Zoe Griffiths


I have been training with Dan for approximately 8 months from July 2009. I had got into a deep, seemingly insurmountable rut.  I had never been the size or shape that I'd wanted but never had the drive or determination to address it.  Having said that I was reasonably comfortable with myself at University, being 5ft3tall and 9st 7. I did a fair amount of exercise joining sports teams and walking around the campus.  I ate what I wanted and paid little consideration towards my health or fitness.  When I started work my job involved long and varied shifts and exercise did not feature in my timetable.  Slowly but, most definitely surely, the weight piled on.  It slowly occurred to me that I was feeling bloated and uncomfortable everyday on my way home from work, I had to unbutton my trousers in the car!  This situation continued until I increased my uniform trouser size by another two sizes.  At this point it finally dawned on me, I was getting pretty fat.  I got on some scales (which I hadn't done in two years) and topped 12 stones.  I was mortified. I couldn't believe it. How could I have let it get that bad??

In the 'expanding' months I had intermittently thought I'd better lose weight. However, I struggled to  do any exercise and my will power was zero when it came to avoiding junk food.  My failure led to comfort eating and the situation deteriorated.  I could not see a way back from it. I'd never successfully lost weight in my life and now I had so much to lose. I had saddlebags and due to the way I looked I never got dressed up, hated having my photo taken and despised trying on clothes. I looked frumpy, overweight, with lumps and bumps in all in the wrong places.  I pondered ideas and joined Fitness First.  I did not go. 

Eventually it really got on top of me.  I applied myself to finding a solution.  I decided I had to do something.  I'd never considered a Personal Trainer but I'd heard someone at work mention her boyfriend had one to keep him in shape as he was a model. I was apprehensive but eventually bit the bullet and texted the number my friend passed onto me.  I had no idea what to expect. I thought Personal Trainers were only for models and celebs.  I certainly couldn't afford one either. Nevertheless, nothing else had inspired me so I was prepared to give it a chance.

Dan and I met up and I was given the once over, it made for a depressing realisation. I was 3 stone overweight.   I felt embarrassed and out of my depth at our first session. I soon felt at ease, Dan was affable, friendly and above all, positive.  Initially I booked appointments with Dan after work. At first I struggled to drag myself to the gym after a long day at work.   I kept the appointments as I had paid for them.  That was possibly the only reason that would get me to the gym. But despite dragging myself there, I would perk up and leave feeling streets better on the way out.

The sessions were always varied and interesting. It wasn't a question of being put on the x-trainer and being told to get on with it.  I always left feeling like I'd really put the work in and the next day could usually barely move! I liked the feeling that I'd really been pushed which is difficult to achieve on your own.  The sessions were hard work but satisfying.  I was introduced to far more varied training than I had ever known before and I enjoyed it.  The seemingly never-ending list of different exercises Dan had up his sleeve never failed to amaze me.  I never felt like we were running over old ground.

Over time I got more of an insight into what I was doing and why.  Slowly but surely Dan managed to get me motivated.  I started to go to classes in my own time.  The weight started to shift.  Then Dan started to examine my diet and introduced me to a few simple key ideas I could concentrate on.  I was never going to be a wheat grass and salad type of girl – I enjoyed my food far too much!

Overtime I needed less time with Dan as he'd got me to the point that I was driven enough to do training without making an appointment with him.  He wasn't just interested in keeping me coming to him day in day out, paying for sessions, but rather put me in a position that I had the tools to help myself.  He was always accommodating when it came to payment too so I never felt under pressure to book more sessions.

Dan encouraged me to chart my weight and food intake and showed me how to make small but definite changes that would help me.  I had never been so motivated.  I set small goals agreed with Dan and kept with it.  Having someone else involved in the project made me feel that someone else really cared about my success and by staying on track I was doing us both proud.

Eventually I reached my original weight of 9st7. But then I thought, I can be fitter and I can carry on this life style.  Maybe I could achieve more?  I kept going and hit 9st.  I couldn't remember ever having been that weight during my adult life.  I started shopping and bought dresses and bikinis – previously unheard of!  I knew I'd gotten to a confident place when I went on holiday this March and didn't mind wearing my bikini.  I never thought I'd see that day dawn.  It felt great.

 I don't know how Dan did it but I achieved my goal having never got anywhere close before. Dan was the only difference to other attempts and I did it with him.  Dan changed my attitude to health, fitness and diet.  I moved from thinking I was going to 'diet & exercise' to lose weight to implementing life long changes that will hopefully stick with me forever. 

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