Transformation – Liz Quonoey

*Our Profile of the Month for April is our extremely determined and hugely successful Liz Quonoey. Liz commenced with Terrific Fitness in March 2016 as a very quiet and shy woman. Despite her quiet demeanor and shyness, I saw something in her eyes, something super special. I saw survival. I saw triumph. I saw a fighter. I didn’t know Liz at all, I knew Liz Q As at 24-03-17nothing about her lifestyle or history. But I knew what I saw in her eyes. I read her correctly. Liz started off gently weening back in to training, slowly building back her fitness and working on rehabilitating and re-mobilising her body after a number of injuries. She was very restricted, but we all made it work. As time went on she grew in confidence, developed her fitness and built her strength. Aside from her fighting spirit, the major stand-out for Liz, what sets her out from the masses, is that she follows ‘the formula’.

In any journey of success there is a formula that needs to be followed. Any compromise to that formula compromises the result. Liz gets that. The formula Liz needed to follow was the same as with all of our clients. Turn up to training, remain accountable to her training coaches, and make-up any of her missed sessions. Have coaching sessions for her nutrition and for her goals and implement plans and strategies. Keep up with her progress reporting in the form of measurements and Body Composition Analysis (BCA). This tells her how she is progressing at all times, so she can make changes as required, if anything is established from her reports. Maintain all mobility work required, stretch well, and focus on taking options if, and when required, to avoid any further injuries. Attend workshops that will help her progress further, and read all the information that we share to help a person progress with their results. This is hard work and for many, it’s all too hard. That’s why some people succeed and others don’t; success requires hard work and dedication. Both of which are no problem for Liz. Liz ticks all the boxes and so reaps the rewards for her efforts.

Liz’s most recent accomplishment is winning our transformation competition for our members. Each 12 Week Challenge we run a Body Composition Analysis (BCA) competition with the prize being a free 12 Week Challenge. Liz won the mammoth competition which was 2 free 12 Week Challenges! The winner needed to obtain the highest score over 5 different categories from the BCA reporting portal. Liz took it out!

Some of Liz’s other accomplishments include being able to perform push-ups on the floor, on her toes. This is pretty huge for someone with a bad wrist! When she first started, she was performing wall push-ups. Liz can also now perform burpees and hold a plank; these are just a few successes.

Liz now comes to class radiating, with her stunning smile, wicked laugh and beautiful warmth. She is now bubbly, and chatty and has so much more confidence. She has made so many friends, considering she didn’t know anybody when she started. I know she isn’t exactly where she wants to be, but she is miles ahead of her game and it’s only a matter of time, before she achieves her end result. Then I’m sure she will set new goals, like all successful people.

Liz has lost a total of 84cm from around her body in the last 12 months, with 23.5cm being from her waist and 15cm from her hips. She has lost 3.9% body fat, and had gained 2.2% muscle mass from her first BCA in September 2016 to her latest in March 2017. These are brilliant results in 6 months.

Liz has an incredible story and I truly can’t wait to share it with you all. She is an incredible woman, whom we all love and adore and are all extremely proud of, in so many ways. She is a true inspiration and serves as a perfect role model for anyone wanting to move forward in their health and fitness. Here is Liz’s journey, in her words:

“I have struggled with depression for 12 years.  Divorce, workplace bullying, long term wrist injury and chronic pain all contributed to that sense of despair and being in a black hole with no way out.  I haven’t slept properly in 12 years. 10 years ago at my lowest my weight dropped to 58 kg. I was thin but extremely unwell.  I was seeing a psychologist twice weekly.

Through a lot of psychological hard work I started to recover.  I had to give up basketball and aqua aerobics due to injury and relocation and I was ready to start working on finding my health again.  I started gaining weight and enjoying life.

4 years ago I commenced PT at the YMCA and did that once, sometimes twice a week – but it was on and off for 2.5 years.  Training was in the gym, so we had to fight for equipment and space.  I could cancel via text.  I wasn’t accountable. I injured my knee, then my back and stopped training. I lost all motivation to exercise.  I started eating badly.  Before I knew it my weight had ballooned and I had to buy clothes 2 sizes bigger and had lost all the fitness and strength I had built up.

I endured 2 work restructures. I felt ashamed of how I had let myself go.  I was unhappy with how I looked. My depression and anxiety started to re-emerge.  I would hide in my safe place, under the doona, unable to face the world.

I wanted to recommence training but not with the same trainer.  Going to a gym to ride a bike, use a treadmill etc bored me shi tless so I wouldn’t go.  I tried group classes at the YMCA but I didn’t enjoy them as I was just another person in the room. The trainers expected us to know what to do without instruction.

Sitting on the train one day I saw a woman who I saw most days but hadn’t seen in a while.  I saw a huge difference in her appearance.  I heard her talking to someone about this place she had found called Terrific Fitness.  She was describing the classes, the people and the trainers.  She was glowing.  By the time I had reached the city I had googled TF and sent an enquiry about PT.  Thank you gorgeous Jess Harkom.

Due to my injuries I had to obtain clearance from my osteopath to train.  I started cautiously with Monday circuit and Wednesday THT. I was seeing my osteopath twice weekly and doing clinical Pilates with a physiotherapist twice a week to treat my back, wrist and knee injuries.

12 months on I am now doing Monday, Wednesday and Saturday circuit, Tuesday HIIT and PT on a Friday.

My injuries still exist but where necessary I am given and take options.

I don’t allow my injuries to define me or stop me from training.

20 years ago I did Weight Watchers and lost 17 kg, so I knew I could commit to change.

I know what my trigger foods are – corn chips, chips, lollies, diet coke – so I haven’t touched them since the day I started with TF. I haven’t eaten chocolate in 20 years as I am a chocoholic.

I went back to basics.  Planning my meals, which I had done successfully at WW.  Food prepping.  I started cooking again, something which I love using Terri’s’ books as inspiration.  I asked questions of my trainers about what foods I should be eating to maximize my training.

I now eat chicken or meat for breakfast or porridge and berries if I have 6am PT.  I rarely eat bread (another thing I used to devour).  I’ve cut out bad carbs. I eat before and after training. I still don’t eat enough so I’m working on that.

I am about to celebrate 12 months with TF. My life is worlds apart from the day I walked through those doors at orientation.  I was scared and anxious that I would aggravate my injuries.  I didn’t know anyone.  I was nervous about what lay ahead.  But I was inspired by Terri and her welcome to the new members.

I have my depression under control.  Exercising to me is as important for physical health as it is for mental health. I still do Pilates once a week and see my osteopath when needed. I live daily with chronic pain but weight loss and increased mobility makes it easier to manage.

My goal when I started with TF was to feel better about myself. I was turning 50 and wanted to change. I smashed that goal within weeks. I was going to China in October and wanted to conquer the Great Wall.  I wanted to be fit enough to walk to the top. I achieved that.

I feel amazing now.  Not just physically but emotionally and mentally.

I am proud that I have committed not just to TF but to changing my life.

I have lost 15 kg.  I have lost 84 centimetres from my body.  I am strong.  I am invincible.

I have regained the confidence that for years had left me. 

I am happy.

Life is wonderful.

[When asked “What really gets you out of your comfy lounge to attend training?’] Having a safe place I can go, without judgment of what I look like.  The support offered by the trainers and class mates is unbelievable. TF is a place to hang out with wonderful people whilst becoming a healthier, fitter person. I have met the most amazing trainers and training buddies.

I don’t let my injuries define me. It would be so easy to stay home to protect my body. But I choose to train and challenge myself. I take options when I need to but I still turn up every session and do my best.

My life has transformed over the last 12 months.  I want to train, to feel better, and to push myself.  I never want to go back to that dark place that is severe depression, and training is critical for my mental well-being.

Every rotation at circuit I keep track of the repetitions and try and better it the next one. When I get home I write down my best achievement for the class and put it in a jar.  At the end of each round, and year, I will take them out and see how I have progressed.  It also shows how many classes I have attended, and how much work I have put in.

[When asked “What would you say to someone thinking of getting started with Terrific Fitness?”] Do it.  TF changed my life.  It has transformed me physically and mentally.

The trainers are normal people who have struggled, just like me.  They inspire and encourage me every day. 

We work hard, laugh a lot and celebrate everyone’s’ successes.” – Elizabeth Quonoey, Epping

*Weight Loss and Training Disclaimer