Congratulations to the Winner of the Weight Loss Challenge – Jo East

Jo has an incredible story of how she lost 30kgs since joining Top Coach, her hard work and determination to make a change forever and transform her body through a healthy lifestyle and a dedication to her fitness, plus her ups and downs along the way. Well done Jo, we are all so very proud of what you have achieved. You look absolutely fantastic and your story is so inspiring!

Jo writes: “My weight issues began after the birth of our first child 19yrs ago. It was not long after this that we purchased our own business which required us to be hands-on 24hrs a day, 7 days a week. The business was a priority, then the kids, then hubby and last of all, me. I used food to cope with stress and any emotional aspect of my life. There was no exercise in my life. My weight kept piling on and it wasn’t until about 8yrs ago that everything came to a head. I was at my heaviest at around 95kgs, I was depressed, unhappy, and my personal relationship was falling apart. I was embarrassed that the kids had a fat mum and my husband had a fat wife. I had no self-confidence or self-worth. I had no energy for the kids, hated going to events as it meant dressing up (I never had anything to wear), and of course, I hated having my photo taken. I look back at photos when the kids were younger and I’m hardly in them because I felt awful and hated seeing myself looking so overweight. Looking back on this time, I realise my weight had a massive impact on every part of my life.

Before joining Top Coach I tried losing the weight on my own. I tried all sorts of ‘fad’ diets and programs, and although some of them had some success, none of the results was long term and I always wound up in the same situation. It was a vicious circle of try this, fail, try that, fail again, more depression… What changed everything was my husband Pete and Top Coach. I couldn’t have achieved what I have without both of these. Pete, for my birthday in 2013, bought me a gift voucher to try Top Coach. He contacted Chris and Leisa in a last ditch effort to improve the situation. At work, I sat at a desk all day. We knew that diet was only half the problem and it was the exercise that I needed to shift the weight. We knew we couldn’t do it on our own and needed someone to push us, drive us and encourage us to achieve the results we were looking for. Together, we made the decision to change our priorities and to put ourselves and our family first. We committed to training. We started with private lessons mainly because I was so unfit and highly self-conscious and lacking confidence. After our first session, we knew we had made the right choice with Chris and Leisa, we just clicked and felt very comfortable. They understood immediately where we were and the problems we were dealing with. We spent a month doing private lessons. We developed an understanding of how our bodies needed to ‘unlearn’ bad habits developed at a desk, and build strength in areas neglected by years of lack of use. We learned to hate side planks!!! But most of all, we learned to love the training we were doing, and we genuinely looked forward to the sessions each week. After a month, Chris suggested we move to group sessions and assured us we would fit in with the groups, and that I wouldn’t embarrass myself. We haven’t looked back, and we’ve now been with Top Coach for 5 and a half years.

I am now 28-30kgs lighter. Since losing the weight I feel more confident, I’m definitely happier and I actually enjoy shopping for clothes. I’m healthier and fitter and truly enjoy exercising. Without the excess weight, I find some exercises much easier to do and wonder how I ever carried that weight around. I appreciate the little things like being able to wear my wedding ring again. I do still struggle with my weight, and I’ve come to accept the fact that, likely, I always will. I have suffered several injuries (lower back, frozen shoulder, plantar fasciitis) which have caused me to pull out of training for a few months to recover. I also have health issues that interfere with hormone levels and inhibit weight loss. It is difficult for me to lose weight and keep it off. I keep a photo of the ‘old me’ on my phone as a reminder of where I was. I have ‘fallen off the wagon’ many times and each time I put weight on the fear returns, that I’m going to go back to the ‘old me’ and all those feelings come back. The most I’ve put back on is 13kgs but I have managed to lose it again.

I have learned through all of this, that nothing will change until you decide to change it! It’s no good wishing things were different and hoping things will get better at some stage down the track. You have to identify what it is that’s wrong, and then make up your own mind to fix it. Half measures and mediocre attempts get you so far, but until you decide it’s time to change, really time to change, then nothing actually will. If I can give any advice, it would be to surround yourself with people who support you. Let them know how you feel and what you want to achieve. Have an exercise buddy so there are no excuses. I am lucky. I have a very supportive husband who not only tells me along the way how great I’m doing and how good I’m looking but also comes to the sessions with me. My family, friends and workmates were all there for me. Never give up hope that eventually you’ll get to your goal. It may take a while but it’s definitely worth it.

Top Coach has been a critical component of my success. I tried other programs and other methods, but until we tried Top Coach, there were no lasting, genuine results. For me it’s not just about the training, it’s also about the trainers. I could go to a gym and train, I could go to any other coach or fitness expert and get physical activity. Luckily we chose Top Coach and we’d never go anywhere else now. Chris, Leisa and the team obviously love what they do, and they care about the people they train. This was apparent to us 5 years ago and is still true today.”

Next Weight Loss Challenge Starts in August.