Actress Gemma Atkinson is taking on a 12-week transformation with Ultimate Performance. Her goal, to get in the best shape of her life.
The Emmerdale actress and Key 103 Radio Show Host is blogging her progress every week, so make sure to follow for all the high and the lows, tips and tricks and inside knowledge of a UP body transformation…
When you feel like you’re missing out on pizza or wine, just remember why you started your body transformation.
Remember how good you feel. Remember how far you’ve come.
This is something that’s come into sharp focus for me in Week 2 of my UP body transformation.
I went out on Saturday, and I didn’t touch a drop of wine because I was driving.
I’ll admit, there was a part of me that thought ‘I’m missing out’, but when it came to 2 am and people were being sick and eating kebabs and wanting to go home, I felt good and quite smug.
There are so many benefits that come along with weight training that you don’t even realise – my skin has got so much better than it was, I’m sleeping a lot better, I have a lot more energy. All of this is a byproduct of just working hard in the gym and taking care of myself again.
I don’t want to lose that.
It was difficult at first to deal with the going out part. I have a great social life. We went to Pizza Express on Friday and I had to text my trainer Mark and say ‘listen, I’m going to Pizza Express, there is a Superfood Salad, is that going to be enough?’
He asked me what was in it, so I told him, and he said that would be absolutely fine.
I find it’s just about making slight changes and being smart when you go to these places to make choices that are right. And remember, it’s not forever; it’s just for 12 weeks.
But I found that I didn’t really miss the pizzas and stuff. I have set my mind to the challenge now and I just did it. The food I had was lovely.
Funnily enough, saying ‘no’ to pizza wasn’t even the hardest part.
It’s more so when people don’t really get what journey you’re on and they’re just like ‘oh, it’s just one piece of pizza. Just have a little bit.’
It’s those people that start of asking why you’re doing it, then when they see the results they’re asking how you did it.
That’s what you’ve got to bear in mind – if people don’t understand what a transformation involves, they panic a bit.
But I think once people get onto the 12-week transformation programme at UP and they start seeing the benefits and their body starts changing, then they absolutely love it.
It’s just taking that first step which can feel quite daunting – especially if you have never done strength training before or you don’t feel confident.
I would advise anyone – especially females – who are wanting to change their physique for the better; get those extra curves, get some muscles and feel sexy and more confident, just do it.
Don’t be afraid to lift weights and come here with the guys. They are all such a lovely group. I genuinely feel at home in here and it’s such a nice feeling.
Now my friends know what I’m doing, they love it.
At first, they were like ‘you don’t need to lose weight’, but I had to tell them ‘I don’t want to do it to lose weight, I just want to be the best version of myself I can be and just see how far I can be pushed’.
I’ve never been pushed like this before and I want to enjoy my training. I had done my training for so long that I had got stuck in a rut with it and I didn’t want to start resenting it.
I wanted a new challenge that was fresh and gave me new motivation.
My friends are now all asking me about it every day and checking in with me on my progress.
One of my friends is going to come down and she is desperate to try it – I’m slowly and surely getting people on board and understanding the benefits of weight training.
The results speak for themselves, to be honest. You see people’s before and after pictures at UP and you think how the hell have they achieved such drastic changes in like four weeks or eight weeks? But I’ve achieved so much in just two weeks. So many positive changes in such a short time is amazing!
But it’s just about being consistent with your diet and your training, and that’s all it is really. Consistency is the way forward.
So when I’m out with the girls and they’re saying ‘just have a bit of pizza and a glass of wine’ this is something I focus on – how far I’ve come.
There is a time when I will have a bit of pizza or a glass of red wine I’m sure, but because I’ve done two weeks without anything like that and I’m not even craving anything like that now.
My palette has readjusted. I’m loving the food I have. I’m using lots of piri-piri spices and making my food interesting, so I’ve not been hungry really.
It’s just been more of a habit – like if I make myself a coffee I would normally have a digestive biscuit with it. It’s things like that, just breaking bad habits; once you’ve done two or three weeks without them you stop craving them and stop missing them. It is definitely worth doing.
I am a lot stronger than what I gave myself credit for. I can do stuff that I didn’t think I could do before.
It’s not really as scary as it looks; it’s really achievable. It’s not as hard as it looks – it’s a challenge, but it’s a fun challenge. You have to just remember that you’re doing it all to benefit yourself. Even though it can be painful, the outcome is a stronger, healthier, happier and leaner you.
If someone said you could go and buy that off the shelf then they would. If you have to work hard for it, it can feel more daunting, but it’s much more worth it.
My best tip for staying compliant is just remembering why I started really.
I would always say: remember why you started and keep focussed on your end goal. Keep focused on what you want most, as opposed to what you want now.
If someone puts pizza in front of you, you have to think about the bigger picture and what you want most (and in 12 weeks time I can have six pizzas, but not yet).
If you’re inspired by Gemma’s journey and want to start your own body transformation, talk to us about our Personal Training Plans.