Before her weight loss journey, Nicola Murray had a love for unhealthy food and almost always ate poorly.
The 47-year-old believes the main reason for gaining weight was down to snacking on crisps and chocolate, as well as takeaway meals.
She found simple everyday tasks difficult and started to feel unhappy as a direct result of her weight.
Then after passing her local Xercise4Less gym in Renfrew, Glasgow, the beauty ambassador realised leading a healthy lifestyle could hold some serious benefits.
“I was poorly organised”
Nicola said: “I continued to make unhealthy decisions, eating crisps and chocolate most days and I’d eat takeaways at least twice a week.
“I was poorly organised, which often meant that I was eating meal deals for lunch or going out for a cooked breakfast.
“I didn’t have major issues with my health but I did find the simple things difficult, such as taking a long walk or climbing the stairs.
“I was very self-conscious with a low self-esteem and my size was really getting me down.”
It wasn’t until her daughter asked her to join the Xercise4Less gym which made her realise the health benefits.
The turning point came after a conversation with the personal trainers regarding her weight loss goal.
Nicola added: “For the first five months I used the lady’s gym as I was super self-conscious, but one day I noticed there was a free health check in the club hub.
“I went along and after speaking with personal trainer Jordan about my goals, training programme and nutrition, I decided to hire a trainer and take part in the transformation camps.”
Since joining the gym, the mum has lost nearly 8st and now weighs 11st exactly.
“My daughter Rachael was my motivation, she really wanted me to be fit and healthy,” she continued.
While Nicola believes her daughter really motivated her, she also acknowledged how helpful the Xercise4Less Renfrew staff were throughout her journey.
She revealed: “The transformation camp was led by Jordan, Alex and Sean who were all fantastic, they were great at keeping everyone motivated.
“His [Jordan’s] training sessions are super hard and he really pushed me outside my comfort zone.”
Today, Nicola’s lifestyle has changed drastically and now she is considering a career in the fitness industry.
She concluded: “My daughter and I work out seven days a week. At the weekend, my daughter and I love to double up on training sessions, using the morning for cardio exercise and the evenings for either a body pump class or a session with a trainer.
“For my next goal, I’d love to take a fitness course, as healthy living and working out is a real passion of mine.
“To be able to motivate others to work hard so they can see the benefits of exercise would be incredible.”
NICOLA MURRAY’S DIET BEFORE:
BREAKFAST: Cooked breakfast or a sandwich
LUNCH: Meal deal, either a pasta pot or sandwich with crisps and a drink
DINNER: Beef, chicken or pork with rice, some vegetables and a crusty baguette with butter
SNACKS: Unhealthy treat, biscuit, crisps or chocolate
NICOLA MURRAY’S DIET AFTER:
BREAKFAST: Fat free yoghurt with some fruit, or eggs on one piece of wholemeal toast
LUNCH: Healthy and simple tuna or chicken salad
DINNER: Lean type of meat with plenty of vegetables, or chicken stir fry
SNACKS: Nothing or a piece of fruit