Davina McCall's PT: 12-week shape up challenge, part 1

Article May 13, 2013

The TV presenter's personal trainer, Jackie Wren, sets herself a challenge to fit into her skinny jeans once again.

Hi, I’m Jackie Wren. I have been a personal trainer for over 20 years. I’m married to Mark, who I write and present all the Davina McCall series of fitness DVDs with. Mark and I have been training Davina for over 10 years and have sold over one million fitness DVD’s.  So it’s with great shock and regret that I find myself in the situation where I am three dress sizes bigger than I should be! 

I can pinpoint the moment it all went wrong for me. Mark and I have a 14-year-old Daughter, Alex, but we lost our other baby nine years ago. She was born stillborn at only a few months, and suddenly I felt totally disconnected from my body. I started not caring about the food I was eating and would have a couple of beers most evenings. I was working so hard looking after Alex and making sure all my clients looked and felt healthy and fit, but I completely forgot to look after me. As time went on I carried on my bad eating habits without even noticing my ever-expanding waistline.

Then recently Davina said she was worried about me and that’s when it hit me! I need to start caring about me again, and put my own good advice into practise. For this reason I would like to share my 12-week journey with you. In life there are situations and events, which act like stumbling blocks to your good diet and fitness intentions. And personal trainers can stumble, too! We’re human after all. It’s important to remember there is always a way to get back to happiness and a fit and healthy lifestyle.

Week 1

This week has really been a roller coaster ride for me. One minute I feel really empowered about my challenge and then next minute I feel angry with myself for allowing the pounds to have piled on in the first place. Luckily the good moments have outweighed the bad and I am generally feeling confident and happy about my lifestyle and health changes.

This morning I have been out and bought lots of fresh fruit and made a great big fruit salad to keep in the fridge, so that there is always something healthy to nibble on if I get a snack attack. I have been teaching clients this trick for years - now it’s my turn to put it into practice!

I have been training alongside some of my clients and they have enjoyed seeing me sweat with them. I have also been doing my 20 sits up/20 squats/20 lunges/20 press ups EVERY morning without fail.

As I am not a great believer in weighing yourself every week, I have decided to use my size 8 jeans as a guide for progress. In 12 weeks not only will I be able to get into them, but I’ll be able to breathe in them, too! I asked Mark to take a picture of me trying to get them on. Every time I feel the need to eat or drink something my body really doesn’t need, I’m going to look at this picture. The craving will soon disappear!

The family are being supportive and even the dogs are enjoying the extra long and fast walk. It’s really important I keep reminding myself that this is a lifestyle change and not a diet. It’s very tempting to skip a meal or fill up on water, but that’s not sustainable for life. There are no quick fixes here - after all, if faddy diets really worked they wouldn’t bring a new one out each year, would they?

I taught at my Mood Yoga class today and the meditation and stretching helped me focus more on my body. I have been doing the Davina Intense DVD every day and it’s getting easier. I told someone today that I am not ‘losing‘ the fat; I am getting rid of it, as I have no intension of finding it again! Mark has mentioned that my arms and legs are looking more toned, that has spurred me on as well – it’s really important to get positive reinforcement from your nearest and dearest.

As much as this week has been emotionally and physically tough, I have enjoyed reaping the rewards and feel I am in the right state of mind to really make a difference to my health and wellbeing. I definitely have more empathy with my clients and really hope that sharing this journey will encourage and help others who, for whatever reason, have found themselves in the same situation.

Until next week, stay focused,

Love Jackie x