Meet the Member: How Emma found her love of fitness at Portway
Emma Lister has been through an amazing health and fitness journey over the past 6 years, she shared her story and how her love of exercise was expanded at Portway Lifestyle Centre.
What made you join Portway?
6 years ago, after having my second child, I was overweight and made the conscious decision to get fit and lose weight. I remember stepping on the scales and being horrified with the numbers staring back at me. Being a size 22 in trousers and an 18 in tops. Even a walk to the shops was a struggle, I would be out of breath just walking 10 minutes. I knew I had to do something to change the way I was.
I completely change my eating habits and started cooking, to me preparing a meal was alien. Food came prepared in boxes to pop in the oven! Admittedly it was hard at first, but having the internet at your fingertips with loads of healthy recipes, it became easier overtime. Also, I brought myself a cross-trainer to use at home and started using it on an evening for 30 minutes. I was actually enjoying working out too!
3 years later, and I had lost 7 stone and still cooking for myself, but the cross trainer had been redundant and used as a clothes horse. I was still walking but wanted to get fit. I put my trainers on and stepped outside and attempted my first run. That failed and i was home panting after 5 minutes. Then I knew I needed help to get fit and needed to commit to a fitness routine. Having Portway on my doorstep made it easy to access a gym. I didn't actually realise how much help and support I would get after stepping in the Gym for the first time.
What do you like about Portway and there facilities?
From the moment you make the initial membership, you have a wealth of knowledge waiting for you in the gym. the fitness instructors are always on hand to give you advice on anything from diet and nutrition to exercise regimes suitable to help you gain your goals. There are a variety of fitness classes to chose from too to suit everyone, the participants in the classes and the gym are friendly and supportive too which helps as stepping into a class for the first time is daunting, when really it doesn't have to be. It took me about 8 months to step foot into a class, now i'm hooked and still 3 years later keep going back for more. My favourite classes are Bodyattack, HIIT Lift, HIIT jump and coach by colour. The one thing that is also fantastic with SLT memberships is that you get the privilege of a 1-2-1 every month with an instructor to give you advice and a personal plan in helping you achieve your goals.
What are your personal goals?
I want to gain more confidence in using the free weights section of the gym and build up on strength as well as my cardio fitness. This past year I have got into running a lot more and have recently completed a 5 mile road run, The Birmingham 10k and the Halesowen 10k too. So my next goal with this is to complete the Birmingham Half marathon which is next month. (not in a million years would I have thought I was capable of doing this. I truly believe that without the help of the gym staff and the fitness classes I would have never have ever ran!!
What made you get into running?
I think it was something I loved the idea of but could never do as I was unfit. Running is something you can do anytime of day, and is a great way to let of steam or burn off that energy when you cant get to the Gym. Initially I started running on the treadmill in the gym before or after a class with 2 lovely ladies Michelle and Shabnam, building up from 1 minute running and then walking to catch my breath, to running 3k without stopping. After that we gained a love for outside running, where time would pass quickly as we would talk away and before we knew it we would have ran 8-10k. I also love my solo runs which I aim to do once a week which I have now built up to 17k.
The one thing I would say is I wish I did this years ago, losing weight and joining Port-way made a huge different to my life! If I, the girl who would struggle to walk down the street without getting out of breath can achieve what I have then you can too. Its not an easy road, you will most likely fall like I did many times, but you will also pick yourself up and get back on track.