Vanessa Wait was headed for a professional tennis career, but life took a different direction. Once she stopped training like a Pro, her weight climbed steadily until she was over 19 stone. This is the story of how we helped her lose weight and rebuild her relationship with food – and her own body.
(Spoiler alert: Vanessa is currently 3 stone lighter and no longer needs daily pain relief medication…)
“I never imagined I would have trouble with my weight,” explains Vanessa. “I played tennis all my life and started competing at 11. I was top 10 in the country for under-18s. Training hard is what I had always done and always knew.
“But I hurt my back when I was 16. I kept playing, but my training was much less intense. Then I went to University, and had children…and before long, my weight had got out of hand.”
Vanessa’s story is not a typical one. But – as we have discovered at JW Training – there is no such thing as a typical client!
How Do You See Yourself?
“Even at my biggest, I considered myself active and fit,” says Vanessa, who has continued to play tennis throughout her adult life. “But I knew my relationship with food and body image could be better.”
Vanessa weighed 19 stone 4 lbs when she came to us to start her 12-week transformation. She was relatively at peace with her size, but knew she could be healthier – and happier – if she tackled the underlying issues.
“Even at my biggest, I felt pretty and feminine,” says Vanessa. “But this shifted when I went on holiday with friends. Frequent comments and conversations about weight made me uncomfortable and more conscious of what other people think. Then I was told that I needed a knee replacement (in my 40s!) and was advised to stop playing tennis. That hit me hard. I never thought I would have to give up my sport.
“Everything clicked into place. It didn’t matter how I felt about weight, diet or being a larger person. This was about my health, my mobility, and my future as an active Mum and sporty individual. It was time to make a few changes.”
Mending A Lifelong Relationship With Dieting
When we met up with Vanessa to discuss her goals, we also delved into her previous experiences with dieting. Everyone has a different story, and Vanessa was no exception.
“Even though I started playing tennis as a young child, I always had a difficult relationship with food and size,” she explains. “I remember being told at the age of 11 that I could be a great tennis player, but I could do with losing a stone.”
Vanessa’s diet history had left her with some significant mindset challenges. She equated any kind of dieting with deprivation – something we were confident we could help her fix!
“I was reluctant to start another diet because I don’t want to deny myself every day of my life,” she says. “I thought dieting meant being unhappy. I can’t stand counting calories, it drives me insane. But I knew I couldn’t keep rebelling against the idea, and just get bigger and bigger!”
No Counting, No Calories
At JW Training, our style of weightloss has nothing to do with counting calories or points. We were able to help Vanessa make peace with the idea of moderating her eating to achieve a healthier body weight.
“It turns out that my main problems were portion sizes – and my love of chocolate! I had no sense of guilt around food, and lacked that instinctive emotional reaction to overeating that can keep some people from eating too much!”
Vanessa got in touch with us when she realised that we offer lots of accountability in a face-to-face setting.
“I knew I’d love the training,” she says, “but I need someone there to give me a push. Training with other people at JW Training made me feel part of a gang all doing the same thing. It really worked for me.”
– to drop 3 stone in 12 weeks
– to strengthen her injured knee
– to feel strong enough to do joint activities with her sons again
– to challenge herself with a sports event by the end of 2017
– for her older son to start training with her
– to work towards longer term goals of 13 stone and a size 16
– to learn how to achieve maintenance
In just 12 weeks with us, Vanessa smashed her goals and – more importantly – transformed her mindset around dieting, weightloss, and healthy eating. Her injuries have improved massively, to the extent that she no longer needs to take daily painkillers.
– 26 inches lost (including 7” off her waist)
– 29lbs lost
– lean muscle gained
– 2 dress sizes down
The Most Successful Weightloss She’s Ever Had
“The weekly progress photos are amazing,” she says. “I’m so glad Joe encouraged me to take them. When you stop focusing on scale weight, you realise there are so many other ways to measure fat loss: dress size, body measurements, and how you look in photos!
“This is by far the most successful weight loss I’ve ever done. I’ve totally changed shape. My weight, body fat, and measurements have all gone down. I feel fitter and stronger. But more importantly for me, I have accepted this is a lifetime journey not a diet, and I enjoy making healthy choices (most of the time!)
“Joe is an amazing coach for anyone who has a complicated history with dieting and body image issues,” she says. “He is positive, and non-critical, and this makes a huge difference. He encouraged me not to use negative language about myself. I learned to just keep going steadily, day by day, and to praise myself along the way.
“Joe has made me believe it’s possible to lose weight and not feel deprived. I don’t feel the pressure I thought I would. “Forever” is a scary concept, but Joe encourages me to just think about today. I will probably never make peace with the word “diet”, but I’ve realised that this is not about dieting. It’s about eating healthy food, and looking after myself because I need to – and I want to.
“I’ve learned to do it slowly, take each day as it comes, and to actually enjoy the process. Everything you do is a plus, as opposed to everything you don’t do being a minus. You can’t fail or fall. Just carry on. This is a revelation for someone who spent nearly 40 years rebelling against the idea of dieting.
How Does Life Look For Vanessa Today?
“I’m like a different person! My knee is so much better that I almost want them to re-scan it! I won’t have to give up playing tennis, and I feel more confident about doing sporty, active things with my sons. And my daily painkillers are a thing of the past. I have been on 4-hourly Nurofen for as long as I can remember. But since working with Joe, I now take it twice a week at most.
“Even my NHS physiotherapist has signed me off – he says there’s nothing extra he can do for me that Joe hasn’t already done!”
Who Else Wants To Feel Like This?
“12 weeks ago, I was at my wits end,” says Vanessa. “The difference this journey has made is amazing. I would never have thought 12 weeks could do all this! And it was enjoyable!
“In the past I’ve always tried this by myself, and thought that more was better. I’d try harder, train for longer, diet harder. Joe’s approach is so different. It’s smart, and effective. I’m seeing fast results, and that spurs me on. No matter what level you start at, you will get the most out training here. You will never hit a point where JW Training can’t help you progress.”
Ready to make the change of a lifetime like Vanessa did? Come down for your free transformation session and we can set you up on a plan for your own transformation. CLICK HERE TO APPLY