I’ve been fairly active most of my life, but have always struggled with food, as well as body confidence. Having two children also changed my body, and I was holding on to some baby weight after having my second child. Prior to starting personal training at Trench Fitness in July 2016, I was going to classes at another gym 4-5 times a week, and felt like I was eating fairly well. But, I didn’t feel like I was where I wanted to be physically, which also impacted me mentally.

In April 2017, I did my first 12 week program with Neil. I didn’t know what to expect, and I didn’t really have a specific goal, other than I felt like I wanted to be smaller and lose weight. To be honest, I was a bit skeptical. This program we decided to focus on strength and muscle building, and tracking macros (first time ever for me!). Over the course of these 12 weeks, Neil added almost 600 calories a day to my diet, including what I felt were a lot of carbohydrates (which I was avoiding at the time). Over these 12 weeks, I doubted and questioned every food increase, thinking that we were for sure heading in the wrong direction. I assumed I was going to gain weight, and head in the opposite direction of where I wanted to go. Neil told me numerous times, to just trust the process. I gained 1 pound over the 12 weeks, added about 60 lbs to my deadlifts – and I was eating 600 more calories a day – while going down two sizes in my jeans.

Lessons learned these 12 weeks:

  • Carbohydrates are not bad for you and will not make you fat
  • I was not eating as “healthy” and “well” as I thought I was
  • Lifting heavy weights is actually pretty fun and gave me some confidence
  • Crunches alone will not give me abs

In October 2017, I started my second nutrition program with Neil, with the goal of becoming leaner, but still maintaining my strength.

Neil adjusted my food levels to a calorie deficit, around 1600 calories, with one high food day per week. This was hard the first couple weeks. I had to get past times I felt hungry, and the times where all I wanted to eat was a cheeseburger or ice cream. The food got easier after a few weeks, as I made adjustments to the types of foods I was eating – more vegetables and leaner proteins. Over these 12 weeks, I was still able to hit new PRs consistently as Neil continued to push me in my training. I did 4 workouts a week, and 1 cardio session (spin), as well as weighing and tracking my macros every single day. Every week, I did my workouts and every week I stayed consistent in my nutrition (and yes, there were times where a bit of chocolate and ice cream were part of my daily macros). I also learned something new every week either from a nutrition or training perspective.

Lessons learned these 12 weeks:

  • I would not have gotten to my goal if I hadn’t fixed my nutrition– no matter how many personal training sessions, spin classes, or how few carbs I was eating – it wouldn’t have happened.
  • It was not easy all the time
  • Body changes do not occur overnight, in a month, or even in just 12 weeks – it takes time and continuous effort
  • I am eating better now than at any other point in my life
  • I need to accept that the number on the scale is not the only indicator of progress

The end result – I feel like I am in better shape physically now, in my 30s, than I ever was in my 20s or prior.

Next chapter in the Trenches is a third nutrition program with Neil– new goals, new PRs, and maintaining the leaner body composition that I now have. Can’t wait to see what we can do with this one!