Nicky's Inspirational Story
𝐓𝐡𝐞 𝐌𝐨𝐬𝐭 𝐏𝐎𝐖𝐄𝐑𝐅𝐔𝐋 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐈𝐍𝐒𝐏𝐈𝐑𝐈𝐍𝐆 𝐓𝐡𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐘𝐨𝐮'𝐥𝐥 𝐑𝐞𝐚𝐝 𝐓𝐡𝐢𝐬 𝐘𝐞𝐚𝐫...
Hi, my name is Nicky, and Josh has asked me to tell you a little about my story in the hope it might help or inspire some other people.
Whilst I have told my story many times before, I’ve never done it in this way so bear with me, it’s not always so easy to talk about yourself!
As all of us do, I wear so many different hats and here are a few…
I am a wife, a mum to two daughters – Ellie studying Law in Edinburgh and Madison who has just finished her GCSE’s.
I am a qualified accountant, a qualified coach and NLP practitioner and have lived and worked around this area for many years.
In the last couple of years, I have run my own business, run ‘Ultimate Woman’ and spent 5 months in Dubai, living and working.
That all sounds great and I have had amazing experiences in life, but it doesn’t tell the whole story.
I am also a breast cancer survivor, I went through the menopause in a matter of weeks, I have a gene that could cause me to get Hypertrophic Cardio Myopathy and I was made redundant.
But the important part is how does this relate to The Unit (Fitness)…
I first joined the Unit in October 2014.
I remember the first morning vividly… I arrived to meet Rob around 7am, it was cold, it was dark, and I was as nervous as hell. I’d been running for around 18 months but other than that had limited activity in my life which was mostly spent at a desk.
Despite all that, I went in, took the first step and started going three times a week.
There were sessions I felt dizzy from pushing myself and times I dd not want to get out of bed to go but I did and can honestly say I saw the results quickly.
Alongside the sessions Rob had advised on calories and macros and with the help of MyFitnessPal app and a few weigh ins, I dropped fat and inches in no time but equally importantly I got fitter, stronger and could see definition.
Roll forward 18 months and I was the fittest I had been in my whole life, physically strong and mentally resilient despite tremendous stress at work and home.
I had made some of the best friends ever, completed a 10k One True Grit, completed the Moonwalk Marathon and the Unit was a huge part of that and a huge part of my life.
Then something happened that I did not expect when I was diagnosed with breast cancer.
I had a mastectomy and reconstruction in April 2016 – I had to have an implant for the reconstruction as I did not have enough fat to use and adamantly refused to have muscle from my back used in case it meant I could not get back to training when I got better.
I remember at the time the nurses and surgeons commenting on how fit and strong I was and how cancer really can hit anyone but looking back I know that my fitness helped me bounce back as quickly as I did.
My intention was to get back to the Unit as soon as physically possible but unfortunately after a messy redundancy, financially it was not possible.
So my time with the Unit was put on hold and I held on to the fact that one day I would get back – especially as some of my closest friends go there and I would always hear about what was going on!!
Roll forward nearly three years since I last went and I find myself in March 2019.
The past year has been difficult having lost my Dad, closed my business, spent time away from family in Dubai and coming back to the UK having to not only find a new job but also in essence ‘start again’.
Physically I was unfit, I was outgrowing my clothes and mentally I was struggling with no focus.
Then I received the best Mother’s Day present ever… 3 months membership to the Unit!!
My family all know how much getting back means to me but more importantly know how much being a member had helped me (and therefore them!!) in the past.
Within a week I had connected with Rob and was back in the gym this time petrified of what the next 45 minutes might bring. You see this time, bar a few very short ‘run & walks’ I have done nothing for 3 years.
I knew this time that I was so less active that I would find the classes harder… the problem is, I am competitive (with myself) when it comes to being in the classes and I was really worried I would compare myself to the ‘old me’ and either get frustrated or push myself too hard and fail spectacularly.
I also had some very real fear around what my body could do. Mentally I was not up to doing a burpee and I thought it would hurt where I had my op and I was also really worried I would tear scar tissue if I lifted too heavy.
I remember the first session and meeting Karl for the first time; I blurted out my fears and basically said – ‘can I hurt myself’? He was so understanding and basically said I would be fine, and he would help with adaptations if needed.
That first class, I faced my nemesis – an option to do a burpee and although I could have ducked out, I trusted Karl’s advice and gave it a go and survived.
Part of wanting to get back to training was to get strong and fit again, but another significant part for me is wanting to get back in my clothes. The drugs I take basically put you into menopause overnight so I have found the weight creeping on too easily and I don’t like how that makes me feel or how I look.
I had a strategy session early on with Karl which was great. I had a huge desire to lose the weight and inches quickly but when I spoke to Karl he said aim for 0.5 to 1lb per week – something sustainable which made sense.
I started using the calorie settings I’d had from Rob 4.5 years earlier, set myself up on MyFitnessPal and basically fell flat at the first hurdle. I was generally sticking to the calories but the weight and inches were not moving and I felt hugely frustrated so started to go back to bad habits.
Then one Friday morning I happened to mention my concerns to Josh and we then spent some time looking at what I was doing. He quickly pointed out that the old targets would not be relevant and especially due to the menopause issue. So equipped with a lower calorie count, adjusted macros and some tips and tools I started again and finally started to see the results.
So here I am, just over 3 months in and my results are not as I expected.
Firstly I am definitely fitter, stronger and more confident in pushing my limits. The MyZone (Heart Rate) monitor helps hugely as a motivator but that’s not the only way you can see the progress – I’m lifting heavier weights, I’m trying the harder movements and I can do more burpees within a given time!
I know I am not where I was before and that’s OK… I’ve also found my core is weaker which means I want to protect my back too. Alex, Karl and Colin have been amazing at suggesting alternatives and I can feel it’s getting easier by stepping back before I move forward.
In terms of getting into my clothes – well I’m in some of them. It’s been hugely frustrating not to have lost the weight the way I did before but there are reasons for that. Hormones play a huge part as does my routine – basically I’ve not been working so food is a great time filler when I’m bored or feeling low. I’m learning how to adjust my diet to fit my lifestyle and am now aiming for a lifestyle change rather than a quick fix.
It has been hard, I won’t lie, but following Josh’s tips the results are slowly showing and I know in the coming weeks I will get to where I want to be.
I also need to say how great the private members Facebook group is. There are some real gems of inspiration, motivation and support in there and the fact that all the TUF crew get involved daily makes it feel like you all care – which I know you do.
Alex’s live video each week is also an absolute must to watch even if on catch up. There is some really useful tips he gives and it’s also entertaining!!
What I really think is different about the Unit though is that you really are part of a family… the trainers know and talk to you – they know you so can pick up when you are struggling or just need an extra push.
This means all the members talk to each other too – new people are part of the team from day one and I’m yet to see someone walk out feeling negative after a visit.
If you are thinking about coming to the Unit and you feel nervous then the first thing I would say is that’s normal. We were all nervous on day one (even if like me you’ve had two day 1’s I was still petrified).
Embrace the nerves, walk in and just do your best. No one will be watching you and judging you – we are all too busy getting through ourselves to watch anyone else.
We are all happy to talk to you though – as long as we get on with the training there is always time for a chat!
I’d also say share your concerns with the trainers either in class or privately. I’ve learned it’s better to do a less challenging move and build up that push yourself and have no form and little effect. I still duck out of some moves like V-Sits as I don’t have the strength to do them properly yet but I will, in time.
I would also set realistic goals with the team.
Everyone at the Unit is different – we lift different weights, do different numbers of reps, adapt moves, have different heart rates, sweat more or less, wear different clothes… I could go on.
But we do all have in common that we want to benefit from being there in some way and we want to have fun – the trainers can help you figure the best way to do that in class and back home too with exercises, calories, macros and even the dreaded foam roller.
The benefits you get as a member go beyond the classes, online support, MyZone challenges, strategy sessions and members however.
You will benefit because you will reach your goals if you really want to – it may take time, longer than you think maybe but you will get there.
Plus along the way you will make friends, get fitter, stronger, leaner and also mentally tougher and more resilient. I’ve not said so much about that so far but one of the biggest plus points for me has been emotionally.
If I am anything to go by, you will get focus, determination, motivation, confidence and inner peace from being a member. One of my closest friends who I met at the Unit when I first joined says it’s her ‘happy place’ and I totally agree.
So, huge thanks to Rob and Josh for building such an amazing community. To Alex, Karl and Colin for pushing me harder when I could easily give up and thanks to all the members who have been in the classes or online with me – it’s great to be part of the TUF family.