Part 2 with Tash

As you were losing weight, were there times when you felt like reaching your goal weight felt almost impossible, or too hard? Did you ever think about giving up?
Not necessarily. Ever since my weight journey began, I was always realistic about my body shape and my naturally gifted curves. I think so many young women are blindsided and driven by what society  ‘teaches’ us what to look like, how to dress, how thin you need to be in order to fit in. The truth of the matter is that for me, regardless of how much weight I lost, I always knew that I would never look like your typical skinny minny. Instead, I chose a celebrity that had the SAME body shape as me and strived to be driven by her and her successes. By doing that, I NEVER WANTED to give up.

Did you reward yourself at anytime as you reached “milestones” in your weight loss journey
I did. Rewarded myself with new clothing, a new hairstyle, and a ‘cheat’ meal once a week. (Not McDonalds, more like a homemade pizza!)

What made you want to become a personal trainer?
I had no intentions of becoming a personal trainer, until roughly 6-8 months of my own personal journey. Something came alive in me and I thought ‘if I can make such a change and such a difference in my life, I can absolutely do this and assist others with their struggles and their fitness goals’. For once I my working career, I feel as though this industry has come to me and has found me. For once I’m not settling for just ‘a job’. It’s quite beautiful actually.

What is the most rewarding aspect of being a personal trainer?
I think every trainer would agree – RESULTS. The first thing that would come to your mind would be ‘oh yeah weight loss’. When I talk results, I mean yes physically but MOST importantly attaining the results that CAN change your entire life. Every individual can lose weight, but can everybody be happy and content at the same time? No. And that’s the best part of my job. It really speaks for itself.

Do you find that you can relate to your clients sometimes as you have been through the same journey they are going through?
Each and every time! This is the advantage I hold within this industry. When clients SEE a transformation, nothing motivates them more.

What is your training “philosophy”?
Keep it simple! The more we complicate things for our clients the higher the expectations and the higher chance of failure and de motivation. Two key things you DO NOT want a client to experience. The other key ingredient to my training philosophy is building RAPPORT. Between both yourself and the client; Always!!

On Fernwood’s Facebook page, I noticed you said posting the photo of your “before” picture was hard, why is that?
The most difficult thing I have ever experienced in my life. Not because of what I looked like, but more because the emotional pain this causes each time I see it. To a point, I will never escape that feeling…



“I have confidence in springtime, I have confidence in me..”

One of the first things I remember about walking into the gym in the first couple of weeks was how amazing the bodies of the person trainers were. Now, normally this wouldn’t have made me too bat-crazy, until I remembered that I had signed up for personal training in my gym contract. The thought of someone watching and judging my every move from  a mere meter away was nerve wrenching. I mean, sure, that’s their job but still. Their perfect bodies in their lycra without any noticeable bumps and lumps on their thighs watching me who.. well, let’s just say lycra pants wouldn’t be an option for another couple of years. If ever.

I have to say, these thoughts flew out of my head the moment I met who would be training me. Oddly enough, I’m quite good friends with my past two trainers and both of them know the ins and outs of my life, including body issues.

One of them is Tash. The moment I met Tash, I was greeted with a warm smile and bubbly personality.  Of course, the same feelings about being embarrassed to be judged by her came back. I didn’t tell her about this until about two months later when I found out, via the gym’s Facebook page, that Tash used to be obese. I immediately flagged her down the next day at gym and asked her all about it. The more I spoke to Tash, the more I realised you simply can not judge someone by their body shape. The most important thing to be in the gym is confident. There is no point being scared and intimated by what the girl on the treadmill next to you looks like. She, like millions of people around the world, has a different body shape to the next girl and the next girl. Working with what you have is the most important thing in the world and confidence will help bring that out.

Below is my interview with Tash.

When did you first start to notice that you were putting on weight? Did it begin in your childhood?
If you look at my physique, it is not hard to see that i naturally have a solid foundation. I have built shoulders, a curvy structure and a booty (always have). Ever since I could remember, I was always a part of the boys group. Girls seemed to avoid playing with me in the school yard and I could never work out why until adolescence. In answer to your question, there was never really a ‘time’ when I started to notice I was bigger.  I always was and to a point always will be.

At your heaviest weight, can you recall the feelings you were having at that time?
I was 24 and weighed in at 104kg. This was my all time low. Confidence no longer was a part of my vocabulary and eventually I learnt that the only way to ‘deal’ was to put up the wall. The wall of ‘its OK, I’ve got a great corporate job, no one will judge me and I will be accepted for who I am, not what I look like’. Unfortunately in my world this was NOT the case. Trying to convince myself that it was okay was a way to block it out with a marker or hide the facts away. And then the next day, the same horrible feeling would come back; day in and day out.

During this period of your life, did you try any “fad diets”? If so, did you have any success with them?
I tried them all. Weight loss pills, no carbohydrates, dukan diet. I had success with them, however it was very short lived. The weight dropped off, HOWEVER within 6 months the weight crept back on. The issue you may ask? EDUCATION and lack of it.The secret to weight loss and managing weight loss in my view is LEARNING. Knowing what is going into your body, when it needs to go into your body and what is actually happening to your body when such food is consumed. I always say to my clients, ‘sometimes I wish the inside of our body could act as the outside of our body, just to see the impact good and bad foods can affect us both physically and mentally’ – 1 out of every 5 of my clients replies with ‘wow, I never really looked at it that way.’

What was the “turning point” in your life that made you decide to lose weight for good?
After much contemplation and fearing the unknown, something clicked (how cliché does that sound). That’s the honest truth. I’d literally forgotten who I actually was and I was so consumed by my job that things started taking a personal toll on my life and my relationships; one morning, I woke up and that was it. I handed in my resignation and 2 weeks later, I was on my way to a healthier, happier lifestyle.

How did you start your “journey?” Did you join a gym, for example?
Fortunately, I was financially in a position to take some well earnt time off from EVERYTHING, but primarily work. After being in the corporate sector for 10 years it was time to focus on me. My brother is a qualified trainer, so as funny as this sounds I always sort of had a base knowledge of what exercises was. I did join a gym (Fernwood Epping) and that was my life. Sleep, eat, train, REPEAT.

Were family and friends supportive of your lifestyle change?
Absolutely; in every way imaginable. Regardless if they were or were not, it was not going to change my mind set.

Continue to part 2