Women speak of incredible transformation following St Albans fitness programme

Get Out Of The Rut

Get Out Of The Rut - Credit: Archant

Two deserving members of the St Albans community are celebrating the new start they received in 2016 thanks to several of the city’s businesses.

Get Out Of The Rut

Get Out Of The Rut - Credit: Archant

Shelley La Mancusa and Carla Watson were the winners of the Get Out of the Rut initiative devised by Liz and Tommy Carey of Total Care Personal Training back in October as a way of giving something back to their relatively new home town.

More than £6,000 worth of life-changing gifts from businesses in and around St Albans was awarded to the two winners who, for various reasons, were well and ‘truly stuck in a rut’.

These included a 12 week fitness and wellness package working with Total Care Personal Training, a life/mind coach/NLP practitioner/hypnotherapist as well as gifts from beauty salons, spas, restaurants and photographers among others.

Carla, 35, works in the care and supported housing sector with some of the most vulnerable homeless people in the area. She has also battled with self-esteem as a result of her weight.

Get Out Of The Rut

Get Out Of The Rut - Credit: Archant

Alongside personal trainer Tommy, Carla has been doing strengthening and conditioning training with free weights, torso training as well as cardio work including uphill sprints and star jumps which she freely admitted she hated at the start.

“It was a big no no for me and I threw a strop saying ‘no, I am NOT going to do that,’ but I have gone from doing them to showing Liz how to do the ropes exercise properly! Also before I had never run anywhere in my life, but when Tommy took us out sprinting along the old railway track I actually came back with a big grin on my face because he made it so much fun.

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“I totally got out of my comfort zone and now I realise I can actually do it and laugh about it at the same time.”

She has also stopped smoking.

Carla also had some NLP programming, which, although she admitted she was quite sceptical about to start with, gave her more confidence.

“I now stand up straighter, smile more, I’ve had my eyebrows done and even started wearing a bit of make up,” she said.

She has also been given a nutrition programme from Tommy and Liz and had a tasty healthy meal at 4Nations Restaurant, which she said she would definitely be revisiting.

She concluded: “In a very short space of time my world has changed in a way I never expected. I now feel when I smile the emotion is felt rather than just smiling for other peoples’ benefit.

“I’ve been helped and supported to find the real me and move on from the negatives. It hasn’t been an easy journey, but I have been very lucky to have met and received support from some pretty amazing people - people who believed in me and helped find the best version of me that I can be.

“I’ve had personal training before and whilst I got results it never felt as it has this time.

“This initiative has made me the best I can be - happy, confident and no longer afraid to take on the world! The future finally looks bright! Step outside that comfort zone as it really isn’t as uncomfortable as you may think!”

Having worked since the age of 16, Shelley also supported her brother through a traumatic brain injury. She then fought for six years to conceive and after eventually falling pregnant, due to a catalogue of errors the treacherous birth led her to suffer both physical and emotional scars.

As a result of ‘The Rut’ she now hopes to be able to talk to other women and encourage them to believe in their own worth, not just simply as mums and wives.

She said: “I don’t know where the weeks have gone. It felt so daunting starting the programme at the time and I worried how I could fit it all in being a first time mum and not feeling guilty about spending time away from my son, but I knew it was something we would both benefit from.”

Tommy worked with Shelley on building her body back up again after the physical trauma she had been through.

He said: “As she got stronger so did her confidence and I could start making the progress a little harder and faster. She is actually great fun to work with and I can see she doesn’t want to give up so we will continue to work with both her and Carla.”

And Shelley added: “By the end of just the first week of working with Tommy I really started to believe I could do it and I went out and bought myself a new pair of skinny jeans as a reward. I’m proud of what I have done and that body I have achieved.”

Liz added: “There’s been a transformation with both girls especially in terms of confidence. We’re all really proud of what they have achived and will continue to support their journey in the future.”