"I Promised Myself I'd Get Fit for My 40th – and Actually Did It"

By her own admission, acting agent Jess had avoided any kind of activity for 39 years. She hated sports at school and considered herself lazy. She'd looked for quick diet fixes repeatedly - but found her weight yo-yo-ing - never truly keeping weight off. The more her weight increased, the less inclined she was to move.

Upon turning 40 in 2019, Jess decided it was time for a change, so she committed to 10 sessions with Fitness Lab and began strength training. By 2020, she'd lost 3st (19 kg); to date, she's lost 6st 6lbs (41kg).

Jess's transformation was incredible - so Women's Health magazine contacted her about an interview. We have used some excerpts from that interview - but you can read the full version here


"The idea of exercising was so completely alien and so intimidating"

When interviewed for Women's Health, Jess explained that her reason for training at Fitness Lab was largely due to the private and personal nature of our setting:

"It’s a small studio that only does personal training – there were never more than three people training at the same time." 

After wondering if she could physically manage the sessions, Jess noted how supportive her colleagues were - and how their encouragement made her feel like she could go on:

"Muscles still achy, I was back in the gym a few days later for the next session. When my five weeks were up, I realised I was actually quite enjoying my workouts. I loved the fact that every week I could do a little bit more, and move in a way I’d never thought myself capable of."

My Training Experience: Jess

"What I’m most proud of was taking the first step... It was one of the bravest things I’ve ever done."

"When I got back to the office, my colleagues didn’t recognise me. And back in the gym, I every time I caught sight of myself in front of the full-length mirror, I’d think, ‘Who the hell is that?’ To date, I’ve lost 6st 6lbs.

I still can’t quite believe what I’ve achieved – from nearly weeping over banded hip thrusts to being able to perform the move with a 110kg barbell.

But what I’m most proud of was taking the first step – making the choice to do something for me and my health, even though it was really scary. It was one of the bravest things I’ve ever done."

Physical and Mental Health Benefits

Jess has made an incredible physical transformation - but she also talks about how personal training became a kind of therapy, a time to just switch off and focus on herself. 

While people usually enquire with Fitness Lab because they want to make physical changes, a little further down the line, so many people comment on how this kind of mental well-being boost becomes an unexpected side-effect of their sessions.

In a fast-paced and pressure-filled world, it's very easy to just have a 'just-get-through-the-day' mindset without realising the importance of spending some time focused on making themselves feel better. It might not immediately feel like it when you begin personal training - but when you stick with it over the course of weeks or months, private personal training with a coach you can trust starts to feel like genuine "me time" - and this so often leads to a more positive feeling in other areas of life.

Training Jess: Jack

"Jess was incredible in the studio - but with just a little guidance, she also took big steps outside the studio too"

"We focused on strength training in the studio - then set some cardio goals for time away from the studio. We started with hitting a certain number of steps each day, and when that became easy, we added a few more.

Jess also kept track of calories in MyFitnessPal too. I was eager to make sure she didn't feel like she had to cut certain foods out though. We set a weekly calorie allowance which offered a bit more freedom and flexibility. Jess said she'd tried all manner of diets, so I think she was surprised that I didn't recommend any kind of ultra-strict restrictions. Just keeping an eye on what you eat and becoming a little more aware of food choices makes such a big difference.

I honestly couldn't be more delighted for Jess. The transformation seems more than just physical - I could tell she went from being someone who didn't really want to be on this journey - to becoming someone for whom fitness was such an important part of life"

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