Take Action Programme (case study)

This blog will be tracking one of our Super Action Heroes by taking you through our journey together!

Louis Elliston has decided to put himself onto the ‘Take Action programme’ where I will be with him every step of the way to advise, support him into making positive changes.

Louis came into the gym yesterday (Thursday 7th September) to discuss how we were going to move forward together. I have known Louis for years and he has previously done Felixstowe bootcamp with us. Louis has been away from exercise and eating ‘not as well’ in the last 3-4 months. During this time, Louis has been very busy with work as he is fully booked up until next year now with jobs as a painter and decorator.  He has recently moved into a new house and has a 7 year old son (Leighton) and a wife (Rebecca) who is now 6 months pregnant. He is also involved with running his sons football team. All of these factors being barriers as time doesn’t come easy for him. It does make excuses very easy to come by however, but… Liam Hunn believes there is always a way of living a healthy lifestyle! So this is where I come in to help!  

Well-structured planning and being committed is very under-rated. Louis is not one to make excuses as he will happily admit he should make more effort, therefore this is where I come in to help. But I hear and see so many people use any excuse to not exercise or eat healthier. Unfortunately, using these excuses only results in physical and mental health deterioration.

We sat down to discuss a plan and work around his lifestyle and commitments to show him that he can make time and change bad habits into more positive ones. I spoke with Louis about the best methods of how to go about reaching his goal of dropping weight by decreasing his body fat percentage and then we discussed what was achievable for him. We altered a couple of things so that he can incorporate changes into his lifestyle because my aim is to make changes so that after these 4 weeks with me the person (Louis in this case) can follow this into their regular lifestyle.

I recorded body measurements for Louis and he was happy for me to take a photo also. I went and filled out these in his new personal training booklet and an individual exercise plan for the next week as well as a nutrition plan.

Now we don’t know how the results will turn out or whether Louis will stick with the changes, but if he doesn’t then it will be my job to work hard to change his route and find ways to make changes that he can stick to. So…. see how Louis fairs for the next 28 days….!

Day 1 (Friday 8th September) – Louis received a WhatsApp message to remind him of attending our SuperFHiiT class at lunchtime today! A positive response with a photo of his chicken and rice that he was eating at work for his lunch came back to me! Louis attended our 45 minutes SuperFHiiT class and worked well. High-intense-interval training is a great method for burning body fat and he went back to work without any major issues, but he definitely felt he had a strenuous and effective workout. During our discussion the day before, Louis was very happy to try intermittent fasting starting from 1800 up until 1000 Saturday morning. Now this method may be difficult to many but Louis felt this was quite easy for him so we will see how he gets on! By not eating during this time of 16 hours the body will start burning fat for him to use as fuel. This enables Louis to still eat normally after this. I only agreed for Louis to do this for the first day to see how he copes then we shall speak about it.

Day 2 (Saturday) – Last night Louis worked later than expected therefore ate after 1800. He adjusted his intermittent fasting time from 1900 and this morning didn’t eat until 1100. He made his wife breakfast at 0830 and held out until 1130 before consuming some food. He reported to be a little hungry but felt he didn’t need anything which was great. Today was their one year of marriage anniversary so they were going to Zizzi’s for food tonight with family. Louis was talking about healthier options he could have and we selected 2 to choose from. During the day Louis played football where he felt much lighter, reporting that this enhanced his performance on the pitch. Unfortunately his team lost which put Louis in a more negative frame of mind! He said he was going to eat tonight (winky face) telling me he may well abandon his intention of choosing the healthier options!

Day 3 (Sunday)  – Louis admitted he overindulged last night but in my opinion that’s life. It was their first year anniversary and out with family so I was impressed he even had the intention of trying to eat well to be honest! During these next 28 days he wont be having an anniversary very often! Good signs this morning as a photo of his pouched eggs were sent to me….. back in the game! I recommended at least a 30 minute brisk walk with his dog or gentle jog today as his recovery. He agreed and reported that he was working in his bedroom today and eating healthy (hopefully following the nutritional foods as suggested). 

Day 4 (Monday) – Part of Louis individual exercise plan was to do 30-45 minutes of cardio and we planned for him to come into the gym to do this. I received a phone call this morning asking if he still had to do this as he just agreed to play 5-a-side football tonight which would start at 2030. He was happy to still do it so I said yes but can lower the intensity….. which he came in and done.

Day 5 (Tuesday) – Not seen Louis today but I was informed he had his poached eggs today and for dinner went for Mexican chicken with rice. He said he had consumed plenty of fruit and fluid too. Now this is an improvement to his nutritional intake than before so we would expect to see some positive changes. If not then I may look into reducing the carbohydrates from rice and certain fruits to boost that fat burning system but we don’t need to go into that at this stage because you can still effectively burn a sufficient amount of energy compared to his intake. We had Louis down to come in for a SuperFHiiT class today but he did not because he wanted to change it into a run to work around seeing his family at a specific time. As today is his dad’s (Larry) birthday! So whilst his family have takeaway he is on the Mexican chicken and rice haha (fair play to Louis). So in the space of 3 days he has had his 1 year anniversary with his wife and his dad’s birthday! We are only on day 5! Louis will also be having a holiday away during these 28 days aswell!!! So if you are one of many who says you will take action after a certain occasion, then why?! Start incorporating some changes now, Louis is…….. trying 😉

Day 6 (Wednesday) – Louis has got into a nice little habit of having poached eggs again for breakfast. In a perfect world I would advise my variety everyday by consistently switching it up but I can’t scare him with all that and it would be too much too soon! Plus, nothings wrong with a routine, especially a good one so a good start to the day. On his exercise agenda for today was to to some cardio as he had football training tonight but he had missed a session so I messaged him to see if he was up for SuperFHiiT today at lunch time. He certainly was and came along taking on our challenges set out for the class. The class time had slightly changed to his surprise so he was going to ‘do his own thing’ which I would not let happen. I got him to start the class early and finish early so I could see his workout! I did blackmail me into doing it as well to motivate himself more so there I was doing my second workout of the day already with him and the other class participants! Louis stated he was feeling good this week and felt better so by even saying that his mental health has improved (not that he had any mental health issues) but we all like to feel happier within ourselves.

Day 7 (Thursday) – I received a WhatsApp message this morning from Louis with his food plan for the day. Already stating he had a little bit of shreddies for breakfast as its easy. Yes, true Louis, but other options are easy and planning ahead makes days ahead easier so something for him to consider. I reminded him to do his run today and maybe increase his intensity after his shreddies! A fog of guilt must of came over him as he committed himself to a gym session by following a workout set out from me instead. Louis has been fitting in his workout during his lunch break that he gives himself and is here for no longer than 45 minutes, little bit less today as he wasn’t in our class which are 45 minutes long. 

Day 8 (Friday) – Louis rang me up about 11:30 today (probably because he loves the sound of my voice) to ask what he should do. He stated he felt a little tired but he was contemplating a gym session or I said he should stick with a gentle jog or walk if his body was telling him he was not feeling up to it today. I think he was just a little tired because of being a dad to a son and a dog, busy with work etc. He was coming in anyway to do his measurements so he decided he was well up for having a workout together which took us between 20-25 minutes. Before that, Louis got measured and was delighted to discover he had lost 2kg (4.4lb) in weight, losing over 2% body fat and 1cm from his waist. He stated beforehand he didn’t care what the results were because he felt much better and lighter anyway but after seeing the results he was very chuffed (clearly playing it down beforehand). His muscle mass remained the same and quality of his tissues increased with his metabolic age going down 6 years!

Day 9 (Saturday) – Louis has football today and his team go a good win against a good side. It was reported back that Louis was looking much better and moving better around the football pitch from some reliable sources (not that I don’t trust Louis)! His new lease of life is paying off, my brother-in-law actually played against him which I don’t think he realised but he reported that Louis played very well too. Louis said he had a BBQ planned for tonight and in preparation h had bought a steak and not go with his old/ normal BBQ habits. When I asked him what these were he said (with hesitation) lots of hot dogs and burgers all bombarded with buns haha. Well, now at least Louis can see and feel the benefit at the moment its great that he can realise that he should be more careful and not go too crazy at weekends when opting for a BBQ. We have all been there I’m sure, that all inclusive holiday where we eat what we can, Louis is now reassessing his intake! Super result that man!

Day 10 (Sunday) – I received a message today from Louis showing me a message he had received about how much better he was looking at football yesterday. He also told me he had 2 burgers with buns and a hot dog where “Normally I would have 5 burgers and 4 hotdogs no joke so that’s a good day!!”  is what he said. I love his honesty! I don’t know what happened about his steak but I completely forgot to ask! Sack the trainer hey! I got sent a photo later of a car in McDonalds drivethrough. Yes it was Louis, but….. he didn’t order a thing which he was chuffed about. What was he doing there then?? Leighton (his son) wanted a treat so lets take a moment to applaud him as a dad and resisting the temptation! I’m sure as a father there are many temptations and ways to cave in. Talking about his day he said he had been working all day decorating and laying turf and hadn’t had time to eat so was eating late. He asked if it was bad. Yes, ideally for a hard days work he would have wanted to eat earlier but he still needed to replenish his body so he still needed to eat.

Day 11 (Monday) – Louis said he was going to come into the gym today as planned. I personally had a busy day. I didn’t see him….

Day 12 (Tuesday) – Asking where he was yesterday he stated he didn’t get time. Fair enough, I know the feeling of working constantly and someday’s just don’t allow us to make time as we all have a lot going on occasionally. Asked if he was going to come in today his response was “at some point yes”. I gave him the emoji eyes on WhatsApp to tell him I’ll be looking out for him. Another positive response “I’ll be in don’t you worry and still eating well!!” Half 7 in the evening and still no sign of Louis, but a message saying he just got in from Leighton’s training and Rebecca wasn’t there so he was unable to come in. He done a workout at home but it was a (and quote) “sloppy” workout consisting of press ups and sit ups.

Day 13 (Wednesday) – Louis managed to get into the gym today and done a workout which went through himself due to my busy schedule this week. I had a plan to follow and stated he was still on track with his new eating habits. Another part of his motivation was that he is going away on holiday this weekend coming so he’s still eating much healthier than before these 13 days. Cutting down on the processed foods and junk food intake does really make a difference, not just physically but mentality. Louis has seemed much happier when I see him!

Day 14 (Thursday) – Louis came in again today for a midday workout but just missed out on our lunchtime SuperFHiiT class. I’m not sure what he done to be honest in the weights room but he appeared happy in mood. That in itself was good enough for me! Healthy mind = healthy body. He made time out of his day to get in and I have faith in him that he is eating well. I don’t want to get in the habit of recorded and asking his every move if I don’t have to as I’m not going to be with him and on his back forever! Or am I…………….. (no, no I’m not)

Day 15 (Friday) – Louis popped in to the gym again today for his measurements as it was that time of the week. From last week Louis had lost another 2kg and 3.5cm from his waist! Seemed a bit high to me, Louis was delighted. He knew his trousers were a lot looser as he was showing me his belt and saying he couldn’t do it up there before. His muscle mass went down very slightly from the week before so I will just make sure he’s not gaining too much energy from his muscles by not replenishing himself sufficiently enough. Plus, this is the only leverage I could use to make him feel guilty for missing those gym sessions at the first part of the week! He has reported not to be hungry and was feeling better, performing better on the football pitch and genuinely very happy. And so he should be! 

Day 16 (Saturday) – Louis went on holiday today to Ibiza for one week, as I went away also to Sicily for a few days. I warned Louis to don’t go too crazy! But to have a good holiday!

Day 17 (Sunday) – No contact.

Day 18 (Monday) – I messaged Louis to not let himself go too much and not undo all his good work, no reply…..

Day 19 (Tuesday) – I messaged Louis to say I hope he was enjoying his holiday and asked if he was at least doing a bit of swimming. No reply……

Day 20 (Wednesday) – Still no contact.

Day 21 (Thursday) – I returned back to work as usual as I got home at 0100. No message from Louis today.

Day 22 (Friday) – I messaged Louis that I hope he hadn’t let himself go. No reply……

Day 23 (Saturday) – No contact

Day 24 (Sunday) – No contact

Day 25 (Monday) – Louis walked into the gym today! He stated that his phone broke on the first day on holiday so didn’t receive any messages at all. He said he felt that he had put on a bit of weight as he had a ‘good’ holiday. He came in to pick up where he left off (good!). That is what I was hoping. He said he made the most of being all inclusive on holiday but was ready to get back into his new normal routine. We went through some measurements and he showed to…..

Day 26 (Tuesday) – Louis came into the gym today making time out of his day to get his exercise programme back on track. Knowing Louis he would not have don this before and seeing him making time out of his day from work to get his set challenges done is fantastic. No more excuses, he is back making time when he can!

Day 27 (Wednesday) – Not heard from Louis today. I know Wednesday can be a busy day for him as he trains youngsters at football in the evening but did join in with his old football club participating in a football training session himself to keep his activity levels up.

Day 28 (Thursday) – Louis sent a photo today of his dinner showing that he is not letting his holiday binge carry on back at home! I’m all for going into holiday mode and enjoying myself by adding those extra treats. However, the naughty treats should be kept to a minimum in everyday life to live a healthy lifestyle and it is good to hear the Louis has readjusted pretty swiftly back to his new healthier eating habits. Or is it a short term thing as he’s felt too guilty from his holiday…!? Only time will tell and it will be down to him to carry it on now.

Day 29 (Friday) –