2 years before I started training with Claire I knew I could do more exercise wise but the usual life excuses and a lack of real care meant I never did anything about it. During those years I stopped going to the gym, stopped going to Pilates and I didn’t feel bad, but was complacent and unfocussed. So what that I now have to buy size 16 jeans instead of a 14? A 16 isn’t so bad and I don’t look huge.
At the start of 2015 I was determined to start exercising again. I just didn’t. My brother’s wedding was that summer and it seemed a good goal. January and February passed. Still time right? March, April. Less time but still time. By the time I got to May I decided it was too late to bother trying and I didn’t look that bad did I? The wedding came and went, I moved house, and by September/October I was a bit bored of the mirror. But worse, I was lethargic and felt unfit.

It was the end of November however before I finally plucked up the courage to message Clare and ask if she had any space for training. “Of course! How often?” came the cheery reply. Knowing my utter lack of motivation and knowing it had taken me 2 years to even bother asking about exercise I said ‘well why not start with 3 times a week while I get going, then I can drop down to 2 once I’m in the routine’. I started 2 weeks before Christmas 2015 much to everyone’s hilarity.. “most people start in January Bethan, why not wait?”. But having taken nearly a year to find the motivation to even think about doing it I decided to go for it straight away.


It’s now 2 years later. I still go 3 times a week. I have added in 2 classes. And I’m a size 10 (or in some magical shops an 8. They can get a gold star for their sizing strategies). 

If you told me 2 years ago I would have the energy to do a 1hr PT session with Clare and then a 1hr spin class immediately after I would have said you were mad. If you told me 2 years ago I would be a size 10… If you’d told me that 10 or 15 years ago even… I’d have told you that you were mad. I’m a 14 with an occasionally ‘size 16 for comfort’ attitude I’d have said. Always have been. If you said I’d have an argument with the woman in the bra shop about how a size 28 back was plain stupid and don’t be ridiculous I would have laughed. I’d have agreed it was ridiculous and if you suggested that would be me I would have laughed. Nevertheless, here I am. All that is true. And it has cost me a small fortune in new clothes, bras and shoes (no one ever tells you your feet will shrink do they?!) But I am fitter than I have ever been, smaller than I’ve ever been, and more comfortable in myself than I have ever been in my whole life. Plus you can get some money back selling your old ones on eBay…’no longer fits’ is actually a nice description to write when it’s because you’re smaller!

When I went for my first session Clare asked me what I wanted to get out of it all. Simple… I wanted to be fitter. No size or weight goals. Just fitter. I think that helped really, as from day 1 my only goal was to feel fit and healthy. In spite of all my size changes, and while they’re great and all, being fit and healthy is still my only goal. I don’t go crazy for bird food diets. I pretty much eat what I ate before. I still have chocolate every day, I just want less (ask the spin girls what they think about my ‘2 minstrels a day’ technique!) And it probably helped that I didn’t eat badly before (have always cooked from scratch) But I wasn’t conscious of what I was eating. The time spent with Clare during PT sessions allowed us time to chat about food too, and I guess I am more conscious of it now. But I still follow a ‘nothing is off the table’ mentality and it’s really my subconscious has been redrawn. If I want a cake I’ll have one. Difference is, now I only want 1 and not 3. And I don’t want them every day. I genuinely eat what I want to eat, it’s just that as I’ve got fitter and healthier, what I want to eat has changed.

2 years ago I would not have thought I’d still be going 3 times a week. But there isn’t a part of me that would want to change that. And that’s all down to Clare. Her gentle encouragement from day 1…combined with a determination on your behalf that you can do things that a sane person would think we’re absurd, and an encouragement that stops you from giving up and drives you to succeed against the odds. That’s what you’re getting. On top of that, I can hand on heart say that in 3 sessions a week for 2 years now I have never done the same session twice. The amount of work that goes in to the planning of each session by Clare beggars belief sometimes, and the ability to vary each session is staggering. Although I will say that, 2 years in, I’ve got quite good at reading the twinkle in her eye and knowing that means I’m in for a rough ride! I now warn her if I have to wear heels the day or 2 after a session… It’s tough and she’ll push you. And you may not always be able to get out of chairs/ bend your arms / laugh / walk properly / all of the above afterwards. But if you stick with it you’ll be glad you did.
Clare has a downright crazy body and a steely determination in her own goals and exercise regimen. But she knows that’s not what most of us aspire to. And that most of us just want to feel good about ourselves and healthy. There have been no ‘Hey! Why don’t you do a bodybuilding comp and wear a tiny glittery bikini’ moments (altho if you wanted to I’m sure she could get you there!) Clare is just someone who will support you in your fitness journey and tailor it to what you want from it. 

I couldn’t have achieved anything that i have without her support and encouragement. And while I still stand by the ‘honestly, I lost this weight by accident’ argument when anyone asks, the truth is I lost this weight and maintained the loss, and more important I feel this healthy, because of Clare’s plan, dedication and work ethic, combined with her patience, innovation and love of her work that goes right down to the level where she feels and wants every achievement with you and for you. It extends far beyond just the hours you physically spend with her.

Reaching out to Clare 2 years ago was the best choice I ever made for myself. Because I chose myself I prioritised myself for those few hours a week. And I happened across a wonderful person who supported and encouraged me to keep going. Because of Clare that’s why I still go 3 times a week and have achieved what I have. I don’t think anyone else could do that or make me keep doing that. I just wish I had chosen myself and chosen Clare earlier. But I’m damn glad I did in the end.

If you are like I was 2 years ago and in a health rut, frazzled, not that happy with what looks back at you in the mirror then I promise you… Contacting Clare will change your life for the better. Don’t delay making that decision to reach out like I did. Just go for it. You’ll find on the other side a woman who will join you on and shape your journey, and who will design all the systems and support you need when you are lacking in the ability to push yourself alone. I couldn’t ask for more