Norfolk mum celebrates Christmas anniversary with personal trainer who kick-started staggering nine and a half stone weight loss
- Credit: Archant
Katie Walls used to shut herself away from her friends and found it 'hard to walk too far without getting very hot, sweaty and out of breath.'
One year later and she is a different woman: Nine and a half stone lighter, confident and finally able to play with her grandson this Christmas.
A year ago, Katie, a 45-year old NHS worker from Hellesdon, avoided doing anything requiring exercise or energy and suffered with swollen ankles. She wore clothes that didn't fit or were shapeless.
'Before, I would never go out much. Everything was a struggle and it was easier to sit at home and hide,' she said.
She began her journey in October 2015, fed up of not being able to play with her young grandson, and managed to lose two and a half stone just by changing her eating habits.
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But fearing she would pile the pounds back on over the Christmas period and knowing her goals couldn't be achieved by diet alone she enlisted the help of a personal trainer.
Her first session was on December 24 last year and she hasn't looked back since.
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She said: 'I had not been to a gym for several years and knew I would need a really good programme to help me achieve my goals.
'Our first session was pure hell, but in a strange way I enjoyed being pushed to see what my limits were. I came away feeling good about what I had achieved.'
Over the past twelve months Virgin Active personal trainer Phil Reynolds, 22 from Attleborough, has helped Katie lose another seven stone.
She has now lost nine and a half stone in total and wants to make it ten by the new year.
Phil said: 'Katie's journey has been truly inspirational.
'A year ago I sat down for a consultation with Katie and she was shy and lacking in confidence.
'Going against everything she believed to be true I told her she needed to eat more and ditch the liquid diet. At first she thought I was crazy but after explaining the science of weight loss she soon began to trust my methods.
'People like Katie are the reason I love my job and it's inspiring to see people's lives change for the better and help to build a more positive and confident person.'
Katie visits the gym 5-6 times a week and follows a diet plan that Phil had devised for her.
She was instructed to swap cake for casserole and swap high fat and sugar content foods for high protein, including bananas, brown rice and almonds.
She added: 'Phil is very knowledgeable about what foods are best avoided for women during weight loss, for example dairy and gluten.
'I have followed what he said to the word. We also do a bit of weightlifting to increase my muscle and metabolism.
'But I do have cheat meals when I will go out and enjoy whatever I'd like to eat.'
How her life has changed
Life could not be more different for Katie now who has completed four obstacle courses since this September and has another five booked already for 2017.
She's also looking forward to next summer when she can play on the beach with her grandson and 'do all the crazy things a nanny can do.'
But Katie isn't even giving herself a break at Christmas. She has a training session booked already on December 27.
She said: 'Christmas Day will be spent with my sons, their girlfriends and grandson and helping out at INTO UEA at lunchtime as my youngest son will be working to feed the students who haven't gone home.
'I will be sticking to my healthy eating but enjoying a couple of small treats.'
She added 'I have discovered I am much stronger than I ever knew I can be. I can deadlift 120kg, squat 90kg and leg press 240kg which I am really proud of.
'My life is so different now…I have one.'
Katie's diet before and after
Mid morning snacks: Biscuits, crisps, fruit
Lunch: Sandwiches, crisps, cake, fizzy drinks
Mid afternoon snacks: More unhealthy snacks
Dinner: Large plate of meat, vegetables and potatoes or pasta and takeaway three times a week.
After dinner snack: Family size bag of chocolates
Breakfast: Four eggs and 150g of steamed salmon
Mid morning snack: 10g almonds
Lunch: Homemade casserole with vegetables and a small portion of brown rice.
Mid afternoon snack: Handful of nuts before the gym
After the gym: Banana and protein shake
Dinner: Prawns and salad
After dinner snacks: Banana, peanut butter and a square of high protein dark chocolate before bet.
Have you got a weight loss story? Get in touch at Louisa.Baldwin@Archant.co.uk