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It Gave Me Strength – Kelly Lord

Looking back at when I started going to SAF two and a half years ago, I can now see that I was at a point where I needed to take control of my life. I felt like a lot of things were going on around me that I had no control over.

My mam has just been diagnosed with Stage 3 cancer, and I was in an emotionally abusive relationship. Physically, I was bigger than I had ever been and felt very self-conscious about my appearance. I told myself I was getting a Personal Trainer to lose weight – which was, in part, very true.

When I started training and dieting I did quickly lose weight from the advice Sean have to me, I started recovering faster, sleeping better, getting physically stronger and noticeably fitter, but moreover, I could feel myself getting mentally stronger.

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Girl enjoying personal training in North Shields

Inside the gym was one hour of my day that was just mine. I could switch off from the world around me, from worrying about my mam, from the issues in my relationship, and I could work on myself. I believe that this is the place that I learnt to love myself again.

I felt as though I was in a safe environment and around a network of support. The victories I felt in the gym daily from hitting new PBS made me feel as though I could take on the world.

It gave me the strength to walk away from the relationship that had once stripped me of all my self-worth, that had once meant I couldn’t even open my curtains to face the world. It gave me the strength to sit beside my mam each day on her journey to be cancer-free (which she now is).

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I no longer go to the gym to lose weight, I have actually put a little weight back on, but I am happier than I have ever been. A PB feels way better than buying a dress a size smaller. I have made best friends for life from the gym. We lift each other up and compete against each other, and we go for food/drinks, we laugh together and are each other’s counsellors.

Non-SAF gym-goers will sometimes question the price of training at SAF – I always say to them that I couldn’t afford not to go. I could never put a price on what attending SAF has given me; confidence, my self-worth and a #gymfam who are my biggest supporters both inside and out of the gym.

Joining SAF will always be the best thing I have ever done.