So after coming out of a 10 year relationship I looked at myself in the mirror and hated looking at the person who stood before me, hated what I had become, hated everything about myself. I was soon to turn thirty, overweight at a size 18/20, highly insecure, with zero confidence and honestly very depressed.

So that was the turning point, I overhauled my diet cutting out the junk…. sweets, cakes and weekly takeaways were banished and I started doing fitness DVDs at home where no one could see me making a complete fool of myself. I thought about joining a gym but was far too embarrassed and self-conscious of my body and inabilities and felt I would be a laughing stock for all those gym bunnies and posers that you conjure up at the mere thought of a gym!

Slowly my weight started to drop and my clothes started to feel bigger on me, I turned 30 in August and painted the town red wearing a size 14/16, I felt better but still not wonderful.

The thought of joining a gym still filled me with fear yet I had reached a point in my home workouts where I wasn’t progressing, I drove past the Better Body Group numerous times trying to gather some courage to actually get out of my car and go in. One day in October 2015 I got the courage, I made the call and arranged an appointment, there was no going back now! I have to say that has been the best decision I have ever made.

Matt, no longer at Better Body Group, was very welcoming and put me at ease very quickly, we talked about my goals, what I wanted to achieve and how we could go about achieving some of them. Being shown round was very intimidating with so many ‘torture devices’ out on display, I admit I was terrified! It took me a good couple of weeks after that initial meet and greet to actually sign up for the 6 week, three times a week training programme; I still lacked any form of confidence and felt I would be the token fat girl trying to fit in.

I am so glad I found that courage to go ahead and start training, every trainer and staff member makes you feel so welcomed and at ease, workouts were tailored to fit my abilities and levels of fitness and I actually admit I did rather enjoy them! Matt was brilliant and my fitness improved and I started feeling better about myself, my nutrition was worked on and my diet benefited greatly. My body started changing shape and I started to shift the pounds.

At the end of the 6 week programme I found I really loved coming to the Better Body Group. So in January I signed up again for more training sessions, this time with Rebecca. She is an amazing trainer with a love for gummy bears! The workouts she creates each week have a good mix of strength & conditioning and cardio, no two sessions are alike. Rebecca pushes me to work hard and try new things yet we still manage to have a good chat and giggle which makes working out an enjoyable experience and most importantly she motivates me to want to keep coming back for more! She takes her time to talk me through new exercises and how to use a new piece of equipment correctly, those ‘torture devices’ really aren’t that scary when properly explained!!! She is bright and bubbly, and always has a smile on her face, I thoroughly enjoy spending a couple of hours each week with her, being her guinea pig for all the new exercises she wants to try out from her big book of workouts! I would highly recommend her to anyone on the lookout for a new trainer!

During one late evening training session with Rebecca, there was a class going on in the background, the guy running it was, shall we say, extremely enthusiastic!! That class turned out to be spin and that guy was Jimmy! Well I decided to pluck up the courage and attend this class, Rebecca had warned me that Jimmy is like the Duracell bunny and never stops! True to this warning, my first introduction to spin and Jimmy was knackering! But the girls in the class made me feel so welcomed that I thoroughly enjoyed it! Even though I couldn’t walk properly the next couple of days, I went back again the following week and again found I really enjoyed it, so much so that I am now a huge convert and try and drag my friends along for the ride! Spin now forms part of my weekly workout routine, in fact it’s one of my favourite new things, I love it! Somehow during one of these spin classes I was talked into also joining Jimmy’s boxercise class on a Saturday morning… so that’s how I now spend my Saturday mornings, 8am at the gym having a serious workout yet having a good time doing it! Everyone there makes you feel so welcomed and part of the group, that the hour seems to fly by, (unless you are hanging, boxercise and a hangover are not the best combination!), like they say time flies when you are having fun!

What I must admit to though is these classes would be nowhere near as enjoyable if it wasn’t for Jimmy, he has so much energy and love for what he does that he makes these classes worth getting up for at 8am on a Saturday, when truth be told I would much rather still be tucked up in bed sound asleep still recovering from his spin class on a Thursday night!!

So just over 18 months on from looking in the mirror and hating myself I can now say I am in a much happier place, my confidence has grown; I have met some amazing new people and made new friends. I want to say the biggest thank you especially to Rebecca and Jimmy and the whole team at the Better Body Group, you have all pushed, motivated and inspired me to become who I am today, a happier, more confident, (a size 8/10), woman who has learnt to love herself once again!