Jewel Hassin

Duration with Skye: 15 Months

I love my two kids, I really do, but one of the downsides of parenthood that you don’t think about beforehand is the added inches that just never seem to disappear. When I first joined Skye Fitness my aim was to eliminate those pesky fat pockets. But while I had that incentive the biggest challenge was to first walk through that front door.  The arrival of Layla and Finn had created a few body confidence issues. Added to that was two bouts of severe Post Natal Depression which made walking into a gym full of mirrors and lithe, Lycra-clad specimens equal to climbing Everest. But thanks to a little reassurance from my best friend, Natalie Bowbanks (thanks Nat!), I at least managed that excruciating first step and, for the record, Skye Fitness has people of all shapes and sizes and I have yet to see any baby-oiled musclemen (more’s the pity!).

After overcoming the initial trepidation I actually started to enjoy this new weekly stress buster and started to see some results. But you have to walk before you can run and following a sprint start I quickly faded, with an ‘I’ll definitely go tomorrow’ attitude taking over. My lame attempts to get back into some sort of routine were then hit by the diagnosis of Fibromyalgia that badly affected my back and left me in a lot of pain and discomfort and while I didn’t want to admit it, I had simply given up.  But while many others would have been happy to just take the money, thankfully Skye are a better bunch. Out of the blue I received a phone call from Nikki asking whether I’d be interested in taking part in a new Champions Scheme that was specifically aimed at people like me who, because of whatever reason, thought it better to avoid strenuous exercise (the fact that I had happily returned to my pyjama-clad, sofa-hugging, biscuit-munching ways was irrelevant – or at least that’s what I told myself).

I was well warned that Brent, who was to be putting me through my paces, is a task master and while he happily lives up to that reputation and seems to love torturing me by continually putting split squats into my program, being pushed to improve week in, week out made a real difference.  But it wasn’t all about blood, sweat and tears. Brent listened to my concerns and amended my program accordingly (although I could never convince him to get rid of those dreaded squats). With a weekly one-to-one session with Brent combined with my own individual sessions and no small amount of encouragement from Brent as well as Wendy and Gary, I actually started to look forward to getting to the gym.

Since completing the Champions Scheme I have continued to work with Brent and the Skye Fitness team and started a Body Combat class after being helped along by Wendy and Skye member Kelly Jones to at least give it a go. For anyone who sweats the small stuff and stresses like I do, then this is the class for you!  But the best news is that simply going to the gym really is making a difference. My fibromyalgia is no longer the dictator it once was while those inches are slowly coming off and my motivation, strength and endurance have increased. But more than that, I have my confidence back – well, at least some of it. I no longer need to hold Natalie’s hand walking in through the front door and I’ve even managed a couple of sessions recently without using my iPod to hide away from everyone.

I have made some great new friends and renewed old acquaintances, I feel great and I have a bounce in my step (although the day after the gym it’s more like a John Wayne walk).  That’s not to say my life is all rice cakes and protein shakes – I still enjoy a glass of wine (or two), a slice of cake (or three) and a Chinese (every weekend). But life is certainly a lot better – so huge thanks Natalie, Kelly, Brent, Wendy, Gary, Nikki, Chris and all the team at Skye!

Jewel Hassin

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