Member success story: Mairi shares her 7 stone weight loss transformation
At PureGym, we believe our members deserve recognition for their hard work in the gym. We also think there are times when we all need an extra boost to help stay motivated, and hearing stories from other members is one way that can help us all to stay on track, regardless of what our individual fitness goals are.
This month, we interview Mairi Scobie who has lost around 7 stone since becoming a member at PureGym in September 2015. As a result of her weight loss, she has gained greater self-confidence, in and out the gym, which just shows how physical activity can make a positive impact not only your health but also in other areas of your life.
Tell us a bit about yourself.
My name is Mairi Scobie. I’m 19 years old, and I work in content marketing where I write and plan content for my company’s website, blog, guides, eBooks etc.
That’s really interesting! So when did you decide it was time for you to work on improving your fitness?
Leaving school was a new chapter for me. Back then I spent so much time hating myself and the way I looked so it was a good turning point for me to change the way I thought of myself and to change the way I lived my life.
For most of my life I had always been the ‘fat friend’ and there were times when I really wanted to change and lose weight but the motivation never lasted more than two weeks and I rarely made any progress.
'I spent so much time hating myself and the way I looked so it was a good turning point for me to change the way I thought of myself and to change the way I lived my life.'
Well we’re glad you were able to channel that feeling and turn it into something so positive! What was your exercise routine and diet like before?
I played a variety of different sports throughout school but I eventually ended up dropping most of the sports I played. Badminton was the only sport I really enjoyed and stayed with until sixth form. I ate healthy and nutritious foods with my family, but in between meals I would snack on whatever I wanted so looking back, my diet wasn’t great.
Snacking is always the hardest part of your diet to control. So how did you go about changing your lifestyle?
I started at the gym a few weeks after I started my job. I really had no clue what I was doing. I would go to the gym for an hour or so and alternate between walking on the treadmill, half-heartedly spending 10 minutes on the cross trainer, and using random machines. I found myself enjoying the gym even though I wasn’t doing much, and because the PureGym I go to is right across from where I work, it was very convenient for me to go after work.
Everyone has to start somewhere, the fact that you made the commitment to change is a big step in itself! When you started out, what kind of workouts were you doing in the gym?
After about a week in the gym, one of the PTs, Stuart Archibald, at PureGym approached me to try out a rowing challenge that was happening at the time- I said yes (not sure why, I wouldn’t have been able to do it!). I started doing weekly boxing sessions with him and followed the training programme he put together for me. When my fitness levels improved, we worked on training specific muscles groups and mixing up cardio, HIIT and weights. Stuart not only helped me with my training but also taught me so much about fitness and nutrition, different ways to workout, and more. He was very supportive and helpful- the gym was no longer a place that was daunting and scary to me. I also went to some of the classes like Legs, Bums & Tums and abs class.
That’s awesome! I’m glad you asked one of our PT’s for help and they were able to be so supportive to you on your journey. What about your diet, how did that change?
Once I started training with my PT, Stuart, I cut out a lot of ‘bad food’ from my diet and started eating more salads, fruit veg, chicken and porridge. I started to prep all my food for the week; lunches, dinners, snacks etc. This really helped with keeping on track and stopped me turning to unhealthy food. It took me a solid year to finally get my head around the fact that ‘food is fuel’ but I think eating healthy is essential for making any progress in the gym, regardless of what your goals are.
'Stuart not only helped me with my training but also taught me so much about fitness and nutrition, different ways to workout, and more.'
'It took me a solid year to finally get my head around the fact that ‘food is fuel’ but I think eating healthy is essential for making any progress in the gym, regardless of what your goals are.'
Dieting is definitely one of the most difficult things to stay on top of, but it sounds like you have a pretty good handle on it now! Have you been noticing changes to your general health and well-being as a result?
Besides seeing weight loss, I’ve gained so much self-confidence from working out in the gym which has made a positive impact on my work and social life. More recently, I’ve noticed more muscle definition, especially in my legs and shoulder areas, as well as feeling a lot stronger when performing certain lifts and exercises.
'Besides seeing weight loss, I’ve gained so much self-confidence from working out in the gym which has made a positive impact on my work and social life.'
We can certainly tell, you look great! Those moments where you notice change are what spur you on to keep going. So if you had to select 3 tips, for someone who is trying to lose weight, what would they be?
My top tips for losing weight would be:
- It’s a lifestyle, not a diet – Losing weight will take time, it won’t happen overnight. If you incorporate healthy eating and regular exercise into your everyday life, then it will become a habit and won’t seem like something you have to do anymore!
- Think small! – Start by making small adjustments with your physical activity and nutrition. If you make changes step by step, it’s easier for you stick to it in the long run and make lasting changes.
- Be realistic! – You didn’t gain all this weight in a month… so you’re not going to lose it all in a month. Set realistic goals and training schedules that you know you can stick to, rather than beating yourself up when you don’t reach an unrealistic target.
Brilliant - they seem like great tips and I’m sure our readers will find them extremely useful. If you were to pick your proudest fitness accomplishment to date, what would that be?
I’m really proud of how my ability to run has massively improved. It’s now my favourite form of cardio and I love doing fast interval sprints. My asthma has also improved a lot and even my PT has noticed that I barely need my inhaler anymore! And even things like climbing the stairs is not an issue anymore. I’m also very proud of managing to stick to my workout schedule, even when there have been times I’ve wanted to give up when I’ve felt discouraged or not seen progress.
'I’m also very proud of managing to stick to my workout schedule, even when there have been times I’ve wanted to give up when I’ve felt discouraged or not seen progress.'
Sometimes you might not be able to see the progress, but it most often takes time and effort, and often others will see it before you do! When you’ve struggled for motivation, what do you use to get yourself back in a workout mood?
For me it’s not a case of being motivated anymore, it’s just become a habit and something I really enjoy. Even when I don’t feel like going to the gym, I still go!
Taking before and after photos really helps with motivation as you can see how far you've come and the progress you've made so far. Also following fitness people on social media can inspire and motivate you to eat healthy and go to the gym.
'Taking before and after photos really helps with motivation as you can see how far you've come and the progress you've made so far.'
Some very useful advice! Speaking of advice, what would you suggest to others who may be struggling a bit more with their fitness goals?
Don’t give up! If you aren’t seeing results but are exercising regularly and eating healthy – do not feel discouraged! It can take a bit of time for it to show. And if you give up, you’ll just gradually go back to where you started and undo all the hard work you’ve already put in. Stick with it!
'Don’t give up! If you aren’t seeing results but are exercising regularly and eating healthy – do not feel discouraged'
That’s great. I’m sure plenty of people can relate to those thoughts and feelings! And what about for people who may think they don’t enjoy their exercise, what would you suggest for them?
There will definitely be something out there that you’ll love and enjoy. If you want to join a gym you can take a friend/gym buddy/family member etc. with you so you’re not alone, or try out sessions with a PT if you don’t know where to start with working out. Even going along to classes allows you to meet other people that you can potentially work out with. I think you just have to get out there are try a few things to find something that you really enjoy doing!
And final question, what’s goals are you looking to achieve now?
I still want to lose a couple more stones this year and improve my cardiovascular endurance for a Total Warrior 10K I’m doing in September. I’d also like to improve my strength on certain lifts and try out more weightlifting specific moves such as snatches, cleans and jerks, and also improve my pull-ups, flexibility, and handstands!
Well done Mairi for your amazing progress in the gym! Thanks for sharing your incredible weight loss journey with us, and we wish you nothing but the best in reaching your fitness goals.
Check out Mairi's Instagram for more amazing transformation pictures and inspiration to get you in the gym at: @mairiscobie