Tuesday 23 January 2018

Shape up: Yvonne steps into her new body

In the past six months she's lost an impressive 32lbs of fat and gained a whole new attitude to life

Yvonne before she hit the gym
Yvonne before she hit the gym
Yvonne after losing 32lbs of fat

Damien Maher

If you want to change your body shape you'll need the help of a good coach but equally there are many coaches out there who are constantly looking for good, compliant clients.

Yvonne has been that client. When she started at bfit4life six months ago, little did she know she was stepping into a different body.

Yvonne had flirted with training for a number of years, ate what she thought was healthy and partied with the best of them, but she knew she was capable of more.


At our consultation in February, it was clear from Yvonne's first food diary that she was unaware her eating patterns were detrimental to her goals, even though she thought she was doing everything right. This brought her from unconscious incompetence to conscious incompetence.

When I educated Yvonne on nutrition she became aware that the information she receives from magazines, food pyramids, and assorted nutrition gurus was actually compromising her health.

Her initial weight was 81.3kg, of which 56.4kg was muscle, bones and organs and the remaining 24.9kg, or 55lbs, was fat. Her body-fat measurements were taken using 12 skin-fold measurements giving her a total body-fat percentage of 30.4pc.

Once we had this information, we set a long-term goal of 16pc and decided to implement nutrition and training changes in a step by step fashion. You have to measure what you want more of and this helped Yvonne stay focused. It also provided me with the information necessary to tweak her programs where needed.

Any goal you want is achievable if you are willing to pay the price in terms of time, effort, sacrifices and discipline. From 30.4pc to 16pc may seem like a lot but if you go every day to a very large tree and take five swings at it with a very sharp axe, eventually, no matter how large the tree, it will come down.

This is known as the rule of five, and every day you should perform the five specific things that will move you towards your goal.

Yvonne's rule of five things ranged from implementing weight-training and sprinting programmes, increasing her protein, vegetable, salad and good fat intakes and the elimination of denatured processed carbohydrates, and ensuring she got sleep, during which her body could regenerate.

Yvonne maintained her rule of five and her success has been the sum of small efforts repeated day in, day out. A lot of people are not organised or disciplined enough to change their body shape.

Yvonne moved from conscious incompetence, where she knew she was eating the wrong foods, to conscious competence, where she knew what needed to happen but still had to start thinking about choosing proteins, vegetables, water and berries, etc, when she was hungry.

Real change happens when you move from conscious competence to unconscious competence. Yvonne doesn't need to think about what types of food to choose in the shops any more as it has become automatic. The problem is that many people are practicing unconscious competence of the wrong habits.

Yvonne has been brave enough to share her challenges and success in an attempt to inspire others. Everyone is capable of achieving similar results if you understand that it won't happen overnight and you've got to believe that you can do it.


If you did all the things you are capable of doing, you could astound yourself. The problem is people don't want to step out of their comfort zone.

Yvonne now weighs 65.7kg, of which 55.1kg is muscle and the remaining 10.6kg, or 23lbs, is fat, giving her a body-fat measurement of 16.2pc, thus reaching our initial target. She has lost 32lbs of fat.

If you need to put it in perspective, the next time you are in the supermarket passing 2lb bags of sugar, multiply one by 16 to give you an idea.

Get out of the negative mindset of 'I can't' and surround yourself with successful people. The important thing is to get started and build momentum and use Yvonne's log of lessons learnt and work ethic as the blueprint for success.


Irish Independent

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