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Family Female Gym Training Humans of HIIT Injury Mental Health Pregnancy Weight Loss

Miranda McIntyre

“Depending on who you ask they would say my journey is complete or only beginning. I see it as a consistent journey.

I started my weight loss portion of my journey in 2010. I can not tell you my exact starting weight as I had become far too ashamed and afraid to know the truth, so I base my start at my last known doctor’s weigh in. 265lbs. I guarantee you I was well over that at the start of everything.

A little bit of background, I was a super skinny high energy kid, until I was about ten. Then my whole body composition and view of myself started to change. I hit puberty earlier than all my friends and started to gain weight very easily. I was 140lbs in fifth grade. From there I moved to a new town and school just before junior high. That added to me withdrawing and becoming far less active. Fast forward to high school graduation year, stress of school and the rest of my life facing me head on I gained more weight. Enough that my dress for grad didn’t fit well even with two layers of compressive garments to help sausage me into it. 184lbs at 18, it was extremely depressing for me. I was aware I was big, bigger than most of my friends. So I tried to hide my insecurity with being the helpful smiling friend. Pushing aside my own feelings, it wasn’t as if I wasn’t happy. I just didn’t deal with things when I should have. I suppressed a lot.

Pushing forward, I was married 29 days after my 21st birthday and got pregnant on my wedding night. Surprise! Definitely not something you plan to have happen. Though as unready as I was then, you honestly are never actually ready for kids. They come into your life and shake it all sorts of crazy in the best ways possible. Once my daughter arrived, my life didn’t change much in the way of my health. Two years later, I was pregnant with my son. His birth was traumatic on my body and my mental health. I developed postpartum depression, which manifested in me being only concerned with my kids. I didn’t want and need to have connections with friends or other family. Not even my husband. Needless to say my marriage dissolved and we divorced when my kids were 3 and 1. Though I began to make a few online friends, who were mums with kids the same age as mine. None of my friends were in that area of life yet; though they absolutely adored my kids.

The end of my marriage thrust me into living in a new city and back at home with my mum and dad for a couple years. It was within that time when I finally hit my “reason why” moment. I couldn’t make it up the stairs chasing my toddler without struggling to breathe. I decided since it was just me and my kids, I had to do everything in my power to be better for them. To make sure I was around as long as possible for them.

There I was at 27 years old trying to start my life over again and make the right choices for my health. I set myself as a priority for the first time in so many years. I struggled with that because I was so used to putting others ahead was always my way. Changing my diet, eating smaller portions, cutting out pop was the start. I then did the hard part. I would wait until my kids were asleep and go to the basement and work out to Jillian Michaels dvd’s and do minimum three Zumba songs on the Wii as cardio. This was my life for almost a year, every single night. I didn’t feel comfortable going to a gym. I had no idea what I was to even do at a gym. I started to research and after a while when I was not progressing much further with my home workouts, I found weight myself using my community sports complex gym. I was still sticking mostly to cardio because I had a delusional view of what my goal was. Skinny was the only goal that seemed to be in my mind; anything but fat. I had a new job which was very physically demanding now, my food intake was minimal. I had slipped into a very dangerous mindset.

I wanted to try running a Mud Hero Obstacle course. So in 2014 I did it! I was extremely proud of myself, I manage the run in under an hour and felt amazing for doing it. I was at my lowest weight 117lbs…..and I was still not happy nor was I actually healthy yet. I hit a wall in life again. I made some changes, was able to get my kids and myself into our own place. I had managed to move up in my company into an office position. I had a new drive to succeed. I also started a relationship with an amazing man. Life was improving. So needless to say going from a job that was physical and barely eating to a desk job and snacking of office snacks, my weight began to rise. I was becoming paranoid of the weight-gain, I was weighing myself 4 times a day. Knowing exactly if I limited myself to exact foods, I would gain an ounce. It was extremely damaging, thankfully I had my boyfriend who cared enough to push the hard conversation with me. To help me to see the truth in own worth and that I didn’t need to find value in the scale. That I didn’t need to fear, that I would get back to being over 265lbs. He helped me to see that I was strong, that because I was determined not to let myself get so overweight again I wouldn’t. He also pointed out that I needed to break away from the unhealthy need to be “skinny” that I needed to be healthy. Regardless that if for my body that means being closer to 135-140lbs.

I still have moments of struggle, but I wanted to find strength over being skinny. I needed to find what was MY healthy. I took that challenge of running the Mud Hero into running multiple Spartan Races, the community was so supportive and encouraging in finding your strengths and pushing your goals. I adjusted my training to include weight lifting and I could not have been happier! I even completed my Trifecta which is running a Sprint, Super and Beast in one season. The Spartan Beast was 24km+ up and down a mountain with obstacles, 33* blazing sun. I finished in 6 hours all alone. I got a finishers medal, a t-shirt and second degree sunburn! Beyond all that I proved to myself I can overcome anything. I hung up my racing glory for the past couple years since I was pretty darn banged up from multiple injuries, but my weightlifting has continued. I spoiled myself with new workout gear when I started my Spartan journey, that is how I found Gymshark and it changed my life. The clothes gave me a new found confidence in my body along with new connections in the fitness world. I have learnt so much from others whose journeys I have begun to follow. I took part in two Gymshark 66 challenges, I loved the engaging support and friends it has brought into my life. This isn’t just a company it is a family world wide. I even won third place in the 2019 campaign! I was dumbstruck! The fitness journey I am on is not a start and stop race. This is a lifestyle for me, ever evolving and being exactly what I need to live my truest healthiest life. I now love and appreciate my body, embrace my story, celebrate my shape even if it wasn’t the ideal of media. I share my journey to help anyone who was ever in the place I was, to know you can continue, you can change, you can adapt, it isn’t failing if you need to change your plans. It is only failing if you stop and you give up.

I am beyond grateful for my kids for being the reason that pushed me forward and continue to drive me. My boyfriend who loves me no matter what I am going through. To my friends who have joined me on this crazy lifestyle change and embraced their journey. I am proud and never want to stop this drive towards living my life instead of must numbingly let it pass foggy in front on me. I look forward to 5am gym sessions, hiking, family movie nights with lots of snacks, to balance in all parts of my life.”

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Family Female Gym Training Humans of HIIT Mental Health Pregnancy Weight Loss

Maryam Qureshi

“Growing up I was always at a pretty healthy weight, but I was never a very active person. I got married at the age of 19 and just a few months after I got pregnant with my first child. Back then there was no social media to help guide me along or motivate me to be healthy during my pregnancy. I gained a lot of weight and found myself struggling to lose it. Shortly after I got pregnant again and by the end of this pregnancy I was severely overweight.

Here I was….a newlywed and a young mother of two. I had gained so much weight in such a short amount of time. I became very depressed and felt trapped in a body that wasn’t me.  I had zero self confidence and lost my sense of worth. Fast forward a few more years and 2 more pregnancies. I was so happy to be a mom to these amazing kids but somewhere along the way I started to forget about myself. I didn’t give myself priority. I hated the person I saw in the mirror. By this time I was severely depressed and obese.

Until one day, 4 years ago, I said enough is enough! I joined a gym and started eating healthier. At first I absolutely hated the gym. I had no idea what I was doing. I would cry almost every single day and wanted to quit so many times. But I didn’t give up. Every single day I would dedicate some time to myself, I would give myself priority. Here we are today. I am still working towards my goals but I am so much healthier and happier. Exercise saved my life. Being active has completely changed my whole outlook and attitude. I have so much more self confidence now and I am proud of the person I have become! My message to anyone reading this is to never give up on yourself.”

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Family Humans of HIIT Male University Workouts Classes

Jacob Delveaux

I grew up in a heavy family from the American Midwest — think Big Macs and Thanksgiving dinners. I knew no other lifestyle other than sedentary. Of course I had heard of exercise, but it wasn’t for me. I didn’t like to get sweaty, I was busy, I had other things to do, etc. etc.

During my first year of undergraduate, I was pulled away from my family. It was the first time I started to question my lifestyle and I found that it didn’t make me satisfied. I started exercising, light at first — just going on walks while listening to some podcasts – and soon felt great! Why had no one told me that life could be this amazing? That my days could be so clear, that I could have so much energy? It was like waking up into a world of possibility, energy, and life! So much different than the dark, sluggish world I knew before. I added in push ups to my walks, then crunches, then found my way into the gym. I found that what I once thought was a gruelling chore was soon becoming the best part of my day. It took some patience, no doubt, (and I had a cheat day here and there), but by staying consistent and disciplined, I found myself shedding pounds and turning into something beautiful.

Now you can’t keep me away from the gym, a round of pushups, or an on-the-fly HIIT class! If I’ve learned anything from this journey, it’s to go out and do what you think is amazing – no matter what those around you think. Don’t wait for anyone else’s permission, don’t seek anyone else’s approval but your own, don’t let others negativity get you down! Get out there and get fit! Let’s do it!”

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Family Humans of HIIT Male Weight Loss Workouts Classes

Liam Addison

“20 stone is when I started losing weight seriously. I always struggled to maintain a healthy weight even as a child. I was completely oblivious to how heavy I was. Takeaways and processed food was my food of choice and working as a travelling engineer, sandwiches and pasties were my go to food.

My relationship with exercise started up again seriously in November 2019. After taking just over 7 years off, because of a steady girlfriend who is now my wife and the children that followed. It was nerve racking at first but since the diet change in august, I had lost over 2 stone and wanted to keep the momentum following. I was exercising 5 days a week following a simple routine I had found on the Samsung health app. The workouts are just simple movements, nothing fancy, basic push/pull exercises followed by cardio on either the x trainer, rowing machine or bike. But ironically the bikes were never my favourite in the gym. My workouts were before work also usually at 6am and for about an hour and a half.

Since the lockdown though my exercise has changed. I am now training everyday, roughly for 30 mins in my home gym and ride on average 30km on my bike every other day. I wasn’t working out at all before November. I work as a travelling engineer so that was my excuse. Being on the road and sleeping in different hotels. Today I weigh 16 stone and in the best shape of my life. I started my Instagram page to keep me accountable and to remind myself of where I was. I still travel with work but a gym has to be available in the hotel or I won’t stay there. I guess you can say all in my priorities have shifted and for the better. I’m most definitely a healthier happier person because of exercise and losing the weight.”

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Family Humans of HIIT Injury Mental Health Physical Impairment Sport University Weight Loss

Michael Kiddell

“I’m a mature student that has thrown himself into university life. I am a student night manager, university sports exec vice chair and President of the American Football club. I have also just been voted in as Development Officer for the University of Portsmouth Students Union, plus I have a family and two amazing children.

Sport has been a journey for me, I played rugby and football from a young age, I played multiple levels of rugby but due to injury and finding out I had a rare ligament disease stopped me playing. This where I lost track, lost a lot of friends and went off the rails. There were a lot of dark days and I gained a lot of weight. Almost 3 years in plaster cast on both legs will do that to you.

I tried as much sport as I could to try and re-find the love and passion I had. Then I found American football. It’s a family that has opened their arms and have welcomed me in on so many levels. I still have some of those dark days but I have become very close to some of my teammates. I have told them things I would’ve never felt comfortable saying to anyone, even family. I know I can finally talk about some of the issues going on. I have people that will never know how much they have helped me and are helping me every single day.

I’m taking this year to focus on my Development role, get my aches and pains sorted and lose more weight.”

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Family Female Humans of HIIT Pregnancy Sport

Lynn Smaggus

“I grew up on a farm, so I was always outdoors and active at an early age. Throughout my school years I was very successful in competitive sports, with track and field being my main focus. I have a twin sister who competed alongside of me, and it really became a huge part of my identity. We were often spotlighted in local papers, and were quite well known for our athletic success around our area.

I met my husband in my mid twenties. He had 3 children from prior relationships, and I basically put my own health on the “back burner”. I lost myself further, once I realized I struggled with fertility issues. I became consumed with repetitive heartbreak and really lost myself.

A few months before I was going to turn 40, I realized I had to take back control of my life. I began working out from home, and I got my weight back under control and refound my joy. I am 43 years old, and really do feel better than I ever have. I even threw javelin competitively for the first time in over 20 years, last summer at a couple of track meets in the masters category. Now I enjoy helping others get started on their own fitness journeys, using the same online workouts that have helped me so much. I truly want as many people as possible to feel as good as I do, and realize that age really is only a number.”

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Family Female Humans of HIIT Injury Mental Health Personal Trainers Pregnancy Sport University

Sue Tetley

“My relationship with sport and exercise has been rather mixed throughout my life. I was never particularly sporty as a child. I enjoyed sprinting and doing the long jump. I went to school in the 80’s to mid 90’s and still remember very clearly waiting to be picked for teams. I was generally picked somewhere in the middle or towards the end. Never a good thing for a child’s self-esteem. 

As a teenager, I really got into racket sports, badminton initially then squash.  I had a few friends  who were at a similar level and would enjoy playing weekly. At the age of 18 I went to Loughborough University to study psychology. I was aware this was a very sporty university, but that wasn’t really a consideration when I went there. The level of even the inter-mural hall sports was very high.  It did put me off trying much sport there. I chose to do karate as it was something I could start with as a beginner and work up the grades. I enjoyed this and did it for a few years. Twenty odd years on, I wish I had made more of the available facilities. 

Following university, I started to dabble in running and did my first race for life. Prior to that, I don’t think I’d ever run 5K before. A few years later, I did my first half marathon in Nottingham where I was living at the time. This was a huge achievement for me. It was great that lots of my friends did the event as well. Throughout my 20’s and 30’s I was always rather inconsistent with exercise, training for an event and then not doing much afterwards. I was definitely a ‘Yo Yo’ exerciser.

In my mid 30’s exercise took on a different and more cathartic role and really helped me with my mental well-being as well as physical well-being whilst going through multiple rounds of IVF.  After each failed attempt, I would enter a running event or cycling event. After I had decided to stop treatment and choose to adopt instead, I threw myself into a more consistent pattern of exercise.

Around 4 years ago a friend of mine spent about 6 months trying to persuade me to join the local triathlon club.  Initially I thought I wasn’t good enough at any of the disciplines, however, soon realised that this didn’t matter at all.  I was getting injured just running. I started PT sessions and soon realised I needed to do loads more strength and conditioning to prevent injury. Joining TRISudbury was a real turning point for me.  I had never been part of a club before and had always exercised on my own. I really started to enjoy training with groups and have made some great friends.

I have now done many triathlons and taken on new challenges each year.  I also discovered my love of swimming in open water and last summer did a 2 mile swim in the Serpentine. I really love challenging myself. I’m never going to be the fastest, however, I am mentally tough and won’t give up on my goals. My next challenge will be a half ironman distance triathlon. In addition to this, I also became the Welfare Officer for the club for 2 years. I am now one of the club’s Mental Health Champions. At the AGM earlier this year, I was delighted this year to be given the female Grindstone award and became a This Girl Can Ambassador for Suffolk as well.

I am nearly 43 and I totally believe that if you work hard and never give up on your goals you can achieve anything. It’s so important to me to be a good role model for my little girl. I am fitter now than I ever have been and would say to anyone to never let anyone tell you that you cannot achieve something!”

 

Thank you from the Humans of HIIT community for sharing your story!

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Family Female Humans of HIIT Personal Trainers Sport University Workouts Classes

Hannah Robinson

“As a child I only really did sport to stop putting on weight, I was a tennis and swimming coach but more because kids are meant to get involved in these hobbies, not because I enjoyed it. Fitness wasn’t really my thing despite growing up in a family that walked marathons, ran half’s,  captained cricket teams and trained to become a PT.

Skip to uni and I was more interested in clubbing and cheesy chips then keeping fit and I put on an extra layer of chub. Post uni/working life I got a PT, joined a gym and due to some things that changed my life I turned to running a lot more. With an events job changing my routine daily, it is hard to keep it up when deliveries of food and wine are plentiful. Pre lockdown I was due to go to the Philippines, I was very much on the London Barry’s/1Rebel hype, running on treadmills in the pitch black until I was nearly sick.

Then came lockdown, a cancelled holiday & mums stockpiling of Easter eggs, all the effort I had put into classes was gone. I started running but got bored of my routes and when my pal mentioned these classes I thought why not. I’m isolating at my family home and asked my mum if she was up for joining. 17 workouts later and we are both tuning in where we can. We both feel fitter then ever, I just hope I can keep it up when I start working and commuting again, it keeps me motivated and it’s great to see others.”

 

Thank you from the Humans of HIIT community for sharing your story!

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Family Female Humans of HIIT Running Weight Loss Workouts Classes

Sophie Moore

Exercise, I always hated it. I wasn’t a fan of gyms or running and then I started to lose weight & now exercise is my go to. I’m training to run 5k as I used to jog before but didn’t have a clue what I was doing and I have really upped my game on exercise. It makes me feeel so good during and after the session & it’s really starting to help shape and tone my body.

I have 2 kids and I put on 4 stone after having them and I was so down so once I hit 13 stone I started exercising and I’ve never looked back. I wanted to be fit and physical for the kids sake and be able to join in the fun with them & take part in sports days.

I’m so close to my 4 stone loss and I’m running more than ever. I never in a million years thought I would love running or enjoy it. I was never that person but these last few weeks it’s actually something I look forward too. Being in lockdown I was scared of putting the weight back on but now I’ve found a new love for running it’s made me turn a corner and lose more weight (which I wanted to do anyway). I’m hoping I come out of lockdown a lot healthier and fitter and even abit more shaped and toned.”