Initiative winners from St Albans publish self-help book

Carla Watson and Shelley La Mancusa

Carla Watson and Shelley La Mancusa - Credit: Archant

Inspiring winners from St Albans have penned a book about their experiences of getting through tough times.

Carla Watson and Shelley La Mancusa have written Getting Out of a Rut as part of the Get Out of the Rut initiative by Liz and Tommy Carey of Total Care Personal Training, which they won last year.

Their prize was more than £6,000 worth of gifts from local businesses, including a 12 week fitness and wellness package, and gifts from beauty salons, spas, restaurants and photographers.

Published by Panoma Press, the book is about overcoming unhappiness through self-motivation, despite low periods when it might seem hard to carry on.

Shelley supported her brother through a traumatic brain injury, before trying to conceive for six years for a birth that left her with emotional and physical scars.

She said: “This time last year I was stuck in a rut. I was a new mother and my priority was my son but I knew I didn’t feel great and I didn’t know what to do about it.

“Thanks to a community-based initiative here in St Albans with Total Care Personal Training I managed to turn things around and I’m no longer focussed on what size I am.

Most Read

“I’m focused on how much energy I have for my son and how great I feel both mentally and physically.

“More than that I felt that I was part of something. A community, new friends, even writing this book is a place I never thought I could get to.

“My wish for anyone reading this book is to know that you are not alone. Whatever you are going through things can get better.

“They did for me and I’m no different to anyone else. You’ve got this.”

Carla, who works with homeless people, first lost six stone by joining the gym and eating healthier.

But then her father fell ill and passed away, leaving her with a hole in her life. She said she had been in a rut for “at a rough guess, forever”.

She said: “At first I really saw the whole thing as a chance to really lose some weight, the battle I’ve fought my whole life, but as time went on it became more than that.

“It was a real chance to find me and be happy with myself from the inside out regardless of my size.

“Weight loss was and still is important for my health but my weight doesn’t have the same hold over me that it used to.”

She stressed that Getting Out of a Rut was not a diet book and there was no quick fix.

The book is available from both Amazon and book shops, for £12.99.