Becky Life-Changing 24kg Weight Loss Helps Control PCOS
Becky was at rock bottom with her health.
She was constantly tired, clinically depressed and her weight had spiralled to the heaviest she’d ever been following a back injury.
The 35-year-old was struggling to control her polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and suffered from bad migraines.
Her weight left her feeling self-conscious and she couldn’t even face wearing a swimsuit to go swimming – a pastime she loved doing.
Nothing she tried worked to turn things around – personal trainers, diets and nutritionists – until she came to Ultimate Performance.
It was the death of her mother from illness that cemented in her mind about the importance of investing in health and motivated her to make a big change.
Just 22 weeks later and she has completely transformed her life, her health and her body.
“It’s given me the tools to get and stay healthy. It has not only transformed my appearance but my mental as well as physical health.
“I’m getting less self-conscious when I walk into a room. And for the first time in five years, I have mirrors (previously removed or covered up) in my house!”
Now Becky is revitalized after losing nearly 24kg and dropping five dress sizes over her 22-week transformation.
She is fitter, stronger, happier and healthier than she has been in years – and has brought her PCOS and migraines under control so much so that her doctor and neurologist are no longer considering medication.
Her carb-heavy vegetarian diet has been swapped for a high-protein, macro-calculated diet which has helped her lose weight and build strength and muscle.
Here Becky explains how she transformed her health over 22 weeks…
What were your expectations going into the programme and what were your motivations?
This was a last roll of the dice. I had tried diet after diet, personal trainers, seen nutritionists and dieticians and spent hours in the gym – and had nothing except a back injury to show for it.
I was constantly tired. The heaviest I had ever been. And clinically depressed. I was at breaking point.
UP had been on my radar for a while. But as a civil servant it seemed prohibitively expensive. I’d read Nick’s book and, although it’s not really targeted at women, it had got me back to the gym for the first time since I hurt my back three years previously. But I was scared of aggravating my injury.
It took the loss of my mother, and watching her illness take its toll, to make me realise how valuable health is, and that it was worth investing it. But I arrived at UP at my lowest point, physically and psychologically.
I had pretty high (possibly unrealistically high) expectations. I had seen what was possible and expected the level of service to match the significant financial outlay. But this was tempered by fear. Not that I could not or would not be able to put the effort in, but that it would not work for me – after all nothing else had.
Can you tell me how you were feeling both physically and mentally before starting with UP?
Miserable. Uncomfortable. Self-conscious. There were days I didn’t leave the house or hid under the duvet dreading people seeing me or having to find something to wear to work.
My PCOS and migraines were out of control – a dangerous, and self-perpetuating, combination.
I love swimming and all watersports but hadn’t been for years as I couldn’t face wearing a swimsuit or wetsuit. I didn’t even own a pair of shorts!
What was your diet and lifestyle like before you started your transformation with UP?
I didn’t eat loads of junk food, fried stuff or snacks. I’d all but given up soft drinks six months previously. But I pretty much lived on carbs. The blander the better. “Cardboard and bananas” as one friend described it. Plain pasta, rice and bread were my staples, with fruit and yoghurt adding the only colour.
I was scared of food and avoided eating until I had to. I knew some foods triggered migraines, but even ‘safe’ foods, when combined with other factors, could trigger them. It was a major source of stress in my life.
My lifestyle was almost completely sedentary. I had given up the sports I loved: boxing, fencing, swimming and fencing – even cycling to and from work – when I hurt my back and the weight had piled on. Most days I was so tired I would get home and go straight to bed.
How did your diet and lifestyle change when you started your transformation with UP?
Well, first I’m not vegetarian anymore!
Carbs are out, except in rare circumstances, and protein has become the centre of everything.
I track everything I eat. Macros are weighed, and I eat when my FitBit alarm tells me it’s time – whether I want to or not.
I now go to the gym six times a week – and miss it on rest days! I have also started boxing and fencing again. I even went swimming.
What effect did this have on your health, performance, lifestyle and energy inside and outside the gym?
My energy levels are the best I can remember. I am happier, fitter and feel healthier.
Neither my doctor or neurologist are thinking about more medication to tackle my migraines or PCOS anymore – both are under control.
But for me, the biggest impact has been that I rarely get stressed about food. I make sure my protein target is met, then add vegetables until I’m full.
How did you find the training and did it fit around your busy lifestyle?
Not that I’ll say this too often: I have loved the training. It’s rapidly become my top priority and, as sad as it sounds, has been the highlight of many a day.
It was hard- especially at first – but I love a challenge and it wasn’t as ‘bad’ as I imagined.
I am not, and don’t think I will ever be, a cardio bunny – there are more fun and presumably productive ways to spend 90 minutes in a gym, but I have surprised myself at how far my cardio has come.
My trainer Christian has been great about accommodating diary changes, but by scheduling calls on the journey to and from my training sessions I have been able to train at lunchtimes twice a week without it seeming like I’m absent from the office for large periods of time.
What were your results like after your transformation?
Definitely a work in progress. I haven’t reached my target (which if I am honest I had hoped I would have done by now - and am disappointed in myself for that) but understand why I’m not there yet and remain determined to get there even if my job has taken me overseas.
However, it’s a great start: I’m lighter by 23kg; I’m fitter – my first cardio I struggled to keep moving for 50 minutes on level 1.
Now I regularly do 90 mins on level 17-18. I’m thinner – 4-5 dress sizes smaller, and stronger and happier.
What were the most important things you learned during your journey and what really worked for you in helping you make your transformation?
- The importance of macros.
- That throwing weights around isn’t effective- its form and which muscles you activate that count.
- I’m capable of doing far more than I think.
Would you recommend UP and why?
I would recommend UP to anyone willing to put in the effort. It’s hard work, but there is a reason why everyone says UP are the best in the business – you get the results that no one else can.
Unlike other gyms/ personal trainers I have used, I was also really impressed by the lack of egos in the gym. Despite obviously being incredibly fit, it never felt like the trainers were judging you – just that they were friendly guys, who knew their stuff inside out, and genuinely wanted to help.