It wasn’t until I came back on honey moon and saw my wedding photos that I realised how much weight I had put on. I was a size 20 and I was totally embarrassed. My friends and family had seen me looking so big yet no one ever said a word about my weight and my darling husband loved me unconditionally. Those photos were enough for me to go to the gym. I developed my own make shift eating plan and lost 23kgs in nine months. I then considered myself small enough to go to the gym where upon I hired a personal trainer. I was committed, determined and driven with a specific goal in mind. Powerlifting! I was given a new diet plan and decided to train towards powerlifting with a competition in sight at some stage. In nine months I lost another 3kgs which in my mind was somewhat a disappointment but I carried on six days a week with my training. I took on a personal trainer for three sessions a week. My trainer came highly recommended. In nine months I was able to achieve a 75kg dead lift, 55kg squats and 40kg bench press. My trainer was always highly spoken off by others. However, I often felt very inadequate as I was on the receiving end of looks of utter disappointment from my trainer, that was my perception. So what did I do? I gave up! I gave up for three years. Lost all hope! My daughter by this time was a gym-nut and eventually persuaded me to go to the gym she attends (Fitco – on 13th avenue, Tauranga) where I met Strini and Ruth. What a team! Ruth became my nutrition advisor and Strini is my personal trainer. In four weeks I lost 7kgs and by eight weeks I had lost 10kgs. In 7 weeks I was able to dead lift 90kgs and bench 42.5kgs. Initially all I wanted to do was lift weights and get strong, the weight loss is the bonus. Strini is awesome, constantly focusing on form and technique and has my best interest at heart. Throughout my sessions he is repeatedly reminds me of posture and constantly gives me queues while I lift. He would have to be without a doubt the most encouraging, positive trainer I have ever had the privilege to train with. He hasn’t given up on me and together I am confident we are going to reach my goal at 53 years of age, of winning my first powerlifting competition. Strini and Ruth are an awesome team and are so encouraging and committed to each of their clients… My journey has only just begun. I would like to give you a bit of advice: employ a personal trainer. There is a reason they are there. Lift and keep lifting, as I am proof that this it is the fastest way to a stronger healthier life.