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I met Sean at CrossFit XIXI in Dec 2014 which a friend of mine recommended.

I was trying to get fitter and lose weight gained over a few years following a serious knee and ankle injury. I had finished rehabilitating from recent surgery on my knee but I had been told that I would never regain full mobility in my knee and that I should not participate in any high impact physical activity as I risked damaging my fragile knee again. I developed arthritis in my knees and ankles over the past 5 years too. It meant that I was in pain when walking and my joints felt stiff almost all the time.

So knowing that I was limited with what I could achieve I joined Crossfit as a last ditch effort to see if it would help me gain some level of fitness in order that I might feel better about myself.

Weight loss wasn’t really my first priority. I had accepted that I’d never really get any level of cardio activity in order to lose the weight I’d put on. I’d gained about 16lbs over the past few years since I got injured. I was never really skinny and I wasn’t an athlete but I was very active. I used to run an average 20-25 miles a week, go to the gym and walked quite a lot as well. But my passion was trampolining. I trained twice a week and was learning to become a coach. Getting injured and having that taken from me overnight meant my life was completely changed. It was very hard to accept.

Cost was a bit of an issue, but more than that it was the self-doubt. I’ve tried losing the weight I’d gained a number of times but I’d never managed to keep it off. Self-sabotage was also an issue as depression kicked in. So I was very doubtful about anything new that might be recommended.

I had a long conversation with him one day. And he asked me what I thought was a healthy diet. Then he told me how the food I was eating would impact on my body. He told me how fats, carbohydrates and proteins worked in the body. And he gave me couple of tips and hints to try out on my own over the next few weeks. So in the new year I made it my new years resolution to just try following his tips. Within a couple of weeks I started to notice a difference in how I felt and I’d lost 5lbs. I didn’t sign up with Sean until February because I was still a bit doubtful but at the back of my mind was the feeling that I needed help. And everything I was being taught in the exercise classes was working so why should the nutrition advice be any different. I had nothing to lose.

Other members started to give advice about eating properly and I started to ask questions. Quite a few people told me stories about how much weight they’d lost and how much stronger they were now after only a few months of coaching with Sean. So when I signed up in February I had one goal in mind: to lose 1 stone. But he threw me when he said its not just about the weightloss, its also more about nourishing the body and replacing the fat in your body with muscle. That blew my mind away. I thought muscles were for bodybuilders.

I’ve had some major obstacles to deal with over the past 3 months and I’ve really struggled with implementing the meal plan that Sean gave me. Cutting out sugar was really hard. I have struggled with it even though I didn’t think I was even addicted to sweet treats, but if I have a little something sweet like cake then I want more and that second slice will lead to a craving for other foods. It took about a month to beat that one. The next thing to cut out was wheat: bread, pasta, pastry, biscuits. My family have made it very hard for me to give up wheat. They still want the bread, sandwiches and chappatis and I still have to make their meals. its hard to make 2 sets of meals, one for me and one for the family but I’m doing it because I can feel the difference.

The actual nutrition plan is really simple and easy to follow but I’ve struggled to get my head round how much food I actually need to eat! I tell my friends I’m on a diet and I’m sat in front of a huge plate of food. not only that but I have 4 meals a day! Its crazy. I didn’t believe Sean when I saw how much I needed to eat and to be honest I have missed meals, but on those days I’ve lost muscle mass rather than fat so now I stick to the plan. The cravings for junk food have gone and its quite nice that I feel so much healthier.

The greatest result I’ve gotten is that the swelling and inflammation in my knees and ankles from rheumatoid arthritis has cleared up. I don’t have pain in any of my joints (apart from exercise stiffness). My posture is so much better too.

The crossfit training and eating plan compliment one another. I’ve really enjoyed working with Sean and I have learned so much. The results can only be achieved once you’ve made a commitment to change and even though I struggle to keep going I do it because it has made such a big difference. I thought I had a healthy diet based on all the general healthy eating guidelines from the NHS. What I’ve found that actually it wasn’t that great and that I had far too many ‘treats’ and bad habits.

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Since giving up wheat from my diet all the inflammation has cleared up and I don’t have any bloating feeling. I never knew that wheat could have that effect on me and I’m so pleased that I found out. In April I was able to walk on the moors near Bolton for the first time since 2009. It was an amazing feeling. We walked 14km! No pain at all. In December I couldn’t even walk up 2 flights of stairs at work without holding on to the bannisters.

9lbs scale weight lost
5.4 body inches dropped
4% body fat dropped
9.3lbs fat mass dropped

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