15 years ago I was diagnosed with severe osteoporosis. It was quite a shock to be told I had the bones of an 80 year old at the age of 50 and that my vertebral fracture risk was high! This was despite having always been an active person and an avid walker.
I was prescribed various drugs over the years, but my bones continued to thin until I was referred to a consultant, who prescribed a new drug which halted the decline. However, there was negligible improvement and it emerged that there were other health risks associated with my prescribed medication.
In March 2015, I heard about Curves and decided to try it for a year to see if it helped. I was immediately impressed by the personal attention and professionalism of the coaches and their friendly, encouraging approach. The SMART system, which gives you instant feedback on your progress, is also a great motivator. I’ve been attending at least three times a week since joining and really enjoy doing some of the classes and taking part in the various Challenges dreamt up by the coaching team.
Earlier this year I had a bone density scan and my GP was amazed that the results were normal. She said she had never seen such an improvement in someone who had started from such a low point. I am now off the drugs and my bone density will be checked every 3 years to see if the improvement is maintained. No prizes for guessing that I’m still a regular!
Thank you Curves – I’m overjoyed!
In one way or another I have struggled with my body image, weight and fitness for a large part of my adult life, but it all came to a head when I retired from work in August 2014. This is my sister and I in September of that year.
The first year of retirement was more or less taken up with project managing various building projects at home. Though I did not miss the stress of my job, I missed the status associated with it and maybe just being part of something. I had been too busy over the last few years to make friends locally, and those I had lived many miles away or were still working.
Although I periodically tried walking at least 10,000 steps a day, I did no structured exercise – I didn’t even know how to! I felt that I was becoming invisible and, though I did not recognise it at the time, I was demotivated, lonely and isolated. I wore things like baggy clothes not formal office wear, which allowed me to expand effortlessly whilst constantly grazing on biscuits and snacks. I even started having an afternoon nap!
Eventually my 66th birthday came round in February 2015 and I realised that I needed to find my mojo while I was still young enough to do something about it. I stopped snacking and tried to eat more healthily, but by April I realised that I could not do it alone, so I found the nearest Slimming Club and joined up. I was shocked to find that I weighed 14 stone and 6.5 lbs.
It was good to be amongst people with similar issues and to hear their stories, but it wasn’t just my weight that I wanted to address. I wanted the well-being that comes with exercise – but not a gym, I can’t tell you how many one year subscriptions I’ve signed up to and actually attended four or five times! I was surprised when I asked my consultant to recommend something that she was quite dismissive saying that you only lose about 1lb per month with exercise. Not the point though!
Several years ago I had joined my local Curves, but did not really commit to it. I was thinking returning to it when an invitation came in the post offering a special re-joining deal for past members. Serendipity!
I started in mid-May and was absolutely hopeless, not only unfit, but uncoordinated and unconfident. But the atmosphere at the club is so positive, supportive and friendly that during my five sessions over the first 10 days, the coaches were very encouraging and I almost started to enjoy it (yes, me, enjoy exercise!).
Then Justine organised a 30-day challenge in June so I was motivated to attend everyday and that made such a huge difference to how I felt about myself. I sometimes had to force myself go, but I’m so glad that I did. Not only did it accelerate my weight loss, but my shape started to change as I toned up.
I’m about 9 months in to my Curves journey. I go to club at least 5 or 6 times per week and even attend the odd class or two. The 30-minute circuit is spot on. Even those machines I don’t exactly love, I can stand for 30 seconds! The environment is great too – light and bright, welcoming and the new equipment is state of the art. I’ve made some lovely new friends and I am much more confident knowing that I can rise to things that challenge me. Not only am I more that 3 and a half stone lighter, but my whole life is more active and I feel that I am part of something, and what’s even better, people tell me that I look much younger!
Curves has helped me to transform myself from an unhappy, sluggish, overweight, invisible old person into a happy, active, involved and vital woman with a full and rewarding life – and all this in under a year! Now it’s a way of life for me.
CHRIS, 58 – Member for 5 years
It’s Not Only Exercise!
Having just received my ‘600 workouts’ t-shirt (yes, for every 100 workouts a free t-shirt comes your way!) I thought back to when I first started exercising at Curves. I was 36lbs overweight, a smoker and terribly unfit. What attracted me to the Curves circuit was the fact that it was for women only, there are well-qualified coaches, and it only takes three 30 minutes sessions per week to see results; even I could manage that!
Over time I achieved my weight loss goals and I gave up smoking. If I don’t have my Curves ‘fix’ I can honestly say that I feel awful, and I miss it. When I first started, the machines were not computerised which meant there were times I could be a bit lazy. Since the circuit was upgraded with CurvesSmart, this is not an option. My workouts are a lot more intense as I’m given constant feedback and I compete with my last workout. At the end of each session I can see my progress; even the amount of calories I’ve burned. CurvesSmart is great and keeps me improving all the time.
My family and friends are amazed at the change in me.
There’s also a class timetable which includes toning, stretching, dancing, and more – all of which adds variety to the circuit. Plus we have challenges throughout the year, and prizes!!! Curves also supports local charities so there are many other activities to get involved in including Cancer Research UK’s Race for Life.
Well that’s the exercise bit. Then there are the people. It’s a friendly place and many social events are organised during the year. The 2014 Christmas Party was so well attended we needed a whole room in the local pub.
Whether your 18 or 80 do come along you’ll receive a warm welcome, have fun and get FIT!
VICKY, 30 – Member for 2 years
In the first two pictures I was just over 13 stone (about 185lb or 83kg) and I was UK size 16/18. In the last two pictures I am just over 9 stone (125lb or 57kg) and UK size 8/10. I have lost about a third of my body mass and although it has taken me almost two and a half years, I think I stand a better chance of maintaining it now I know my body better.
More than half of my excess weight has been lost over the ten months due in no small part to Curves Hampton/Teddington.
Thank you so much girls for everything you have done to help! To all the other ladies who are trying to lose weight right now, I hope this helps to inspire you. If I can do it (and I’m TERRIBLE at exercising and watching what I eat!) then you can too. 🙂
DAWN, 54 – Member for 2 years
Hi my name is Dawn,
About 2 years ago I went to see a knee surgeon as I was in a lot of pain and could hardly walk. He assured me he would help and arranged an arthroscopy for both knees. My surgeon informed me that I would end up in a wheelchair if I did not lose weight. I weighed in on the plus side of 26 stone. I started a healthy eating plan and slowly started to lose the weight.
I then started researching what exercise I could do but was extremely limited because of my legs. It was one of my colleagues who told me that his sister had great results with ‘Curves’. I looked on the internet and found Hampton/Teddington was near by. I rang and made an appointment. Curves helped me from then onwards and helped me to lose my next 4.5 stone. The coaching team at Curves have been with me every step of my journey.
They’ve helped me strengthen my legs in preparation for a double knee replacement and have encouraged me so I keep going and doing everything to benefit my body, weight loss, strength and general well being.
To date I’ve lost over 10 stone. I go to Curves at least 3 times a week but enjoy it so much that I try to go more when I can.
I can now walk without crutches or a stick and feel much more confident. I don’t get out of breath and I feel like a new woman.
I will continue my journey with Curves as I enjoy it so much – especially the results. Even when I’ve reached my goal weight I will keep going to stay fit and active.
The team at Curves are a wonderfully considerate and dedicated team of ladies and I am pleased to be part of the group.