Carly Phillips, 36, lives in Hereford with her partner and two children, and discovered the power of the exercise class as part of her bid to reach a healthy weight.
“It was a couple of months after I had my son (in March 2018) that I decided I wanted to get fit. I now know I’m not alone in that new mother feeling. I’d put on a lot of weight during pregnancy and by the summer I was ready to act, sick of wearing baggy clothes to hide the weight I’d put on. My friend and I signed up to a weight loss club, but dieting on its own was not enough. I’d seen people lose and gain weight through diet alone, and I wanted to make a change that would last. I wanted to run around after my kids without getting out of breath. To go up on the field with my older son, now ten, and kick a ball about without feeling unfit.
“The first step was the gym, and as my confidence grew I plucked up the courage to go to a couple of group exercise classes – Body Blitz and Legs, Bums and Tums were my first choice, and they proved the right choice. This was a big step going from gym to class, because in the gym you can do what you want, as little or as much…but a full class, with lots of other people? I soon realised I didn’t have anything to worry about. I realised just how non-judgemental the people in these classes are. It was less about stigma and more of a social. I felt completely comfortable and the instructor, Kelly, made me feel completely welcome. And I made loads of new friends.
“My target at the start of this journey was to lose five stone, and that seemed like a massive target. To be honest I never thought I’d reach it. But I got there in April 2019, and my weight continued to fall. I started at 17 stone and now I’m 10 stone and 3lbs.
“Getting fit changes you. It changes other people too. I’m so proud when friends tell me I’ve inspired them to get active because I know the benefits it brings. My advice to them has been simple. Firstly, go with a friend to start with. It gives you a bit of confidence. But trust me, you will make friends quickly if you go on your own. Secondly, remember it’s not a sprint, it’s a marathon. So don’t expect results straight away but do persevere. Thirdly, do it for yourself, not to prove anything to anyone else. You will have fun. You will meet some great people. You will love how it feels.”
Want to discover more? Give us a try and pop in to your local Halo centre.
Founder and editor of FitNet.
Previously gymnastics coach, massage therapist and personal trainer with 20 years of experience. Former gymnast and dancer.