How Michelle Found Her Thing
After stepping on a pair of scales and realising she was too heavy to even register a number, Michelle knew she needed to drastically change her lifestyle. Since joining Goodlife Health Clubs in June 2016, Michelle has lost over 60 kgs and gained an entire support system through the Goodlife community. The mental strength she's found through joining Goodlife has helped Michelle overcome divorce and postnatal depression and has left her happier and healthier than she's ever been.
Name: Michelle Hancock
Home club: Cross Roads
When did you first sign up at Goodlife?
I signed up to Goodlife Cross Roads in June 2016. I was a little worried at first as I didn’t know what to do or how to use the equipment but I signed up with a personal trainer who was able to show me these things and more! My mind was at ease early on.
What motivated you to join a gym, and Goodlife in particular?
I joined Goodlife Cross Roads knowing I needed help from a personal trainer and I wanted to go to a place that had a good reputation. I wanted to find a second home, a place that I could easily visit multiple times per week.
Tell us a bit about your personal story and how training at Goodlife helps you in your day-to-day life?
In June 2016, I knew that I was putting on more and more weight. I went to step on the scales at home but it came up with an error, which meant I was too heavy for the scales with a limit of 160 kg. That morning I signed up to Goodlife. On my first day I weighed in at 165.7 kg realising that I was heavier than when I had a full term baby in my belly four years earlier. My BMI was 49.5, well above being morbidly obese. I knew it was time to make a change. I wanted to be there for my son, and to be able to chase after him and play with him. By May 2017, I had lost 50 kg and by November 2017 I had lost 60 kg! I can now run around after my now 5 year old, in fact every morning we race to the door of his school and every night we race to his bedroom. I also play on the playground with him, rather than sit on the side of the playground looking at my phone.
Why do you exercise?
I exercise for many reasons. I noticed I was a better mum in the mornings if I did an early workout. I do it for the fun of it, for the social aspect that comes with regular class visits, for the mental health benefits, and most importantly to be a healthy role model for my son.
What do you love about it?
I love the second home I have found at Goodlife Cross Roads, the family I have gained, the support network cheering me on and I cheer them on.
What’s your favourite type of training? Why?
I love having a personal trainer that is experienced and can tell me the mechanics of what I am doing, and how to do it right. I like having a one-on-one session so I know that I am doing the exercises properly, especially since I had no idea about how to exercise when I started. Having said that I really enjoy the group classes, especially boxing and Zumba! They can be as difficult or as easy as you want them to be. I started with the low impact options initially, but I am working up to the more difficult options.
Have you had to overcome any big hurdles in life and at the gym? Tell us about them…
I still have small battles with postnatal depression and anxiety, and during the 2016 8 Week Challenge I was having a rough week where my son would cry during preschool drop off, which triggers irrational postnatal depression thoughts. Before joining Goodlife, I would usually turn to binge eating but instead I turned to Goodlife. The staff at Goodlife including the Fitness Director Kristy Lomas and my personal trainer Lyall, helped me in the moment and over time they helped me to change my thinking and realise binge eating isn’t the answer, exercise and eating properly is. Now whenever I have a rough day, I make sure that I get to the gym and workout, I feel so much better afterwards!
What have been the biggest physical and mental changes you have noticed since joining Goodlife and discovering your love of exercise?
In 18 months I went from a size 28 to a size 14. In the past, I would take the lift up one flight of stairs while sipping on fizzy drinks and eating sugar-laden foods. Now I exercise six times a week and run because I enjoy it! I lost over a third of my starting weight, and changed my attitude towards healthy living – people barely recognise me now! Mentally, I can deal with stress so much better, I am more calm and my anxiety has decreased. I am a better mum now that’s for sure!
Who has had the biggest influence on your gym experience?
As a single parent, I needed someone there by my side cheering me on. That person has been my personal trainer, Lyall, who has been there for me since I started at Goodlife. Not only does he educate and train me, but he is my number one fan! Having said that though, he doesn't let me get away with making poor food or exercise choices!
What has been the reaction from partner, family, friends, colleagues on your results from the gym?
My family have been amazed at my transformation. I look like a different person, I am happier and more self confident so I act like a different person too.
What drives or motivates you to achieve your health and fitness goals?
My motivation for achieving my health and fitness goals is mainly for my 5-year-old. I want to be his best friend who plays with him. I also want to lose weight and be fitter for myself.
Have you made a circle of friends at the gym?
If so, what do those people mean to you? All of the staff, personal trainers and members at Goodlife Cross Roads are like a family. I inspire them and they inspire me. Everyone is so friendly and it is my second home.
What was your greatest fear had you not decided to join Goodlife and change your lifestyle?
If I had not have joined Goodlife, I fear that I would have kept binge eating and putting on more weight, and that I would have died from the effects of being morbidly obese within the next few years.
Tell us something interesting or unusual that most people don’t know about you!
One of my favourite things to do at the gym is to go on the treadmill and watch the rugby with my headphones blasting upbeat music. Rugby is always on and fairly easy to follow without sound. I see it as a hilarious mixture of AFL and wrestling. You never know what you will see and it’s a great distraction from watching the treadmill timer!
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