I started seeing Cheryl for one on one personal training sessions in late 2014 , after hitting a plateau in my weight loss and realising I needed to step it up a gear. I walked into the shed a total bag of nerves and cried explaining to her my reasons behind wanting join, that was and remains to be the best role model I could be to my then 18 month old daughter Bronte. Cheryl was so supportive and made me believe with her help I could continue to change my life and she was right.
In one of my first ever sessions Cheryl got me to pick up a kettle bell that was the same amount of weight that I had lost up until then - it was a 36kg one - it was an emotional moment as the realisation smacked me in the face and I'm so thankful she put how much I'd lost into perspective for me.
I was super sore at the start as my body that I had neglected so badly for so many years was trying to work out what the hell I was doing to it, but from the get go I never looked back as my body started changing shape and the kgs began to fall.
Over the next few months I worked in private twice a week with Cheryl, as she taught me how to use the various equipment and to do the exercise moves correctly so I wouldn't injure myself, as well as helping me understand my own limits and how far I was willing to and could push myself. We also spoke at length about nutrition and hydration.
In March 2015 I then joined the Boot camp sessions with Cheryl and Shannon on Monday, Wednesday and Friday nights. I was so scared about putting myself (the biggest person in the room) out of my comfort zone, after being teased and ridiculed for most of my adult life over my weight. But those I started training with were and remain so supportive and lovely and everyone was working towards the common goal of self-improvement - no judgement - which was a new way of life for me.
After my first boot camp round I then joined the Lonedog Tuesday night group nutrition course that really focussed on taking us step by step through everything we eat, to help us make the right decisions and understand the best way to fuel our bodies - that 15 week course run by Shannon and Cheryl helped me lose 12.6kgs and 40.1 cms and again forging new friendships with those on the same page as me. I am continuing on with the follow up nutrition course for the rest of 2015, as I use it to keep me accountable when it comes to my weight loss with a weekly check-in with Cheryl.
So as I now rapidly approach 1 year as a "Lonedogger" my weight loss - that still has a while to go - is hovering around the 58kg lost mark. There's no fads, no quick fixes, no shortcuts - just good food, exercise, a crapload of hard work and my super supportive husband Carl.
Cheryl and Shannon aren't just my trainers, but now my friends, they truly have mine and everyone else's best interest at heart. They are passionate about learning and sharing their knowledge when it comes to health and fitness and they inspire me to become a better, faster and stronger version of myself everyday - I'm so lucky to have found them :)