Fitness is a powerful force for change.
Mother-of-two Shaneeta says it has been truly life changing and saved her from going off the rails after the tragic death of her father.
Accountant Shaneeta says she was comfort eating and drinking after her dad died of pancreatic cancer late last year.
But she says that fitness and having a goal to focus on at Ultimate Performance proved to be a salvation in her darkest hour.
Shaneeta says her 12-week transformation has helped her both physically and mentally and now she’s feeling fitter, stronger and healthier than ever.
“I don’t know what I would have done if I hadn’t joined Ultimate Performance because I think my life would have been completely different.
“But now I’ve got the energy, I definitely feel more positive and I’m getting there slowly. I now have a goal and it’s to get fitter, stronger and healthier, physically and mentally.’
She says coming to train at UP gives her an hour just to focus on working out, getting fitter and stronger which has helped her through the grieving process.
“This process has and is helping me with the grieving process,” she explains.
“I’m not done yet – there are days you wake up and you feel awful, but if I didn’t have UP I’d be sat at home crying, eating, feeling miserable, probably being a miserable wife and miserable mother and miserable daughter to my mum.
“This process has been life-changing for me, on two levels I think.
“Number one physically, you feel good; let’s admit it, we are all here because we want to look good. You look good, you feel good – I’m in better shape than when I was before I had my kids. You feel stronger, lifting up those weights – it is empowering.
“But for me what UP has given me, it’s given me the mental strength. It’s given me a goal, it’s given me a focus and I’m just in a better place for it.
“Mentally, I genuinely feel the youngest I’ve felt in such long time. I feel really strong and I feel really positive.”
Compared to the day that she walked through the doors, Shaneeta says she is a completely different person.
“Friends and family have definitely noticed a change and especially in my situation with my dad going, my family are really supportive about this whole process, because otherwise I think I would have just been sinking, but I feel like I’m slowly coming out of the hole.”
The weight training, the nutrition and the stronger mindset it has engendered has truly helped transform her.
Shaneeta says prior to her UP transformation programme, he nutrition was pretty poor – consisting of toast for breakfast, pasta, bags of crisps and chocolate.
“Before I started the transformation my diet was awful. I’ve got a 4-year-old and a 2-year-old and I think mums on the go will just quickly pick up whatever they can eat; they quickly pick up a bag of crisps…and I was one of them.
“I used to think ‘I’m going to the gym, it’s okay. I’ll eat my bag of crisps, I can have my chocolate.’ But actually, it didn’t work.
“I’ve never been huge; I’ve always been quite small, but I think mentally I don’t think I was strong when it came to food.”
That all changed the moment she started at UP after she was asked to keep a food diary of what she ate – when she realised what she was eating, she was shocked.
So changes to her eating habits made a massive and instantaneous difference to how she felt.
“I found a big change in my energy levels. I always found generally before I started UP that mid-afternoon I’d always be falling asleep, really struggling at school pickup, I don’t have that anymore!
“I think that’s for two things, my diet is a million times better. It’s actually embarrassing what it was before, and my strength.
“I feel more positive, I feel ready for the day and I know that sounds cliché, but I genuinely do – there’s been a huge change!”
Shaneeta says she started seeing the pay-off from her hard work in the gym and in the kitchen almost immediately.
“The results came pretty quick actually, I was quite shocked. It was after about a couple of weeks and I was like ‘oh my gosh, this is really working and it’s only been two weeks, oh my gosh I’ve got 10 weeks left!’ It was really exciting that way.
And what’s great is that every week you do see a change and they do photos for you here, they measure you and they’re like ‘oh my gosh you’re going in, you’re changing, this is happening!’
“It’s just the changes that you see are just incredible. To have to buy new jeans, is brilliant. It’s the best feeling.”
One of the biggest differences was having a structured training programme that was effective in helping her get fitter, stronger and make progress every single session.
It wasn’t just turning up and going through the motions like much of the previous training she’d done elsewhere in other gyms and classes.
Her UP personal trainer was guiding her through the process, explaining the technique and helping her understand the ‘why’ of each exercise she was doing.
“Before I started Ultimate Performance, I have tried personal trainers, I’ve tried gyms, following things on YouTube, these plans. I will never ever do that again.
“The thing with Ultimate Performance is, they teach you how to do the technique properly, and the most important thing is why you’re doing it and for me I have to understand why I’m doing a leg press, what is it helping me do? How do I do it properly?
“And the amount of detail they put into your movement and your technique is incredible and that’s the best thing about it.”
Getting stronger on every exercise has become incredibly motivating for Shaneeta and seeing the visible progress in the gym has kept her chasing down new goals.
“To push bigger and bigger weights was something I wasn’t fussed about when I first joined here. I even said to Matt, ‘look I just want to tone up my legs and bum and I’ll be happy with that’ and now I’m asking ‘when am I going to do 5 more kilos on that?’ It just becomes addictive when you have a goal.
“It feels great to lift more weights. The other day it felt great to be lifting more than a guy in the gym, that felt really good.”
The one thing that has made a huge difference has been having an expert personal trainer supporting her all the way at UP.
“The trainers here are incredible, she says. “My trainer Matt has completely understood me. The great thing about it is they sit down with you before you start your workouts and they really understand ‘What are your goals? What celebrity do you want to look like? What do you eat every day?’ and I think they try and see ‘okay, how much can we push her, what can she do?’
“The best thing about him is he has pushed me every session, he has got those extra 2-3 reps that I just don’t think I could have got without him.
“Yes he’s done it in fun ways but we have got those reps out and I can see the results.”
That support doesn’t end once your one-hour session finishes – it’s around the clock, and this is something that has helped Shaneeta achieve her goals so quickly.
One of the things she had struggled with as a busy mother-of-two trying to process the death of her father was her nutrition.
But the support of her personal trainer helped guide and educate her about how to eat for optimal health and body composition.
“In terms of my diet, the trainers are great. My trainer got a lot of emails when I first started. ‘Can I eat this? Is this recipe okay? Can I have this? How many grams of this can I have? Can I have peanut butter sauce?’ And he would answer every single one of them, and he was there.
“I’m going out for dinner at a restaurant, what can I have? Can I have a white chocolate martini tonight?’ He’s been on the ball. He’s pushed me really, really hard but the best thing is that we’ve had a good laugh doing it. It’s been fun.”
Shaneeta has come along way in just 12 weeks both physically and emotionally; she is fitter, stronger and happier than before.
“I am in shock with the results,” she says. “It hasn’t been that long and I don’t think I’ve ever looked this great.
But for Shaneeta, it isn’t just simply the physical results and the way she looks that is important.
“See for me, coming to Ultimate Performance it isn’t just about looking great and getting your muscles.
“It’s also mentally to keep you stable, to focus on something and as a mum to get your mind off your two kids, one hour to yourself is brilliant.
“And also when you’ve got a death in the family you need something like this as well.”
There has also been a huge change in the way Shaneeta thinks about long-term health.
“For me, you hear so much in the news about sugar related to cancer, how bad sugar is for diabetes, how bad this is for heart disease and yet still, I was eating it all.
“So I needed something like this to say ‘hold on a minute…just take a step back and see what you are doing’.”
Changing her diet and lifestyle wasn’t easy at first, but now she is reaping the benefits and she is now set up for a healthier life over the long term.
“It has been difficult with the food but the key thing for anyone who wants to start UP needs to be organised. It’s not that difficult to be organised.
“Long term health has definitely been brought into focus, not only because of my dad and his cancer, you hear about it all of the time and not just cancer.
“I know you cannot stop yourself from getting cancer but you can definitely do your best.
“Coming to Ultimate Performance is what is going to help you with your health, not only do you look good but you’re cutting down your sugar, you’re cutting down your carbs, you’re doing your exercise, you’re looking after your body and that’s the most important thing.”
It has completely changed her outlook on life where health, fitness and nutrition is concerned – not just for her, but for her young family.
“The big influence UP has had on my children is before they would see me out the sugar in my tea, they would see me open up a bag of crisps, they would see me pick, they would see me eating chocolate; I mean it’s never ending.
“Now, my son is four and a half, and he will say ‘do you want this?’ and I will say ‘no it’s got sugar in it’ and he will say ‘why?’ and I will give him a list of why sugar isn’t good for you, obviously relating it to a four-year-old
“Even the other day he says ‘I’m not having that now because it’s got too much sugar’ and I’m like wow! So this is great, not just for me and my husband but for my children because we’re being a good example on them.”
If you’ve been inspired by Shaneeta’s journey and want body transformation results of your own, speak to us about our Personal Training Plans.