PureGym Insider Story: Emily
Hey, I'm Emily I am 28 years old and I have been working for PureGym for 6 months now! My story is all around healthy weight loss, as I have tired all the strict diets and workout plans, which made me realise it is important to embrace your lifestyle and work from there. As a PureGym Insider I can support you on your fitness journey, helping you reach your goals safely.Emily Rajch
WE SAT DOWN WITH EMILY AND DID A Q&A SESSION TO FIND OUT MORE ABOUT HER FITNESS JOURNEY AND WHAT SHE ENJOYS ABOUT THE GYM. READ ON TO SEE WHAT SHE SHARED WITH US.
Tell us your reasons behind keeping fit
Previously I was the girl who would forget my P.E. kit on purpose and it wasn't until about 3 or 4 years ago that I really got the fitness bug. During this time I lost 2 dress sizes and really educated myself on how to look after my body. However, the reasons behind why I train are constantly changing and I think that's fine. After all I am all about short term goals with the main focus being to have a healthy body both inside and out.
What's your favourite workout in the gym?
For many years I have been a lover of leg workouts, but more recently I have started to embrace upper body sessions. Initially this was something I would avoid as I thought I would get muscular arms and look more masculine, but as my journey progressed I began to understand that this was just a silly myth. Training shoulders, arms and back help get the best out of your leg workouts. Before when I was squatting and deadlifting my arms and neck would hurt, where as now I have built some upper body strength I don't get these pains.
Are you strict with what you eat?
I think it is important to be realistic. I enjoy food and cooking, so having a really strict diet would not work for my lifestyle. I have tried sticking to a strict diet plan, but it just wasn't for me. Earlier this year I took my weight loss journey further and wanted to challenge myself even more. It wasn’t just avoiding takeaways and the obvious unhealthy stuff. It was extreme! I had a coach and they provided me with a very strict plan to follow, including asparagus and egg whites every morning, seasonless chicken and fish, 4 litres of water a day and absolutely no sweeteners or artificial ingredients at all, yep that even included protein shakes! I managed to do this for 2 weeks before I realised it was not going to be a long term option. I couldn't socialise, I had no energy or strength for my workouts and I was always in a very low mood. Now I just track my calories to ensure I keep in a calorie deficit. If I want to eat a pizza, I will eat a pizza but most days I genuinely enjoy eating salads and chicken. It’s not hard for me to eat healthy as I enjoy the food. I’ve learnt to accept that I’m happy as a size 8-10 without prominent abs and low body fat %, as my mental health is far more important than how I physically look.
How do you find time for the gym and a social life?
I aim to do 3-5 sessions a week, no matter how long or short they might be. I tend to fit my workouts in around work, going early in the morning, on my lunch break or straight after I finish. I'm also quite lucky as my partner is really into the gym too, so we treat the gym as an activity we can do together. We love to spend a day working out together, heading for some much-deserved food and then an evening of sofa surfing.
What's your favourite gym wear brand?
I don't just stick to one brand, but I do love H&M for basics, they have the best sales and you can get loads of stuff for under £10. TK Maxx is also great for the bargains, and more recently I have been loving GymShark, MyProtien and Peaches.
What's the most commonly asked question you receive about fitness?
“How can I lose weight fast?” Sometimes its even mad questions like, “can I lose two stone in 3 weeks?” And these dangerous questions I can really relate to as I was once in that position of wanting a quick fix. I’ve been the girl who’s taken slimming pills and drank shakes for 3 weeks and had it in my head I will have a super toned slim athletic body at the end of it which I now know is never going to happen. As times gone on, I’ve educated myself in what a healthy weight loss lifestyle really is. There’s no quick fix, you have to work hard to achieve results and keep them. Diets do not work. Choosing to eat foods with lower calories, taking the stairs not the lift, enjoying a work out and trying new things to keep yourself mentally stimulated is what works.
If you could give someone who is just starting their fitness journey 3 tips, what would they be?
1. Be kind to yourself
Your journey needs to be a progressive lifestyle change, not a drastic overnight one. For example, if its weight loss you want, don’t drop from 3000 calories a day to 1500 calories a day overnight. Try smaller portions to start with, increase your water intake, then each week progressively decrease your calories. No one sticks to eating plans that are too restricting!
2. Educate yourself
YouTube is an amazing place, anything you want to know about your body, weight loss, nutrition, muscle gain, workouts, people’s experiences, you can find on YouTube. This is how my weight loss journey started, I heard about HIIT training, put it into YouTube and would do Joe Wicks free 20 minutes workouts in my kitchen. Then I started wanting to know about what I should be eating to fuel my workouts and researching more and more online. PureGym's YouTube/Instagram has so many great tips and advice, so I would head there!
3. Be consistent
The only way to see results is to be consistent, you will not see results over night, keep at it! Take photos of your body in the same place every week. This is the best way to track progress and will honestly make you feel so good! I wish I had saved more of my before photos but at the time I didn’t want anyone to see me in a bikini. It seems like nothing now as I upload myself on the beach on social media all the time now, but back then I would never let anyone take photos of me. Something I regret now so don’t be ashamed of your photos! They are the start of your journey you will be so proud of.
Finally, what are the top 3 instagram accounts you love to follow?
@Amandafinniee and @hannaoeberg have been my go to fitness girl inpso for years now and the same for @sarahhashcroft for her fashion and fitness posts. I love the positivity that each of their feeds have and they are really honest about having bad days with eating or bloating and I can totally relate to that realness.
Follow Emily fitness tips at @emilypuregym or follow her blog here.
Check out the rest of our PureGym Insiders here.