Personal training has boosted my weight loss

With just one week to go to my 55th birthday I am now 3 and 3/4 lbs away from my target weight of 11st 7 lbs and over the course of four months I have lost 31 1/4 lbs!

I started my lifestyle challenge at the end of November after returning from a Caribbean cruise weighing 14st. Although I lost 20 lbs in the first six weeks through changing my diet, the challenge was never just about losing weight but about increasing my fitness levels and body strength to combat stress and fatigue and improve my overall wellbeing.

I had planned to start dance classes but felt that before doing so I could decrease the chance of injury and improve my agility through weight training. However, I haven’t been to a gym in years and in the past always navigated towards the machines, rather than free weights. So I decided to enlist the services of a personal trainer – and fortunately for me since we have a sports facility on campus I have been able to have two sessions a week.

According to the website VeryWellFit there are ten good reasons to use a personal trainer. For me it was the need to be shown how to lift weights, how to use weight machines correctly and learning what exercises build muscle and strength.


My personal trainer Shanto showing me how to use the equipment –follow him on Instagram

I have now had 10 sessions and can see the difference – I have bulging biceps and my legs look muscular now. I started walking a few times a week at the beginning of the year but since I started the personal training sessions I can feel the power in my legs. I have walked to work in sunshine, rain, wind and snow and from this weekend I’m going to start running!

I can’t praise my personal trainer Shanto enough for pushing me and refusing to be swayed by my whining that my muscles hurt and I can’t do any more reps! I have also enjoyed doing the boxing training – it’s an excellent way to relieve stress and take out my frustrations on the punch bag! But more importantly, Shanto has taught me defensive moves, so I feel far more confident of defending myself against aggressors if the need arose.

Above: Shanto shows how it’s done!

If I can lose 31 lbs and improve my fitness levels anyone can!

Come to our Health, Wellbeing & Happiness event on 4th April and hear more about my health regime!


Health, Wellbeing & Happiness Event – Programme


1.00pm     WELCOME

Dr Deborah Gabriel, Founder of Black British Academics & Lifestyle Challenge



How can sports support health & wellbeing for women of colour?

Dr Marcia Wilson, Head of the School of Sports & Bioscience, UEL



Weight loss & fitness at 50+

 Dr Deborah Gabriel, Founder of Black British Academics & Lifestyle Challenge

  *****2.00pm: 15-MINUTE INTERVAL*****


Eating for health & wellbeing 

Dr Elizabeth Opara, Head of the Department of Applied and Human Sciences, Kingston University



Updates from the USA

Dr Jenny Douglas, Senior Lecturer in Health Promotion, Open University; Chair, Black Women’s Health & Wellbeing Research Network


3.05pm    REBEL + REST 

Rest, rejuvenation and restoration for African American Women

Virginia Cumberbatch,Director of the Center for Community Engagement & Equity, University of Texas & Co-Founder of Rosa Rebellion



3.35pm – 4.30pm      REFRESHMENTS & NETWORKING


Supported by Shades of Noir Production Team:

Rayvenn Shaleigha D’Clark, Shades of Noir Junior Editor/Digital Sculptor

Newly appointed to the role of Junior Editor at Shades of Noir (SoN), Rayvenn’s role concerns curating areas of digital content and overseeing the weekly deliverables through our diverse content team in order to ensure consistent social sharing.


Jessica Anoche, Shades of Noir Archivist, Filmmaker and Writer

Jessica is an Archival Developer at Shades of Noir and It is her responsibility to archive and promote the work of students/graduates/creatives of colour.


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