Jo feels more positive and happier after losing 3 stones and completing the Great North Run

“I saw an advert for Get Active Fitness Coaching at just the right time. I hadn’t invested in looking after myself for a few years as I’d been “too busy” with work and family life. The result of being too busy was that my diet went to pot, I wasn’t exercising and I’d become very unhappy with my size and life in general.

I messaged a couple of my mates as I was keen to give it a try but also nervous in equal measure. I discovered one of my friends was already going to the exercise classes and another was easily persuaded to try it out with me.

I was pleasantly surprised to find that James and everyone else gave us a warm and friendly welcome and the exercises can be done at your own level. We are a diverse group, with mixed gender, age and ability (not gym posers!). That was 3 years ago and I’ve never looked back!

I started with the Monday and Wednesday circuit classes which had an enormous impact on my physical and mental health. I got a buzz from the exercise and soon started to get fitter, lose weight and tone up. I also joined a slimming club and between the two, I’ve lost 3 stone and changed shape completely. I have a lot more energy, motivation and I feel much more positive about myself and life.

I’ve never been a runner but after about a year of doing the circuit classes, I had the confidence to sign up for Race for Life with my children and some friends. I decided to join James at the Saturday morning running classes in preparation.

As a non-runner, I was sceptical about it to start with but James’ approach is to work with you and to match the programme to your individual running level. So I started at the beginning, running for 2 minutes and gradually built this up to complete my first Race for Life.

Running has become a major part of my life now. I completed the Great North Run (half marathon) in the summer and was given a medal rack for Christmas last year to display all my medals. Not bad going for a non-runner!

I’ve made some great friends through the classes. We support each other at the circuit and running classes (though there’s some healthy competition) and we have established our own unofficial running club, The Yorkshire Puddings. The social life’s not bad either!

The most amazing thing is being able to see your own progress and learning what YOU can achieve. This has made me feel more confident, happier and has given me a real sense of self belief. It also provides a positive, healthy role model for my children which is important to me.

I only wish I’d started sooner, I really feel that I’ve missed out in my life pre-classes.”

Jo