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I am the Strongest and Leanest I’ve Ever Been: Sarah’s Wedding Transformation Week 11

Imagine not having to worry about your diet anymore.

Imagine not having to worry what to do when you step foot in a gym.

Imagine not having to worry whether you’ll look good in the dress you’re trying on in the shop.

This is where I’m at now 11 weeks into my online transformation at Ultimate Performance. I love it. I’m so pleased. I’m totally thrilled with the results.

I never imagined I could get where I am now, or that I could achieve what I have so quickly. It seems like an impossible task at first, especially when you’re balancing a career and being a parent.

But just being consistent and focused will get you there one step at a time.

Diet is no longer a stress or a worry.

I’m at the point now where I’m not precious about it. I’m still being really good with everything, but I don’t have to weigh every last bit of food.

When I’m weighing my sweet potato and rice, I now know exactly how much I need. I can visualise the portion size, because I’ve done it so many times.

I know it’s ‘about right’. I’m not going to worry if I have a little bit more or less; there’s no stress if it’s not bang on.

I’ve relaxed a little with this kind of thing over the last few weeks, and I’ve still dropped fat.

Feeling confident in clothes again

Feeling good and feeling confident in clothes is no longer a worry.

It’s nice to be able to go shopping, as a girl, and go into the changing rooms, and stand in front of the most unforgiving mirrors in the world, and put on outfits and feel really nice in them.

It’s nice to not be feeling like ‘I don’t like this because it pinches at my waist too much’ or ‘this one clings to my bum a bit much’.

To be able to put anything on and think ‘I’m really happy in this’ is a big change. All from just lifting weights, being active, and eating well.

It’s interesting at work on the set of Hollyoaks too. As a character, I have to wear the same costumes which get rotated.  

I’ve got the same pair of jeans that I had when I came back in May last year.

But I put on a pair of trousers the other day and they’re way too big for me. I’m having to breathe out just to hold them up.

I wasn’t big before. I was never looking to lose weight – that was not my goal.

I just wanted to get in shape and be at my best.

I’m going to have to go shopping for some new clothes; it’s a good excuse!

I got a load of my pre-pregnancy stuff out, which I’d packed away in a cupboard, and it’s really exciting trying them all on again and fitting into them. It’s like having a whole new wardrobe.

I’ve got my second hen party this weekend with the girls; it’s a pool party.

Eleven weeks ago I’d have thought ‘oh I don’t know about getting in the pool in a costume’ because we are having pictures done with OK magazine on the night.

Actually, I’ve got two really nice new bikinis and I’m really excited about being able to wear them and show off what I’ve achieved.


Being assertive in the gym

I no longer have to worry about what to do when I step into the gym either.

With my own training before, I knew what I was doing, I knew different exercises, and I knew how to use all the different machines and equipment – but I was still turning up to the gym and going ‘what am I doing today?’

It almost demotivates you because there are exercises or machines you can be bothered doing or setting up.

Whereas, if you’ve got that programme to follow and you literally have to tick off the exercises and go ‘done, done, done’ then that’s it.

To do my weight sessions now literally takes me 40 minutes. It’s nothing.

I can do a weight session and a cardio session and be in and out of the gym in under an hour and a half. It’s not a huge amount of time.

My sessions used to be really long with loads of different functional exercises.

I’d always be thinking I need an 8kg dumbbell, a 20kg barbell, a kettlebell, and this and that.

That part of the training almost always put me off; thinking I have to get all the equipment together, and ensure that all the machines are free. It all becomes a bit laborious.

But the sessions I’ve been doing at U.P. use almost minimal equipment.

All you need is a couple of dumbbells or a weight rack and you’re done.

I can easily prepare everything and I’m ready to go.

Even if I’m not in the mood when I get to the gym, I can just get my head down and crack on without having to think too much.

I’ve enjoyed the sessions and how quickly I’ve seen results.

I’ve not hit a plateau at all. I feel like I’m progressing all the time.

Getting stronger every day

I’m getting stronger and stronger every session and the weights I am lifting keep going up.

I increased the weight on shoulder press, and on squats I did more reps at the heavier weight.

Previous to this, if I was squatting on my own, I’d have probably used a 20kg barbell maximum.

Now I’m lifting 37kg – that’s nearly double what I was lifting before.

It might not sound much, but I’m body at 51kg bodyweight, so it’s actually quite good.

The biggest jump has been on the split squat. I’m now on a 35kg barbell whereas I started with 10kg dumbbells.

That’s nearly doubled since I started.

I never even thought I’d be able to do 10 reps when I first started. It was killing me.

So now to have 35kg on my shoulders is massive.

I can really see how much I’ve improved and how much the strength has improved in my legs. I can feel my legs feel solid now too.

I’ve noticed it most picking Stanley up because he’s getting bigger by the day.

You find yourself as a parent, weighed down by bags and shopping, and the pram, then having to pick my child up.

I’ve found myself with loads of bags on my shoulder, squatting down to pick Stanley up, but it hasn’t been a problem.

My arms are strong, my legs are strong, and I’ve got a nice strong core.

You don’t actually stop and think how much you’re using your body every day – walking upstairs, carrying the shopping, picking your child up.

I have really noticed a difference there with my strength improving; all those things that would have got me out of breath before, actually become quite easy.

It goes to show, you don’t have to be scared about lifting heavy weights.

Lots of women are scared of lifting heavy weights.

They think they will pick up a heavy weight and suddenly look like Arnold Schwarzenegger in his prime. It’s just not the case.

I’m lifting heavier weights than I ever have, and I don’t look like Arnie.

You can lift heavy and get definition but still look feminine and feel better and more confident in yourself.

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