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Bannatyne Success Stories

Bannatyne Success Stories

Laura - Luton 

Laura Preusse, a member of staff at our Luton club, told us about her fitness journey in preparation for a Tough Mudder race.

Laura said: “After having my second child, I started putting on a lot of weight. I used to do a lot of runs but I started to notice a decline in by fitness level, so I knew I needed to start making some changes to my lifestyle.

“Shortly after Martin Leib joined our club and told us about the charity he started in his son, Samuel’s, memory, I embarked on my journey to get fit and raise money for Samuel’s Charity.

“The Tough Mudder race was 10 miles with 25 obstacles and I had just three months to train! I couldn’t jump and I wasn’t too fond of training upstairs in the gym, so I asked trainers Michal Procyk and Scott Burwood to help. They created b-toughmudder, a class at the Luton club, which other members joined and helped me through my journey. Without my training and support from other members, I don’t think I could have done it.

“My journey was hard, and on many occasions, I wanted to give up, but the support from Bannatyne Luton colleagues and members saw me through.

“I’m continuing on my journey to improve my fitness and health, and will embrace another run in October.”

Donna - Milton Keynes

We have a fantastic success story to share with you from our Milton Keynes club reception manager, Donna.

Donna started training in the gym in January 2019 after having six months away from the gym and gaining 10kgs.

When the opportunity arose to take part in a Tough Mudder challenge, she used this as a way of motivating herself to keep pushing through the training and to keep up with lifestyle changes, including a new, healthier diet.

Donna has gone from 40% body fat to 29%, and the results speak for themselves.

If you would like help with any of your fitness goals, or would like help identifying goals you may have, then speak to any of the fitness team in your local club.


Dave - Mansfield

Dave has recently joined our Bannatyne Health Club in Mansfield. Here is his feedback from joining.

Dave said: “Since joining Bannatyne Mansfield, I have really enjoyed coming to the gym. I would highly recommend it to anyone of my friends. In fact, I have just referred a friend to join!  

“The areas I have mainly used so far are the gym and swimming pool, both of which are to a high standard.

“The club has a great atmosphere, and everyone is really friendly. I have recently taken out a bronze wellness bundle. I love the MyZone belt, as it has really improved my motivation when in the gym, it is really keeping me on track with reaching my goals.”

Bridget - Bury St Edmunds

Bridget Goldstone, a member of our Bury St Edmunds club, has shared the story of her and her husband Baz’s fitness journeys.

Bridget said: “Last summer we were both suffering from very low self-esteem and body confidence. We felt old, fat and frumpy so we decided to join Bannatyne Bury St Edmunds in an effort to get fitter and healthier. “We have done a mixture of classes, and in particular, have found that BODYBALANCE has helped our flexibility and core. We have had fun and built stamina in Zumba, and without a doubt, the Pump with Paul class has changed our shape and muscle definition immensely, especially having not really done any work with weights before. “Within six months, we had both lost more than a stone, and our body shapes have changed beyond recognition. We are slimmer and more toned with muscle definition and I can honestly say when I look in the mirror, I don’t recognise the ‘new me’.

“We both feel amazing and fitter than we have done in years, and, even better, we are keeping the weight off too. “Without a doubt the class instructors bring so much energy and enthusiasm to their classes that you can’t fail to have fun and work hard. “Thank you Bannatyne Bury St Edmunds, we are proud to be members of your health club!”

Jo - Cardiff

We have been speaking to Jo Spalding, a member of staff at our Cardiff club, about her recent coast-to-coast cycle.

Jo said: “I've been slowly trying to get into the world of cycling, and with the encouragement of my colleagues in the Cardiff club and MyZone, and I've been signing up to long-distance cycles.

“My first one was London to Brighton last year and this one was my second one. It was a coast-to-coast cycle from Watchet in Somerset to West Bay in Dorset, so very, very hilly and very, very difficult!!

“The MyZone results say it all - 3622 calories burned and 1177 MEPs earned! It was 55 miles and now I've got the confidence to sign up to a 75 mile one, working towards a 100 miler!

“I've been using the Wattbike in the gym and RPM classes here in the Cardiff club as my training - which has been really helpful in building my leg strength and ability to stay on a bike for longer durations. “

Amazing progress Jo! Best of luck with your next cycle.

Claire - Carlisle

We would like to share a staff success story from our Carlisle club!

This year one of the class instructors, who everyone knows as Curly Claire, is climbing Stok Kangri mountain in the Himalayan mountain region of Ladakh in India!

She will be setting off on the 22nd June 2019 to climb a monumental 6153m! This is higher than Kilimanjaro and base camp Everest!

She will be raising money to help those living with a disability to access sport - Cumbria Wheelchair Sports Club.

If you’re local and would like to sponsor Claire and help her raise as much money as possible, pop into the Carlisle club and speak to a member of staff.

Gary - Wellingborough

Meet Gary, a member of the Bannatyne Wellingborough club. We take great pleasure in sharing his incredible story with you all today.

Gary was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS) more than 20 years ago. Here he tells us how he found the gym and why it has helped him to continue getting out of bed in the morning.

Through his teenage years, Gary found his passion for fitness in amongst the dust and chalk, bodybuilding was his hobby, and he found his peace within the noise. Describing himself as a thrill seeker, Gary reminisces back to a time when he would take part in daredevil feats like extreme mountain biking.

After suffering a torn cortisone, an MRI scan on his spine revealed some abnormalities. Eight months after his initial scan Gary was diagnosed with progressive MS. For Gary and his family, this was devastating news. Progressive MS is tough to treat, unlike relapsing-remitting MS, there is much less chance of full recovery between relapse and long-term nerve damage is much more common.

Fast forward to March 2018, Gary joined Bannatyne Wellingborough. Equipped with a gym programme from personal trainer, Rachel, and the true grit to succeed, Gary now uses the gym five days a week and feels great for it. The increase in mobility means Gary is able to use a whole range of equipment now and continue to rebuild strength in his daily workouts. With a supportive network of gym partners to support him through difficult workouts and a Grenade shake to look forward to at the end, Gary says his dedication to his workouts are the reason he can still walk.

Gary said: “When I first moved to Wellingborough, I knew no one at all, now between the excellent staff and friends I have made here at the club, I now have a family here!”

Gary explains that although he is aware that his muscle depletion will increase over time, he has never been one to just give up and will continue to smash his workouts.   


Tindy - Leicester

We’ve been chatting to Tindy Chaggar, a member of our Leicester club, about her fitness journey.

Tindy said: “My story is a little different. I started at this gym about 14 years ago after a life-threatening experience. I had to move back to Leicester following a serious road traffic accident and the injuries were very substantial; I had difficulty even walking, my balance has been terrible due to a brain injury plus other health concerns. 

“However, through dedication, perseverance, hard work and the great support of the Bannatyne Leicester team, here I am. I lost about 7.5 stone and I feel less stiff and have gained confidence. Also, I never relied on anti-depressant medication as I got my fair share of serotonin from exercise! 

“I see Adam Saunders frequently and he helps me with personal training, diet and fitness advice. I have explained all my limitations to him, and he has worked out an exercise programme that I am able to follow, as I do struggle with some things. He is very thorough, takes all my concerns into account and helps keep me motivated.

“He has also helped me with some amazing stretches/foam roller exercises, again tailoring the programme to my individual needs.

“I initially saw Paulo for personal training when I first arrived at Bannatyne - who set me on the right road! In general, all the staff here have been absolutely great and are doing everything they can for me, which I greatly appreciate. It could have been a very different story!

“So a big shout out to Adam who helps me reach my goals and keeps me on track!”

]

Louise - Chester-le-Street

Meet Louise, a member of our Chester-Le-Street club, pictured here with the General Manager, Matt. Louise’s fitness journey over the past 10 months is truly inspirational.

In July 2018, Louise was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes with a glucose count level of 101. An average person’s count would be around 40-45. Louise required two walking sticks to move around and her blood pressure was extremely high.

At the same time Louise got an infection in her elbow and was hospitalised. The doctors have since advised that at one point she was a matter of seconds away from dying. Having had a truly extreme reality check, Louise decided to change her lifestyle habits and focus on bringing her diabetes under control through diet and health and fitness.

Louise has always truly enjoyed swimming and decided to take part in the Zoggs Aspire Swim Challenge to “Swim the Channel” in our pool for the third time. Louise has personal experience of the fantastic work they do following the support her father had received from Aspire having suffered spinal injuries. Louise first completed the Aspire Challenge in 2016 in memory of her dad because he died that year.

In taking on the Aspire Challenge in 2019, Louise helped contribute to the total of £403 raised by our members and admits that she enjoys the satisfaction of receiving the medals after completing the challenge.

In March 2019 Louise underwent surgery to remove her gallbladder and was delighted when the doctors told her prior to the surgery she had reduced her glucose level to 57. If she hadn’t done so they would not have been able to operate.

Overall, Louise has lost four stone since last summer and is now enjoying life in whole new ways. She is hopeful that at her next review in June, the doctors will be advising her diabetes is in remission.

Louise is so thankful to all the staff and members who have supported her, especially for those who were complete strangers who gave simple thumbs up or nods of appreciation whilst she works out in the club. Many of those who were strangers have since developed into close friends.

She knows her journey is still far from finished and is signing up to some personal training sessions to help push her on to the next fitness goals, one of which is being able to participate in some of the fitness classes later in the year.

Keep up the hard work Louise, we are all extremely proud of you!

Glenn - Bury St Edmunds

Glenn joined Bannatyne Bury St Edmunds in November 2016, he had on going obstacles with his weight and fitness. Glenn himself admits that there are times where he overeats and wasn't always committed. 

After talking to Rob Wilding, our fitness instructor, and paying upfront for his personal training and working with Rob, Glenn has managed to lose 20kgs and feels a lot fitter. 

Glenn has occasionally slipped up with his dieting and his training with celebration parties, days out and going away. Continuing with his personal training with Rob, always manages to keep him on track.

As you can see from these photos there is a massive difference in the before and after photos. Also, Glenn feels more energetic and fitter, his clothes fit better which encourages him to continue.

Nicola - Kingsford Park

The time has come to catch up with our Kingsford Park restaurant manager, Nicola Rumble, about her marathon run. Nicola recently ran the London Marathon 2019 for the Charity MIND and would like to share the experience with us.

Nicola said: "I had set myself the initial target of 4 hours and 30 minutes, but due to a few illnesses, I had to reduce my training to recover. My final time was 5 hours and 14 minutes, which I am very happy with.

"The atmosphere on the day was indescribable: the support, the positivity of all those people, there for so many different reasons, all willing to push themselves for the same challenge. It really helps to spur you on. And believe me there were times it was really, really difficult and I swore I would never do it again. But the people around me, the cause I ran for and doing it for myself, kept me going with my spirits up. By the time I crossed the finish line, it began to sink in what I had just achieved, and maybe it didn't seem so bad. I am definitely looking at doing it again in 2020.

“Towards the end of the race I came across a woman, who was also running for MIND, who had dropped to a walk. After checking she was ok and a few words of encouragement we ran the last of the race together. As we came to the last stretch, she was starting to deflate a little. I told her I was going to run the last little bit to make sure the finish line was at a run; but only if we did it together, and we did."

Karla - Norwich West

Meet one of our Norwich West members, Karla!

Since she joined us in September and has already managed to lose over 5 stone! All with the help of our fantastic fitness team who were able to devise an exercise program for her to follow in the gym. As well as this, she has had a complete change in her diet, where she has been able to find alternative meal and food options to support her healthy lifestyle!

Well done Karla, keep up the good work.

Jodie - Lowestoft

Jodie joined our Lowestoft club back in December 2018 weighing 12st 8lbs with a body fat percentage of 33%, her goal was to get more body confident for her holiday in May 2019.

 She had her first induction with Vikki from the fitness team and quickly took a liking to the classes, combat being her favourite. Jodie quickly became a regular user and attends the club five times a week.

After chatting to staff and other members, Jodie added one of our silver bundles to her membership, where she received her MyZone belt and monthly inbody, to track her results, and what great results they have been! She came fourth in our Clubs MEP challenge only missing third place by five points and now weighs only 10st 3lbs. With an impressive 20% body fat result, Jodie has discovered that anything is possible if you work for it.

Jodie has competed in a race for life race and came 4th out of all those competing, she now has plans for a 1/2 Marathon in October and has even applied for 2020 London Marathon and knowing Jodie, there will be many more challenges she will set herself.

Well done Jodie and keep up the amazing work!

Lisa - Lowestoft

Lisa has been a member with us at Bannatyne Lowestoft for a few years now and her transformation has been inspiring. Lisa has lost an impressive 3st 2lbs and puts it down to her newfound love for running.

Lisa has managed to fit in many training sessions a week into her hectic life as a foster carer, as well as competing in numerous running races, including four marathons. In recent times, the club has been a place of comfort and escape, since her husband Steve was diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease two months ago.

Motor Neurone Disease (MND) is a progressive disease, affecting walking, talking, eating and drinking and even breathing and as you can all imagine, this has changed Lisa and her family’s life dramatically.

On May 26th Lisa, her husband Steve, another Bannatyne Lowestoft member, Pat, and Pat’s husband Paul, will be heading to Liverpool so Lisa and Pat can compete in Lisa's fifth marathon. This one has a more personal connection as she is raising money for MND Association, the charity that has helped Lisa and Steve so much already.

We wish Lisa, Pat and everyone else competing in the race the best of luck. If you would like to sponsor Lisa and read her story, go to www.justgiving.com/fundraising/runningmum71 .

Lisa is proof that the only limits that exist are the ones in your own mind.

James - Milton Keynes

There are many reasons why physical activity is good for your body – having a healthy heart and improving your joints and bones are just two, but did you know that it is also beneficial for your mental health and wellbeing? James is one of our newer members at our Milton Keynes club, who has only been with us for around 2 months. He is 25 years old and is on his graduate placement scheme at an audit and assurance company. After having come out of two very stressful exams in November and January, it was also the financial end of the year meaning it was time to put what he learned into practice.

Although the working week should be 40 hours, as with most jobs now it was expected that he put the extra hours in to get the job done, as the company he works for deals with some large global companies. He found himself working from 8am until midnight sometimes to keep on top of the work!

James lives in Milton Keynes but his partner lives London. One day he was talking to her about his stress levels and she mentioned “why don’t you join the gym again? You used to love that!” As our club was in the same building, James came for a tour and liked the look of the facilities and pool and spa area.

Fast forward to now and James has said joining the club was one of the best things he has done in a long time. The gym allows him to break his day up and his given him a place where he can escape from the stress of work and focus on himself to the point where he is now buying nice clothes because he feels better about himself and getting a more regular haircuts because his confidence is growing. Not only is he feeling good he’s looking good !

James has two holidays coming up in July and for the first time in a while, he feels confident about showing off his body on the beaches. If you would like to know more about how we can help you with your physical and mental well-being, feel free to come down to your local club and have a chat with us!

Jo - Mansfield

We are so delighted to hear about our members’ journeys and their successes.

Jo, a member of our Mansfield club, has shared her fitness story with us.

"Since starting PT sessions with Matt, I have felt more motivated to go to the gym. When he asked me to do the success story, I thought ‘I haven’t really been a success, as I haven’t achieved a massive weight loss!’ However, I realised that going to the gym isn’t just about that, and that getting stronger and fitter is also a success.

“I have been able to increase my weights and have definitely become stronger and fitter. I have enjoyed learning different exercises and doing timed challenges to keep pushing myself and seeing improvements.

“Matt has pushed me and motivated me, even on days when I really don’t want to go to the gym. He is supportive and has really kept me going and pushing through some tough times. Cheers Matt!"

Matt said: “Jo has done remarkably well in our sessions together. She came to me with a clear plan from the start on what she wanted to gain and achieve from personal training. Having two sessions a week with me I have noticed some great changes in Joanne's body shape.

“We have built our sessions around improving overall strength, combining a lot of free weight and functional/body weight exercises in the process and also doing a lot of circuit-based plyometric drills to help Joanne become more explosive and help with her agility. With every challenge I have placed in front of Jo she has tackled it with sheer determination and maintained her focus from start to finish of every session, leaving everything on the gym floor.

“I am very proud of what Joanne has achieved so far in her fitness journey and look forward to helping reach future goals in the coming months."

Lisa - Braintree

Meet Lisa Scott, a member of our Braintree club. We caught up with Lisa to chat about how fitness has helped to improve her lifestyle.

Lisa said: “I first gained weight when I changed jobs from being on my feet to sitting at a desk all day. I always wanted to lose the weight but never had the motivation to push myself. I suppose the beginning of 2018 was when my journey really began so I changed my diet, making sure I had three healthy meals a day, started calorie counting as well as going to the gym 5-6 times a week. I began to notice the results.  “During the journey I've introduced weights and realised how much I love the feeling after training! “I have now started personal training sessions once a week with Anthony, who has shown me I can push myself to new limits.  “I've now lost 4st 3lbs, and although I'm not exactly where I want to be, I'm miles away from where I was. The best thing is, I now have an excuse to go clothes shopping!”

Tony and Beckie - Lowestoft

Today we want to bring you news about the fantastic success achieved by yet another of our members at Lowestoft – Tony Rollinson. During the last six months, Tony has had Personal Training appointments with Beckie, following both the Hatton Boxing course (Round 2) and standard PT sessions.

These have focused on using resistance machines and functional exercises, as well as completing two runs per week - running between eight to ten kilometres.

As a result, Tony has achieved some great outcomes in all areas and, by using our InBody analyser, we have been able to measure these.

He has been able to drop his body weight by more than five kilogrammes, losing a massive 6.9 kilogrammes in bodyfat.

His muscle mass has increased, which has helped Tony boost his strength. He also has dropped three levels in visceral fat.

With Beckie’s support and his hard work, Tony has increased his overall InBody score from 65/100 to 74/100.  Tony is determined to keep the momentum going and plans to go on having Personal Training sessions with Beckie once a week with the aim of continuing to push himself and to keep building towards further fitness and wellbeing goals.

James - Durham

Meet James Smith, a member at Durham, who is delighted how he has been able to substantially increase his fitness with the help of our experts and encouragement from other members.

Here he outlines what he has done to achieve his goals.

“I started off with the Hatton Boxing - Round 2 - the back end of last year. Once I had completed the ten-week course, I was encouraged by Personal Trainer Derek to keep up the hard work.

“I have been booking two Personal Training sessions a week with him and doing my own cardio/weight sessions, which he recommended would benefit me to help build on muscle and drop body fat.

“I am amazed with the difference and development of my pictures from February 1 to March 29, never mind since I started back last year.

“I can’t thank Derek enough and other team members in the club for the support and encouragement!”

Mary - Newcraighall

Mary Dryburgh, a member at Newcraighall, has shared her sense of achievement with us after she completed the Vale of Glamorgan Coastal Ultra, a 34-mile route along the beautiful Welsh coastline.

Mary was able to accomplish this challenge, along with her daughter Charlotte Toms, a little more than a year after joining the Newcraighall run club, which she praises for helping boost her running confidence “so much”.

She describes the club as a “special group of people”. She says: “Absolutely everyone – Dave’s Devils as we’re known – is so kind, supportive, inspiring and encouraging. We couldn’t have taken on such a big challenge without them. It feels as though they have been on every step of this ‘wee’ adventure with us.”

She added: “Dave is a phenomenal running coach, he pushes us to get better every week and encourages us to believe in ourselves, and our abilities.”

Mary and her daughter now have got the running bug to such an extent that they hope the Vale of Glamorgan Coastal Ultra will not be their last as it was such a “special mum/daughter experience”.

Yasmin - Luton

Yasmin Miah, a member of our Luton club, has shared her inspirational weight loss story with us.

Yasmin said: “It started with me standing outside the Bannatyne Luton club waiting for some friends one evening in 2016. I was eating a hotdog while watching people walk in and out of the gym thinking to myself ‘I REALLY need to join the gym’.

“At that point, I was a size 14 heading to a 16, weighing over 11 stones. I was content with my life, but my weight was something that I always felt so self-conscious about. Something in that moment just switched and, after finishing the hotdog (obviously), I walked into the gym and asked to become a member.

“Luckily for me, my best friend was also a member at the time, and she eased me into gym life. I started by taking part in Metafit classes two to three times a week and this is what kick-started the process for me. It gave me a starting point and basically something to do!

“It was incredibly hard work to start with, and at the end of every class I was always ready to just about collapse. My body would constantly ache but something about that pain became quite addictive, in that it allowed me and others to begin to see changes in myself both physically and mentally…it was working!

“Alongside this, I began to change my eating habits, making healthier food choices and eating smaller portions.

“Even though I had started to lose weight, I was SO apprehensive to go onto the gym floor and didn’t even go in the first few weeks of joining. When I eventually ventured up the stairs, I would only ever go to use the cardio machines. I’d often admirably watch other people, especially women, who were confident enough to go into the weights section and wish I could be one of those one day.

“It wasn’t until the B:Conditioned and B:Corefit classes started that I finally built up the courage to step into that part of the gym that once felt so alien and threatening to me.

“Again, it was challenging at first, but I soon learned that taking part in those classes two to three times a week, was supporting me in becoming more confident in learning/doing new exercises and all the while, helping me to feel better about myself.

“It’s because of a few instructors such as Michal, Scott, Dan, Caroline and Raynar (to name a few), who constantly push you and set the bar so high that it makes training and working out so much more rewarding and motivating.

“Alongside doing my regular classes, I began personal training sessions with Jamie on a weekly basis which was further improving my strength and general wellbeing. I began reaching targets I never would have dreamed of like deadlifting 120kg.

“Although I’m still on my journey, currently I’m a size 8-10 and weigh 8.6 stone. I am so thankful to those who have given me the tools and belief in myself that I can achieve my goals. I can wholeheartedly say, joining Bannatyne and making those lifestyle choices were some of the best choices I have made.”

Carol & Richard - Bury St Edmunds

Carol & Richard Banwell joined our Bury St Edmunds club in 2015.

Their reason for joining is that Carol had ongoing issues with muscle wastage on one leg and had multiple surgeries on her back.

Carol has suffered with pain and it was sad to see her some days, but she still managed to get here. She always looks more relaxed on the way out after her swim and chat with other members  

Carol was advised to keep active by her consultant to help her recovery from the operations.

They both come in three times per week and in the few years of them attending the gym, it is the swimming that has kept Carol’s strength up and kept her mindset positive.

The most recent operation for a hip replacement did not go as planned, she could not come in for over three months, but as soon as she could, she was back swimming!

It is fantastic to see her back after her time out and both Carol and Richard are a wonderful couple. Always a smile for the staff and members.

The bonus is that Richard could not swim when he joined, but since going in the pool with Carol he has now learnt to swim!

Lynsey - Banbury

Lynsey Simmons, a Les Mills instructor at our Banbury club, has shared her personal experience on keeping fit whilst pregnant.

Lynsey said: “I’m a Les Mills RPM instructor and pregnant with my second baby! Pregnancy is different for every lady, and I’ve suffered with terrible sickness, so training has been hard.

“When feeling good, I enjoy teaching my class but take my time and work at a lower level, lifting weights but lighter than normal.

“Swimming is amazing, and I love the feeling of weightlessness. I definitely think keeping fit helps me deal with the changes my body is going through. My advice to all ladies is take it easy and be nice to yourself!”

Rhian - Durham

Rhian Brixton, a member of our Durham club, has shared her wellness journey with us and we hope you take the time to read it and become inspired!

“My name is Rhian Brixton. I am 36 years old. At the age of 13 I was diagnosed with juvenile inflammatory arthritis (rheumatoid arthritis). As a child I spent six weeks in a wheelchair to try and reduce the inflammation. This did not work. I have been suffering from this awful and painful condition all my life.

“I was treated for the rheumatoid arthritis with steroid medication, along with many other disease modifying drugs, which didn’t work. Due to the high dosage of steroids which were required to control the condition, I was then diagnosed with adrenal gland insufficiency (Addison’s disease). That basically means that my body now produces no natural steroid hormones, leaving me feeling fatigued, sick and to have a fast heart rate and low blood pressure. This is now controlled with a very low dose of steroids and other medication.

“The high dosage of steroids also damaged my pancreas to the point where it was necrotic (died) and had to be removed, leaving me with type 1 diabetes (insulin dependent).

“These conditions (Addison’s disease, pancreatitis and diabetes) were diagnosed over the last three years. I have continued to battle with my arthritis as my dosage of steroids had to be reduced. This resulted in my arthritis flaring up dramatically to the point where I was unable to get out of bed. Last February 2018 I was so poorly and unable to do basically anything, I had to employ carers twice a day to make my meals, help me with my personal hygiene and housework.

“I felt as if my life was over and I was feeling really down. As every day passed, I would look at my swollen joints and brave through the pain and think to myself ‘surely, this can’t be my life?’.  Months went by and the carers were great, but I am only 36 (35 at the time) and I wanted to go out any enjoy my life, just like my friends were doing. When I did go out, I was confined to a wheelchair.

“I decided that I was fed up of taking the really strong painkillers, being cared for and confined to a wheelchair and I was going to do something to help myself. In January 2019 my partner bought me a book all about arthritis.

“This book was brilliant. It explained about the importance of eating correctly, supplements to help the condition and the importance of daily exercise. I followed the books instruction and started with ‘The Arthritis Diet’. This diet is basically a vegan diet, cutting out gluten, wheat, tomatoes and potatoes. I started the diet on the 10th February and within a couple of weeks I noticed that my inflammation had reduced and I was able to get up and do chores around the house.

“I then decided to take the next step and that was to exercise. I didn’t feel comfortable and able to go for a walk and I felt that the best thing for me to do was to join a gym.

“So, I joined up with Bannatyne Durham. I started very slowly and used the recliner bike as it is much more comfortable. I was very surprised at the results. Each day I would do a little bit more, using the swimming pool, steam room and sauna. I found that I walked better when I came out than when I went in.

“I have found that even though I have rheumatoid arthritis, the best things to do to help yourself are, eat a healthy diet and exercise. ‘Do what your body will let you’.

“Since joining Bannatyne Durham gym, I have gained confidence, lost weight and feel that my joints are now more mobile. I would definitely recommend it to anyone who has any of these conditions.

“The staff are great, they are so helpful. I had a ‘hypo’ and the staff couldn’t have done more to help. They booked me in to see a personal trainer who gave me some great advice on how to manage my meals around exercise and how to safely use the gym equipment. This has really helped me now as I feel more confident knowing that the staff are so caring and willing to help and that if I have any problems or questions then I can ask them.

“My advice to anyone is to think positive and do not doubt yourself. If I can do it, then so can you!”

Jan - Bury St Edmunds

Jan, a member of our Bury St Edmunds club, has shared with us why she’s so pleased with the training that she does alongside personal trainer, Megan.

Jan has been training with Megan for about a year now. At the beginning, Jan was wanting to focus on building up her muscle mass and getting the more toned look.

In the first summer during her PT sessions she came in and told Meg that felt so much happier within herself! So not only has her confidence grown but Jan has shown that with determination, dedication and drive, you can build the body you have wanted, and that you can crush those barriers that once held you back.  Amazing work Jan and we look forward to seeing further progress!

Debbie - Mansfield

Debbie Brown, a member of our Mansfield club, has shared her fitness journey with us

Debbie said: “I have been a member on and off at the Mansfield Bannatyne Health and Fitness Club since 2002 and in that time the fitness team have been pivotal in my fitness and weight loss journey.

“In the early days it was all about maintaining my fitness as I was an active horsewoman, cyclist and swimmer. Following a number of health knockbacks which resulted in lots of surgery, the activity levels dropped, and my weight began to increase. After working hard at my recovery, my fitness improved and with lots of support and personal trainer sessions with a Bannatyne instructor, I made excellent progress but only to suffer a massive injury in April 2015.

“Falling from a bolting horse I fractured my spine, six ribs, damaged my left knee and punctured my left lung. After months of physio and three knee operations I was finally able to return to a structured training programme and start horse riding again.

“After almost three years of poor health and a massive weight gain, my training began again. I initially started with the things I knew I enjoyed; cardio sessions in the gym on the vario, crosstrainer, treadmill and bike.

“I then added my favourite classes zumba, aqua zumba, fitsteps and body combat. I was then intrigued by Speedflex so asked Katie to give me an induction then that was it I was hooked.

“Speedflex became my new best friend. I loved it, throwing all I had into every 30-minute session and the weight just started to melt away. I'd not noticed any change previously but Speedflex obviously worked for me. I then got braver.

“I always enjoyed my PT sessions, but that was when I was younger and fitter. I booked in for five sessions with Katie and loved them, I now have a regular session each week. She helps keep me on track and gets me doing weights which I would normally shy away from. I now have shaken up my routine and do spinning, kettlebells, Speedflex, pilates, body balance, fitball and LBT.

“I still enjoy Zumba and Fitsteps but I've expanded my participation now for the better and the weight keeps coming off. I decided to add a MyZone belt to my membership as I’m very competitive and I find this helps keep me motivated each month and also helps me keep an eye on how my training is going too.

“I have to say, Bannatyne Mansfield is a wonderful place to train and socialise. It has certainly helped me on my weight loss journey thanks to the great support constantly provided by Katie, Luke and Matt. They provide guidance and advice when needed but also stand back when not.

“The club has supported my swimathon participation in 2016, 2017, 2018 and will be doing this year too. I will also be swimming 5km for Marie Curie Charity. Since April 2018, with support from Martin, Katie and the team at Mansfield, I have lost 3.5 stone. I still have a little way to go to hit that target weight but I know with the support network I have, I will achieve it!

Jenni - Folkestone

Jenni Austin joined Bannatyne Folkestone back in January 2017 as she wanted to raise her fitness levels and become more confident. 

When she first started coming to the gym, she would attend four to five times a week doing a mixture of classes including yoga which she really enjoyed. Jenni decided she wanted to do more than just tone her muscles though as she was already quite naturally slim and decided to book in with one of our trainers.

Jenni said: “When I first started training with my trainer, we decided to focus on building up my leg muscle mass. After several months of training, I can now leg press up to 200kg putting me in the top 5% of women for my age group for strength training!

“The gym has become like a second home to me and whilst I have lost body fat, I have actually gained weight from the muscle I have built. I feel great inside and out!

“My trainer gave me the confidence I needed to lift heavier weights and showed me the right way to do it too. It's so much easier to achieve your goals when someone believes in you.”

Keep up the hard work Jenni and well done from all of us here at Folkestone Bannatyne. You are a bright and bubbly ball of energy and a pleasure to be around!

We love seeing our members smashing their goals so if you have a story you would like to share with us about your experience at any of our Bannatyne health clubs, then please pop in and have a chat with a member of the fitness team.



Collette - Leicester

Meet Collette Degia, a member of our Leicester club. She’s shared her weight loss journey with us and we feel so inspired!

Collette said: “I first joined Bannatyne’s Health Club Leicester in October 2016. Since then, I have achieved my goal weight and lost three and a half stone. I have dropped five dress sizes and feel amazing!

“I go to various classes such as body combat, indoor cycling and body pump. I also have regular personal training sessions with Harmony who has really helped keep me motivated and push me to my best.

“Although I am at my target weight, I continue to go to the gym to keep the weight off. The classes are brilliant for my motivation!”

Sian - Braintree

We’ve caught up with Sian, a member of our Braintree club, to have a chat about her fitness journey.  

Sian said: “When I was asked to write about my fitness journey with Bannatyne, my instant reaction was ‘why me?’

“I suppose my journey started with a personal challenge, to swim a mile in the Great East Swim, 2017. I didn’t know however, that the real challenge was to get the blinking wet suit on! Hilarious, exhausting, took all my energy to squeeze myself in!

“That was my moment, the motivation to get back in the gym and I haven’t looked back since.

“I’m not necessarily thinner but I am stronger, fitter, happier. With the Bannatyne Braintree’s fitness team’s friendly support and encouragement I’m ready to challenge myself daily especially as I’m now trying to complete a new challenge, Couch to 5k!

“I’m yet to put that suit on again though!”

Kassie/Ray - Chester-le-Street

We have two very exciting announcements to make regarding the team at Chester-le-Street. The first is that after six years in the Front of House and Cafe Bar teams Kassie, in addition to her role at CLS as Club Administrator, has taken on the role of North East Regional Administrator for the company. The second is Ray, who has worked for the company for 11 years at the Durham Health Club & Spa and the last 4 years as Cluster Sales Manager between CLS and Durham, is joining the team on a full-time basis as Assistant General Manager.

We are sure you will join us in congratulating them both and wishing them all the best in their new roles. 

Lorna - Kingsford Park