From eating a junk food-heavy diet to a having a slower metabolism, there are many reasons why a person may find themselves overweight. For Nicola Murray, it was her love of unhealthy food which she says was the main reason for her piling on the pounds. The beauty ambassador, who lives in Erskine, Renfrewshire, Scotland found herself eating takeaway meals at least twice a week and regularly snacking on crisps and chocolate. Struggling to carry out simple, everyday tasks due to her weight, the 47-year-old began to feel unhappy as a consequence.
“I didn’t have any major issues with my health but I did find the simple things difficult, such as taking a long walk or climbing the stairs,” Nicola explained.
“I was very self-conscious with a low self-esteem and my size was really getting me down.”
Driving through her local town one day, she noticed a gym – prompting her to consider the benefits of leading a healthy lifestyle.
“It was two days after Christmas and I wasn’t feeling great, I’d been drinking Prossecco and eating lots with friends and family over the festive period,” she recalled.
“I was shopping with my daughter when we drove past an Xercise4Less gym.
“My daughter asked me to join, which at first I said no to, but then I started to think about the benefits a lifestyle change could have for me.”
Self-conscious at first, she spent the first five months of her membership using the women only section of the gym.
Spotting a free health check in the club hub, she attended, and chatted with a personal trainer about the direction she hoped her weight loss journey would go to.
Nicola explained: “I went along and after speaking with personal trainer Jordan about my goals, training programme and nutrition, I decided to hire a trainer and take part in the transformation camps.”
As part of her slimming, Nicola also transformed her diet – switching unhealthy junk and convenience foods for healthier options.
At breakfast for instance, she now typically tucks into fat free yoghurt with some fruit, or eggs on a piece of wholemeal toast – as opposed to tending towards a cooked breakfast or sandwich like in the past.
Since joining the gym and making the changes to her lifestyle, Nicola has lost nearly eight stone – now weighing a healthier 11 stone.
“My daughter Rachael was my motivation, she really wanted me to be fit and healthy,” she said.
“Without her support and encouragement, I wouldn’t have been able to get through it.”
Having dramatically upped her activity levels, Nicola has discovered a strong interest in fitness – hoping to pursue a career in the industry herself.
With her daughter, Nicola often works out seven days each week – with her weekly routine including cardio exercises and body pump classes.
She divulged: “At the weekend, my daughter and I love to double up on training session, using the morning for cardio exercise and the evenings for either a body pump class or a session with a trainer.
“For my next goal I’d love to take a fitness course, as healthy living and working out is a real passion of mine. To be able to motivate others to work hard so they can see the benefits of exercise would be incredible.”
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