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The Biggest Winner - Fitness Industry Success Story

Australian Fitness Network recently received the following email from Cherie Drinkwater, a convert to exercise with an amazing experience to recount. As fitness professionals we frequently encounter personal success stories, but the degree of achievement detailed here by Cherie is a fantastic reminder of why we work in this industry, and of the power we have to transform lives for the better. And at a time when many clients and members are being influenced by the unrealistic ‘weight loss’ achievements of those undertaking rapid body mass transformations on reality TV shows, it is refreshing to hear about the same level of success being achieved in a sustainable and realistic manner, with the guidance and support of a dedicated fitness professional.

“My name is Cherie Drinkwater; I would like to share my weight loss story with you.

I am so passionate about this wonderful journey that I am on, and I would love to share it with you and hope that it will inspire others that are unhappy and unhealthy, as I was before starting this amazing weight loss journey. I started one of the best and hardest life changing journeys of my life just eight short months ago when I entered the doors at Planet Fitness at Lambton, where I met Olivia Meek (National Sales Manager) and the team.

I was feeling at an all time low and my weight was out of control. I was tipping the scales at over 114kg. I was moody, grumpy and sad in myself most of the time, and generally not a very nice person to be around. I did my best to hide how I was feeling from those around me and thought I did a pretty good job. I had been overweight for about six years and I felt like my life was crashing down on me and I had nowhere to go, and I locked myself in from the outside world, as my weight just kept creeping up and up. I was out of control and was in desperate need of help. I had already joined Planet Fitness late in 2010, though I found a lump on my left thigh that turned out to be a spindle cell casanoma, so my fitness journey was cut short.

As my wound started to heal though, I was still desperate to get help. I called Planet Fitness and left a message for Olivia to call me back, as I wanted to get started. I knew that my weight and my fitness were at an all time low and I could not do this on my own. Olivia called me at 5:30am to see if I was up, and to tell me that she was teaching and that she would like me to attend her class. I thought ‘oh no I'm going to need life support to get me through this class.’ I attended the class, and got through it, although I could not breathe easily and my head was like a beetroot. I was disgusted that I had let myself get to this stage.

Olivia called me every morning for the first three months, always with encouraging words, and would always finish with ‘I'm teaching tomorrow and can’t wait to see you in class.’ As the weeks went by, the weight started to come off and I could feel that I was getting stronger, fitter and healthier on a daily basis. I would get beautiful, inspirational comments about my weight loss from the staff and other gym members. Although I knew by my clothes that the weight was coming off, believing in myself has been the hardest part of my weight loss journey.

The training and classes were very hard in the beginning, but as I dropped weight and became fitter and more determined, the exercise became more enjoyable and easier. The variety of classes that Planet Fitness has to offer also keep the sessions exciting, and Olivia and all the exceptional trainers and staff  – each with their own way of getting the job done – keep me constantly motivated and focused (and exhausted!). The classes that Planet Fitness offer have educated me on how to set goals and targets, lose weight and keep it off, and feel better about myself.

This journey has been amazing, Olivia and I have shed many a tear throughout my amazing transformation, though the result is everything that I expected, hoped for and more. I have lost an awesome 43kg in eight months and I can finally say that I am happy with ‘The New Me’. I have made some great friends and this is just the start of my life changing journey. I made the commitment to Olivia and to Planet Fitness that I was going to do this.

It hasn't always been smooth sailing, and through the last six months I have had a few hurdles, health-wise to get over, but I look at the challenges as nature’s way of saying ‘how bad do you want this?’ – and I want it really bad. Bad enough to keep pushing through the barriers. I owed Olivia and Planet Fitness the respect that they have shown me, and most of all, I owed it to my body. You only have one chance at life, and I have wasted six years of being overweight and unhappy; six years that I will never get back, so moving forward, I have my life back. Olivia has saved my life. I owe her and Planet Fitness Lambton the world, and I really wanted to share my story with you all, the story that I am so passionate about.

I would like to thank Planet Fitness Lambton, and Olivia, for giving me the opportunity and the tools to lose the weight and their ongoing support and belief in me to continue my journey and to promote and motivate others that think that they will never be able to lose weight, be happy and healthy. It’s never too late to start: start TODAY as tomorrow never comes”.

Good on you Cherie, we wish you all the very best with your continuing journey.

Have you experienced similar success, either personally or with a client?

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