Categories
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.”

Categories
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.”

Categories
Female Humans of HIIT Running Weight Loss

Hannah Pavelkova

“Throughout my life I have constantly battled with my weight. I was a heavy teenager and never felt comfortable to take part in sports or physical activities. Getting older, I fluctuated due to dieting but my fitness was never a priority, only what I looked like and a number on the scale.

Just under two years ago me and my partner started planning a trip to South East Asia. We spoke about the treks and mountains we could climb, and beaches we could swim in. My heart sunk. I realised, not only was I not comfortable enough to be in a swimming suit, but I genuinely don’t think I would of made it up a small hill, let alone days trekking on hard terrain.  I wanted to see the world, but only if I could see it without my fitness limiting me. This was the start of a massive lifestyle change.

One day I attempted my first run. I managed all of 5 minutes and couldn’t go further. I felt defeated. But that defeated feeling spurred me to keep going. I started running once a week, then twice, then four times, until I was running almost everyday. I truly found a hobby that not only helped my fitness, but also allowed me to switch off from the outside world and focus positively on my body.

Shortly after I managed my first 5km I was hit off my bike and suffered torn ligaments in my knee…a major set back. But I knew I couldn’t let it stop how far I had come. After a 3 months recovery and physio, I was back on the road but had dropped managing only 2km and in very slow time. Instead of feeling defeated again I set myself a goal. A half marathon.

I started a strict diet and running plan, mixing in the gym as well. In September 2019, just six months later, I ran my first ever race, The Richmond Half Marathon in a time of 1hr 58mins, raising £700 for Macmillan Cancer Trust. I can honestly say I have never been so proud of myself.

At the moment I am currently in South East Asia, weighing approx 65kg (almost 30kg lost in total) and today completed a jungle trek of 10km, one of many I have done on the trip so far. Although I am so much happier in the way I look, I can genuinely say that I am most happy about being much healthier and knowing that I can achieve anything I set my mind to.“

Categories
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.”

Categories
Gym Training Humans of HIIT Male School Sport University Weight Loss

Marc Slowey

“I may work in sport however I have a love-hate relationship with training as I have always been someone who trains because of weight gain and loss.

I only really became involved with sport at the end of secondary school due to a few amazing teachers who helped me to get involved to become fitter and healthier. I got heavily involved with rowing and even competed at national competitions (well on an indoor rowing machine haha).

This experience made me want to become a PE teacher so I studied it at University, however, I ruptured my hamstring off the bone and could not stay active. So I once again gained weight but I found my love for sport when I got a job at the University of Sussex with some inspirational people.

Since then I have jumped from sport to sport for new challenges, of which saw me recently win a regional powerlifting competition. I am now looking at getting fitter and in shape in preparation for doing a load of challenges before my 30th Birthday next year.”

Categories
Gym Training Humans of HIIT Injury Male Mental Health Running School Sport Weight Loss

Harry Millard

“Going to boarding school, rugby was a huge part of our daily life. I was training and playing during the week for school and then for the local club at the weekend. Every evening we were in the school gym, trying to get bigger and stronger – it was about as stereotypical as you can imagine (stringer vests and all)! Unfortunately being active all the time was masking the disordered eating habits I had picked up. When I was sidelined with a serious head injury the habits only got worse, and I dealt with my depression by going to the shop every day and taking food back to my room to binge – I stopped working out and, at my worst, I was over 130kg (20.5 stone) and miserable. I started my fitness Instagram to give myself some accountability and to document my journey with others – and it gave me a new drive to continue to improve. I fell back in love with the gym and with rugby – I started my career and was really in a good place. Then I was hit with another serious injury, this time a broken ankle, and I landed squarely back on square one. I continue to document my up-and-down journey back from that setback, and have found passion in being active again – including signing up for the Great South Run later this year! Whilst rugby remains a huge part of my life and remains a key motivation behind improving my physical ability, I also train for health and happiness that I know it brings.”

 

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

Categories
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.”

Categories
Female Gym Training Humans of HIIT Running University Weight Loss Workouts Classes

Manda Morley

“I was never into sport or exercise in my early teens. When I started college I noticed that I couldn’t remain a slim shape and was gaining a bit too much weight. I started to develop insecurities, and would stress about my body daily; this essentially started an unhealthy relationship with exercise and food.

I got into running, 2-3 miles a day on a treadmill was enough. I was seeing results and liked it. I began limiting my calorie intake to an unhealthy amount; I was losing weight rapidly but felt great. When I started Uni in 2012, I was at my lowest weight ever of 8.5stone; I continued running and limiting my calories to as little as 1k a day.

It wasn’t until the second year that I realised the damage I was doing to myself, and if I continued I would be in a very bad way; so, I joined St Paul’s Gym (now my employer of 4 years). Here I began getting into weight lifting, albeit I was a complete novice and didn’t tend to have a training plan for years. The past two years I’ve educated myself on all things weights, and strength and conditioning – here I have managed to develop a healthy relationship with exercise (AND FOOD!), and am almost happy with my physique.

The one thing I have learnt over the years is that depriving your body of food in order to lose weight does nothing but damage your mental health; without the food, I wouldn’t be able to train as effectively as I do now! I’m halfway through completing my Level 2 & 3 PT diploma and enjoy channelling my energy by helping others who need guidance and personal tips in reaching their goals.”

 

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

Categories
Humans of HIIT Male Physical Impairment Running Sport Weight Loss Workouts Classes

Jon Wheatley

I’ve always been a pretty fit and healthy person; very active and not one to sit inside and watch Netflix on a day off. Technically I am what old fashioned scales (like BMIs) would call overweight, but I’m healthy and very comfortable. In 2018 I completed my first marathon (narrowly missing out on a sub 4-hour finish by 3 minutes, despite never training passed 13 miles).  I’ve always stayed fit through football, going for runs after work, longboarding, cycling, swimming, walking/hiking, basically anything other than the gym. 

Unfortunately, I’ve spent the last 6 months recovering from ACL and cartilage damage in my right knee, and about 80% of my exercise and physical activity is highly impacting on this.  It’s been a tough recovery; having gone from it taking me 5-10 seconds for my brain to process actions involving the joint to straightening my leg, walking, cycling and swimming.  I’m still in a position that I may need surgery, but that won’t be known until once a certain C word has passed!   

The downside of this injury is that now I definitely am overweight!  I weighed myself recently and wasn’t surprised to see that I have put on over a stone since this occurred!  It has however given me the motivation to correct this; furloughing me has had some benefits!  I am really enjoying exploring alternative exercises to what I have traditionally taken part in.  I have the time to test out workout routines and pilates/stretching and can still enjoy my long cycles.  I have been following my friend’s HIIT workouts that he leads on Zoom and enjoying exercising with others able to see and support me. I am learning what I can and can’t do and what I am feeling the benefit from.  I must be cautious of my knee and will adapt or replace exercises if required.  I’m beginning to feel healthier already and confident in my strength and knee at the moment, and very motivated and determined to use my time off from work to return to a healthier weight.

 

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

Categories
Female Humans of HIIT Running School Weight Loss

Leanne Sheill

“Growing up I avoided sport at all costs, skipping every sports day and regularly producing notes with reasons not to attend P.E. I started running at 24 after losing 2st at slimming world and realising that I could eat off-plan providing I ran a 5k each day. I became a little obsessed with the distance and had no desire to run any further… if regular short runs achieved what I needed them to, why would I run any further?

I attended a party a few months later and my friend’s sister was telling us about a 10k race she had in the morning. I found myself thinking ‘why can’t I do that?’ so decided to ask her more about it. She told me she was a member of our local running club and invited me to go along with her. The Tuesday after I went to my first intervals session. Naturally my anxiety was through the roof, all I could think was ‘I’m going to be the slowest and make a fool of myself’, reassuring myself with ‘hey, at least I’ll never see these people again’. 

I loved every second. From the P.E.-style warm up’s to rainy sprints and cheesy cool-down jokes. There were people of all ages and abilities who shouted ‘well done!’ as they passed you, it opened my eyes to how sport can empower people rather than what was my previous experience, it having to be focused on ability and competitiveness.  

I’ve been a member of Hedge End Running Club for 18 months now and I’ve found the sessions I love the most are those that are the most challenging. There are people of all abilities, who inspire me in different ways all the time. A year into joining I had completed the Hampshire Road Race League (HRRL), my first half marathon and signed up to run the 2020 Brighton Marathon. 

In the past two months, my relationship with sport has evolved further than I ever imagined. I had no idea the challenge I was taking on when signing up to run a marathon, how it would impact my diet, my social life and how constantly exhausted I would feel.

I found new appreciation and understanding for the human body. The science behind my training was working: eating the right carbohydrates, not drinking alcohol and scheduling slow runs to train different muscle fibers were just a few of the changes I made. All of a sudden, I felt like I was flying when I ran my Tuesday interval sessions and heading out for a 10k was just like the ‘easy’ 5k runs I’d do if I were having a bad day. 

I ran my first 20 miles in late February where I experienced absolute exhaustion for the first time. I was so fatigued that I felt as though my brain function had halted, I remember thinking ‘your legs are going to give way, you need to stop’… but somehow my legs kept moving. It was at that point that I felt confident I had the muscle memory to carry me through the 26.2; my training was working.

Today (19 April) I was meant to run the Brighton Marathon but it was cancelled last month as a result of the coronavirus lockdown. I was completely devastated by the news and in the weeks that followed, lost all motivation to run and found myself drinking and eating a lot more. However, I couldn’t shake the need to do something on behalf of all the people who had donated to my fundraiser. 

I knew with the current measures it wasn’t sensible to attempt the full distance on my own, so headed out for a 14-mile run and made up the final 12.2 on my bike. Conditions were so perfect this morning that I ran my fastest half marathon, 20k and 10 mile; I’m convinced that if the marathon did go ahead I could’ve achieved the sub-4 I was hoping for. 

This summer is due to be a busy one so I’ve decided not to run the marathon on its new date in September, I’m secretly hoping for a spot in London 2021! I feel at peace with the situation now and am grateful for what my training experience has taught me.”

 

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