WHO IS GENSouthampton's ONLY Over 30's Specialist Personal Trainer
Fitness isn’t something I was always interested in – I hated PE at school and would much rather have spent my time eating chocolate in front of the TV!
Unfortunately, many years of this resulted in an overweight, unhealthy and very unhappy 18-year-old, struggling to fit into a pair of size 16 jeans.
After making the decision to change my lifestyle, I slowly began to see results and how much better I felt within myself.
After qualifying as a personal trainer over 10 years ago and moving to Southampton, it still wasn’t all smooth sailing from there.
Life felt pretty tough a few years ago.
I was approaching the big 3-O.
I was working 14-16 hours per day – and feeling stressed out.
For a personal trainer, I was pretty unhealthy. Bad skin, dull hair, drinking loads of coffee to stay awake during the day, feeling
I didn’t have the energy to get my own workouts done, that I’d spent so many years studying and learning. They usually became abandoned by the time Thursday rolled around. I spent my weekends lazing about on the sofa. Using whatever crap was on TV to numb my reality.
Then I would get ill as I had a persistent chronic stomach condition that kept flaring up. Bloating, cramps, frequent trips to the bathroom feeling lethargic and drained.
I had been with my then fiancé Damien for nearly 10 years and that spark had faded a little bit. As he works shifts, it often felt like barely saw each other. For the rare occasions when we weren’t ships in the night, I had no desire nor energy to want to do anything at weekends and everything felt like a massive effort (and I mean everything…)
My solution to all of this was to work harder. Work longer. Blame the high costs of renting a Southampton studio and saving for a deposit for a house, for having to work as hard as I was doing as a personal trainer.
…but really I was just running away.
I was using work as a way to just block out the problems and the challenges that were facing me. Using personal training other people as a reason NOT to sort my own health out, focusing on my own personal training clients.
“I just didn’t have the time, right?”
The result of all of this?
I was disconnected from my fiancé and friends. I was distant.
Even when I was physically with them, my mind was elsewhere. I was never actually present with them. I loved my job and my personal trainer clients, but it consumed so much of me, my energy being as low as it was.
I wasn’t being the fiancé, friend and even personal trainer that deep down I knew I wanted to be.
It was eating me up inside.
….and so my solution to this was to eat more!!!
From memory, it was mainly in the form of snacks. Nuts, yogurts, dried fruit, loads of oat cakes, hummus and pitta bread, toast and peanut butter, protein bars, energy bars and large amounts of dark chocolate on weekends that I told myself I’d “earned”.
Because that’s all healthy stuff right?
Thinking about how much sugar and processed stuff I was eating, no wonder I looked a mess.
It’s Not What I Wanted
The strange thing about this situation though was that I knew I didn’t want to be acting like this. I knew it was ruining my relationship.
I knew that I would not be this young or get this time with my man, again. I was wasting it.
Yet I carried on.
The Turning Point
Two things happened back in 2012 that changed everything.
I went to try on a new pair of Diesel jeans. I found the style that I liked and went to try them on. To my
Then within about 48
I was developing middle age spread…and I hadn’t actually even reached middle age! If I felt this way now, how would I look in five years time? Or after…I’d actually had kids?!
All of a sudden I didn’t feel my age. I felt much older.
I looked at the smile on my gorgeous man’s face in the photos, and those of all my lovely friends and it dawned on me that I wasn’t being the loving supportive girlfriend, friend or ‘inspirational role model’ as a personal trainer, that I’d always
I didn’t feel happy. I’m surprised many of my friends still bothered to ask me to things, I’d turned them down so often!
That was it.
Time to change.
What A Journey!
It’s been one hell of a journey since.
Within 6 months I had become super fit. Thrown myself into furthering my nutrition knowledge and got rid of my tummy and muffin top. Stopped the unhealthy habits and literally transformed into a completely different girl.
Learning that I had a severe gluten intolerance and a fungus in my stomach, from the result of an extremely poor diet throughout my childhood and teenage years explained my low energy, bloating and brain fog. I feel so happy to be free of all this and am now in better shape in my 30’s than I ever was in my 20’s.
I loved feeling this way so much that I decided to take a leap of faith and open my own private Southampton Personal Training studio, with the vision of providing a totally private environment for one-to-one or small group Personal Training without the distraction or intimidation of a public gym.
I did this a few months later….and have not looked back since!
My dream life
I am now blessed with the most amazing relationship with Damien, who after 10 years together became my husband in 2014. We had the wedding of our dreams on the beautiful island of Jersey, followed by a honeymoon in the Maldives where I pretty much lived in a bikini!
It feels like we now get on better now than ever. We share our dreams and aspirations and work together to achieve them. We own our first house, have weekends away and behave like we are in our early 20’s, which is how old we were when we first met. We are best friends who just have loads of fun together and make each other laugh.
And when I am with my friends, I am
Damien and I hope to start a family one day and are aware, like it or not, our kids will model our
Kids see us day to day. They will see the way that I look after myself. The way that I eat. The way that I now speak to my husband. The way that I can help other people change their lives and the impact that I’m now having on people in Southampton’s lives, and I hope they are inspired to do the same.
This has all happened since I made that decision.
Since the day that I had that ‘
The day that I decided to start actually taking care of my body and my health and actually waking up in the morning with a spring in my step after a deep refreshing sleep, rather than just hitting snooze and rolling over.
Has it been easy?
Has it been expensive?
Has it saved my relationship,
The thing is, it’s not just about getting healthy. It’s what getting healthy then leads to.
Me getting really healthy meant that my husband started to also get really healthy.
Me starting to give a s**t about how I looked and acted meant those around me did the same (Damien, the people we’re closest to and every person who comes to me for personal training.)
Me starting to set goals and achieving them inspired others in Southampton to do the same.
Me then investing the time to reconnect with my husband has meant that he has then wanted to do the same in return.
Is there a secret to all of this?
Just a case of following a certain programme and be held accountable along the way.
It would be selfish of me to just keep this all to myself though, which is why I now help ladies over 30 in Southampton to do the same.
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I feel happy and so glad I made the change to get healthy and start my 50’s fitter than most people in their 20’s. Gen believed in me and saw what I could achieve long before I did. She has honestly given me my life back and for that I will be forever grateful. Debbie
Thanks to Gen and her team, I've gone from a size 16 following the birth of my baby, to a size 10 in 12 months! This is a
I signed up for Gen's Faster Personal Training and very quickly felt fitter and the weight came off easily.