How our very own Gym Team Leader lost and kept off 4 stone
Georgia, 26, from Waterlooville, is the Gym Team Leader for Horizon Leisure at Havant Leisure Centre. Here she shares with us her wellness journey, and how she lost four stone, becoming healthier and happier.
Georgia joined Horizon Leisure in 2015, after college, where she gained her Personal Trainer and Fitness Instructor qualifications. She started out at Horizon, as a gym instructor, and a year later became a personal trainer. In 2021 Georgia became the Gym Manager, spending 50% of her time on the gym floor and the other half in the office. Georgia still has time to teach a few classes each week, including her very popular low impact circuits.
Georgia says: “I’m passionate about positive mental and physical health, and truly believe that you can’t have one without the other. I love working with our customers to help them to better themselves. I understand that taking the first steps to becoming healthier can often feel daunting, but love how the long term rewards are limitless. Customers can relate to me because I have also struggled with my self-esteem, including comfort eating.”
Georgia goes on to explain: “Three years ago I was four stone overweight. I had originally started to put on weight at college when I was 18 or 19. Even though I was studying to become a gym instructor and Level Three Personal Trainer, I had started to drive, which meant I walked less, and I started going out more and getting into some bad habits. A few years later, when a relationship broke down, I really hit rock bottom. I was overweight and unhappy, and I realised I needed to make positive changes and to come back stronger.
“I started to be more aware of what I was eating, and I found it helpful to use the MyFitnessPal app to track my calories. At the same time, I started working out at the gym and walking more. Just like many of our customers, I too felt apprehensive and self-conscious using the gym equipment. But I kept at it and I lost two stone quite quickly. It took me longer, almost a year, to lose a two further stone, but more importantly is the fact that I have managed to keep the weight off. I hate fad diets and crash diets; they never work in the long run and are always unsustainable. It’s much more sensible to take things slowly and gradually, building up to more physical activity and to introduce healthy food alternatives where possible. You should never cut out a food group and I still enjoy eating out, having a drink and of course chocolate, but all in moderation.
“Losing weight means that I look great, I’m strong and healthy. I move with more ease and am less out of breath. But the best thing that exercise did for me, was to make me happier!
“My personal experience has helped me to be more compassionate and understanding with our customers. I know how vulnerable some people can feel in the gym. I often suggest to new customers or those who feel self-conscious to use the ‘quiet areas’ in the gym, where they are less populated with people, and to always tell the group exercise trainer that they are new or if they have any concerns. The great thing about Horizon Leisure is that everyone is welcome. We don’t have a ‘typical’ customer, as everyone is treated to the same welcome and with the same respect.”
During Georgia’s career with Horizon Leisure, she has gained her exercise referral qualification, meaning she is well placed to support customers with specific health and mobility issues, be that pulmonary heart disease, arthritis, asthma, diabetes or rehabilitation from and preparation for surgery.
She explains: “I really enjoying working with people who are new to exercise or those that are looking for an improvement for a particular health condition. These customers always inspire me and others around them, and prove that moving more is a medicine for both the mind and body!”