I met Vanessa Warren in March 2013 pre operation as I was going for bariatric weight loss surgery, and Vanessa was now to become my exercise consultant. When I first met her I was 220kgs, extremely unfit, but now I feel extremely fit with Vanessa’s help. Vanessa was a real person which surprised me when I first met her. I had a picture in my mind of someone that was going to try to tell me I was overweight and unhealthy (I already knew that and so did she), but to my surprise there was a real woman with a hard but caring attitude. I felt comfortable with Vanessa almost straight away, and I knew she was there to help me and knew her stuff. In February 2013 I was doing no exercise, had no energy and nearly lost my job because I couldn’t stay awake as I was so unfit and unhealthy.

Vanessa showed me what she would like me to do with exercise post operation, set me my first programme and away I went. Vanessa’s gym programme was hard, and I hated it, but then the results I was getting were awesome, and kept me wanting to go back. Vanessa is an awesome lady with a great caring attitude, and has helped me not only physically but also mentally, as she just seems to know how to motivate and excite me about exercise and health in general.

I am now back on my road bike and racing (winning the local summer points race series for the over 40’s category), and also mountain biking. I have competed in many events over the past year including the local duathlon series as I am now able to run again and am loving it!! Running on the road was something I even struggled with when I used to referee rugby 8 years ago when I weighed about 145kgs. Now I weigh 94kgs and I can run 10kms without stopping.

With Vanessa’s help I have been able to achieve all these things and bring exercise into my life. I now find myself getting a bit growly if I go a couple of days without some form of exercise – either going to the gym, running, a bike ride or swimming. I’m also taking 2 spin classed a week at my local gym helping other people to get fit and lose weight too. With thanks to my family and Vanessa for helping me on my journey so far, she made me realise I needed to make the excuse to ‘Do It’ rather than make the dozens of reasons not to. 

Dean Rattray photo

- Dean Rattray

Coming from 170 kilograms a few years ago, I have successfully lost 50 kilograms to this point, and I’m still continuing this journey. I started walking and trying to eat healthier while doing my diploma at CPIT during which I lost roughly 20 kilos over the period of a year and a half. After I left school and started walking, walking the distances I was previously managing to fit in weren’t really an option anymore. So after considering joining a gym for several months and talking to a close friend at the time, I decided to join Anytime Fitness Shirley and met Vanessa Warren. In the last 18 months I have successfully lost even more weight and I have drastically changed my life from being inactive to being pro-active, a change that I needed badly. I’m definitely enjoying my time at the gym and with Vanessa who has become a good friend and mentor. I’m still continuing to work hard and my life has changed for the better, and now I have new goals and ambitions to work towards with the continuing help and support of my trainer Vanessa.

- William C.