A word from Rachael:
”If you’ve been following me on Instagram, or reading my blog, you know that you girls are my main inspiration & motivation. This is why I recently reached out to some of you to ask about your progress and feedback. These are their stories. Hope you find them as motivating and uplifting as I have.”
In this interview, I chatted with 45 y/o Carrie from the UK. Carrie is a breast cancer survivor and she works a NHS and in my eyes, she’s a true life hero.
So when she sent me her progress pics (she followed my Lean Legs Premium Program) and told a bit about her health journey, I had to reach out and aks her would she be willing to share her story with you.
She graciously agreed to do an interview with me and tell me more about her fitness and health journey.
CARRIES: Before the Lean Legs Program, I was working hard at recovering from a very difficult time in my life both physically and emotionally.
I was diagnosed with Breast Cancer in Feb 2019 which was a terrible shock especially following my Mother’s funeral the month before.
I had surgery, chemo and radiotherapy which I successfully completed Nov 2019.
Any exercise I managed during this time was mainly for my mental health but I was basically inactive for a year. Prior to this I enjoyed yoga, pilates and jogging.
After a phased return to work at the NHS, I was back to my full hours just at the start of lockdown in March. My body had been through alot and everyone was telling me I looked great but I knew I could be stronger.
Any jogs I did at this stage still made me feel heavy and I wanted to feel light again.
CARRIE: I came across your term ‘skinny fat‘ in one of your newspaper articles and could relate.
I’m a size 8-10 and looked slim in my clothes and was interested to read how skinny fat can impact on the body’s organs. I wanted to cleanse my body of all the toxins I had pumped in me and slowly gain some overall strength.
Before starting your program, I researched it thoroughly and it seemed to fit my needs and lifestyle. I had been on a Life After Breast Cancer course and your plan tallied with their advice moving forward too. (No sugars etc).
With my music/podcasts I loved it! So I bought the Premium package. I actually thought I was reasonably fit in my before pictures but knew I could be stronger.
CARRIE: No, I did not know which body type I was before taking the quiz.
For a petite 5ft2 person, I have a short torso and long legs so if I am out of shape, I gain around my middle section and tops of my thighs which means I’m then in-between sizes and nothing fits.
Some people would say, you don’t need to lose weight but it wasn’t about that.
It’s about being fit and healthy. I was a classic Mesomorph body type and the perfect example of skinny fat due to my inactivity and hormone treatments.
I thought I could follow your plan as it seemed achievable by being gentle but challenging too.
If you don’t know your body type, you can do my FREE body type quiz and find out how to eat and train to get maximum results.
CARRIE: Gosh, hard to pick one!
I loved the recipes! The kitchen is not really my domain as my husband and kids are terrific cooks but I would shop for ingredients on a Saturday, batch cook on a Sunday and found the meals so simple and tasty.
Work colleagues would be like, ‘what have you got this week?’ lol.
I had a peace of mind knowing you had worked out all the nutritional values so I wasn’t lacking anything.
I also really loved the low-intensity cardio (power walking). Had to plan ahead and take a change of top and shoes to work but I loved getting my trainers and earphones on every day!
CARRIE: Wednesday HIIT sessions! Lol.
I remember commenting on your Insta after my first attempt saying you made it look so easy!
Your reply was, ‘be patient and consistent.’ It was the best advice!
I only did what I could do and I slowly got stronger. My neighbours heard me cheer when I did the whole 20 seconds of jumps with the stool on week 8 with you and Narelle! Lol.
I was buzzing to think how far I had come. (Yay, Carrie! I’m so happy to hear that!! :D)
CARRIE: I felt a change in myself in the first 5 days!
It felt great cleansing out my body with healthy tasty vegetables and proteins. I was sleeping better from all of the walking I was doing.
This was everything to me.
And I saw physical changes within 2 weeks. I did not lose weight. It remained the same for 6 weeks. At 8 stone (which is around 50 kg/112 pounds), I did not need to lose weight.
But I lost inches every week and my muscles felt stronger all over. Clothes started to fit more comfortably and everyone said I looked healthy and happy.
The focus on my health really eased many of my recovery anxieties too.
CARRIE: I felt incredible! I lost nearly 12 inches all over. My daughter says one of the biggest transformations is my skin. My skin is tighter, clearer and smoother all over.
CARRIE: I’m taking a well deserved holiday with my husband soon and then I will start round 2 in the Autumn. I’m looking forward to it.
At the moment I’m still walking to work every day, (weather pending) and I’m still cooking my favourite recipes and looking into other gluten, dairy and sugar free recipes.
I love the chicken pesto, sushi, nachos, smoothies, omelettes, pizza and obsessed with samon and avocados. Yum!
I still do your HIIT workouts and pick my fave resistance training workouts a couple of times a week. My moods get cranky if I leave it too long. Lol.
I can jog for 10-15 minutes without stopping so hopefully that will improve with time. It’s so nice to run now without all the wobble. My body is firmer, leaner and stronger.
CARRIE: I have! It stood out to me because not only that all your lean legs girls physical transformations speak for themselves but it’s a healthy, achievable and most importantly sustainable way of life.
I found the approach gentle yet challenging too. The right balance.
Moving forward, on holidays and weekends when I’m socialising I like the 80/20 rule (eating healthy 80% of the time and treating your self 20%) and I have the peace of mind that I am doing what I can to be a healthy Mum for my 2 children for the future. (So proud of you, Carrie!!)
CARRIE: Listen to your own body and don’t compare yourself to others! You’re beautiful as you are and it’s about working to be the best version of yourself.
I had Rachael’s advice in my head on my down days with the exercises. Be patient and consistent! It really helped.
For me, it’s little and often, quality not quantity.
Oh and the right measures of water to the protein balls. There were a couple of batches I could not share at work because too much water meant they were too squishy. Lol. I still ate them!
OMG, this last part made me laugh so much! :) Thank you soooo much, Carrie, you have no idea how proud I am of you <3
Love Rachael xx