Think that joining a fitness class is just about losing weight and toning up? Think again. Yes, weight loss and change of appearance if desired can be a bonus to some, but for a lot of our members, that’s not a priority at all. Read on to hear about how #NoFilter Fitness has helped real Irish women who “don’t like the gym”
You have probably seen Claire featured in some testimonials and Before/ After pictures. Claire joined at the end of July last year on the open day without ever having taken a single class from me. Like many others who joined that day, she felt instantly that my studio was different and that she would feel comfortable. Just so you know, neither Claire nor myself know how much weight she lost, we can only go by pictures. Yes Claire wanted to lose weight, but it wasn’t until later that I found out the real reason why she wanted to drop some weight. She wanted to improve her chances at naturally conceiving… that’s a pretty big “why”… a bit more than losing weight just for the sake of it. Well after months of secrecy, Claire is now carrying a healthy pregnancy at 20 weeks and yes she’s still coming to the studio. She’s no longer training for weight loss, she’s training for a major physical event to give her the best chances of a safe delivery and recovery. Congratulations Claire and we can’t wait to meet the new bundle of joy in March next year xxx
Anna has been with me for a very long time, back when I used to teach in school halls and community centres. When she turns up to the studio she often says “I don’t care what we do once we’re moving” and when I opened the studio she told me that while it would be nice to drop a bit of fluff round the problem areas, her main focus is to remain fit so that she will still be able to do everyday things later on in life. Anna’s daughter suffers with Crohn’s disease, something that’s in no way easy for her child to bear and as a mother to watch. After exhausting frustrating days in hospital with her daughter, being told there’s not a lot to be done, Anna finds immense stress relief in coming to the studio, be it to lift some weights or dance it off or stretch it out, coming to the studio releases those frustrations and helps her refocus on what’s important: doing the best that she can for her family. Her daughter has often popped in to class when she’s felt well enough to do so and she loved it, not mad about Pilates now but ya know it’s ok to have different tastes!
Now if there’s one woman who I feel has every right to complain as often as she likes, it’s Gina. However Gina never complains. Ever. She’s a breath of fresh air and when she’s off jett setting the world, we often miss her dry humor in class and often refer to her “If Gina were here, you’d be put in your place!” Haha. Gina suffers from Fibromyalgia and Colitis. It’s not easy dealing with one “invisible” illness, but two now, that’s rough. But as I said, she doesn’t complain and she does what she can especially at times when the pain flares up in her hands and feet. She started with me a month before I opened the gym, taking to the Bootcamp in the park, getting stuck in. She has found that exercising has helped her not just gain some physical strength, but improved her sleep and her mood – two things that often take a big hit when suffering with chronic pain. And sure she enjoys her bag of chips on the way home after Bootcamp!
I’ve always said that if I ran for President, Sue would be my campaign manager. Sue joined me way back in my school hall days and hasn’t looked back since. Just so you know in school halls I only taught dance fitness, even when I started introducing some bodyweight stuff Sue steered clear until I brought in Bootcamp in the Park and she tried it with bated breath. Since then she has taken everything I’ve thrown at her, she squats, she lifts, she swings and she grunts and groans to push for that “1 more rep!”
Now friends of Sue have come to me to say that her confidence and self esteem have come on ten times over since taking up fitness. Sue is now the social queen, so much that I have to remind her is she coming in to do a bit of lifting haha!
Sandra is another one who has been with me since day one. Doing dance fitness with me for years before I introduced her to weight training and if I say so myself, she’s taken to it like a duck to water. And old injury has left one of her arms significantly weaker than the other. She started out barely being able to hold a plank, now she’s doing pikes in the TRX and smashing full push ups like it’s no-one business. She deadlifts 60kg easy and since starting strength training her upper body strength has improved tenfold. I often have to do the “Sandra test” to myself in class… to make sure that she’s still challenged, if Sandra is tired then that means that EVERYONE is wrecked.
A lady never reveals her age, but Angela is a grandmother and her daughter Nicola is also a member at #NoFilter. Angela started out with Clubbercise back in the school hall days and since the studio opened she has zero interest in dance fitness and only wants to work in the weight room. Last Summer she could barely do 12 leg drops (abs) and now she’s smashing 33 in a minute. Her weight hasn’t changed much but the inches have gone down which is a clear indicator that she’s dropping fat and gaining muscle. She gets at least six classes in per week at the studio and is under clear instructions from me to tell anyone to feck off when they say “You don’t need to go to the gym”. She loves it so why tell someone to stop doing what they enjoy? You’re a machine Angela, and you’re an inspiration to us all.
I have to mention Angeline because if anyone knows her you’d know she’s one of the kindest women on the planet. Angeline started out with Clubbercise, she openly told me that the weight room looks like a torture chamber and there’s no way that she’d take any classes in it. Well now I can’t get her out of the weight room, she’s smashing HIIT and Boxercise and this week she finally moved from a 6kg Dumbbell to an 8kg Kettlebell. I’m not sure if she was fed up waiting for me to buy in a 6kg Kettlebell but I knew she’d eventually pick up the 8 when she was ready… 12kg next week eh Angeline? 😉
Antoinette isn’t a member at #NoFilter. Though she used to come to my Clubbercise classes and Bootcamp before I opened the gym. She’s not a member for her own reasons, but since then she has been following me on social media and picking up tips that I dish out on a regular basis. She’s also on the email list, as is everyone who has attended a class at some point. She recently reached out to me saying that she does miss the classes but loves the stuff I’m sharing and has been going at her own pace since March and in that time she’s lost a whopping two stone!! She said she feels so much better within herself and now has bundles of energy. Just from applying general advice given freely, because sharing is caring! I’m absolutely thrilled for her, she’s thrilled herself too as she should be.
And that’s just a few to mention…
I’ve loads more stories to tell, but I’ll save them for another day. There are women who celebrate little wins everyday from being able to tie their own shoelaces to being able to go out for a meal without being overwhelmed with panic. There are women who have spoken to me privately and said “This place saved me” – and no I’m not making that up. Whenever I’m in self-doubt and thinking I should close, I think about the women who would seriously miss something special in their lives because they will not find another place like it. For those who are looking to lose weight and tone up, by joining #NoFilter you’ll soon figure out that by being kinder to yourself as you are now will in turn aid the aesthetic benefits, it doesn’t work the other way round.
Don’t think “I’ll love myself when I lose the weight” because I’ll tell you right now that won’t happen.
And if you do follow me on social media or are on my mailing list – I’m a one-woman band, if you like what I do please tell someone about it. My goal is to help as many women as possible find health and happiness in their own skin and see the amazing things that they can do when they take that leap. You don’t need to put yourself through more misery to get the outcome that you want. I don’t just coach from the studio, online memberships are now available and for the cost of a takeaway or a couple of drinks, really it’s not a huge investment in changing your life.