FOOD FOR FUEL, NOT FOR FUN- MY TESTIMONIAL TO LOOSING 45 KG
Hi My name is Vanessa Leigh,
My story all started in late December 2011. It was school holidays and my eldest son (Braden aged 10) asked me if he could go to Jamberoo Recreational Park (a water park on the South Coast of Sydney NSW).
He explained that a friend was going and that they had asked if he could go with them. Thank god I dogged that bullet, I couldn’t imagine walking around a water park in a swimsuit at 114 1/2 kilos,
"You have to be kidding me ".
I have always been a firm believer if you have it, flaunt it and I didn’t have it at all, so I chose to cover up.
Things began to die down and the January school holidays came to and end very quickly. That bullet I had being dogging, came back to bite me on the backside well and truly.
Braden asked me if I could take him and his 2 younger brothers (Jack aged 8 and Corey aged 6) to Jamberoo.
I said to Braden that I was too big to walk around a place like that in a swim suit. He then proceeded to ask if his Dad could take him and his brothers, but sadly my husband (Mick aged 35) lost some of his sight 3 years ago and has limited vision and it was too hard for him to keep his eyes on all 3 boys in such a busy place.
Then Braden broke my heart, he said,
"So let me get this right, Dad can’t take us cause he can’t see us, and you can’t take us cause your too fat".
This was the reality check I really needed, but never wanted to hear.
I had tried everything from "Jenny Craig, Lite and Easy, Weight Watches, Dieticians, shakes, even tablets," but I just never stuck to anything. How on earth will I ever lose weight?
I currently work as a Funeral Celebrant and I see many people my age (34 years old), dying from obesity, but I still chose to do nothing about it. What the hell is wrong with me? My cholesterol was 7.6, I’m overweight and I would soon be in the back of a hearse rather than leading up the frontline.
"I seriously needed to change something in my life, but I just didn’t know how to do it. "
My husband and kids needed me around and I was slowly killing myself with my bad eating habits and lack of motivation to keep fit.
Later that week I noticed a guy named Murray Jaques'Pearce, whose facebook profile was linked to another friend of mine and my elder brothers on facebook. I had previously worked with Murray when we were teenagers, I was only 14 years old at the local supermarket. We worked together until I was 18 and then as life sometimes does, lost contact for a very long time.
"I can remember sitting outside of the supermarket with Murray drinking many cans of soft drinks and eating plenty of rubbish food."
I sent him a friend request and he gladly accepted. I then noticed a lot of his facebook status’s on my notifications,talked about his fitness. I then proceeded to check out his page and noticed he was now a Personal Trainer. I was amazed,Murray had lost around 86 kilos and that so inspired me personally by reading his story thats just what i needed to kick start me to change.
Here was a guy who knew what it was like to be overweight and to be addicted to soft drink and bad foods and lead a lifestyle for many years unhealthy (I was on about 6 can’s a day of softdrink). I the went further onto his website and read his very "Inspirational story' of how he lost 86 kilos."
"I thought then, if he can do it, than just maybe, I could do it too. From then on I promised myself that I would give him a call.- Sometime soon."
School holidays were coming to an end and on the 30th of January 2012 I rang Murray to ask him for help. The phone rang out and I left him a message, within a few minutes my phone rang. It was Murray, we spoke about old times and then I explained my situation and how it was making me feel. I then said,
" Murray can you help me and he gratefully accepted my challenge advising me that it wont change overnight its a tough long road that becomes easier with time you just have to travel the distance to see the light which provides the change in your life."
On the 1st of February 2012 Murray turned up at my home at 6.30pm. He weighed and measured me,I seriously was so embarrassed.
" How on earth did I get this big? I was 114 kilos."
We went outside to do a fitness test, it was seriously awful, I could barely run, bend or move. It was the worst 10mins of my life. I came inside so sore. I then questioned Murray
"How on earth was I going to do this ?"
He told me it takes 1 day at a time and remember what you succeeded well the day before and just follow on from there,keep a diary that highlights your progress and your weightloss achievements in accordance to your short term goal weights set,sit down between now and our next session and write down your long term end goal weight you want toi achieve and then look at a series of short term goal weights that you want to achieve try to base them around meaningful dates that you want to celebrate your success with. This way motivation is stronger, greater and my big weight goal becomes so much easier.
FINAL MEASUREMENTS AND WEIGHT LOSS
PROGRESSIVE WEIGHT LOSS AND BODY MEASUREMENTS
IN ACCORDANCE TO SHORT TERM WEIGHT GOALS
We looked at my diet and let’s be honest, we have all have seen the food triangle at school, we all know what you call "Occasional foods " and what are "All the time foods." I just had to put it all into practice. Murray made me look at my " Likes" and "Dislikes" and make the relevant sacrafices required. I guess I have always been looking for an easy alternative that did not involve dieting and exercise.
This is where i was very fortunate to have the support network both from my husband and Murray,my awesome husband who accepted me at 114 kilos jumped in to lend me a hand. He has always told me that he loves me for who I am, not what I looked like and I was so thankful for this. He changed so many things for me with in my diet plan we introduced together.
He cooked me endless wonderful healthy meals and when the kids had McDonalds and takeaway, I wasn’t eating those meals he also chose to give up those fatty meals and swap it for a salad and steak instead. This is where he has been my rock.
My very first week was completed (3x 5.30am sessions with Murray and 2 independent dates with my treadmill) and I felt like I had been run over by a truck, I asked Murray, if the pain would ever stop, every part of my body was aching. He told me to stick with it, and ensured me that the pain will ease and give in shortly as my body has gone into shock mode.
Well within weeks "WOW" those scales began to tell my journey of success my first short term goal weight looked much closer then i had anticpated, 3.1kgs gone and now I was 111.9kgs.
Week after week, one foot in front of the other and the weight continued to fall off. 3 training sessions a week was working well for me, Murray also stressed the importance of REST,my weightloss success continued through to the end of summer and than in came winter, it was my challenge, but I kept on going.
The support i received from Murray was amazing, life changing. Murray's endless text messages and calls, training techniques, and the fact that he kept me on the right path by coming to my house mean't that i couldn't escape training, my husbands support with awesome meals and my kids were happy to get rid of all the soft drink in the house,and drink fresh water all to help out their Mum and wife.
And then it all started to full into place and started happening, 10 kilos gone it 7 weeks. 20 kilos gone in 15 weeks, 30 kilos gone in 26 weeks, 40 kilos gone in 37 weeks. I had finally tackled the bulk of my weight i had done it.
"I still can’t believe it."
On the 24th December 2012, and in less than 12 months I have reached and achieved my goal weight of 70Kg coming in at 69.9 kilos and lost a massive 45 kilos which i am so proud of i have never achieved something as big as this
My life is now very different. I have gone from a size 20/22 down to a confident size 12. One thing Murray had stressed to me from the very beginning the whole objective of working and training with you was to teach me a certain level of independance to retain and continue to follow through with.Being as size 12 has made me realise i am capable of achieving many things and looking great.
"I am now the weight that I was at the age of 17."
It has been hard work. My motto is:-
I wanted the weight gone,
I wanted my life back,
I was willing to commit and sacrifice,
I had the willpower to get up at 5,30am every morning to exercise,
I had the will power to say no to fatty foods.
I am ever so grateful to my personal trainer Murray for his inspiration, his solid commitment and expertise in turning a negative lifestyle i was leading into a motivational and enjoyable experience i now take full control of independently.
I am forever grateful to my wonderful husband and children for always loving me for who I am on the inside and accepting that i needed to do this for me.
"Oh and guess who’s going to take their kids to "Jamberoo" these next school holidays."
Vanessa decided to send me some updated photo's of herself with Mick her husband 6 months later on 17th April 2013 this year -as we agreed that we would keep in touch with regular updates, and might i say looking absolutely fantastic -Congratulations Vanessa
#Vanessa Leigh 17th April 2013#
"Food is for Fuel – Not for Fun."
Vanessa Leigh - Prestons NSW 24th December 2012
These photo's and Paper interviews below are of Murray's success at the Fitness First NEW YOU AWARDS 2010 held on the 29th October 2010 at the Westin Hotel Martin Place Sydney.
As part of the Fitness First NEW YOU 17 Finalists,Murray personally would like to dedicate this page as it is a testament to the success of everyone that he had the privelage of meeting on the day and Gala evening dinner & presentation, sharing his own life changing success with.
Please click on the link above to view Murray Jaques'Pearce
NEW YOU STORY 2010
The Fitness First NEW YOU Awards were held at:
The Westin Hotel ( Old GPO ) Martin Place Sydney NSW 2000 on Friday 29th October 2010.
Please click on the link above to view the
Fitness First NEW YOU Achievement Awards 2010.
Fitness Personal Training Inspirations
A NEW ME..... Good Bye to the OLD Muz......
On the 13th August 2009, i had arrived in NEWCASTLE at my HOTEL room, so sick after travelling 2500km around the state of NSW that week I had vomited on 6 occasions from Wednesday night onwards, all i remember was how sick i was feeling, the pain in my stomach and in my lower intestines, and how i could not even walk even a metre to my car or to even climb 5 steps without even stopping in the most agonising pain i have ever felt in my entire life. By Friday 14th August 2009 i was so delirious i can’t even remember driving home that evening 170km back to Sydney, and most of all that week out in Bathurst & Orange remains a complete blur to me to this very day. By Monday 17th August 2009 i was hospitalised for 6 solid long weeks with Cardiac Failure, clotting of the lungs and diagnosed with OBESITY weighing 178kg, suffering from a very bad viral and respiratory infection i had contracted which caused major illness to my entire body making me bed ridden for 6 solid long weeks. I honestly new death was looming over me. By this stage after avoiding going to hospital i NEW i was in the best place and the best hands, that day I released approximately 20 litres of fluid from my body as I was drowning in my own fluid. I was so thankful to have my parents and brother by my side and to finally have rest. I knew then that my body at last was telling me i can rest, and so this is where my journey to recovery began.
On the 21st September 2009 i was discharged from hospital to come home. From that point i was still not allowed to drive myself anywhere. I had suddenly become a complete chemist shop injecting myself everyday twice a day with a drug called (Clexane ) which is a blood thinner straight into the stomach, taking ( Coversyl ) which is to control my blood pressure (BICOR) which keeps my heart from failing, ( Lasix ) which helps release the fluid from the body and ( Warfarin ) which again retains the blood from thickening. I had been advised i would attend the Cardiac Rehabilitation Ward at Fairfield Hospital for a ongoing period, 3 days a week remaining to be monitored with my medicines, learning to gain my balance and be able to walk distance again. I was also permitted to attend classes with my medication detailing what each tablet represented to my ongoing health. My Blue Cattle dog Jubilee was my saviour every day, once i came home we started to walk the park and bush together totalling a 2.5 km trip walking eventually at my pace, she is such a gentle soul, a true mate that i am blessed to have to this very day. By this stage i had received my operation on my lymph nodes on the 24th October 2009, testing me for Lymphoma as well as all my CT Cat Scans whilst in hospital had revealed swollen lymph-nodes. Thankfully after the operation and tests that i had, trying to find out what had caused and set of my illness they had confirmed that what i had was Sarcoidosis of the heart and lung which is a multi organ function disorder which however was treatable..
On the 2nd November 2010 i was cleared and permitted by my doctor to return to work, i was again allowed to drive myself, once again. On this day i attended my very first training session at the Fitness First gym in Parramatta, weighing 145kg. Feeling like absolute crap and telling my self what i would give to just give this weight all away. That day i promised myself i would go to the gym every single day of my life, from here onwards knowing that this was either going to make or break me to have a normal body that i loved again. I so badly was wishing i had someone to help me, just be by my side, it was so hard because i was so angry at myself for allowing the weight to creep up on me through my own lack of self discipline, crying at night, feeling very lonely, wanting someone to just comfort me, me just wanting to cuddle someone to feel safe and wishing hard for that help.
That night i had made the hard questions asking myself why did this happen to me?, Why did i forget myself?, Why did i let myself go?
On the 31st December 2009, i came home from work, after having a fantastic Christmas with all my family which i was eternally appreciative to be here as realistically I had a death sentence looming over me, because i really did not think i would see them again when i went into hospital. I sat in my car out the front of my house that evening just sitting quietly, wishing my life to be very very different, wishing for someone to just take all this anger away and wear my burden just for the day. Regret had finally set itself in.
That night i had made my NEW YEARS resolutions that evening at a friend’s house as we had a BBQ, Just quietly between GOD and I, I said that 2010 was going to be my year, achieving my total weight loss, to leave this lonely life of mine behind, find myself a satisfying relationship with a partner i like and love for me.
I made 3 wishes that evening and asked GOD.
1: Please grant me one NEW found friend.
2: Ask them to HELP me and stick with me.
3: Please give me someone that will change and make a impact on my life completely forever and will stay with me.
It definitely is true when they say “Be careful what you wish for because you might just get it.” I still remember the day, the time and the way i was presented my opportunity to be rescued from what i can only describe as ”my hell on earth”.
On the 4th January 2010 this year i was walking on the treadmill in the corner of the Cardio Theatre room it was just very private and i used the same treadmill every single day, as i kind of felt safe in my comfort zone. I actually felt i could not be noticed or i would not draw any attention to myself,
How further from the truth could have i been. I felt this tap on my shoulder and a young man by the name of Anthony Charles Montgomery who currently is my personal trainer at Fitness First Parramatta currently for the last 9 months introduced himself to me. Monty as i will now call him to you, asked me how would i like to train with him, he asked me my situation, was there any illness i had suffered, a particular goal i wanted to achieve and really at this stage i didn’t have a clue of how to tell him how I was feeling, accept to tell Monty my whole story.
After speaking with him for a lengthy period, having a good laugh, he proceeded to ask me again,
“So what do you think Murray?”
“Will you please train with me!”
“Just for you i will give you a FREE SESSION with me,”
“PLEASE will you give it a go for me.”
” I took one look at him, and something ultimately inside of me was staring at him,
Something inside of me was truly screaming out at me telling me i could not say NO to him,but to say YES. Interestingly i had noticed him prior wandering the gym back in November and December of last year in 2009,and if i only I knew I would be training with him 2 months later,
For me this was only just the beginning of my NEW journey. Once i began training with Monty, he made me feel that everything was going to be ok. For me a sudden release of tension, burden, loneliness, was finally lifted, that evening i went home and thought long and hard about it all, i seriously could not stop crying, because i knew for once i was actually willing to commit myself 100% completely to turn that regret around.
The immediate difference i felt from training with Monty was that he was creating this bigger picture for me one that i could not visualise of what i will look, feel like within 9 months. His motivation to me is totally outstanding even to this day, he changes things continually virtually suprising me, immediately he drew his total attention around my whole being promising me he was totally committed to staying with me all the way and that “We do it together” were his exact words, “i really really want to help you Murray”. Those words to me just don’t fall out of the sky and i know they came from the heart. The difference that i feel from Monty is one that is, unique in interest, and a touch of personal ownership, personal commitment and personal care,
On the 7th January 2010 i commenced my very first training session with Monty, this was the tell sign for me as to whether, i really would be 100% committed to training hard to lose the weight. On this date i weighed in at 138.5Kg .I thoroughly enjoyed the training session he gave me for FREE. Monty is a very motivating, funny, great guy, a person i feel so comfortable with, and very keen to take me to my next level of fitness, he made that his sole promise to me, he made me realise that I needed to take small steps that turned into big steps and those big steps turned every corner powering ahead to reach my goal by 7th June 2010.
Since 7th January 2010 i made a commitment that i would be 110Kg, reasonably fit, and ready to take on my next challenge by June 7th 2010 6 months later. I remember puffing and panting in the beginning going into black dizzy spells sweating like there was no tomorrow, worried that Monty might not want to train with me anymore because i was so so unfit.
I almost feel to this very day writing this, whilst maintaining my solid training to achieve my goal of 90Kg by October 18 2010. For me its been about making dreams and wishes come true. Maybe this is about my destiny.
Each day for me represents 1.5 Hours of solid training it can vary from Short Circuit training High Intensity, weight training & Cardio, I now run 2.5Km around my house and his house twice a day. I have a great diet put together by Monty which i enjoy thoroughly, i have actually begun to love my food again and i am very pleased to say that on the 5th May 2010 i weighed in at 109.8 Kg smashing my goal by 1 month and 2 days.
A couple of weeks prior to the beginning of May 2010 i had phoned Monty and said will you come to the Health and Fitness Expo with me on the 2nd May 2010. He said YES to me. After our many discussions when walking and running around Parramatta Park of a evening, i had finally STOPPED Monty and said to him:-
Monty my reasons for wanting to go and wanting you to go with me are
I’ve enjoyed every single moment spent training with you.
You’ve made exercise for me not a burden but a fun occasion.
Your motivation towards me is overwhelmingly outstanding.
You have changed my life in the time i have known you, something that not every person you come across in this life captures or has the ability to do so.
I appreciate you whole heartedly for what you’ve done for me.
I want to be able to plan my next set of goals and decide what my next steps in FITNESS will be for me.
For me training with you does not end here, but opens the doors to bigger opportunities that i want to pursue with YOU in regards to FITNESS.
Going to the Health and Fitness Expo on Sunday 2nd May 2010 was the most outstanding experience i had ever had with regards to my Health and Well Being. The opportunity of what was available to me to articulate those NEW found GOALS was just never ending. For weeks I had been discussing with Monty where i want all this training to take me. I kept saying that i wanted to do something that mentally drove me, disciplined me and made me strive for bigger and better results physically and from a appearance level, so that i could see the dedication and accomplishments of my success competitively. Having Monty with me was awesome because he was the man that brought me to this stage and point in my life , so i wanted to share that moment with him ,for me to be able to come back to him and say mate this is what i want to do...
Whilst at the Expo i met “Adro” the winner from the “BIGGEST LOOSER “Mate what a guy....Full of admiration and inspiration towards me. He made me feel on top of the world. After having a great inspiring discussion with him, a comment he made to Monty that never leaves my mind to this very day and I’m so proud of is,
“YOU MUST REALLY CARE ABOUT HIM.”
From that moment i could not look at Monty ,that lump in my throat i still feel to this day ,all i could do is look and stare at Adro’s book ,because i was going to cry. Those words finally made realise all along he was carrying my heartache to just rid every bit of my struggle and battle with obesity.
On Monday 3rd May 2010 i text Monty telling him that i have made my decision with what i want to do....
After viewing what was available to me on that Sunday i had decided that i wanted to make my NEW goal of hitting 90Kg by my birthday and take up BODYBUILDING from that point onwards and i understood how hard and how much dedication it will require for me to succeed.I didn't quiet reach 90Kg by birthday but what i had achieved was more than rewarding. Really the achievement i made is an accolade to myself anyway and might i say endless, its taken me to a new door of opportunity.The years of dedication towards BODYBUILDING that would be required and how strict i would need to be with myself is a awesome challenge that I have set myself. But this is what i want to do and i only want Monty and his guidance there with me to achieve it.
Almost 2 weeks after the Health and Fitness Expo I was still so overwhelmed by it all, I new then finally I had someone I could share a similar interest beside me, I sent Monty a message and it was quiet amusing to me and I new he would be so proud of me once I told him, as I kept him in suspense all day that day, once I sent it, as I stated in the message “I have some NEWS to tell you Mate,”
Once I saw him that afternoon and evening I said to him “Do you remember when you said to me that I would be doing my Cert III and IV in Fitness and Personal Training?” He said “Yesssss” I said well I have enrolled and payed to do my Cert III & IV starting on July 26th 2010 at the Fitness Institute Australia, If ever I have seen someone so overwhelmed and proud of me that day it was Monty Montgomery.
When i look back on the last 12 months, with my own near death experience, my own illness has taught me a lot of things, but 3 things in particular stand out so clearly to me now,
APPRECIATIATION, LOVE & RESPECT.
Appreciate –Yourself which is a GIFT from God, Appreciate the person that travels the journey with you on the road to recovery.
Love- Yourself and the person that whole heartedly gives of themself to HELP you in your time of need..
Respect - Yourself, being the body that you were given to live a great life with respect and respect the person that gives of themself freely, to teach you, to give you guidance towards a happier healthier life.
The other thing that I can honestly say,is that I have learned you are never ever to young or old to learn from someone who either is younger or older then you, which to me makes us and moulds to become far better people.
I look back on hindsight at all this now.....and in some respects. I’m still lost for words, and all i can say is...
The “What If “scenario comes to play with me .....
“What if I had never changed my ways”....
“What if i had never met Monty“.
I guess the “What If” list could go on forever couldn’t it.
I guess what i can say now is....”What if i didn’t have that sudden jolt from life to stand up and take notice of my health and well being” My regrets about everything about the past year, would never have faded and turned into positive motivation to strive for more. Ive realised this now. I now thank life in general for the past year of all the agonising pain, heart ache, laughter, tears for this journey, it really makes you think how us as human beings under estimate our own ability to succeed with strength and will power.
Everything ultimately now i believe had and was suppose to happen for a reason with me, i was denying myself the opportunity of excelling my true potential from making the most out of my destiny in this life.....
I have now completed my Certificate III in Fitness and Fitness Instructor and now completed my Certificate IV in Personal Training on 31st January 2011.I really do want to study more around sport science and complete additional qualifications to perfect my knowledge base and skill set. I believe whole heartedly now that those that live the battle of obesity and have lived a unhealthy life with their eating habits and weight control but managed to turn their life around make a fantastic role model for others that have had and currently are living the experience of a similar circumstance, What i do have to bring to the table now is something that is unique, honest , caring, giving and a life changing experience which can only be passed on from my own opportunity that was given to me by Monty Montgomery.
To describe the last 12 months, It has certainly been one giant whirlwind experience for me. A experience that I have been fortunate to experience with Monty and now cherish everything good, great and wonderful that has come out of it alongside all the bad points that brought me here.
- Murray Nathan Jaques'Pearce- SYDNEY NSW
“ Awakening and changing lives."
Monty's Testimonial to Muz-
My name is Anthony Charles Montgomery, i’m Murray Jaques’Pearce PERSONAL TRAINER.
Since Murray and i have known each other and been training together i have got to no Murray very well and well what a great guy, i have never met or had the opportunity of training someone who is so resilient,who has come so far from a life changing experience battling the bulge,but for a better word suffered for quite sometime with obesity. From the very first day we spoke about the opportunity of training together,Murray has ultimately turned his life completely around for the greater and better.
If i could pick 5 of Murray’s key strengths which consistently stand out quite strongly to me it would be his COMMITMENT & DETERMINATION , If Murray says he is going to achieve something that requires practice and patience he will do it over and over until he has achieved perfection and it is always achieved with a PASSIONATE & POSITIVE attitude to get the end result that we are both after.
Since August 17 2009 Murray has lost 86 Kg through the guidance and motivation of myself which i have provided and instilled into Murray, He achieved his first goal weight 1 month early on May 5th 2010 weighing in at 109.8 Kg, which is a fantastic effort.I seriously could not have asked for anything more.
He loves everything to do with Fitness and Nutrition which i find totally awesome and it is that passion and drive and that hunger for change that sets him apart from everyone else.I encouraged Murray along his journey to commence and complete doing Certificate III ( Fitness ) and Certificate IV ( Fitness Personal Trainer ), which i am so proud to say he is now a fully qualified personal trainer through the Fitness Institute Australia.
Murray’s ATTITUDE is just strikingly outstanding no matter what form of exercise we are performing he shows consistency and technique in the way he needs to achieve that goal which is phenomenal and most of all he has a smile on his face every single time.
Murray and i discussed where and what he wants to do with all his training and what the next stages are for him. After carefully considering he advised me that he would like to start Personal Training with myself within the Health and Fitness Industry and pursue bodybuilding as a sport, which we are now currently working towards, This appealed to Murray greatly, he felt that it would mentally drive and discipline him and he wants something that he can competitively challenge himself to gain greater opportunities and see the overwhelming results through his own motivation to succeed, but also to HELP other people alike his own personal situation recently experienced.
Anthony Charles Montgomery – Personal Trainer - Sydney NSW