s going and that helps me because it keeps me accountable.
Working out helps to give me routine and discipline which has also helped me in other areas of my life.
It also gives me a space to work off stress. I know that I can go into the gym and I will come out feeling mentally better. Even though it was a hard day at work or I just don't want to go, I still did and that feels pretty good. My husband always tells me "The days you don't want to go are the most important days to go" and he's right.
My top tips
For those who are just starting out in the gym, my top words of advice would be:
- Don’t worry about other people. Just focus on you.
- Make manageable changes so that you can stick to it
- Wear clothes that you feel comfortable and confident in
- Don’t take advice from fitness social media at face value. Do your own research, if something seems too good to be true then it probably is. Be patient and kind to yourself!
- Do something you like. If you don’t like what you’re doing try something else , there will be something you enjoy.
Thinking of hiring a PT? Check out our tips to help you choose the right personal trainer for you here.
Click to read the following articles written by PureGym personal trainer Reanne Francis: