Personal Training Client: Beatrice Oliveiro
After having been on medication for high blood pressure for about a year, I decided one day to ask the doctor if there was any way I could stop taking the medication. He said he might consider stopping it if I achieved significant weight loss - 10 kg. My weight at that time was 68kg. Feeling encouraged that there was this possibility, but completely at a loss as to how to make it happen, I asked Vivien how she had managed to lose weight. Before this I had tried many times to lose weight without any significant success. Vivien introduced me to the gym and asked me to consider having a personal trainer. In all honesty, when she mentioned the idea of a personal trainer, I had mentally decided that I did not need one. After all, what could a trainer do for me that I could not do for myself? But because Vivien was being very helpful, I reluctantly agreed to try a PT session with Nelson. I'm glad I decided to be open to the idea.
At our first session, I explained to Nelson about my old ankle injury. Because of this injury, my left ankle is very weak and that affects my stability. My husband and I love dancing but I have never been able to do it well because of my lack of balance. As we discussed my injury and my fears, I became convinced that Nelson knew exactly what he was talking about and how to help me to get where I wanted to go. Perhaps Nelson could help me improve my balance. I had consulted an orthopaedic surgeon about my ankle problem and all he wanted to do was to operate on the ankle. The ankle hurts periodically and I have come to accept that the pain will always be there and my focus was on how to manage the pain. Perhaps Nelson could help me in this too. My wish list to Nelson began to grow as we talked and he explained to me how we could, over time, improve my physical well-being. Strangely enough, the weight issue became secondary. I just wanted to be a stronger person so I could dance better and have less pain in the process.
The PT sessions were tough and there were times when I felt thoroughly discouraged that I couldn’t manage seemingly simple balancing exercises. Nelson’s stone-cold, almost heartless expression as I struggled with the repetitions didn’t help one bit. But from the initial discussions that we had, he had convinced me that I had it within me to change whatever I wanted. And I now know, on hindsight, which behind that steely face is a truly caring heart, wanting for me, everything I wanted for myself.
For me, he is not just a personal trainer but someone who believes in me. He is a tough trainer but one with great respect and appreciation for my effort. Because of this, I decided to send my son to him too. I felt that Nelson, with his perfect mix of toughness and his ability to motivate and challenge, would be ideal for Michael who desperately needed some discipline to lose weight and to get in better shape for National Service which is round the corner for him. By the way, Michael thinks the world of Nelson and comes eagerly for his weekly training.
At first, despite regular cardio and PT sessions, the excess weight stubbornly did not come off, Nelson mapped out a daily diet plan for me. When I stuck to it, it worked. Slowly but surely the weight began to come off. People around me began to notice it. More importantly, I began to feel a lot stronger and more stable on my feet. What really did it for me was when I was told that my dance instructor had made the remark that I had improved significantly compared to when I first started. Although I still have a long, long way to go, this comment meant the world to me and I had to share it with Nelson who helped me make it happen.
It has been 6 months since I started training with Nelson, and many good things have happened to me and I have come to realise several things. For one, I have lost 4 kg. Not a lot but at a pace that I am comfortable with and which I feel I can maintain. I still have 6 kg to lose. Seems like a long way to go but I am mentally prepared to make it happen and to wait it out and not give up until I achieve my goal. And it really helps to have Nelson cheering me on and monitoring and fine-tuning my progress. My physical strength and stamina have improved.
When I recently groaned that my weight loss seemed to have levelled, Nelson put me on a 24-hour SMS monitoring strategy. It was dreadful but really helpful as my eating habits were scrutinised and suggestions given for preferred alternatives. There was nagging too but loads of encouragement when I got it right.
Do I look forward to my PT sessions? I 'dread' them. The sessions are tough. Some even tougher than others! I have to mentally condition myself for it. But when I am done, I feel really, really proud that I survived. The bottom-line is that I can see the results – slowly but surely. Not only can I see it but it is also obvious to people around me and they have told me so. And I know I will eventually get to where I want to go because I'm in good hands.
Looking back at my initial reaction I have come to realise that I couldn't have been more wrong. It has really made a difference to me to have Nelson as my personal trainer these past 6 months. Besides mapping out an effective program for me, Nelson has been a tough taskmaster, rapping me on the knuckles when I slide backwards and a great cheerleader, celebrating my successes and motivating and challenging me to raise the bar for myself.
Thank you, Nelson.