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The Achiever Series – Gary Soul’s Journey to a Healthier Lifestyle with Achieve Lifestyle

This month on the Achiever Series, we caught up with one of our Get Active members, Gary Soul. Gary joined Achieve Lifestyle just over 8 months ago following a referral from his doctor.

He was told that poor levels of physical activity and a mismanaged diet were the root cause of pre-diabetes (type 2). His GP recommended regular exercise and a controlled diet as soon as possible …

“I’ve been given a chance to redeem myself and get it sorted out!”

… Gary shared with a smile and a chuckle

When Gary started his fitness journey, his readings were at the high end of the pre-diabetes scale with a score of 47, a score of 48 would have classified him as having type 2 diabetes, where even more drastic measures would need to be taken.

The potential extreme complications of this diagnosis, including vision issues and amputations, frightened him.

He knew he had to make a change.

Gary was referred to Achieve Lifestyle and met with Erica Watson to create a plan for sessions in the gym and across a number of classes. The routine that Erica, Helen, Mo and the team at Achieve Lifestyle gave him was instrumental in encouraging him to make a change to his lifestyle.

The principal thing that Gary enjoyed about the classes was the motivation he received from the instructors. He feels spurred on by others and praised the instructors for their support.

“ Before coming here I was stuck in a vicious circle of too many drinks, and a lack of physical activity”.

Since coming to Egham Orbit, Gary has lost 12 kilograms and lowered his diabetes reading from 47 to 42! He continues to strive towards even lower readings and has made significant changes to his diet and nutrition.

Gary comes to the gym most days, either for the gym or for classes.

His success in the gym has had a profound impact on his mindset outside of the gym as well. He’s retired now but is involved in a few different projects. He credits his time at Egham Orbit for improving his ability to concentrate for longer periods.

Gary’s favourite thing about the classes is the sense of community that he has developed with other members. Classes are timed, and he knows who he will be working out with each time he attends. Additionally, the staff and instructors are incredibly friendly and make the activities and classes enjoyable.

“I’m a very goal-orientated person, I’ve set myself a goal of running 3K on June 3rd to support cancer research”.

To achieve his goals outside the gym, he’s working with his wife, who is a head chef, to reduce sugar, salt, and portion sizes in his diet. He’s also stopped drinking alcohol and soda drinks.

Gary advises others in his position to change their lifestyle if they’re tired, thirsty, or always hungry. He’s done his research … a study in the United States showed that 84% of pre-diabetic people don’t know they have it!

“Go and get yourself a blood test, it’s so important to understand what’s going on with your body, it can be a real eye-opener”.

Gary’s journey towards health and fitness is ongoing. He’s still working hard at home and in the gym. His upcoming 3k run is an excellent example of how sustainability and the psychological reward of completing a goal are more important than the effort it takes to achieve it.

Achieve Lifestyle and Egham Orbit have provided Gary with the support and resources he needed to take control of his health and fitness. We encourage readers to follow Gary’s example and take steps towards their own health and fitness goals.

Gary summarised his time with Achieve Lifestyle …

“Egham Orbit is a great gym with many facilities, and it feels like a private club. The instructors and staff are friendly, making the activities and classes fun and so motivating. The small village atmosphere makes it a great place to come.”

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