TV personality Alison battled with her weight for years – but now menopause was making matters worse.
Creeping weight gain and body changes left 58-year-old Alison powerless and feeling rock bottom on confidence in front of camera.
Nearing 60 and knowing how the TV industry treats older women, she felt like time was running out to change.
This ‘now or never’ moment brought her to the experts at Ultimate Performance.
Targeted weight training and nutrition empowered broadcaster and businesswoman Alison to take control of her body and complete a stunning 19kg transformation.
Looking great, feeling younger and armed with the tools to stay in shape for life, Alison believes it will help extend her TV career for years.
“I think what really motivated me to come and train with U.P. was that I knew I’d reached a point in my life where it was a now or never moment.
“I would say that just visually, I’ve probably given myself a career extension of five to 10 years, which as I say, TV is not kind to more mature women.
“People have actually said to me, Alison, you are completely different. You look different, you walk different, you are a different person.”
Here, Alison talks about how understanding the science behind nutrition will stay with her forever, and how her trainer has helped her manage her weight and improve symptoms of menopause.
What was your motivation to join U.P.?
What really motivated me to come and train with U.P. was that I knew I’d reached a point in my life where it was a ‘now or never’ moment. I just thought, if not now, when? I felt that because of my age, I’m 58 – I really had to get a grip of something that I had struggled with all my life.
I always felt I was a fat girl deep down and I just thought, okay, it’s time to do something about it. The good thing for me was that I believed it wasn’t too late. I think my saving grace was that I didn’t just think it was all over. I said I was going to have one last shot at this.
I’m also in a very visual industry and feeling fat, which I have done most of my life, has been a real challenge. In broadcasting, particularly visual broadcasting, television puts about 10 pounds on you.
So, if you’re feeling fat before you go on camera, you’re going to feel pretty lousy when you’re on camera. It was just something I battled with all the time so I learned to dress really cleverly and hide it.
How did you feel about yourself before joining U.P.?
There are certain social situations that you won’t put yourself into, certain conversations that you don’t enjoy having, it just creeps into every area of your life. Being overweight is like this little cloud over your head that you don’t feel your physical best and you haven’t fulfilled your potential.
As someone who’s always trying to be fundamentally quite optimistic and wanting to be the best I can be, I always felt like I was falling short. So, when I joined U.P. my main goal was weight loss because it felt like before I got over that hump, there was nothing else I could really focus on. Some of my other goals were to just understand more about nutrition and food, and really just control what I was eating.
How did U.P. differ from other trainers you’ve used in the past?
I had a personal trainer, but it wasn’t a package, it was just about the training. What I had fundamentally misunderstood is that nutrition is arguably the larger part of the equation.
If you get the food right, then the training adds to the benefit that the healthy eating pattern has created. I learned if you eat badly, then obviously the training can only do so much. I think I was still eating badly while training, so the outcome was exactly what you’d expect.
With U.P. I first started to notice the results five or six weeks in because I was very focused on the nutrition from day one, U.P. are good at that.
The weight did start to drop off and I could see that, which was really encouraging. For once in my life, I thought ‘this is actually going my way, I’m actually losing weight.’
How would you compare yourself pre-transformation to now?
In comparison to when I first came here, I feel a totally different person. Physically, I am a different person because a third of me has disappeared after starting at 76kg. Mentally, I am just way more powerful. I think I am quite an optimistic person by nature, but I also feel even more positive about the future at my age, which is a time that I think is quite challenging for a lot of women.
I don’t think it’s uncommon to start to think a bit more negatively about yourself. So, to come out of this feeling more positive than I’ve ever felt before about myself, my future, my family and my longevity is amazing. It’s been like throwing a pebble into a pond. There are so many ripples of positivity that I never thought about when I came in and was thinking solely about weight loss. There’s so much more to it.
Talk to us about some of the benefits you have felt following your U.P. transformation?
I front and present my own brand on television, so appearance is really important. I have to say that doing this has just given me so much more confidence and career longevity. Visually, I’ve probably given myself a career extension of five to ten years.
TV is not kind to more mature women, it doesn’t employ many of them. I really feel like I have an edge to me now. Also, at the start of my journey I was worried about being bulky. You would associate weight training with bulkiness and I didn’t want to look like that, I wanted to be lean. But of course, it’s proven to be completely the opposite.
I have also got much more definition, which is lovely, but fundamentally I’m just way more streamlined. I now understand it’s about things like bone density, which again for older women is just so important, nobody wants the dreaded osteoporosis. It’s things like that, it’s not just about how I look it’s about what I know it’s done internally.
The training and nutrition have just created such a beneficial effect on my life overall, and I have so much more stamina and confidence to do things. You really do walk differently when you’re confident. People have said to me, Alison, you are completely different. You look different, you walk different, you are a different person.
What would you say to other women who are looking to start their own weight-loss journey with U.P.?
Having been through this transformation I do think it’s the end of the beginning. There’s more I can do, but this is a nice point in time to sit and reflect.
My advice to other women would be firstly, it’s never too late to get up and make a difference. Secondly, I think that given that around their fifties most women are experiencing the menopause.
It’s a time of huge change mentally and physically and you’re probably putting on weight. You’re certainly losing self-confidence. So, in a funny way, this was the perfect time of my life to do my transformation.
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