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Congrats to our Inspiration from the month of February 2017: Sebastien Fleury – or Seb, as he is better known!

Seb started training with Shane at CFC in October 2016 , just after his 45th birthday.

He aims to train at least 3 to 5 times a week, usually doing four 6.30am sessions before work each week & one evening session on Wednesdays.

Seb says: “Shane is a very good personal trainer. He’s able to manage the full cycle, from the initial chat where we discussed goals, time frame, measurements, food diary & the program that we change on a regular basis so training is never boring. On top of this, the gym is really good, & the craic during training makes it a great social activity as well. Shane follows up with regular texts to make sure I am on track as well and the Whats Apps chat & Instagram posts are really inspiring”.

Seb will admit himself that he “hated” gyms before joining Christchurch Fitness Centre, saying “I was not really interested in weight training, thinking one session of cardio a week (spinning with his wife Liz – Positive Fitness Project) was enough. I was not an early riser and knowing that somebody is actually waiting for you in the gym gave me a kick & this is now part of my routine”.

He says he now really enjoys the training & that the feeling after the session is super. Seb has also changed his diet and now eats better food with balanced portion size.

In terms of physicals results Seb has gone from a 36 waist in jeans to a 32 (going to 30) and is now able to wear clothes he likes.
He has unfortunately suffered from SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) or “winter blues” since moving to Ireland 13 years ago & this is the first winter where he says “I actually didn’t feel it at all, I’m feeling good about myself & I would think the training is the reason”.

Seb’s wife (Liz Costigan from the Positive Fitness Project!) inspired him to book his first session with Shane last October and has supported him all along the way. Seeing the improvements as he progressed helped hugely with his motivation, & motivation is the number 1 reason for Seb. He says “I think you need to decide how much you want to do it, then just keep going until you see the first results … I had 2 motivations when i started training with Shane, the first was that after turning 45, i felt I was feeling weak with low energy & I realised that I needed to change this. My second motivation was trying to fit in my favourite suit that I couldn’t wear for a year….after month 1, i kept trying it on every week until i could wear it again!”

What motivates Seb now is knowing that he is healthier after each session, & the feeling of accomplishment he gets after each session. Seb says: “Setting a goal & reaching it is a good motivator too, & having people telling me how much weight I’ve lost & that I look healthy or just that I look good is a huge motivator”

When asked what keeps him on track Seb says “my wife Liz and Shane!!” Being accountable to others has really been key for Seb & he says “I have mentioned the fact that I train to a lot of people around me so stopping now would be telling the world that I gave up……not an option!”

One of Seb’s goals going forward is to reach a specific weight of 80kg (his ideal weight when he was 20 and fit was 78) and “get rid of a bit of stomach I have left” – in his own words!

Seb also aims to build a stronger upper body in order to feel less pain in his shoulders/neck & to look better in his shirts!
A longer goal Seb has set himself is: “to be able to do something really amazing, like maybe hiking in Nepal or climbing Kilimanjaro in the next 2 years & I want to be fit enough to start the preparation… as well as wearing a size 30 Levis (am almost there!).”

We think Seb’s progress so far is amazing and we are behind him as he continues to reach his goals and continue his progress!

Congrats to our January 2017 Inspiration Laura Murray!

Laura joined CFC mid-February 2016, almost one year ago now! She started off doing 2-3 sessions per week, building up to 3-5 sessions per week. She now trains on average 5 times per week.

What really appeals to Laura about CFC is the sense of community & the supportive, non-judgmental environment. She says: “Shane & co have created a space & an atmosphere that feels safe to get far enough out of your comfort zone in order to achieve real results, without feeling self-conscious. It’s welcoming, inclusive, fun, & somewhere I look forward to going each day. When I joined back in Feb last year I was terrified. I had never been a member of a gym before so I was super nervous, but all my worries melted away once I got into the first class & realized that both the trainers & members are all lovely, & everyone works at their own level.”

Since joining CFC, the biggest change Laura feels she has made is slowly building a better, healthier lifestyle that’s both enjoyable and maintainable. She says: “I could never have changed my lifestyle the way I have without CFC. For me it hasn’t just been about going to a fitness class a couple of times a week. Using the other support systems that CFC have on offer such as the “No Beer No Badness” Facebook group as well as doing the online 28 day “Pretox” courses, I have hugely improved my eating habits as well as improving my fitness.
I am so much more aware of what I’m putting into my body, & I’m eager to learn more about diet and nutrition, & how to best fuel my body. Cleaning up my diet & breaking bad habits was definitely harder than getting into a routine of exercising regularly, & the support, advice and accountability offered in the online groups are probably one of the main reasons I stuck with it initially. It’s still a work in progress – it always will be, but looking back now I can’t believe some of the stuff i used to eat & drink – so it’s a definite improvement!”

Laura says that what really motivates her is how much better she feels in herself now: “I never really realised how far I’ve come in the last year, until I dug out the photo on the left this week. The difference in these photos, to me, is phenomenal, and not just aesthetically. I would never have said I was particularly overweight but I knew I was carrying more weight on my body than I felt comfortable with & I know now that due to my diet I was also constantly bloated & retaining water. Looking at my before picture I remember how I used to feel all the time – I had zero body confidence, I constantly struggled to find clothes I was comfortable wearing & never felt good about myself. I’m not saying that there’s anything wrong with my body in the first photo – we are always SO hard on ourselves and my journey so far has really taught me the importance of loving the skin you’re in WHILE improving it….and improving it takes time, commitment & effort… but knowing that I changed how I feel by just exercising regularly, upping my water intake & cleaning up my diet motivates me because I’m in control now. I know what can be done with a bit of determination & consistency, and I want to continue to improve and build on this!

When asked what keeps her on track, Laura says: “My motivation can slip from time to time, and one of the things that really helps me to stay on track is posting in the NB NB group. The support, accountability & the comforting reminder that we are all human & have bad days, eat junk food & skip training sessions occasionally helps me to snap out of any bad days/spells & get back on it! I’ve also realised now how crap I feel when I eat junk, bread, or foods that don’t really agree with me & it just reaffirms why I am doing this for myself.”

In terms of goals & what she would like to achieve going forward, Laura says: “One of my goals for 2017 is to be able to do my first unassisted chin-up, & just improve my strength & fitness… but ultimately I just want to be healthy & happy… It’s really empowering to finally take action & work on changing the things I wasn’t happy about.”

Congratulations to our Decemeber inspiration, Orla Potter!

Orla started bootcamp with CFC in 2014 doing 3 sessions a week. In March 2016 she switched to PT sessions with Shane & classes in the gym. Now she usually does 4 sessions a week.

The atmosphere in CFC really appeals to Orla: “It’s great – there’s a real sense of community, everyone is very friendly, encouraging each other to push themselves, while having a laugh at the same time! The classes are brilliant, there’s a great variety-that are all very challenging. There’s definitely no time to get bored! I do a mix of strength, circuits and animal flow. Shane’s knowledge and ability to motivate everyone to achieve their goals is excellent. He really takes time to get to know everyone in the gym, ensuring that everyone is challenged & their needs are catered for.”

The biggest change Orla feels she has made is definitely the food she eats: “I now eat foods that will give me energy and make me feel good rather than foods that are convenient. Changing my foods has resulted in weight loss/inches lost, improving my mood and it’s given me a more positive outlook on life!”

Starting out, Orla had some vague goals she wanted to achieve in terms of weight loss & improving her overall fitness, as well as some bad habits she needed to get rid of.
She says: “with Shane’s guidance, encouragement & knowledge, he helped me to put a clear plan with short term & long term goals in place. Some goals are still a work in progress!”

In terms of motivation, Orla says: “The results of the positive changes is my motivation to keep going. I feel much healthier, stronger, more confident in myself and happier. i want to keep feeling this way. I now really enjoy the gym and look forward to the classes. I love being able to do exercises that I never imagined I’d be able to do before CFC… I can now do full push-ups, deadlift more than I weigh – I love being challenged to do better than before, to increase the weight of a kettlebell or to hold a plank for longer or do more squats….”

Orla says that keeping a food diary also really helps her to stay on track: “Planning and preparing what I’m going to eat has helped me take control of what i eat and ensures that I’m eating with my goals in my mind most of the time. Having a food diary has also helped to eliminate a lot of sugary foods, increase the number of vegetables… just improve my diet overall. Another thing that really helps is the accountability in the gym. Shane knows my goals and he reviews them regularly. This really helps me stay on track or to get back on track when necessary.”

Orla’s goal going forward is to continue to improve her overall health and fitness: “I enjoy the gym, I love animal flow, I like lifting weights, I don’t hate burpees anymore. I want to continue to enjoy working out and challenging myself. Over the next few months i want to be able to do a handstand, a chin up, to continue to increase the weights for different exercises. I know i need to be consistent with my food to continue to make progress towards my goals…. it’s a lifestyle change. In 2017 I want to be completely in control of the foods I eat… I give in too easily to chocolate even though i know it’s not helping me to achieve targets.”

Orla has made brilliant progress in her fitness journey so far, and more recently particularly with her Animal Flow – check out her latest flow in the below video!
We look forward to working with Orla towards achieving her goals for 2017!

Congratulations to our November Inspiration, Barry Kavanagh!

Barry has been training at CFC since June 2016 & does on average 2-3 sessions per week.

What appeals to Barry about CFC is the friendly atmosphere, professionalism & knowledgeable staff, as well as the community in the gym.

The biggest change that he feels he has made since joining CFC is understanding how the all of the small changes add up, saying: “for example eating the right foods and how that affects you, as well as the correct way of training”.

What really motivates Barry is the monthly targets set by the trainers & trying to beat those targets.

He says: “The trainers keep you on track with the weigh-ins, & when you have a bad few days they remind you just to keep going.”

Barry’s goal is to keep going with steady weight loss & to keep improving his fitness level.

Along with cutting his asthma medication in half Barry has dropped 11.7 kilos, 4 inches of his waist and 2 from his chest … and he kills it on the prowler now!!

Well done on your brilliant results Barry, we look forward to continuing your progress and smashing your goals!

Congrats to our September Inspiration, Claudia Sakura – fashionably late & diva-esque as ever!

Claudia has been training with CFC for 6 months & does on average 3 sessions per week.
She says what really appeals to her about CFC is the friendliness & professionalism of the trainers.

Since joining CFC, Claudia says that she has really learned the importance of being consistent, which she says she realised with Shane’s support: “Shane gave me a great moral support from the beginning, pushing me to do more & do better every time. He has been my greatest supporter since the beginning & that helped me a lot. He is a very genuine person and it’s very apparent that every tip & bit of advice he gave was genuinely given for my personal well-being. I’ve started believing in myself more each day.”

Claudia says that what really motivates her is the fact that since starting PT sessions at CFC she’s started to feel better both physically & mentally, noticing that even her mood improved.
She has made a commitment to herself to improve day by day, setting short-term targets to achieve in order to get closer to her final goal, saying “Shane & Co. have had a starring role in all of this!”

When asked what keeps her on track Claudia says: “I feel awesome and I want to keep feeling this way. I am a better me & there is no way I am going to change.”

Going forward Claudia’s aim is to keep training to continue to improve her health & fitness, and she says: “toned muscles & healthy eating make everyday life easier & since I’ve started I am feeling more energetic, more positive & I have to reckon that improving the condition of my body helped me to improve my mood & my life overall.”

We are 100% behind Claudia as she continues on her fitness journey!

Congrats to our August 2016 Inspiration of the Month, Richie O’Connor!

Richie began training with CFC just six months ago, and usually gets to three classes each week: Caveman, Boxercise and Animal Flow.

What really appeals to Richie about CFC is the flexibility of days and times of the classes. He says: “Classes keep me interested and provide variety both mentally and physically”.

The biggest change that Richie feels he has seen in himself since joining CFC is how much his energy levels have increased, and improvements in definition and posture of his body. He says that seeing the small improvements and results week by week has helped him to stay focused. He also says “I find even though we work solo there is a team ethos, we encourage each other and seeing positive changes in others encourages me to keep at it”.

Richie is motivated by achieving and accomplishing short, medium and long term goals that he sets for himself ranging from business, to personal and sporting goals. He says the guidance, friendly competition and atmosphere in the classes help to keep him on track.

When asked about his goals going forward Richie says “I have started skipping (nothing amazing) and I would like to be able to skip continually for a few minutes”.

Well done on your fantastic progress so far Richie, we look forward to continuing your success!

Congrats to our July Inspiration of the Month: Laura Kavanagh!

Laura met Shane back in 2013 when arranging gym classes for her office, & says that the “good vibe atmosphere” & location of the gym made it the perfect choice!

Starting out Laura tried 2 classes a week, saying: “when I say I tried I wasn’t completely focused at the start, but over the last 7 months I stuck to 2 classes & added a 3rd class recently. All my classes were lunchtime classes which suited my family life as evenings are just too manic with a little one!”

Laura says what really appeals to her about the classes is that “they’re all so different each time you go, with a mix of circuit training, TRX, weights, boxing” .. and, she jokes – “WAY TOO MANY burpees”!!

Speaking about Shane she says “He’s a great trainer, he doesn’t pressure you but gives you advice on where your goal should be. I liked that, as it needed to be ME who motivated me and that was what I was missing…. Shane just guided me along the way. The people who train at the gym are fantastic, we’re all on our own little journey and everyone is so supportive. Shane also set up a private Facebook group for support ‘No Beer No Badness’ where recipes are shared, people motivate each other & it’s great just keeping up to date on everyone’s story”.

Laura feels that the biggest change she’s made since joining CFC is the way she sees how the choices she makes will impact on how she loses weight or feels healthy, saying: “My food choices have changed nearly 360! I now take responsibility for my own choices! I can enjoy my cheat day but get back into it again…and not beat myself up if I don’t do as well as I want on a day”.

She says the one thing that has helped her to make the changes she’s made and stick with them is the fact that she’s more motivated than she has ever been to do better for herself: “2016 has been a year for me, to take time for myself and look after myself and I am so proud I have stuck with it! The coaching from the group and also from Shane kept me on the right road but I totally know the change has been down to me and only me!”

One of the main things that motivates Laura is being able to show her son a healthy mammy, along with feeling better in her own skin, and feeling healthy and happier! Keeping a food diary and posting her goals in the Facebook group each week has given her the accountability she needs to keep focused.

Laura’s overall goal was to go down a dress size and to hit 10 stone, and she says “If I get to that I would like to keep around this weight and tone up, keep healthy with my food choices and keep doing my classes, which I love!” Sadly Laura had her last lunchtime class at CFC yesterday as she’s moving on to a new job…she says “Thank you to Shane and the CFC crew for helping me on my journey! Definitely will keep many friends from the gym and group…its not goodbye…its see you later!”

Well done Laura, and best of luck as you continue on your fitness journey!


Congrats to our June Inspiration of the Month, Emily Deasy! Emily has been training with Christchurch Fitness Centre for almost 4 months now & does on average 3 classes a week. She says that what really appeals to her is the size of the classes: “They allow for a really nice atmosphere, where everyone is working hard but still having a laugh.

Emily says that the biggest change she’s made since joining CFC is definitely her eating habits, and that having the accountability & support of the private Facebook group has really helped her stay on track with healthy eating. Her motivation to really get going is that she is always in competition with herself… if she does 30 sit-ups in the first set, she will aim for 31 in the next set!

The changes that Emily has seen in herself in just a few short months is what keeps her on track, she says: “I have so much more energy and I’m able to do much more than I ever thought I could.
“If you had asked me a few months ago if I would be doing full push ups, I would have laughed!” Emily is doing her first marathon in September so she is training for that, & would also love to be able to do a pull up.
How far Emily has come, and her enthusiasm and determination are what makes her Christchurch Fitness Centre’s Inspiration of the Month!