Sonia's Active Lifestyle Overpowers Her Asthma!

Now, I realised actually I have the stamina, I am not winded any more so, I think that’s my proudest moment like not being dependent on my medication.

Sonia’s Transformation Journey
"Now, I realised actually I have the stamina, I am not winded any more so, I think that’s my proudest moment like not being dependent on my medication."

Read Sonia’s Transformation Journey

What is your name, age and profession?

Hi, I am Sonia, I am 41 years old and I am an in-house legal counsel.

What made you sign up with TSquared Lab?

I was quite unhappy with the way I looked, I felt very sluggish. I had some health problems, I had to rely on asthma medications to get through my daily life and while I did workout on my own, I realised that I needed professional help. I wasn’t getting anywhere on my own steam, I needed guidance and so I looked at TSquared Lab.

What were the main challenges or struggles you had with regards to your health and or your fitness before starting at TSquared Lab Program?

Before starting with TSquared Lab, I found myself hindered in my ability to lead an active lifestyle. My husband is very active, I have young children, I couldn’t keep up with them so, I needed to work on my fitness in a safe and a sustainable manner and I felt, my own personal education on nutrition and fitness was just not up the scratch and I could not do it on my own.

Trainer Renee keeps Sonia motivated during the workouts
“She is very bubbly, she keeps me motivated during the workouts. I never feel like I am close to failure.”

When you first came here, how did your coach Renee motivate you to start?

I think, the motivation came from setting our goals right. So, we were very clear with what we wanted to achieve, what was the physique I wanted to end up with and also what were my pain points like you know I have slightly weak back, I wanted to strengthen it, I have got some physiological quirks and with her physio background, she helped me with my form and so we had a very clear road map of how we are going to achieve this over time and that motivated me because I felt it was sustainable and I could be held accountable at every milestone.

How much weight and body fat have you lost and what is the best takeaway from TSquared Lab?

I have lost 15 kilos and 14% body fat. It's like a whole child.

What is your proudest achievement so far?

Sonia: I think it was when I realised, I could not wear any of my clothes any more but more than that it was when I realised, I did not need some of my asthma medications throughout the day to cope. So, I used to have to use my inhaler before my workout, and now I realised actually I have the stamina. I am not winded any more so, I think that’s my proudest moment, like not being dependent on my medication.

Renee: For me, when she was doing an uphill run before, she needed her inhaler or always she needed some rest midway, before going uphill. Now, she can run there without rest, without medication. Plus, she has moved from size XL to size M every month she reports to me on this. She keeps buying new clothes.

Sonia: She keeps seeing me in new clothes every month, I have to revamp my wardrobe.

Sonia’s very serious asthma is under control, she believes her active lifestyle at TSquared Lab helped her in it
"I have very serious asthma, but yeah it's under control, and I think the fact that I have got fitter here, lost weight here, that has played a major role in it."

How are the workouts at TSquared Lab?

Sonia: I like that there is a program, I know what I am going to do, I know what is happening in this one hour and I am trained to where it's just enough to push me, each time I come. It's never stagnant, we are always trying to push harder, trying to get to our goals on time and that’s what I enjoy about the workouts and yeah, you can hear Renee go like, yeah you can do it, one more, two more and I thought that was the last one, but you know I trust her and she trusts me and that’s why we get there.

Renee: Well, I have this technique for my clients, where I ask them, how are you today and how was your sleep? If they say, oh I am stressed, or they did not sleep much, I ensure that the intensity is not that high so they are still going to enjoy the program without stressing, like training her is a burden but this is one simple question but very effective. With her as well as she works a busy schedule.

Sonia: Yeah, I don’t dread my workouts, I don’t feel like I am going to leave completely smashed, but I leave like I have done my best today.

Renee: That’s what I like about her, when I say you can do more, no questions, she is going to push it, because I know she can do it.

How was it like, making changes to your lifestyle, training, nutrition and how easy was it to follow?

Making changes to my lifestyle was not easy but with the guidance, support and mindset shift I think it was manageable. I did not approach the lifestyle and nutrition changes from the view point of oh, I am restricted of eating this or that, it was more from the mindset of you know, this is what I need to do, to be able to achieve what I want and I am educating myself on what my body needs and what’s best for it. So, after that mindset shifted, then I was more intentional with what I was using to fuel myself and then it made it quite easier to mentally, get past it and then you fall into a habit that is sustainable in the long term. Whenever I have some questions, I ask Renee, sometimes it's hard, for example festivals or birthdays, so I discuss it with her as to how we are going to get through certain periods and then we manage to work it out and still meet my nutritional goals.

How long before you started seeing some changes in your body?

I think once I got my diet on track and started working out, I actually started seeing results within 3-4 weeks, my clothes were starting to get loose, weight on the scale was dropping, so once we got past a certain point of the weight loss, I felt I could see I was getting stronger and that kept me going because it is addictive to feel strong.

Making changes to my lifestyle was not easy but with the guidance, support and mindset shift I think it was manageable
“Making changes to my lifestyle was not easy but with the guidance, support, and mindset shift I think it was manageable.”

How was the program designed?

Renee: So for her transformation, I used phases, so for the first phase we do the conditioning and strengthening and then when she is ready for next goal we will go to the next phase which is increasing muscle and decrease the fat, that is going to be more faster, if she is going to combine it with food and deficit and for the diet I try to give her, challenging calories deficit, and from that every week I will ask her, do you feel hungry with this? and then I will add, so I ask her to do the difficult first until we meet up with, which she can do the diet on the certain calories.

Sonia: Yeah, and I think once I hit a certain level of conditioning, we realised I no longer need my medication that much, then we could go harder on the strength training.

Renee: Yeah, because my precaution is her asthma, so I always ask her to carry her inhaler because if she shares the history of asthma she was almost on like a life support right?

Sonia: I have very serious asthma, but yeah it's under control, and I think the fact that I have got fitter here, lost weight here, that has played a major role in it.

Renee: So, we monitor the training on the basis of her endurance, so I monitor the heart rate, her Vo2 Max because I have a background client like this with asthma because I am also a physiotherapist so my program and intensity is based on her data of that, we progress to workout in a way that she would not trigger anything or could harm her more.

How many steps are you able to walk on a daily basis?

Renee: She can easily do 15k steps. You are enjoying it right?

Sonia: Yes, you have to deliberately schedule it to do your homework but yeah that’s what you have got to do. 15k steps is about 11kms so you have to break it down during the day, for example you can do 5k steps in the morning, walk throughout the day and cover the rest of it in the evening as necessary.

Renee: So, what we do is, we build a habit first. I know she is accountable, so I give her an exercise which is more on improving or creating a normal habit, so we try to find sometime when she can do the walking either morning or evening, because some clients are busy and for her it works in the morning so we are able to do clock steps 1 hour and then workout also in the morning, so by the end of the day, she will not rush killing the 15k steps that I am requesting her to have.

Sonia: Like she said, I got into the habit of it and then along the way, my family got a dog so that is what I do now, I take the dog out in the morning, I take him out in the evening and like I don’t even think about it anymore because it has become a habit. I just check it every other day and I feel like, oh, I have done 13,14, 15 thousand steps and I don’t even have to deliberate about it anymore.

Renee: Yes, that’s the beauty of it.she does not feel that 15k steps is a burden. It’s become a habit, plus she has more time for her family.

Sonia: Correct, so you incorporate habits into your lifestyle and it becomes second nature. I think once you get used to an active lifestyle, it’s just what you continue doing.

She keeps seeing me in new clothes every month, I have to revamp my wardrobe.
"She keeps seeing me in new clothes every month, I have to revamp my wardrobe."

Did you feel any knee pain or aches here and there while walking?

Sonia: Well, invest in your gear, get good shoes.

Renee: Yes, that’s what I asked her to do. So, before I asked her to do 15k steps we started with 7-10k steps, so we check first the endurance, if she have any shortness of breath, we check if there is knee pain, we check if there is anything that will bother her, then we will not progress, so we do count the steps also as a progress. So, this is only a small factor of the transformation. It is like another assignment for her but we still got the progress.

Sonia: Yes, so it is progressive and sustainable and I think also the power of the overall program is that it’s a lifestyle change as well. So, it doesn't end with you coming to the gym and following a diet for a certain period of time. Renee has taught me how to incorporate activity into my life outside of the gym as well and we just do that slowly so that I get to a certain level without injuring myself and when I am confident I can continue keeping up.

Renee: She is very keen on sending videos if she is doing it right. So, it is easy for me to communicate for me, before we start the session and give her feedback like this is the proper one, okay you can correct this way. So, it’s good for us to have those communications because I teach her how to have a good form.

How would you describe your relationship with each other?

Sonia: Oh, we get along, it is quite easy to chit chat with her. I don’t think I need to hold back on anything so it’s very comfortable.

Renee: Actually, I am more comfortable with Sonia because she is very open. You know that the client wants to transform because she asks a lot of questions and that’s what I want and she is like that. She asks everything about nutrition, medication, even if she got an injury or training exercises so I want to answer those questions, because the client wants to transform and it is easier for us to build relationship in which we are exchanging ideas, teaching each other but not in a hard way like punishing her, it’s just based on her lifestyle.

Sonia: Yes, we are open and transparent and it just makes it easier for us to work towards our goals. Like, I am open about my schedule with her, for example if I am having a big dinner, she knows and she incorporates that into the program accordingly. We are collaborative and working together on this program. With the collaborative mindset we don’t face any problem.

She (coach Renee) has held me accountable but I think Renee is open, she is very transparent
"I have always felt welcomed here, the gym looks great, everyone here is friendly, everything feels accessible and I am never afraid of doing anything wrong here."

How has your coach helped you along the journey?

She has held me accountable but I think Renee is open, she is very transparent, I don’t have to hide the days I cheat on my diet a bit. So, we have a good two way relationship and she is always here when I have questions so I think, the support has helped me through combined with the guidance of course. I have no complaints whatsoever. She is very bubbly, she keeps me motivated during the workouts. I never feel like I am close to failure.

What is your best impression of Renee?

She always bounces into the training, like Hi Sonia, how are you doing? she is lively, sometimes you are coming for like a 7 am session and she is bright and ready to go and you are like okay, I got to step out immediate energy, so that is the impression she gives and it really helps.

Any words for TSquared Lab and the staff around?

TSquared Lab is great. I have always felt welcomed here, the gym looks great, everyone here is friendly, everything feels accessible and I am never afraid of doing anything wrong here. I don’t feel judged. I think the trainers, even though they are with their clients, they are not strangers as you go through your workouts so it is a very homely and very welcoming place.

What would you tell someone who is unsure of joining TSquared Lab?

I think if you are ready to make changes in your life and you want to commit to something, you need to start, you need to take that first step but you also need the right first step and so if you stuck in a rut where you have false starts, you need to seek professional advice and one of the best places to do that is with a gym like TSquared Lab where you get all the support and all the guidance and they will see you through your goals.

Any final words for your coach?

Thank you, I think she is great, she is amazing, I would just tell her to keep doing what she is doing.

KEY TO Sonia’S SUCCESS

1. Sonia set a clear goal with her trainer before starting the program:

Sonia was clear that she wanted to get fitter, stronger and lose weight because of which she wanted to get trained under a professional. Before starting the program, Sonia ensured that she and her coach Renee have a structured plan to be able to achieve her goals in a safe and a sustainable way.

2. Sonia was aware of the challenges:

Sonia had severe asthma so she was well aware of the challenges related to her health, before starting the training program and with the right guidance and training she noticed the difference in her body and strength and her asthma also went in control.

3. Sonia had support from her Personal Trainer:

Sonia considered her coach Renee like a friend and with her support and guidance she could achieve her desired results. Renee designed the program in such a way that Sonia could do the exercises in the correct form and in a safe manner and she was able to notice the changes within the first month of her transformation journey itself.

4. Sonia was happy with the results:

With the noticeable changes in Sonia’s strength and health Renee made changes in her workouts to provide more diversity in the program, and Sonia was able to lose 15 kgs of weight with the right guidance and training.

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