Just over 5 years ago it’s fair to say I’d be the least likely person to be privileged with writing on the blog of a sports nutrition company.
Weighing in at over 20.5 stones my 50″ inch chest was far from muscular, my “man-boobs” a constant source of embarrassment and my 40″ waist a nightmare to cover with the clothes I wanted to wear. My weight problem wasn’t something I’d just developed in my thirties, as many do, I’d always battled with it. I was bullied at school, spent my teenage years between periods of starving and binge eating and my twenty’s consisted of frantically experimenting with every “miracle” weight loss pill, potion and shake. Needless to say I just got heavier and more unhappy.
When I work with clients now or give talks around the country, I talk of “trigger moments”. Many have them. Thankfully at 36 years of age I did too. A suit fitting for a wedding resulted in me being confronted with exactly where I’d let my weight issue get to. The person in the mirror disgusted me that Saturday afternoon. I’ll never forget that image or that feeling. The rest of that weekend was spent in tears, I’m big enough to admit that. Sunday was spent in self pity BUT Monday I woke determined to change. I joined the gym. Booked my induction and started the next day. The sight of myself in training gear that first day will also both haunt me AND drive me on!!!
I battled hard. 4 months and 4 stone off. It hurt. It wasn’t easy but I never missed a single day. Then my weight loss came to a halt. No matter what I tried the plateau continued. I drastically increased my training, twice a day, 7 days a week and I began to under-eat.
“Over-training ” syndrome is common, it’s a nasty place to be and I gave myself a giant dose of it!!! I needed help. I was too weak to train. My doctor was horrified and my friends assumed I’d contracted a serious illness. I knew I needed knowledge to resume the training I now so desperately missed. I hired a PT, I began studying for my nutrition qualifications and I slowly saw my strength and fitness return. Within a year of starting out I’d dropped 5.5 stone, 6 inches from my waist and was onto a further sports nutrition qualification.
The last couple of years have seen me blessed to follow my passion and really focus on nutrition working in person with some of the top global names in this industry, specialising with Rehan Jalali and Dr Layne Norton in particular.
Clients came to me for nutrition help. They loved the fact that I’d “been there”, I’d truly “walked the walk” and I knew exactly how they felt. I started to develop a waiting list and eventually decided to quit the motorcycle business I’d owned for over 10 years and follow my new dream. I then qualified as a personal trainer and combined all my knowledge and experience into my new venture, HQ Fitness Academy where I’m blessed to spend every day helping others change their lives. I run bootcamp, a Weight Loss Academy, group exercise, personal training and nutrition mentoring face-to-face and online. My results with clients are well known locally, as is my reputation for being hardline! I know what it takes to achieve and keep results and my clients know the level of discipline I demand to achieve that.
This year has seen me tackle my self image issues head on. I have fairly severe body-dismorphia from years of being so unhappy with how I looked and it was suggested I put myself to the ultimate test and go on stage!!! Back in March I did just that, placing 2 nd in Mr. Athletic and winning Mr Body Transformation Ireland with my now 7 stone loss. I was hooked. June saw me compete again, winning Mr Body Transformation Europe. Show 3 for this year is now just weeks away.!!
I’m living the dream you could say. I’ll never take my transformation for granted. I’ll never take my foot off the gas and I’ll never forget where I came from.
Without the never ceasing support of my amazing partner Cathy, my two gorgeous daughters Zara and Lucy, I wouldn’t be where I am today. To now become part of Team Deluxe and hopefully help others throughout the country in some way is a huge honour and privilege, a massive help and quite an achievement I guess for the former “fat kid”.
Train hard, eat clean, love life.