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GloryGirl Marenza

Nadine is a superb coach, mentor and example of how a woman could be and look like if she really puts her mind to it. She guided and supported, showed by example and pushed me to my limits and beyond every step of this wonderful, life changing journey and I thank her from the bottom of my heart, she has helped me achieve things I never thought was possible and she has become a friend and GloryGirl sister for life!!!

For many years I have been going to the gym, tried to eat right and live a healthy life, but I just never seemed to reach the level of fitness or physical and emotional goals I wished to achieve. I went through phases where I would lose “weight” and feel OK but then again fall into a hole and gain all that I have lost and even more. I needed something, a challenge maybe, a kick in the butt, someone who could guide me, support me and help me bring out the potential I knew I had (not only physically, but emotionally and spiritually as well) but just couldn’t reach by myself.  So when Nadine asked me in the beginning of June whether I’d be interested to be her first client, I grabbed the opportunity with hands, feet and every part of my being and said YES, and man what an awesome journey it was!!

My 12 week GloryGirl journey started on June 13, 2010. My first task was to started a journal, I wrote down what I commit to for the next 12 weeks and I set my goals - short term (for the next 4 weeks), midterm (12 weeks) and long term (continuous after my 12 week journey), and I must say, it’s not easy to set such goals, you really have to dig deep and identify what you want to achieve and ask yourself, will you do everything you can to achieve it? Even though it might be hard to write these goals, it is an absolute MUST, you need to write it somewhere you can see it daily, where you can be reminded of what you are working so hard for. It’s amazing how it helps you on days when you might feel a bit down, or your energy level is low, or when you want to eat that chocolate bar because it might be that time of the month =)

The exercise part of my 12 week GloryGirl journey consisted of 6 days a week strength training and 4 to 5 cardio sessions (4 the first couple of weeks and more in the following weeks). I just LOVED the workouts Nadine gave me, not your typical bench press, leg extension, squats, etc. you’d receive from other personal trainers. These were fun (sometimes weird) exercises, really challenging you but making you feel great after every session. I have to say I struggled with the cardio sessions during the week, but one thing that did eventually help me was prioritizing, planning, and many times doing them with Nadine (which was hectic in itself because you work harder than you would by yourself, but for which I was grateful for and I really could see what I was capable of).

Now the eating part of the journey was interesting, I had to eat 5 to 6 times a day (every 2 and a half to 3 hours) and meals consisted of lean proteins, complex carbs (wholewheat, cous cous, oats, carbs from veggies, etc.) fresh, green veggies, fruit, healthy fats (avo, flax seed, almonds, etc.) and lots and lots of water. Now this was challenging for me as I had to start thinking of a variety of things to eat 6 TIMES A DAY, and many who know me will tell you I am a very fussy eater, and that WAS true, but as I started this journey I just decided that I have to change. I changed my entire mindset when it came to food and I started looking at food and asking myself “how will this benefit my health and what can it do for me in the long run” and it just helped so much, I started eating things I never used to bring near my mouth and now I love it!! I was “allowed” treat meals twice a week, over weekends, but I was so satisfied with the amount of food I ate during the week that I maybe only had a treat meal once a week.

I had weekly coaching sessions with Nadine where she took progress photos (and after just 1 week you could already see a difference!!!!!), we reflected on the week and discussed my progress, things we look forward to in the next week, things she wanted me to work on, etc. These sessions were really good as we didn’t only reflect on the physical aspects of my journey but on emotional and life goals I had as well.

Now I must admit it wasn’t always smooth sailing and there were days when it was tough, there were weeks when I felt down and just disgusting with myself because I  might have had a chocolate or ate something that was not part of my plan or I didn’t do all my cardio sessions, and in the past these were the times where I would fall into that hole, and just give up, but Nadine really helped me with this, she just told me to get up, dust myself off and start again afresh, not to mope around and punish myself as we all are human, but we have a choice to put what we’ve done behind us and start a new page. To top it all I went to South Africa for 3 weeks holidays smack in the middle of my 12 week journey, now that in itself is hard and everyone who lives abroad and visits their home country knows that that is normally the time you would indulge in all the things you miss, maybe it’s a specific restaurant of junk food chain, your mom’s yummy food, your mother in law’s delicious bread, desserts you don’t get to eat it in Dubai, etc. This was really challenging, as I would try and eat as healthy as I could and still exercise in between while visiting with family and friends, but at times it was hard and I gave in to temptation and ate a bit more than I would have wanted to, and maybe it was too cold to exercise outside. When I came back to Dubai I was ashamed and scared to face Nadine, I didn’t want to disappoint her, but she was just amazing, she was supportive and said I did my best and after all I was on holiday, but now it’s no time to sit back and focus on what could have been, we’re going to focus on what can be and how I am going to focus on the second half of my journey. The reassurance and support I got from her was amazing and it just showed me yet again what an awesome coach she is.

It’s just mind blowing at what you can achieve when you really put your mind, heart and soul into it and when you have the support and love you need to go through such a life changing experience. At the beginning of my 12 week journey I weighed 72.7kg, I felt tired a lot of the time, I didn’t feel like I could achieve much and basically thought I’d be content with looking the way had on June 13, but after a life changing GloryGirl experience, I have lost 7.7kg and a total of 30.5cm all over my body. I feel better than I have ever felt in my life, I don’t drink sodas anymore, I have cut out sugar in my coffee, oats, etc., and my taste for food have changed dramatically, I now eat and try things I never would have, I love life, I love to exercise and I will be starting my GloryGirl phase 2 soon, as I still have some toning to do and a bit more fat I’d like to get rid of before reaching one of my ultimate goals of competing one day.