Claire Marks

After DMC

During her 12 week block, Claire lost 11lb, burned 14 inches and reduced her body fat by 3% body fat, as well as gaining some pretty awesome girl guns!

Until I joined DMC, I was never someone who put a lot of thought into exercise or what food I was eating. I had always been a fairly ‘slim’ person, with quite a fast metabolism, so basically I ate what I wanted and did very little exercise. And that suited me fine.

Twelve years ago, I weighed 9 stone (not bad for my 5’ 6” frame), wore size 10-12 clothes and the only exercise I got was from walking my dog. However, I then had an operation to repair a badly dislocated knee (which had prevented me from participating in any serious exercise for the previous 4 years). This meant any form of exercise was out of the question as I underwent rehabilitation, which lasted over a year. Despite my physical activity being reduced to nearly nothing, I didn’t change my eating habits and continued to eat what I wanted without any thought as to what was healthy or good for me. Around this time I also started university and no longer had to take packed lunches with me every day! Instead I bought loads of rubbish to eat, enjoying the freedom from my mum’s larder!

I continued in this eating-what-I-want-no-exercise vein until summer 2013, when I realised my size 16 jeans were getting a bit too tight and I weighed around 12 stone. I hadn’t realised my weight/size had crept up so much, but I knew I couldn’t continue with my bad habits. I therefore decided to take up zumba (I’ve always loved dancing, so it seemed like a good way to start and something I’d stick to), and my instructor turned out to be a DMC superstar (now employee), Laura Harvey.

I’d chatted to Laura about why I was at zumba and she told me all about her DMC journey and how it had changed her life. She also mentioned how it had helped an old injury of hers, which intrigued me as my dislocated knee was still hampering my life. So I decided to book my free consultation and went along thinking there’s no way these people can change my life the way they claim they can. But how wrong I was!

I felt the happy, positive atmosphere as soon as I walked through the door, and was welcomed by the team with genuine smiles. The positivity that exudes from the team is contagious and I knew straight away that that it was going to have a huge impact on my success. Also, it is unlike any gym I’d ever seen – gone were the treadmills and cross-trainers, and in their place Bulgarian bags and sledgehammers! I knew any workouts that involved hitting things hard would be fun, and I am all about having fun instead of slaving away on the rowing machine. Julie took me through my consultation, and within 5 minutes (without me telling her) she knew which shoulder I carried my bag on from the way I held my body during certain exercises. She also eased the pain in my knee by altering how I stood and moved. I was pretty impressed (and I’m not easily impressed). I decided if Julie could do this in a one hour session, what could I achieve with DMC in 12 weeks? So I signed up there and then.

The programme DMC offers is thorough and holistic. They not only tailored a workout programme to my own needs, but they provided a tailor-made eating plan too. Being a veggie who ate pasta all the time, I was worried about what I would eat, but Steven (my wonderful coach) sat with me for an hour one session and we worked through what I ate, how it made me feel etc., and from there he designed my eating plan. Keeping a food diary (which was checked weekly!) made it easy to stick to the plan and soon I was feeling 100% better as I cleared my body of things it didn’t agree with. I’d chat with Steven about food, and we’d alter things if necessary. Things were constantly being reviewed.

The variety of training on offer was brilliant too. I worked on my core strength through body weight exercises and stretches; I learned how to use kettlebells and became pretty darn good at 16kg squats; I boxed with one of Scotland’s best mixed martial artists; I got to whack a massive tyre with a sledge hammer; and I rediscovered how fun skipping is. My whole body was put through a grueling, but fun workout each session and I’d leave feeling like I’d conquered the world.

Within weeks of starting my DMC programme I felt amazing. I had more energy, had rid myself of aches and pains, no longer got daily headaches, and my knee felt brand new. The physical mprovements kept on coming as I continued through my journey; not only was I fitting into clothes I hadn’t worn in 5 years, but I was witnessing the number on the scales decrease weekly and people were noticing my newly visible waist! Physical changes weren’t the only thing I experienced, but mental ones too. I gained a whole new respect and joy for exercising, which in turn made me feel happy and positive as the endorphins were released! I also became less critical of myself, and stopped comparing myself to others. I was on a journey of change for me, which wouldn’t be the same as anyone else’s. Steven would always remind me “you’re all different” whenever I mentioned my sister or friends, and what they’d eaten/weight they’d lost; I wasn’t allowed to compare myself to them! I feel as though I’ve been given permission to be me, and not to be ashamed of it. I finally feel confident in my own skin.

During my 12 week DMC journey, I lost 11lb, 14 inches and 3% body fat (and gained some pretty awesome girl guns!). Not bad for someone who basically sat on her arse eating cake for most of her adult life! I can now fit into my old size 12 clothes. My knee is like brand new, and I can exercise without worrying about it or wearing a support bandage. I am also no longer anemic, as my diet is now providing me with all the nutrients I need to be healthy. But the physical changes (however great) are only a small part of it: I am so much happier in myself and more confident in general; I no longer compare myself to others or think they’re better than me just because they’re different; I have gained a love of exercise and working out (give me a skipping rope or kettlebell and I’m happy); and I have discovered the joys of cooking and discovering new, healthy recipes. Who needs takeaways or ready meals when you can rustle up a healthy veggie chilli that tastes amazing?!

I want to be the best version of myself that I can be, and I know that DMC are the people to help me achieve that. I know I can be better and do better, so I’ll be signing up for another 12 week block with the team very soon. They’ve given me a thirst for food, exercise and life that I’m not sure will ever be quenched now. If you’re reading this thinking, “is this for me?”, then the answer is yes! All the DMC team have been through the same programme as their students, so they know exactly what we’re going through. And as a teacher, I know there’s no better way to learn than by being taught by someone who’s experienced what they’re teaching as a student. There’s no shame or embarrassment at DMC, only a positive, supportive environment. So pick up that phone and book your consultation now!

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