16 March 2019

A Brighton personal trainers advice on CHANGE

Image result for make small changes

Change is hard, especially if they are habits and behaviours that are your default, that make you feel good, that you have been resorting to for a long time.

But it is possible to change and it is possible to do it without the feeling of sacrifice and it is possible to make change last and become your new normal.

The most common trait that we see in clients is the desire to want to shake everything up simultaneously to quite an extreme degree. Clients decide the time for change is now and they want to go hell bent at it, crash dieting and unsustainable exercise regimes are what they are looking for.

What’s the problem with this approach?

The problem is that it can’t last, and even if they reach their dream weight loss or fitness they are unable to sustain it. Why? Because no one, can train alone or with a Brighton personal trainer maximally every day, be on a hugely restrictive calorie intake, hold down a fulltime job and be a functioning member of society. So what happens? They fall off the wagon, they have not spent time building up a strategy to pick themselves up when this happens and they simply drift back into their old habits. What happens then? We usually see them walk back into the Brighton fitness studio a year or two later, looking more unfit than they had the first time and much more unhappy.

How to not be this client?

Understand that you are human, that you will fall off the wagon and that you need to spend time building your recovery strategies into the working out and weight loss program. Once that is clear in your mind you have bought yourself some leeway, you need to decide how you are going to treat yourself when things go wrong and you miss a personal training session or eat a cake. A good way to do this is to say “OK I recognise that wasn’t part of my plan, I am going to drink a pint of water/ brush my teeth and go do something positive now like cook a healthy meal/take the dog out for a long walk” Call it a mental re-set, and this will give you a sense of control rather than a sense of urgency before you loose the motivation to attack this wellness goal and you slip back into your old ways.

How should you attack the training/eating plan from here?

Easy; bit by bit. Just choose one thing to focus on food wise and one thing to focus on training wise. For example let’s say you are eating really late and drinking while waiting for dinner and with dinner and its building into a nightly routine that you feel is your down fall. Try making your food goal to be making sure you eat before 7pm every night and not drinking on weekday evenings. Let’s say you feel you don’t exercise enough, your one training goal could be to exercise once on the weekend and once in the week alone, with a Brighton personal trainer or as part of a group exercise class. After you have fully mastered these changes then, and only then move onto the next two changes. Your food change next could be to ensure you eat the right macronutrients and your next exercise change could be to add another weekly workout to your program. After that becomes habit you could add your next two changes, and so on and so on….until there are no more changes left to make! And continually with the knowledge that you have a fall back plan everytime you fall off the wagon.

7 June 2012

Make the change work part II: Understanding the seven stages of change


You are still unconvinced of the need to change

  • Read about the health consequences of inactivity and obesity
  • Read inspirational stories of those who have successfully changed their lives
  • Speak to others who have changed successfully
  • Talk to your docotor about the health consequences of inactivity and the benefits of exercise

2. Belief but uncommitted:

You believe you should be more active but cannot get started

  • Visualise yourself as a new person: what you will look like, what you will weigh, what clothes you will fit into, how energetic you feel, how much younger you look. Contrast this with the old you.
  • Tally the health benefits: how exercise will reduce your chances of heart disease, diabetes, depression, osteoporosis, etc…
  • Visualise new social possibilities
  • Be realistic about the alternatives: TV watching, more work, watching life pass you by as opposed to active engagement and meeting new challenges

3. Active planning:

You are actively planning the new you

  • Set a start date
  • Set small, achievable goals even minutes a day, 3 to 4 days per week.
  • Make a detailed plan including scheduling your exercise time into your daily planner for at least the next 3 months.
  • Be specific; when, how long, and where you will exercise, what back up plan you have for bad weather or unforeseen events including heavier work loads, illness and holidays.
  • Enlist support; let others know that you will be exercising, see if friends want to join you.
  • Set goals. Think about training for short races or even a half marathon if your a runner.
  • Believe in your self and let nothing stand in your way. Its your life!

4. Active engagement:

You are currently engaged in a training routine

  • Keep a training journal
  • Reward yourself every week, it could be a good movie, concert or another activity you really like
  • Maintain a positive attitude towards your progress
  • Be consistent
  • Dont worry if you miss a session, make it up the next day

5. Image creation:

You are not only training, you are creating a new image for yourself. You see yourself as a “walker” or a “swimmer”

  • Visualise this paradigm shift. You should be trying to define yourself by your actions-you are a “tai chi practitioner”, you are a “marathoner”.
  • Subscribe to magazines or journals that reinforce your new image.
  • Seek out others who are involved in similar activities

6.Image maintenance:

You have a new self image and only severe setbacks such as illness or injury will deter you from keeping up your training.

  • Make a backup plan for setbacks
  • Continue to refine your goals.Are you training for fitness only? Would you like to set a weight loss goal? Would you like to enter a competition?

7. The new you:

You are a new person

  • Expand your horizons by seeking more knowledge about your fitness pursuits.
  • Help others to become whole by introducing them to your techniques.
  • Consider writing about your experiences.
  • Maintain your training diary


14 May 2012

How to make the change work

So you’ve been chugging along for the last 10 years working your way up the corporate ladder in the job of your dreams, your boss is great and your colleagues really supportive.

As time has passed you have become more and more absorbed in the process; You wake you rush to the train station you sit or stand like a sardine for a couple of hours with other people rushing to get to your office/cubicle where you sit and perform the work tasks then you go back to the train station and sit or stand like a sardine for a couple more hours to get to your home where you sit down to eat followed by some more sitting to do more work tasks or watch the television.

But your doing great at work, continually promoted with a bigger and bigger financial reward. The daily grind seems worth it when you look at your bank balance and your ever growing family, you love your family and would do anything for little Isa, she’s 2 next month and just toddling.

Somehow eating an M&S pre-packed dinner in front of the lap top seems the quickest way to stop your stomach churning, after all you simply don’t have time to cook tonight and bath Isa and get the final tweaks done for your big presentation to the board tomorrow. You tell yourself it wont always be like this and in a couple of years time once you are a director you will work from home and be able to pick Isa up from school.


Your fat, 45, you have high blood pressure, your stressed, tired, worn out, have a bad back, a dodgy knee, and don’t get much bedroom action!

You wake up one day and realise its all gone so quickly….Isa is doing her A-levels, her brother his GCSE’s….neither of them wants anything to do with their very un-hip father. Ever since that  parents race at the school sports day when you twisted your knee in the 100 metres Dad’s race and ended up rolling around on the floor shouting “man down, man down” You have never really earned back Isa’s respect. And now your baby is nearly all grown up, so one day you decide to make a change, a change that will earn back Isa’s respect, get your wife to look at you amorously again and most importantly make you feel alive, in love, fresh, fit and fabulous….where the bloody hell do you start?


  • Life changing changes usually work best when you are prepared to do anything to make them stick. Without exception.
  • The goal to making the changes stick is preparation.
  • Remove all temptations from the areas you spend time in; chocolate, booze, fags, crisps etc…
  • Build up a stock of healthy snacks in your cupboards that are tried and tested so you know you will be OK to plump for them when you get a craving rather than run out to the chocolate shop!
  • Plan and write out a daily structure so that you can see you do indeed have 45mins spare to fit in an exercise session.
  • Decide when you are going to start the regime and make sure it is realistic.
  • Do not go on a bender the night before. Instead as the date approaches slowly start replacing some of the things you have decided to remove from your life with some of the healthier options so that you go into your regime running not flat on your arse!
  • Stick to it like glue, do not ever, ever give yourself an excuse to not train or eat crap. If you fall off the wagon do not beat yourself up or further indulge just pull yourself together and keep going.