By Julie Maitland IKFF CKT FMDS
When I started my DMC journey my main goals were to lose weight be fit and healthy. You soon realise that the DMC way isn’t about any crazy diets or magic potions, it’s about understanding what works for you and adapting your lifestyle to remain fit and healthy, losing weight and reducing body fat is the added bonus.
Over the last 4 years, I had developed another goal that is as high on my priorities as the above – physical strength, being able to lift, push and pull heavy weights. It started before I fell pregnant and I have been working on it ever since Lewis was born. When we discovered I was pregnant we were over the moon, however deep down I had my apprehensions.
The next nine months were going to have, what I thought, was a massive impact on both of my goals. What would happen to all the strength I had already gained? Would I ever be as fit and healthy again? Would I be able to lose all the extra weight you gain while pregnant? After spending most of my adult life overweight I had finally achieved the size 8 figure I’d always dreamed of by following the DMC coaching. Was I going to have to wave ‘bye bye’ to that for good?
Lewis wasn’t planned but don’t get me wrong he is the most amazing thing that has ever happened to Davie and I, however having an unplanned pregnancy can unexpectedly play havoc with your emotions at the craziest times. Usually, when I was training I would question what I was doing? Gone were the days of high-intensity cardio and heavy weights sessions the type I loved and along came low impact, much lighter weights, and less challenging strength sessions.
I quickly put my doubts to the back of my mind and concentrated on what was essential for my pregnancy – having a healthy diet, looking after my body, and reading the signs of what was right and wrong for the baby.
This gave me time to reflect on my goals and decide what was more important to me. On reflection I realised I didn’t have 2 goals, there was only 1 goal as the knowledge I had gained during my ‘DMC Journey’ had taught me that being physically strong and being able to lift, push and pull heavy weights would indeed make me fit and healthy which would, in turn, help me lose weight, body fat and increase my muscle tone.
So on the arrival of our bundle of joy, dirty nappies, and sleepless nights it was important to ME to get my strength back and quickly. Yes ME, I could honestly say I have heard more times during the last 8 months ‘ but she has a personal trainer for a partner so it will be easy for her ’ more often than I have had a full night’s sleep (and Lewis is a great sleeper!!).
Eight months on and I am in the best condition of my life pressing 30kg barbells and 20kg kettlebells above my head, Deadlifting 100kgs + at a bodyweight of 66kg (over 150%), and throwing out 30 unassisted chins in broken sets during one part of a session.
As I push my strength training I continue to improve week on week and I am always setting out to beat my last session with heavier weights or reduced sets with higher reps. You are only as good as your last session so if I aim to improve each week then I am progressing. More importantly, I learned during this period of personal growth never to let ego get in the way of strength and it’s not always about muscle strength it’s more about inner strength.
So far my journey has taught me many things, over time I learned the most important lesson of all – it’s not about being the strongest female out there or lifting heavier than all the guys it’s about gaining ‘Strength for Life’ that’s relevant to you within yourself. We all have people we aspire to be like and the reality of it all is not how much you can press, push or pull it’s about the growth in yourself. Being all you can be in yourself and growing from within is far more relevant and important than being better than someone else.
I am achieving my goals, but on reflection is my goal really what I want it to be? No.
The biggest lesson I have learned over the last 8 months is being a role model for others is the best accolade ever. I used to aspire to be like other people but I’ve also learned during my journey that aspiration is not the key to finding my strength, it is more about inspiration. I have people that inspire me to do more and if I can inspire others to push that little bit harder or achieve a little bit more then I am truly being all I can be. So that I have changed my goal going forward – To Inspire and help others as I now understand that this will drive me to become stronger in every aspect of life.
DMC Apprentice trainer