Paleo for weight loss, performance and disease prevention. Read my full review here.
"The sessions are always tough, but fun and never ever boring..."
I am a working mother of two children; a four year old and a four month old. I turn 40 in August and since having my first child, despite once being a competitive athlete, I have made very little effort to look after myself, letting both diet and exercise slide and using pregnancy as an excuse to pile on the (fat) pounds.
Additionally, following the recent birth, I have 10cm diastasis recti. Diastasis recti is basically when the abdominal muscles pull apart into right and left halves – or put another way, the muscles are 10cm from the midline and I am able to put my hand into my abdominal cavity and feel various organs: not very pleasant. The doctor recommended I see a physiotherapist.
With my 40th birthday looming, I really want to take the opportunity to take back control of my health and be as fit, healthy and strong as I can be for my children and to set them a good example for life – active parents, active children. I am breastfeeding my youngest, so my primary concern was ensuring any lifestyle changes would not adversely affect my milk supply. I am not interested in crazy weight loss at the expense of my baby’s wellbeing but would like to improve my overall health, strength and stamina.
I contacted Darryl on recommendation from a friend to see if he would be willing to help. I don’t live in London, so am unable to take advantage of one to one training, however because of my concerns about milk supply and any radical changes, not to mention being ultra-careful not to make my diastasis worse (the physiotherapist had instructed me not to do anything strenuous at all), we discussed a hybrid approach – a one to one initial health and fitness assessment (with baby in tow) and discussion of realistic goals followed by virtual training.
The health and fitness assessment involved a series of physical tests and body measurements to ascertain my starting point. This was followed up by a detailed 10-page report. To be honest, I have been using pregnancy and post-pregnancy as a mental excuse for being lazy and making poor food choices. The results however were a real wake up call: 41% body fat and a metabolic age 15 years older than my actual age. I was extremely downhearted that I had let things get this bad, but you have to start from where you are and that also means accepting your own role in how you got here!
Work began the following week with several virtual sessions to establish a baseline. At this point I also made a food diary and started to observe how I had fallen into a pattern of “reward” eating. Something I would never have done before children! We discussed how to sharpen up my diet with a nutritional consultation. I won’t lie – it’s really tough to stick to it, but I do feel much brighter in the mornings.
Each virtual training session is sent via email with a calendar reminder. Post-workout I provide feedback and Darryl adjusts my training accordingly. The sessions are always tough but fun and never ever boring. In fact, I can think of nothing more tedious than going to the gym, whereas I look forward to each session. Afterwards I always feel that exhilaration of achievement and to spur me on, after only two weeks, I have lost 3cm on my waist and “love handles”, 4cm on my hips and 3cm on each thigh.
I highly recommend this approach to anyone. Virtual training allows me to be flexible around my children and other busy family constraints. Each session is tailored specifically to the individual so you really get the benefit of Darryl’s expertise and support. I look forward to writing about further progress as my 40th birthday approaches!
The book Paleo Fitness is available for release 11 June 2013 and is available for pre-order now at Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk, Amazon Germany, Amazon Japan, Barnes and Noble (US), Waterstones (UK) and other leading chain stores and independent stores globally.