James went from overweight, depressed and unhealthy, to losing 15kg and being the fittest he’s ever been in his life. How? Here he walks us through the changes he’s made both physically and mentally through personal training with ATP Fitness.
What motivated you to begin your health and fitness journey with ATP Personal Training?
I was in such a bad place when it came to my self-body image, self-confidence and my general lifestyle. It was a sink or swim situation: if I didn’t make this work, there were going to be some serious repercussions down the line with regards to my ability to make these changes on my own. I was about 15kg overweight and feeling terribly unfit, and my lifestyle at the time was only making things worse. I was transitioning into a new job and I just wanted to feel good about myself.
I’ve now made a full 180 turn. I was previously fat, depressed, unhealthy, unfit, drinking copious amounts of alcohol and always making up excuses as to why I wasn’t in shape.
How did you work towards such a lifestyle transformation?
It was a challenge in the beginning, which just showed me how out of whack my lifestyle was. But I told myself to commit and stay dedicated. Initially, my friends gave me some stick for not being up for regular big nights out. But I told myself to prioritise my health. Once I made that conscious decision to commit fully to the nutrition, training and positive lifestyle changes, I lost 8kg in the first eight weeks! When I saw those results, I was hooked.
I’d always been a bit scared that I would finish my plan with ATP and just go back to my old ways. Now, I’ve seen how easy it is to maintain this for the long term. I have no fears of eating what I want and going out for drinks with friends because I have the knowledge to keep the processes and habits in place.
How has the transformation impacted your daily life?
A lot of personal growth. For me, fitness is one of the pillars of good mental health, and my transformation has allowed me to manage stress levels so efficiently. I’m more confident, disciplined and organised.
I’m fitting into my work clothes a whole lot better, which I know is a physical thing but also a mental thing as it’s given me more confidence in my job – and more confidence in general. I can now walk into a room with my shoulders back feeling good about myself because I look a lot better than I used to. I don’t think that’s a case of vanity; when you feel good within yourself, you are projecting that out.
The effort I’ve put into planning my meals and exercise has crossed over into my work life. I’ve become a morning person by habit and I’ve never been so fit. It feels amazing. I’m 100 percent more in touch with what I’m eating and the effect it has on my body. I never really thought about nutrition before. I would have a big night out, then spend the weekend inactive, hungover and eating what I wanted.
My coaches have been very good at educating me along the way with regards to nutrition and how I can make small changes during the day and week so I can still enjoy a night out and not have to suffer the indulgent consequences.
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This article first appeared in the Winter 2020 issue of Expat Living magazine. Subscribe now so you never miss an issue.