“Training With A Fitness Coach Helped Me Lose Weight And Gain Strength”

Weight Loss

Weight loss can be tough. But focusing on one goal, having a great fitness coach and managing your expectations can really make all the difference. It did for Alicia-Ann Williams, who had gained a bit of extra padding during her travels. “I was working on secondment in Toronto in 2014, which led to a trip around the States. [With] the exotic fast food being so accessible and cheap… this led to a slight weight gain.”

Alicia-Ann’s initial goal was simply to feel comfortable in her clothes again, rather than focusing on “a goal weight,” she says. Here’s her story…

Name: Alicia-Ann Williams

City: Cape Town

Age: 31

Occupation: Financial Analyst

Weight before: 60kg

Weight after: 56kg (also lost 3% body fat and gained 1kg muscle)

Time required to reach goal: 6 months

The secret weapon to your fitness journey: Awesome coach and small milestones.

Getting started: teaming up with a fitness coach

Alicia-Ann teamed up with fitness coach Carmen Casteling mid-2014. “[I] started training with her on a one-on-one basis three times a week. This then turned into a nearly [two and a half] year training relationship and an awesome friendship,” she tells us. 

“Since starting my fitness journey I’m a lot more aware of my body, conscious of what I put into it and so much more grateful for what it can do,” says Alicia-Ann. Her CrossFit training routine has also been refined over the years. “I still stick to the same type of training I did when I initially started training with Carmen; the weights have just gotten heavier and the movements a bit more complex as my confidence and abilities have grown.” 

Alicia-Ann has worked hard to achieve a work-life balance. “Embarking on my fitness journey has helped me find a space where I can be myself and let off the stresses of the day,” she says. Her fave workouts? Kettle swings, double unders, box jumps and power cleans.  

READ MORE: “I Found An Alternative Workout Plan To Help Me Lose Weight — And It Doesn’t Involve Running Or Gym”

So, was it about the gains?

“I don’t believe in weighing myself, so the scale was never a factor. It was about how I felt,” says Alicia-Ann. She admits that her eating habits were initially pretty unhealthy. “Before training with Carmen, I went through a period of eating take-outs more than three times a week. I ditched that when I started training and started making more conscious choices about what I was putting into my body,” she explains. 

“At the start of my journey, I made a deliberate effort to eat less fast food and introduce more home-cooked meals and started taking a protein shake,” says Alicia. And she’s sticking to it. “I still eat loads of fruit and veg now, and make an effort to meal prep and set myself up for a nutritionally successful day.” 

Check out Alicia-Ann in action

Keeping that focus

Alicia-Ann went from doing zero training to going it alone at a gym – but she just didn’t feel motivated. It took a fitness coach to really kick-start that drive. “When I began training with Carmen, I did one-on-one sessions three times a week. I started off with simple bodyweight and kettlebell exercises. This gradually evolved into more HIIT classes with a bit more weight, as well as group classes.” She now tries to train at least five times a week, sticking to a similar routine each time. 

READ MORE: 6 Weight Loss Strategies That’ll Get You Closer To Your #BodyGoals

Alicia-Ann stays motivated by setting manageable goals for herself. She also finds group sessions rewarding. It helped that she was able to “find a space and coach who keeps [her] motivated.” Her real secret? Progressing from solo training to group sessions. “I felt healthier and a lot more energised. After a few months training with Carmen, I entered my first 10km road race and finished it in just over 60 minutes!” How’s that for a little motivation?

Advice for those starting out

  • Be proactive: Get moving as soon as you can.
  • Motivation is key: Find a space and coach that works for you.
  • Have patience: Slow progress is better than no progress.
  • Manage your expectations: Don’t try to make too many changes too quickly, as this could lead to setbacks, which may demotivate you.

READ MORE ON: Fitness Success Stories Weight Loss Weight Loss Tips Workouts

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