When I initially started training at Perform I believed I was just signing up to lose a bit of weight and get a bit fitter. However, looking back it was actually much more than that.
I’d recently come out of a difficult long term relationship and in doing so I’d also managed to get myself into quite an unhealthy pattern with work. I wasn’t handling either situation very well at all.
My eating habits were sporadic, shifting from eating next to nothing one week to going out and eating loads of junk food and drinking far too much alcohol the next week. I don’t think I was sleeping more than four hours a night and I can say without a shadow of a doubt that it was the most unhealthy and unhappy I had been in my entire life.
I knew that there were lots of things in my life having a negative impact on me and my physical and mental wellbeing, but I didn’t know where to start. I felt like I had a series of impossible tasks on my hands.
I’d had commercial gym memberships that had been hammered for a few weeks and then never touched again and I had done some PT before, both one-on-one and in groups, but I’d never stuck to it.
I found that, in normal gyms, I didn’t know how to train to get results. Some of the PTs I’d trained with lacked patience with what was probably perceived as flakiness or a lack of commitment, but was actually indicative of other issues in my life. That just added to the overwhelming feeling of being a failure.
I knew from my consultation that Perform was different. The questions Peter asked about my day-to-day life and fitness goals made it clear how much their programme was designed to fit your individual lifestyle, rather than being forced to fit a template programme.
My confidence skyrocketed when I realised just how patient not just Peter, but the other gym members were too, as I got to grips with strength training as opposed to endless cardio or circuits.
I was constantly forgetting how exercises should be done, which weight I should be using or which way I was meant to be facing on the machines, but no one laughed at me (too much) or made me feel bad about it. They just pointed me back in the right direction.
I almost immediately saw physical results, losing weight, toning up and increasing my stamina for a few running events I had planned to do. I began sleeping better and making better food choices.
When the inevitable (and spectacular) fall off the fitness wagon came, I was terrified that I’d messed it all up again, but instead of giving up on me Peter just sat me down, went through my nutrition with me and gave me a simple plan to get back on track.
What Perform has actually given me, rather than a place to just exercise and lose weight, is routine, focus and a support network, which has allowed me to break a whole load of negative cycles, all at my own pace.
Without a doubt my fitness levels improved and I’ve found a healthy weight that I more or less stick around now (but I don’t beat myself up if I fluctuate a little). Peter’s focus on technique means also means I now have some core strength to speak of and I’m not plagued by lower back pain anymore.
But within 12 months, with the help of the team at Perform, I’d also managed to undo years and years of a lack of self-care. Better sleep, improved fitness levels and more confidence meant that I was no longer mentally and physically exhausted.
I found the energy and enthusiasm I used to have for spending time with family and friends and exploring things that interested me again. My improved physical and mental health meant I was in a better position to make big life decisions, removing myself from toxic situations I’d found myself in and putting myself in ones that made me happy instead.
It’s been a long journey and obviously some of the problems I was facing weren’t resolved by exercise and a nutrition plan alone, but I credit finding Perform and the support of its fantastic PTs and members as being the catalyst for change in my life.
Every bit of time the team have given to help me through my fitness challenges and every time other members have stayed to cheer me on while I struggled through a final set have been the small things that have had an enormous impact.
The focus and confidence I have gained through Perform has allowed me to quit my job and start my own business, doing something that I have always wanted to do. I’ve even found myself in a new relationship. Two years ago I would have told you that both of these things were impossible.
I really couldn’t recommend Perform any more highly. It is more than just a gym, it’s a community that I love being part of.
It’s not just a fitness regime, it’s part of my social life, a place where I come to focus on me for a bit and find a bit of mental calm – although I bet anyone who has trained with me would never think that!
I love working towards small goals, whether that’s lifting a heavier weight or improving my technique and I love the camaraderie in the gym, it’s such a laugh and – for me – the best start to the day.
Nikki G, Perform Fitness Family Member since 2016