Since joining The Fit House, Phil has really taken the bull by the horns when it comes to his health, nutrition, fitness and lifestyle.
Never one to shy away from hard work, he went “ALL IN” – because by previous experience “softly softly” just wasn’t yielding the right results. All that dedication is paying off. Phil has been feeling fitter, stronger, mentally clearer, more productive at work, happier at home and is also getting into fantastic shape at the same time. We asked him about his journey so far.
Tell us how you got involved with The Fit House…
I’d been off and on with the gym, a bit of running and dieting for years. However, my stats read like an Alton Towers roller coaster. I wanted to make a change for good and decided that I needed the support of a personal trainer to make me accountable to someone other than myself. Frazer’s background and profile resonated with me and after visiting the Fit House I was sold on the array of classes, the team, clients and location.
What results have you seen since you joined 4 months ago?
- The renewed attention to diet means I have not felt the effects of any post meal carbohydrate slump nor sugar spike, as a result my energy levels are being maintained consistently from morning to night which has made me more productive. The daily movement and stretching has resulted in my body feeling more like it is operating as one unit rather than a bunch of separate body parts – all this plus my improved strength means I no longer slowly hobble sideways down the stairs the day after playing sport.
- Mentally I find myself more relaxed at work benefiting from having a new focus outside of the house.
- Physically I have lost almost 10kg, lost 16cm from around my belly and am seeing a much more muscular build over the last 4 months – which is beyond my expectations.
- Now my attention is on how to ensure this this focus is both habitual and sustainable for the long term.
You have a knee injury, how do you ensure it doesn’t derail your progress or motivation?
It is only one body part! As I knew the knee would be an issue I took advice and support from a consultant, a physio and Frazer – sharing information between the three. I followed their advice (most of the time). Since it is only one body part I can train around it and also follow specific rehabilitation exercises Frazer advises to complement its recovery. It has been 3 steps forward, 1 back. But without a doubt, the adapted exercises I learnt at the Fit House and the daily frequency to which I am completing them – are contributing to an accelerated recovery.
How do you stay on track?
The most important step for me was to prioritise 1. Sleep 2. Diet 3. Exercise – in that order. Poor sleep always adversely affected my diet with late night snacks and carb cravings. Learning from previous health kicks, there was no point sweating if I was going to undo it in the kitchen. Without exercise I don’t believe I can adequately perform to my potential at home or work so I needed to move more and often, sweating 6 days a week.
I schedule my routine a week in advance to fit in 6 days of Fit House classes and sport, always training as early as possible to reduce ‘life’ disrupting my routine. I treat the classes and sports not as ‘drop ins’ but mandatory ‘meetings’ as I would with work. The Fit House schedule is conducive to this as I can train before and after regular work hours. I have a daily target of 10k steps which I combine with work phone calls, warm downs around the cricket pitch, school runs and romance walks with the wife.
You’re obviously feeling a lot better, both mentally and physically. You’ve also lost quite a bit of weight and body fat. What changes have you made to your nutrition?
I record everything I consume and share it with Frazer – this makes me accountable to someone other than myself. We all know at least some basics about nutrition, so I try to review the diary before I share it – as if I was giving advice to someone else. Some of the builds are easy to spot – eat more colour, don’t starve yourself – for others it is helpful to use the eyes of an expert to break those habits and educate – I switched out the chicken thighs for breasts after being introduced (after the rest of the population) to the concept of poultry having both dark (fatty) and white (lean) meat.
The key difference this time, compared to the past, was to remember that I am doing it for myself – and that a trainer is there to support and therefore they need transparency as to the daily decision I am making around sleep, diet and exercise. Having a daily nutrition goal has been instrumental – I don’t want to sweat my butt off at training only to undo it all in the kitchen. Understanding that alcohol was not only adding useless calories, but also drives poor food choices meant that cutting back was an easy win – albeit the most difficult physiologically.
I have learnt that planning meals a day in advance is crucial for me – hunger and spontaneity are not conducive to breaking a poor relationship with food.
What do you enjoy about the Fit House? What is different here?
There is a great mix of friendly clients in each and every class. Everyone is going through their own journey to discover how to balance their health alongside the all the other demands on their time, mind and body. High energy levels from clients and the Fit House team really help on those days you have to drag yourself into class after a long day or a short night. Since each week is different for me, a good array of classes gives me the flexibility to train outside of work commitments and to fit them in around the family.
What does it take to get the kind of results you’ve seen personally?
Be selfish. Give 110%.
At the start a someone said to me that I should not take it so seriously and that a more ‘relaxed’ approach would prove to be more sustainable. Relaxed didn’t look like it was working for them, and it definitely had not worked for me before – so I went all in. Sleep – Diet – Exercise. Turing up to training was easy – it was a mandatory meeting in my dairy – getting though the sessions was another matter. After a few sessions you realise the barrier is physiological – once you know you can train for 45 minutes your confidence is boosted and you can take the next step. After seeing average results in the first few weeks I decided I needed to push harder. I use the talent in the classes to drag me up – watching who is burning the most calories on the SkiErg, who is deadlifting the heaviest kettlebell, who has the best hamstring stretch and who is running between the cones the quickest – and try to emulate them. The biggest challenge has been how to reverse a lifetime’s poor relationship with food – this has required constant attention and with that a lot of headspace. The kitchen has been key in achieving the results – and I am still learning how to manage and incorporate this disciplined approach over the longer term to ensure I have a sustainable lifestyle.
How are these changes affecting your life in ways you didn’t expect?
Surprisingly it has not been so much the physical results which have been beneficial, but the behaviour. I am far better positioned to talk to my 3 kids about the importance of health and nutrition – not because I am an expert – but because they see both parents (Mum was ahead of the game) practising what they preach. It is hard to communicate the virtues of moving every day when I am “to busy to fit it in” and the importance of eating a balanced diet when I am putting myself into a carb coma late at night after they go to bed.