When Elizabeth came to me, she was struggling with several things. The thing that bothered her the most was her weight. She knew she wanted to lose some weight and feel healthier in herself but didn't know where to start. She knew nothing about the correct nutrition or healthy weight loss. I agreed to work with her on her self-improvement journey.
When we first met, her confidence and self-esteem were relatively low. This was linked to her being overweight and feeling unhealthy. She was unhappy and shy, which meant that she couldn't make progress with her career or relationships either. She knew that her other issues could be traced back to her low self-esteem, which stemmed from her weight.
Elizabeth wanted to work to change that. She was looking for someone to help, someone to monitor her progress, hold her accountable, and motivate her. That's where I came in. After our initial consultation, I drew up a plan that she happily agreed to - and we started the work. We set a sensible and healthy diet for her to stick to, but the main issue was; Elizabeth hated exercise. With a little bit of pushy and after lots of suggestions, Elizabeth chose to take up running.
We talked about what she would need - running shoes, clothes, water bottles, fitness trackers, and so on. But the truth is, what she needed the most was the motivation to go outside and start putting one foot in front of the other, no matter what the weather!
When we began, Elizabeth was with the initial running routine. We adapted the programme to ensure that she was exercising every day, even if it wasn't running. She found that three runs a week and two walks were a good challenge.
To help keep her motivated, I gave her a deal - if she exercised for the next 50 days, then I'll run for the next 50 days. I told her I would run for at least an hour every single day. She wasn't doing this alone.
"But are you really going to do it?"
I did. When Elizabeth exercised, so did I. We inspired each other. Elizabeth didn't have to face her fears alone because I was there. The physical aspect wasn't as much of a challenge for me as it was for Elizabeth, but the mental challenge of getting up and going running every day was as much of a challenge for me as it was for her. It was tough, but we did it; 50 days of exercise.
I found that when I ran, I enjoyed using the time to listen to an audiobook and learn something new. I shared this with Elizabeth, and she found it helpful too. We helped and encouraged each other. When she was encouraging me, Elizabeth found she could see the strength to run more and more.
The most exciting thing happen just before we hit the 30-day mark. It was a terrible day. The kind of day where going outside is not appealing at all. To add to it, I was in a terrible mood. But I didn't want to disappoint Elizabeth when she was doing so well. So I laced up my shoes, chose an audiobook, and hit the road.
I told myself I wouldn't do a full hour. Doing twenty minutes was better than nothing. After twenty minutes, I felt better, so I told myself I'd do another ten minutes. Twenty minutes later, I added another ten minutes, then another. By the time I went home, I'd run for two hours and completed a half marathon.
When I told Elizabeth, she realised that she could push herself further as well. We kept on working through the programme, in addition to our 50-day challenge. She kept on working on herself and felt confident enough to hire a personal trainer to help as well.
By the end, her confidence and self-belief were sky-high. Throughout the programme, she lost 45kg (7 stone) in ten months and gained a whole new attitude. During our 50-day challenge, I also lost 12kg (1.8 stone).
Elizabeth is now engaged, looks fantastic, has changed her job, and feels more like herself than ever before. For Elizabeth, losing weight was the key to a whole new approach to life as well as opening up countless possibilities. She proved day after day that even if you don't feel like doing something, pushing yourself will give you life-changing results. Action creates change, sometimes in more ways than you had expected.