Transformation – Laura Smith

Laura Smith - before & after*Laura originally trained with us in Briar Hill. She eventually had her husband join up as well, and they now both train with us in Mill Park. Laura has lost a total of 81cm with 22.5cm being from her waist alone! Is this the reason she made POM? Certainly not! Laura made POM because of what she has achieved with her health above and beyond anything. When Laura first joined she often had to miss class or back off because of her Asthma and general well-being, feeling very unwell far too often for anyone to be able to lead any sort of ‘normal life’. As she travelled further along her journey she became open to learning more and more, started researching things for herself and started to feel empowered about her own health for the first time. That’s exactly the journey we want for our people; to be open to learning so that we can empower them with knowledge that will enable them to lead independent healthy, happy lives.

We are so proud of Laura and how far she has come in her health journey as well as her weight loss journey, I can’t even put it into words. I literally well up with tears when I think of how far she has come in the last 12 months. Speaking with her husband he is open about how proud he is of her too, and I can see the love he has for her in his eyes when he speaks of her. You see folks, health and weight loss is not just about looking good, but how you feel inside, about yourself and how you lead your life and the impact you have on others, when your heart is open to loving yourself. Laura my love, the profession you have chosen as a nurse, together with the love in your heart and soul, the knowledge you now carry about health and the journey you have triumphed over and continue to travel, is a huge blessing to the world we live in. Knowing you will pass that all on to your patience, children and everyone around you, is warming and soul hugging. I love you to the moon and back, and can’t wait to see what else your future holds. I am so proud to be a part of this journey to unleash the best version of yourself.

Let’s hear what Laura has to say about her journey:

“Before I started with Terrific Fitness I had been a Weight Watchers member numerous times, lost a lot of weight… twice… but stacked it all back on again each time. I have coeliac disease and dairy intolerance so I obviously avoid gluten and dairy, and thought I had a reasonable diet  but I now know it was very carb-heavy, and I ate waaaaayyyyyy too much sugar! I had extremely low self-esteem and always have, very self-critical almost to the point of punishment and was in a vicious cycle where I would punish myself for being useless and then comfort myself by eating crap food and drinking too much… then I would punish myself for being useless again. 

I did try to exercise often, but suffering from brittle asthma made it nearly impossible to walk to the letterbox some days, and on other days the fear of flaring up relentless symptoms was enough to keep me home. On the days I did exercise swimming and yoga were favourites, with occasional interval training outdoors on good breathing days,  but was not very good at being consistent with things. I expected that I could out-exercise the chocolate and wine consumption and would get frustrated when it didn’t work. I never did weight training and hated traditional gyms, so strength was not my strong point (pardon the pun!). 

As mother of two young kids and full time nursing student I was extremely busy all the time, and tired most of the time which was also a good excuse to not exercise. As for size… I loathed myself and mirrors were the enemy, I was easily 30kg overweight and looked awful, and repeatedly told myself that size 16 was ‘not that big’… even though I should probably have been wearing a size 18.

I had been trying to lose weight with Weight Watchers for the third time after the birth of my second daughter and was getting nowhere fast. Was completely disenfranchised by the whole weight loss movement and thought I would just be another overweight mother and never destined to love myself. Something had to change! A friend of mine, Kerri, had been a part of Terrific Fitness in the past and was trying to get enough numbers together to get the go ahead on a session at Briar Hill. Basically Kerri hassled me so much that I gave in and said I’d join just to get her off my back

I have always given everything I have to whatever I do, whether it be good or bad (including finishing off the block of chocolate cos I can’t leave things half done, can I!). I remember my first session with TF was with Grace and I was confident afterwards that I was going to die! I pushed myself so far and hard that day that I was quite literally unable to walk up the stairs in my house for about a week afterwards, I had to scoot up and down on my bum. No word of a lie! Now I put in just as much effort into circuit, go hard or go home. It’s a wonderful outlet for frustration and aggression! When I’m at yoga I push my flexibility every time, but as it is for relaxation as well I try not to make it too painful! ​

At the start I didn’t change any of my food. I actually thought the food recommendations were stupid and impossible to lose weight eating all that fat. Then I got a nasty infection and was stuck on the couch for days and days so spent some time researching the whole concept of the ‘paleo’ paradigm. I decided that I had nothing to lose, and committed to the diet for a week to see how it was. After the week I had lost around 2 kilos, a load of retained fluid and had not been hungry once, something that had never happened on any other ‘diet’. Out of interest I had counted my calories for the week and had eaten easily triple the recommended amount each and every day and was literally astonished to see I had lost weight. Needless to say I stuck with it and by the end of my first 6 week circuit I had lost 49cm from various parts of my body.  I have since been committed to the Paleo diet, or variations thereof, and will continue to do so. My cupboards are full of ingredients I had never even heard of 12 months ago, but my skin has never looked better, joint pain has reduced, energy levels are higher, and I am more emotionally stable, among other things. For me, the real change was to shift my mindset of food being withheld for weight loss purposes; I could never succeed in that way. As soon as I realized that good, clean food was for lifelong good health I was able to make permanent change, and the weight has just come off naturally. I’m not perfect, I eat treats! I just avoid the supermarket mass produced crap and make my own chocolate, granola, coconut yoghurt… if it exists in a supermarket, trust me, you CAN make a clean version. Where there’s a will, there’s a way.

I have been training since May last year, just on 12 months. My life now compared to 12 months ago is unrecognizable! I have lost all the weight I set out to, plus some more and have set myself new goals that I honestly never thought achievable. I still have numerous health issues that I am constantly working towards resolving, but I accept now that good health is a journey and not a destination. I have greater faith in myself and know that I can achieve whatever I want to, and am prepared to put in the hard yards.

I feel completely different about myself now compared to how I felt 12 months ago. I’m not quite where I want to be, so some self-flagellation still occurs! But now my ‘bad day’ is indulging in white potatoes and too much wine… and I pay the price with feeling terrible and bloated (and other things!) afterwards. Also exercising is a way of life, not a burden or a punishment. I don’t exercise every day, nor do I commit myself to do so as that is unachievable for me. But I DO exercise 3-4 times a week, what I do depends upon my health each day. I never beat myself up if I’m not up to it, some days rest is just as important as working out and I’ve learned it’s important to listen to your body.

What gets me off the couch? Often its mood! A terrible mood or a bad day that comes with laziness and the desire to stay on the couch is the best reason for training! And when you do you are rewarded with the endorphin rush that come with a great training session, and the mood is gone! Most days though I just love to do it, that’s motivation enough.

To anything thinking about joining TF, DO IT!!!! Sign up immediately! You will work hard, you will sweat, and you will face inner demons head on. But if you commit, you will succeed, you will learn things you never knew, you will reach your goals and there will be no regrets.”– Laura Smith (Greensborough)

*Weight Loss and Training Disclaimer