Time to choose my battles and do it the right way
People who know me know that my life so far has been full of battles, deciding to meet Mark Coles at M10 has been the most positive battle I have ever taken on and it was a battle I chose not one that I was forced in to.
My journey started 5 months ago when to be honest I was clinging to the hope that there was someone who really could help me find an alternative solution to surgery among other things.
Within ten minutes of finding the M10 website I made a life changing decision which would give me back a quality of life which I never thought was possible.
I was a total novice when it came to exercise as throughout my years at school I avoided it, not because I was lazy, but because at thirteen I was diagnosed with hereditary kidney disease and by the age of twenty I had kidney failure and had to go on to dialysis, after 4 years on dialysis with multiple complications three weeks before my twenty sixth birthday I was extremely fortunate to get a kidney transplant. Now you might think that’s it you are healthy, well no all the medications take their toll and have their own effects on the body and I used fear as an excuse to not push myself and search for better. I feared that I might one day end up back on dialysis, so for 8 years I just plodded along with life but never wanting to get in to exercise, you see in the back of mind I always worried that one day my transplant would fail and I felt safer not knowing what fit and healthy felt like so rather than seeking it out and leaving myself vulnerable to possible disappointment later I if or when the transplant failed so I stayed in my comfort zone eating drinking and not doing anything too physical.
In 2010 after 4 years of knee pain I was told I was going to need a knee operation and I also knew I needed to lose some weight but I was in total denial as to how much weight I needed to lose. I was 88kg, a size 22 , 5 foot 3 inches tall and with the help of a trainer I lost 16kg and 4 dress sizes over about 18 months. Now this was such an achievement for me but I still suffered with physical problems that I thought would have gone once my weight was reduced, things like joint pain, long lasting muscle soreness, fluid retention, bruising. I put this down to the huge amount of medications I was on and tried to carry on regardless. Sadly the joint pain and muscle soreness really became unbearable and after physiotherapy treatments, hospital appointments etc. I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia which is a chronic pain condition.
This condition set me back and I felt like all the progress I had made losing the weight and getting fitter was slipping away from me, I was offered pain killers and medication to help me sleep but I really felt there must be another way, I didn’t want to take more tablets I took enough already and I wanted to really take control of my own body. I also sought help for a breast reduction as one of my main areas of pain was my shoulders and even though I had lost a lot of weight my chest was still too big for my frame. By the time I asked for help from my doctor my weight was up to 71kg and according to the nhs guidelines you have to have a bmi of less than 25 to get an appointment with the nhs breast reduction team and mine was higher than this. I felt I was running out of options, the bmi system is flawed on many levels and I honestly didn’t think I had the capability of losing the further 9.5kg I need to in order to meet the bmi criteria. I was refused on the grounds that my bmi was too high and this totally demotivated me, I had tried so hard but feeling down I reverted to old ways ate more of what I knew was no good for me and my weight was soon 75kg. I began looking for private breast surgeons but there was a niggling fear that I kept thinking of and that was that all the operations I had had in the past had been down to medical necessity and I was worried as this would be my choice and a lot of money, what if it went wrong or I jeopardised the transplant because of the operation, I wasn’t sure I could go through with it. So I started to look for alternatives and I spotted an article that a friend of mine had shared on Facebook from M10’s website and I read it, which lead me to going to the m10 website, ten minutes later I had filled in the online contact form and was waiting for Mark to reply.
This is where the battle of my choice began. Mark invited me to come and see him and we chatted about my situation and that I was considering surgery and felt all my past hard work was slipping away, and that I would rather do it the right way, Mark then explained to me what M10 was all about and there was never a doubt in my mind that I had to do whatever it would take to work with M10 as I believed in Mark and I believed what he was telling me was the truth. It wasn’t going to be an easy option which is why I call it my battle. Little did I know that I had just made the best decision ever and thanks to Mark Coles and James Sutton’s training expertise and patience I am now 5 months in to the best year of my life so far post transplant and I have every confidence that my life will never revert back to being attacked by pain induced by eating things that my body doesn’t like and my training will continue to be effective, productive and full of commitment.
Having trained before I felt I was more than capable and from my lowest weight I had only put on about 5kg so again thought I would be more than able to do what was needed, well first of all the training I do at m10 is totally different to the regular gym training I have done previously. I was shocked by how hard I found doing what in my head seemed like a straight forward exercise like a squat. My progress is monitored and the wealth of knowledge that all the trainers have at M10 means you learn so much so you don’t just change physical you take in so much information and techniques as well.
It has been an emotional and physical rollercoaster and I now know that a lot of my problems are purely mind over matter, because I can do it and I am doing it.
By changing my diet radically and training in ways I never thought I would be capable of, pushing myself every time I train and never giving up no matter how hard it seems to be I am now 63.5kg with a body fat percentage of 14.5%, my fibromyalgia symptoms have pretty much disappeared, my determination is to do my best, keep trying and with James’s help I’m striving to improve and push myself further than I ever imagined possible, and as for surgery I’m no longer considering it as the lifestyle I now live means I’m not thinking about surgery anymore as I’ve done it the right way.
So to all of you who are reading this thinking I can’t do that , believe me you can.
Congratulations to James and his client Nicola.