Health & Fitness Blog

This Is Barry When He First Started… Look How Much He Has Improved!

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This time 6 months ago Barry had just started working with me at boot camp.

That’s a pic of him at his second session…


He was 18st 8lbs. With a 45 inch waist!

Here’s some pictures of his assessment sheets from when he first started…



Before he joined Boot Camp…


He felt sick at the thought of joining. He was worried that he would turn up on the first day and “everyone would be really fit and in peak condition and he would look like a fat pudding!”

^^^ those were his words^^^

  • He was fed up of feeling bloated.
  • Fed up of his belly hanging over his jeans.
  • Uncomfortable in t-shirts because of his moobs.
  • Tired and lethargic all of the time.
  • Out of breath every time he ran up the stairs.


He was sick of feeling that way!


He used to be a rugby player. Fit. Athletic. In shape.

And he wanted to get back to being fit and energetic again.

So, he grew a set of balls and decided to join the group.


What he realised after his first session…


“My perception of boot camp was totally wrong. There was a mix of people at different stages of fitness. Everyone was really welcoming and that put me at ease and I was able to enjoy it”



Fast forward 6 months and just look at the transformation!!!


img_1082This ‘after’ pic was taken a few months ago so he’s actually made even more progress. (I’ll hound him for another photo and post it soon.)

If you look at his assessment sheets you will see he has lost a total of 2.5 stone and 4 inches off his waist.

As a result of the weight loss, he has had to buy a whole new wardrobe!

Another good thing that came out of joining boot camp…

A massive rise in energy levels and motivation.

On top of 2 boot camp sessions, he’s now running on his own 3 times a week. When he first started he couldn’t even run around the car park!

The lighter, fitter, more confident Barry has even tried to copy my style, as you can see form our boot camp night out picture (last week)… I think I rock the denim better 😂 Next time we will have to discuss our outfits Baz 😉

If YOU fancy turning your life around like Barry, then you’re in luck… 🍀

I’ve got 8 spaces open for my ‘FIT FOR SUMMER’ Boot Camp.

It’s a 90 day programme designed to get you in shape in the build up to summer.


It’s perfect for you if:

  • You live in or near Seaham
  • You want to feel more confident in your clothes this summer
  • You struggle to stay motivated on your own at the gym

  • Need to get rid of your beer belly

  • Want to learn about the right things to eat



Don’t procrastinate, just click this link for all of the info and to apply for a place.

Everyone is welcome! It doesn’t matter how fit/unfit you are. Just come along and get started.




10-a-day! You having a laugh?

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Fruit and veg is a hot topic in the health and fitness world at the moment.

A study came out earlier this year stating that we should increase our intake from 5 portions a day to 10-a-day!

Five portions of fruit and veg a day is good for you, but 10 is much better and could prevent up to 7.8 million premature deaths worldwide every year, say scientists.

Eating up to 800g of fruit and vegetables – equivalent to 10 portions and double the recommended amount in the UK – was associated with a 24% reduced risk of heart disease, a 33% reduced risk of stroke, a 28% reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, a 13% reduced risk of total cancer, and a 31% reduction in premature deaths.

From my experience, a lot of people struggle to even get 5-a-day never mind 10, so I thought I’d share some tips on how to increase your fruit and veg intake without feeling like you’re going to turn into a cucumber.

Before we get to the tips, let’s have a look at what 10-a-day, or 800g of fruit and veg looks like…

2 kiwi fruit

1 apple

1 pear

½ grapefruit

8 cauliflower florets

1 orange juice

3 tablespoons of peas

2 broccoli spears

1 tomato

1 banana

Looking at that list, it may look like a lot, but there are some easy ways of increasing your intake…



Always keep your fruit bowl well stocked and when you’re feeling peckish grab a piece of fruit for a snack.



Soups are easy to make and they keep quite well (you can freeze most of them). They are convenient to take in a container or a flask for your lunch. Here’s a simple but really tasty Tomato & Chilli Soup recipe….

tomato soup


Serves 4.
12 large vine tomatoes
2 red onions
2 red chillis
Fresh basil roughly chopped
Extra virgin olive oil


Half the tomatoes. Cut onion into segments. Chop the chilli and remove the seeds. Place all onto a baking tray and drizzle with a little olive oil. Roast the veg in the oven (200 degrees) for 30 minutes.

Remove the roast veg and place it in a blender along with the basil. Blend until it reaches a smooth consistency.



cucumber smoothieYou can pack lots of fruits and vegetables into a smoothie. Have one at breakfast time to get an instant boost of vitamins. Try this refreshing Melon, Cucumber and Lime Smoothie.

Take 1/4 honeydew melon, remove the seeds then cut the flesh away and chop into chunks. Cut half a cucumber into pieces. Put all into the blender with the zest of the lime (grated) and squeeze in the lime juice. Blend until smooth.



When you have pieces of fruit in the house that are starting to turn, chop them all up in to pieces and toss them together in a bowl. Fruit salads make great snacks and desserts. You could add a spoonful of natural yoghurt and a drizzle of honey too.



Try going lighter on the eggs and heavy on the vegetables. To add nutrients and mass to your omelettes, toss in steamed or lightly sautéed veggies like spinach, broccoli, tomatoes, peppers, mushrooms, olives, onions, and garlic for a delicious breakfast.


How to STOP Comfort Eating

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How To Avoid Comfort Eating…

Last week I had a phone call from one of my boot camp members seeking some advice.

Paul explained that he was finding it hard to stay motivated over the last couple of weeks and that he had hit a plateau with his weight loss.

It all stemmed from a cold that he picked up a few weeks ago. It meant he couldn’t workout at full intensity. He actually missed a couple of workouts because he didn’t want to make it any worse.

Previous to this, Paul was absolutely flying. He’d lost over a stone in weight and a load of inches, but because of this little set back his weight loss slowed down a little, and he felt as though he was letting himself down.

He felt sorry for himself, and his natural reaction was to raid the fridge for comfort food.

We’ve all been there…

You know, when you’ve had a bad day at work and all you want to do is go home, order a takeaway and drink a bottle of wine to relax and make yourself feel better.

The danger is if this ‘comfort eating’ spirals out of control. When a comfort meal turns into a full days binge eating, then that continues into the next day, then before you know it you’ve been off the rails for a full week, it can be very hard to get back on track.

So, how can you avoid comfort eating?


  1. Realise that you’re never in full control.

    Fitness is just like many things in life… Sometimes outside factors turn up unexpectedly and knock us off track.

    At some point, you’re going to come up against road blocks in your journey. Things like injuries and illnesses crop up that are out of our control.

    However, the road blocks are normally temporary and will disappear very quickly.

    So when they do present themselves make sure you stay strong mentally, work hard and before you know it you will be back in full control.

  2. Avoid having comfort food in the house.

    This one is simple. Clear your cupboards of all comfort foods. Things that are high in sugar like chocolate, biscuits, ice cream, bread and alcohol need to go because they are the things that you will reach for first.

    If they aren’t in the house you’re less likely to go off the rails.

  3. Workout.

    If you find yourself comfort eating, it’s because it makes you feel good for a few minutes while you’re eating it.

    But exercise does exactly the same thing. When you exercise your body releases feel good hormones called endorphins.

    It doesn’t have to take long, just a quick twenty-minute workout is all that it takes. Try my 7 Minute Leg Workout below.

    Trust me, it will make you feel better. Have you ever regretted doing a workout? I bet you haven’t, because you always feel good once it’s done.

Stress Eating

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A lot of people suffer or have suffered from stress. It can be caused by a lot of things, like moving house, financial obligations, getting married, family, being unhappy in your job, having a heavy work load.

Whatever the dilemma, the human reaction is to comfort yourself to make yourself feel better.

You know, when you feel like you have no option but to burry your head in a big bag of crisps and finish off a tub of ben and jerrys in one siting? Or when you visit the kitchen for, well… whatever’s there.

Here’s why food is your go-to for stress — and how to stop the cycle.

This Is Why You Turn to Food When You’re Stressed


When you’re stressed your body releases cortisol, which increases your appetite. Your appetite is ramped up even more if you’re anxiety is causing you to lose out on sleep too.

Unfortunately, that anxiety-induced hunger can have long-term consequences for your waistline.

When you’re under stress, you often feel out of control and overwhelmed — and that can affect your eating habits, So it’s no surprise that you go after junk food like a hungry lion, rather than keeping up your normally healthy habits. You’re worried about the past or the future — not what you’re eating in the present.

Stress also contributes towards lack of focus. That’s why getting stuck into a family size chocolate bar always feels easier than actually coming up with a plan for how to tackle that super tough work project.


When Junk Food Is Calling Your Name


It would be great if we craved carrots and celery sticks when we’re stressed. But, instead we crave high-card, high-fat foods like takeaways, bread, cookies, ice cream etc.

The reason for this is because it increases dopamine, your feel good hormone.

How to Stop Stress Eating


  1. Focus on the real issue.
    We all know food is just a crutch when we’re stressed. Stress eating is not the primary problem, there’s normally an underlying issue. Ask yourself ‘How do I feel?’ or ‘What do I need?’ to figure out what’s really getting under your skin.
  2. Think long-term.
    Take a minute to focus on the future (whether that means recalling your weight loss goals, or how great you want to look on holiday next month) before you give in to stress eating. It can help get you out of the moment so you make healthier food choices instead of giving in to the temptation of a tasty treat.
  3. Be kind to yourself.
    Self-compassion can decrease stress eating. When you’re a kind, understanding friend to yourself, it’s easier to resist the urge to try to disconnect through stress eating. If you do stress eat, promise that you won’t beat yourself up and understand that it happens to everyone sometimes. That can help stop you from eating out of failure and help you make better choices later.
  4. If all else fails…
    Go ahead and indulge. Food is a lovely, comforting thing. So if you’re going to do it anyway, really enjoying it. Sit down, let yourself relax, and taste the ice cream. Of course, do so in moderation. Plan on savouring a small brownie rather than the whole batch.

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lucky manI’ve started watching a new TV series this week… Lucky Man.

It stars James Nesbitt as a detective with a gambling addiction. I’m totally hooked on it at the moment.

Anyway, that’s what I want to talk to you about today. ADDICTION.

Not gambling addictions, but SUGAR ADDICTION.

It’s a very serious problem for a lot of people.

Apart from making you put weight on, there are lots of other bad side effects of too much sugar.

It can contribute towards diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, tooth decay, bad skin, headaches, fatigue and lots of other things.



How do you know if you’re addicted to sugar? And how can you overcome it?

  1. You eat sugary foods past the point you intended.

Have you ever eaten something and only intended to have one piece? But once you finish the first piece you think, “I want more. That wasn’t enough.”

Before you know it, you’ve consumed 10 pieces and you still want more. Like a morning-after hangover, you have feelings of regret immediately afterward.

Ask yourself: Why do I actually want this chocolate? Is it to enjoy one piece of chocolate? Or is it because your co-worker just snapped at you? If you find that your intention for having the chocolate is to soothe yourself, it might be best to step away from your desk and go for a 10-minute walk outside the office instead.


  1. You crave simple carbohydrates.

Your sugar addiction often gets worse because your body craves simple carbohydrates. After consuming them they turn into sugar very quickly and can feed your body’s addiction to sugar.

Pastries, white bread, pasta and white rice, are the most popular simple carbohydrates that sugar addicts will crave.

Start adding more vegetables to your diet like beetroot, sweet potatoes, and carrots. The addition of these types of vegetables will help curb your cravings because of the naturally occurring sugar.


  1. You eat sugary foods even when you don’t really want to.


Has this ever happened to you? You see a chocolate bar and you take a moment and ask yourself if you really want it and you say no. Ten minutes pass. The chocolate bar is calling your name.

You’re salivating but you know it’s not a good idea to eat it. You start rationalising why it would be okay to eat it. You tell yourself you ate healthy today and you’ll skip dessert for the next two days. So you go for it and tell yourself it will only be this one time.

It’s a good idea to always have fresh fruit on hand so you can combat these cravings when they come on.


  1. You eat sugary foods until you don’t feel well.

Have you ever eaten so many cookies that you experienced one or more of the following symptoms: headache, gas, bloated, fuzzy thinking, fatigue, or sleepiness? If so, those are symptoms of a sugar hangover.

If you’re a sugar addict, you probably do this a few times a week if not every day. You know that bingeing on sugar will make you feel this way but you do it anyway. The short-term benefit of eating the cake, cookie, or chocolate is worth the unpleasant aftereffects to you.

Try making an agreement with yourself not to keep sugary foods in the house, and when you’re at a restaurant order only one dessert and fully enjoy it. The act of eating dessert in public often creates accountability.


If you identify with some, if not all of the signs of sugar addiction, you aren’t alone. The good news is you can beat it! The first step is awareness, then you have to those 4 tips into practice.

CONSISTENCY is key! (and a pic of my bathroom)

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Today I’m going to tell you a quick story about my new house.

What’s a house got to do with fitness you’re probably thinking. Well actually, there’s a good lesson in it for you if you keep reading.

Last year Caroline and I bought an old terraced house in Seaham  It was our dream home. It needed lots of work doing to it, but we knew we could make it special.

We got the keys in August, and although we still haven’t finished the renovations, we have made some really good progress.

It’s had walls pulled down. New ceilings put up. Every wall re-plastered. New bathroom and a new kitchen.

It’s been a LONG, HARD road. Lots of HARD WORK. Actually, lots more work than we expected.

There were times when I questioned whether we had done the right thing. And times when I felt like giving up.

But we’ve battled through and we’re nearly there. We can see the light at the end of the tunnel. We’re in the decorating phase at the moment and putting the finishing touches on everything.

We have reached this stage by CONSISTENTLY WORKING HARD. These things don’t happen overnight.

I wish I could have closed my eyes and then reopened them to a fully renovated house with zero effort required. Or got the 60-minute makeover team in.

But in the real world that would never happen.

Why am I telling you this? What’s it got to do with fitness?

Well, it’s exactly the same with your FITNESS AND HEALTH. To get fitter and healthier you must work hard consistently.


You have to work hard over a long period of time. You can’t just hit the gym for a few weeks and expect results. You can’t diet for 14 days and expect a flatter stomach.

You must maintain your workout routine and healthy eating plan for MONTHS before you start reaping the rewards.

Always keep your eye on the end goal but take it ONE STEP AT A TIME.

Make SMALL CHANGES to your nutrition and increase the intensity of your workouts GRADUALLY.

Don’t jump right in and try to do everything all at once. Otherwise you will burn out and your body and mind will shut down. Small changes are easy to keep on top of and maintain.

You will get there in the end – if you are CONSISTENT.

Just like our bathroom; there’s blood sweat and tears gone into it. Months of hard work. But we are over the moon with the outcome. It’s been well worth the hard work and effort.



3 key foundations for losing weight (that you probably never thought about)

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One of my boot camp clients, Mark Scott, recently lost over 2 stone in 3 months and measure 5 inches smaller around his waist.

I wanted to share with you the three things that gave him the foundations for being so successful and how he was able to stay focused for so long.

You probably never thought about these things, but they are vital to successful weight loss. Or any fitness goal for that matter.


Mark started my 90 Day Boot Camp Programme back in October with a goal of losing 2 stone in 3 months before his Skiing holiday in January.

There’s not many people who start ‘diets’ and stick to them for 3 months.

And, what’s more impressive is that he had big Birthday and Christmas celebrations in between and he still smashed his target.

How did he do it?

Mark got 3 things absolutely spot on from the start. He built good foundations for his success by doing three things:


Number 1 – He didn’t start a ‘diet’.

He learned how to fit healthy eating into his everyday lifestyle. He found out how to cook quick, easy and nutritious meals that helped him lose weight, but also gave him energy throughout the day. The healthy food made him more alert at work and more motivated to exercise.

A diet is something with an end date, it’s something that you can’t maintain as part of your everyday lifestyle.

Shake diets and low calorie diets are impractical, and sometimes dangerous to maintain for a long time. You lose weight in the beginning, but when you finish the diet your calorie intake increases, quickly followed by your weight!

Mark switched his mind-set from ‘diet’ to ‘healthy eating’.


Number 2 – He chose a programme that he would enjoy and hold him accountable.

Losing weight and maintaining a healthy lifestyle doesn’t happen overnight, it takes a sustained effort over months.

When you choose a workout programme, it needs to hold you accountable. It needs to be fun, it needs to keep you motivated. The programme needs to stimulate you and keep you going back for more. The energy should be infectious.

If it doesn’t do those things, you will get bored and quit very quickly. So, choose your programme carefully.

You’ve got to ask yourself:

When I’m feeling tired after work, is there someone there to encourage me not to sit on the couch all night? Are there other people there to inspire me when I’m feeling low? Is there anyone to help me with meal plans? Can I speak to someone on the phone if I need help?

You can’t change your lifestyle without the close support and help from others. Which leads me nicely onto number 3.


Number 3 – He surrounded himself with like-minded people and built a support network.

It wasn’t just me who helped him during the 3 months. The other boot camp members played a massive part too.

They encourage each other. They bounce ideas off each other. They help people get back on track after they’ve had a ‘bad day’. They become friends. They form relationships.

That’s what happens when you’re surrounded by other people who are working towards the same goals. It creates a friendly, supportive atmosphere.

It’s so important that you’re not alone on your journey. Make sure there are supportive people around you.

That’s it!

3 simple things!

Make sure the programme provides those three vital things, if you want to lose weight and maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Don’t Join A Gym In January!

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Joining a gym in January is the worst decision you could ever make…

It’s a nightmare when it’s so overcrowded!

You go to the gym with a workout in mind, but you can’t get on any of the machines or the weights are always in use. So you end up on the treadmill for a whole hour, which is a complete waste of time.

Come February you will have lost all interest, but you will probably be locked into a membership contract.

And you will find that the gym never contacts you to keep you motivated, because they don’t care as long as they’re getting their membership fees.

The best thing to do is exactly what Barry, Mark and Marina done before Christmas…



Join my 90 Day Boot Camp.

They joined in September 2016 and in the build up to Christmas they lost over 2 stone each!

You could do exactly the same in the New Year because I’m opening up the 90 Day Boot Camp again in January.

By the end of March you could be 2 stone lighter and wearing smaller clothes. Totally de-bloated after the Christmas season.

But, we’re not like a gym, I don’t open this up to everyone! I have limited space so I can’t take everyone on for this programme.

I will be sending an email out to confirm all of the details to the early notification list between Xmas and New Year.

If the 90 Day Boot Camp interests you then get on the Early Notification List here…




If you have any questions drop me an email at

Enjoy Christmas… Ignore the other fitness guys!

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I LOVE CHRISTMAS TIME. It’s a month to party. A month to have FUN. A month to celebrate with friends and family. A time to enjoy the lovely foods and drinks on offer. A few weeks to let your hair down and have a blast.

Why neglect yourself of those things?

I’m certainly not!

I’m going to New York soon, a place that I’ve always wanted to go. So I’m going to enjoy every minute of it, and that includes eating all of the indulgent foods on offer.

It’s the boot camp night out this weekend and I will be having a fair few drinks. Probably a few beers, some red wine with our meal and then G&T’s later in the night. I won’t feel guilty about it and I certainly won’t be logging them on my FitBit app haha. I’ve worked hard all year and it’s a time for me and my boot campers to get together and have some fun.

I’m looking forward to my Christmas dinner with my family and being in a food coma on Christmas night.

I think I’ll be going out on Boxing Day to watch the football and have few pints with the lads.

We’re having a house party on New Year’s Eve in our new house with some friends and family. It will probably get messy. Just hope there’s no red wine spilled on our new carpets lol.

And then there’s those little treats in between the main events. You know what I mean right…

Christmas shopping trips when you just HAVE to stop at Starbucks and grab a Gingerbread or Toffee Nut Latte. In fact as I write this blog post I’m sitting in costa having a Cappuccino.

Cosy nights in front of the fire with mulled wine or hot chocolate.

Tins of celebrations and quality street in the office at work.

All of this is fine…

As long as you resign yourself to the fact that you’re going to put weight on.

Probably about a stone!

But, that’s fine with me. I’ve worked hard all year and I’m going to enjoy this wonderful holiday season.

The main thing is though….


I’ve already got January planned out. I’ll be detoxing at the start of January for 2 weeks, with my New Year Shred Programme. I’ll be straight back to exercise. I won’t be making any excuses! I know it will be hard, I’ll have lost fitness, I’ll be a stone over weight. But I’ve already promised myself that I won’t let that stop me.

By the end of January I’ll be super fit and lean again. Actually, I’ll probably be in better shape than I am right now. That’s the promise to myself…. Enjoy December, but be strict in January!

Why neglect yourself of the joys of Christmas. There’s nothing wrong with enjoying yourself at this time of year…

As long as you get back on the health and fitness wagon in January – No excuses!


Enjoy your Christmas,


P.S. Don’t forget to get back on it on the 1st January!

A Proud Moment!

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I want to start this week’s blog by saying a huge thank you to everyone who voted for East Coast Fitness at the Sunderland Echo Portfolio Awards. I was immensely proud to be shortlisted for the award, and when Kevin Ball announced East Coast Fitness as winner of the Sole Trader of the Year award, I felt like dancing on the table! 

Although we won Sole Trader of the Year, it’s not just recognition for me; it’s recognition for my clients who work their socks off all year. Week in, week out they show amazing commitment and dedication towards improving their health and fitness. So, a huge thank you and well done to all of you. 

Today though, I want to tell you about my struggles as a business owner and how it can relate to your health and fitness.
Running a business certainly isn’t easy; I go through lots of ups and downs. I wake up some mornings and find it hard to get motivated. Some days I feel tired and fed up. Sometimes my ideas don’t work, in fact a few of them have failed miserably. It feels like I take two steps forward and one step back most of the time. 

Running a business isn’t all plain sailing, it’s very challenging, but I NEVER give up! When the going gets tough I dig in and work harder until I achieve what I set out to do.  

Last year I was shortlisted for an award at the Portfolio Awards, but I didn’t win. It made me realise that my business wasn’t as successful as I thought it was. I took a long, hard, honest look to see where I could improve. I worked on improving my business every day. 

Compared to a year ago my business is in a much better place. It’s not perfect, but I have definitely improved.

And it’s exactly the same with fitness. It doesn’t matter what your goal is, whether its weight loss, body building or marathon running, you’re going to hit a sticky patch at some point. You’re going to come up against tough challenges. You will feel like you have hit a brick wall. 

When this time comes you need to stay focused, and don’t give in! 

Often when you can’t see light at the end of the tunnel, it appears out of nowhere, and before you know it you’re back on track. 
You won’t be able to eat healthy 100% of the time. When you do slip up its important to get back on it straight away. Don’t let your binges run into a few days, or even weeks. Otherwise it’s like starting all over again. 

Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. Your diet won’t be perfect at first. Your exercise technique won’t be spot on when you first start. But you can work on that in time. Your hard work will pay off! 

And the most important thing, don’t be afraid to ask for help. There are coaches out there that can help you with your goals. Just make sure you do your homework so that you pick the correct coach for you. 

  • Timetable & Booking


    Date: Monday & Friday
    Time: 06:00 – 06:45
    Venue: Seaham Youth Centre (Strangford Road, Seaham, SR7 8QE)
    Price: £30 for 4 week block booking / £85 for 12 week block booking (saving £5) / £160 for 24 week block booking (saving £20)

    Morning Boot Camp – Seaham


    Date: Tuesday & Thursday
    Time: 18:30 – 19:30
    Venue: Seaham Sea Front – meet in Tonias Cafe car park (North Road, Seaham, SR7 7AG)
    Price: £30 for 4 week block booking / £85 for 12 week block booking (saving £5) / £160 for 24 week block booking (saving £20)

    Evening Boot Camp – Seaham


    Date: Sunday
    Time: 10:00 – 11:00
    Venue: Seaham Leisure Centre (Deneside Recreation Ground, Seaham, SR7 8NP)
    Price: £5 per session