AN APPOINTMENT WITH LONDON’S FITNESS GURU, THE BODYDOCTOR AT HIS LONDON GYM
His revolutionary workout and nutrition programme promises to double your fitness, slim 5in off your waist and shed 14lb in weight in just six weeks.
After years of ignoring my reflection, I recently stood naked In front of the mirror and had to face the reality that, in the six years since my son’s birth, I’d become shockingly fat and unfit. It was time to take action and find someone who could take on the mammoth task of getting my 36-year-old, size 18-plus frame back into shape. David Marshall, of Bodydoctor Fitness, had glowing recommendations from my friends. His revolutionary programme promises to double your aerobic fitness, slim 5in off your waist and shed 14lb in weight in just six weeks. He’s transformed the bodies of model Sophie Dahl and TV presenter and Dani Behr. The big question was, could he do the same for me?
When I met David at his London gym, he explained his workout and nutrition programme and booked me in for my first sessions. My delaying tactics – I was due to take my son Jed on holiday to Mallorca – didn’t work, as David said I could follow the workout without using his gym, I just had to use his easy-to-follow manual. A quick phone call to Richard Branson’s hotel, La Residencia, which is minutes from where we were staying, and I was kindly promised the use of the gym while on holiday. With 24 hours to go before D-Day, there was only one thing left to do..enjoy a calorie-drenched supper.
Armed with my workout and nutrition book, I go to the La Residencia gym every morning while my friend Cheryl takes the children to the beach. After a few minutes on the Stairmaster, I’m wishing I was there with them, but I grit my teeth and complete the workout, which is, as David promised, easy to follow. By the end of the week I’m smaller, firmer and feeling great.
Back in Britain, David guides me through warm-up, free weights and cardio, and discusses his nutrition plan. For 90 minutes, three times a week, I’m stretched to my limit. But I love it and my friends have started to notice I’m shrinking.
David has a holistic approach to fitness and sends me to nutritionist Gudrun Jonsson, author of Gut Reaction (£5.99 Vermilion). She devises a special diet for me – no wheat, gluten or diary produce – and packs me off home with a bag of dietary supplements.
Gudrun books me in with bodyworker Peta Knaggs for her Wellspring Therapy (transformational bodywork in water). I float in a warm pool of Epsom salts while Peta gently manipulates my body – total bliss. Back at the gym, David takes my fitness and strength to new heights. The first month is over, so out come the scales and tape measure. It’s time for the moment of truth, I’m so happy with the results, I feel like crying. Jane Preston
|Before:||One Month Later:|
|Weight:||13st 6lb||12st 6.5lb|
AN APPOINTMENT WITH THE BODYDOCTOR – MONTH TWO
When I started training with David Marshall of Bodydoctor Fitness, he promised his revolutionary programme would double my aerobic fitness, take five inches off my waist and help me lose a stone in just six weeks.
Amazingly, I hit my target in four weeks. I dropped two dress sizes – to size 14. Hell, I even stopped taking Prozac for the first time in six years. With these staggering results I couldn’t wait to crack on with the next month.
I can only make it to a personal training session once this week but that’s not a problem – I just take the laminated section of the Bodydoctor manual to my local gym and work through the programme myself for the two other sessions. The book is easy to follow, but I miss the encouragement and fun of working with David (who calls himself The Bastard In A Tracksuit) and his trainer Kris (aka The Sadist In the Gym). Put it this way, there’s no slacking when they’re around.
I’ve developed a pathological loathing of the Stairmaster machine – it’s such a killer. But any thoughts of giving up disappear when I meet a man who’s lost five stone, and 14 inches around his waist and a woman who’s dropped from a size 24 to a size 16. They inspire me to grit my teeth and get on with it. The sense of personal achievement I’m getting from training is amazing – the best confidence booster in the world.
I go back to see Gudren Jonnson, David’s nutritionist, who has fine-tuned a diet for me – no wheat, gluten, dairy products and no combining of protein and starch. It’s been a radical change for me, but I feel so great I don’t even consider breaking it. I also indulge myself in a Wellspring therapy session with bodyworker Peta Knaggs, where I float in a warm pool of Epsom salts while Peta gently manipulates my body – a totally de-stressing experience.
I’ve been training very hard, so as a treat I book myself in with Carlos, a physical yoga therapist who comes to the Bodydoctor Fitness gym twice a week. I’ve had massages all over the world but never experienced anything like this. His hands are magical and he even hangs from a rope and massages you with his feet. There’s only one world – fantastic. I’m loving every minute of training. It’s hard work and I’m pushed to the limit, but the effects are incredible – I barely recognise myself. The moment of truth comes when David gets out the scales and tape measure. I’m speechless when I discover just how many inches I’ve lost – again. What a result, I daren’t hope what my third month on the programme might bring. A size 12 body, perhaps?
|Before:||Two Months Later:|
|Weight:||13st 6lb||11st 8.5lb|
Busting a Gut
|Before:||Three Months Later:|
|Weight:||13st 6lb||11st 4lb|
|Fat (Using Callipers):|
Desperate to deal with her expanding body before it spread beyond the sofa, Jane Preston decided to shape up her act with a three-month challenge. Here, she reveals how the pain turned to gain with astonishing results.
I knew I had to do something about my weight the day I bumped into an old friend I hadn’t seen for years, who shrieked; “You’re pregnant! Congratulations! When’s the baby due?” After confessing I wasn’t pregnant any more (my son Jed is now six), and that I’d just become, well, embarrassingly fat, I skulked off home and took to my bed.
Lying huddled under the duvet, depressed and filled with self-loathing about my 36 year old, size 16+ jelly belly, I realised I’d just experienced one of those humiliating events in life that offer you an ultimatum. I knew I had two options: carry on the way I was going and end up seriously obese, or seize the moment and do something about it.
Anyone who has been following my progress in Marie Clare over the past two months will know that I chose the latter. I put myself in the hands of personal trainer David Marshall, from Bodydoctor Fitness, who has used his revolutionary fitness programme to transform my body.
David has an A-list clientele that includes film stars, pop stars and Premiership footballers. Under his tuition, I have now lost well over two stone in weight and an astonishing 10in off my waist, and my fitness levels have gone through the roof. For the first time in years I feel good about my body and myself – in fact, it’s amazing just how much my confidence has soared in tandem with the inch loss. I feel like a completely different person to the one I was when I started training.
Back then, my self-esteem was at an all time low. The only exercise I did was heaving myself off my sofa, walking to my car (parked outside my house) and driving to the shops just two minutes around the corner to buy food to eat in front of the telly.
I’ll never forget the first training session, when David insisted that I would drop at least two dress sizes, as long as I followed his programme meticulously. I would be more likely to see pigs (or indeed me!) fly, but desperate for the results he was offering, I agreed to be the model pupil. For 90 minutes, three times a week, David and his team of trainers would take me through the specially devised sequence of exercises that is supposed to work with your body, not against it, until I reached muscle exhaustion (the point where you couldn’t move your muscles even if your life depended on it). I would start each session with a warm up on the Stairmaster and the rowing machine before using machines and free weights to work my upper body. I’d never used a dumb bell in my life and could barely lift one the first time I worked out, but in a matter of weeks I was using a 7kg weight in each hand to work my arms. Next I squatted and lunged while holding weights, it made me look like a crouching Sumo wrestler, but definitely did the trick-I was using, and feeling, muscles in my backside that had lain dormant for about a decade.
The Ab-Flow routine, a series of stomach exercises, worked every single muscle in and around my fast shrinking gut. At my first session, I could barley manage ten sit-ups, but by the end of the second month I was close to 100. It was then that I saw a shocking sight. As I undressed to shower, I spotted one of my ribs, something I hadn’t seen since I was a teenager. I was so excited I almost cried.
I never really believed people who said exercising increased your energy level, I mean, how can you possible feel full of energy when you’ve just spent 90 minutes working your butt off? But it really does give you the most incredible boost. After each session I had a spring in my step and felt mentally able to take on the world.
My increased level of fitness had transformed my life. I will now voluntarily walk to the shops and I bound up the stairs instead of trudging up, puffing and panting. The permanent tiredness and lethargy that used to plague my life had vanished and I now sleep like a baby at night.
My only concern was what my measurements would be at the end of the first month. Even though I knew I’d lost a lot of weight, I was more nervous about the results than when I took my driving test. When David weighed and measured me and gave me the news that I’d lost nearly 5in off my waist in just four weeks, I was so overwhelmed I burst into tears. The first thing I did when I got home was call my friends and tell them the news. They were all thrilled for me with the exception of one ‘friend’ who was incredibly bitchy because, I think, she prefers me to be the ‘fat mate’ who isn’t competition. To be honest, her reaction upset me somewhat, but I cheered up when I tried on a skirt I’d worn constantly throughout the summer only to discover that it fell straight down onto the floor.
I decided to wait another month before treating myself to a new one. When the time came and I went out shopping, I nearly fainted when I got into a size 12 – three sizes smaller than I’d been just eight weeks earlier.
Then some friends from New York, who I hadn’t seen since I started the programme, arrived for a visit and were completely amazed at the dramatic change in my dimensions. Not wanting to wait for David to open his gym in Manhattan, they have both accessed the Bodydoctor Fitness programme on the Internet, sent off for his work out manual and are rapidly losing inches.
Of course, there’s no point working your socks off if you go home and consume 3,000 calories. David recommended I follow the full nutrition programme he’s devised in his workout manual. He also sent me to se Gudrun Jonsson, nutritionist to the stars and author of the book ‘Gut Reaction’ (£5.99, Vermilion). She fine-tuned the diet to meet my personal requirements and gave me a bag of homeopathic and dietary supplements to complement my new eating plan.
For me, a food addict, changing my diet was scary; I used not to think twice about scoffing a tin of condensed milk followed by crisps, biscuits and chocolate while watching Eastenders – and this than an hour after eating a good supper. But I was determined to make a go of this programme. For the first time in my life, I was proud of the contents of my shopping trolley at Sainsbury’s, laden high with organic fruit, vegetables, fish, brown rice and salad. My daily menu would usually start with porridge and stewed fruit for breakfast, then I’d have a protein meal for lunch that would consist of some grilled fish, salad and vegetables, with fruit for pudding, and for supper I would eat brown rice with vegetables and salad, with more fruit for pudding.
Of course I did miss bread, dairy products, sugar and coffee, and there were times when I craved a creamy pasta dish with a healthy topping of parmesan more than anything in the world, but I felt so vital and alive that I didn’t want to slip back into my old, unhealthy ways. Dining out was less than a problem than I’d imagined – you can nearly always find something on a menu that is dairy-, wheat-, and gluten-free. And since self-denial was never my forte, I always tucked into the red wine, which David said was my consolation for having to forgo pudding.
I’d always thought that to maintain a diet and exercise regime, you had to work at it, as though it were a full-time job. As a single mother, my life is always very fraught and busy, but I’ve found it easy to incorporate David’s programme into the stresses and strains of everyday life – even with moving home.
I knew the third month would be the most difficult. I couldn’t make it to see David for two weeks, but I was determined to keep up the programme because it was making me feel so great. In fact with all the stresses and strains of house selling, I think the exercise kept me sane. It was harder keeping to such a strict food regime because I was less organised about shopping. But I kept up the training and decamped with David’s laminated workout manual to my local gym, where I worked through the programme by myself.
It was easy to follow the manual and I got exactly the same results that I would have if I had worked out with David. Each exercise is fully explained and illustrated, showing you what to do and – most importantly – what not to do, so the risk of personal interpretation of the exercise is removed, together with the risk of injury.
Having finally moved house I went back to David’s gym. I developed a pathological loathing of the Stairmaster but really got into boxing. I loved the physicality of throwing punches, especially when David said I hit like a bloke – very empowering.
My three months were up and for the last time I was measured.
The change in my body has been dramatic. My arms have shape and definition and have stopped splaying against my sides like thighs. My stomach is getting flatter and stronger by the day. My bottom is more firm and pert and my legs are now almost OK. For the first time in years, my complexion is glowing and I’m completely spot free, my hair looks thick and shiny, and I’ve stopped having PMT and difficult periods.
David has now put me on his Lightening Cleanse Herbal Juice Therapy, a ten-day detox. Even though my time is up, I’m not stopping. I’m determined to be that elusive size 10, and I know I can do it. I’m just so happy that I now have the knowledge and means to be in control of my body, it’s one of the best things that has ever happened to me.
For the Bodydoctor Fitness six-week course twenty sessions at £75 each, call David Marshall on 020 7235 2211, or access www.bodydoctor.com. To order a Bodydoctor workout manual for the special price of £40 inc. p&p (normally £45), send a cheque payable to Bodydoctor Fitness Ltd, with your name, address, telephone number and bank sort code printed on a separate sheet, to: PO Box 20641, London NW6 4ZA. One reader’s name will be picked out a hat to win a free twenty-session course with the Bodydoctor.