Alanna Hughes

Alanna 5 Month Progress Front.png

Could you tell us a little bit about yourself and your history?

I am a 32 year old Social Worker from Ireland and have lived in Sydney for the last four years. I've always been active and into fitness but my weight has yo-yo'd over the years.

It started when I went to University and lived on takeaways and crap processed food. On piled the weight, almost 3 stone, so I joined Weight Watchers and lost it all in the space of 4 months. I actually managed to keep it off for about two years, but then slowly I went back to my old ways and the weight crept back on.

I often went through phases of living in the gym and doing endless amounts of cardio with a few weights thrown in. Looking back I can honestly say I believed I could out train a bad diet, so I spent my mornings and evenings in the gym and just ate whatever I wanted outside of that. 

When and why did you decide to join Body By Control?

I went on a road trip across Victoria and South Australia over Christmas and New Year 2017. We spent two weeks eating junk in the car, eating out every morning and night and doing very little activity. I had dropped some weight before Christmas and had really started taking an interest in the types of foods I was putting in my body.

After these two weeks of eating everything and anything I said to my partner that I wanted to make a proper lifestyle change, like for real, not just a stupid diet or more crazy cardio, I wanted to understand how the body worked and what I needed to do to look after my body. My partner was keen to do the same so we decided (while sitting eating a bag of jelly beans) that when we got back to Sydney we would sign up with a coach who could start to increase our knowledge on all things health and fitness.

Welcome to Body By Control. I started in January 2018 at 70kg and 6 months later I stand at 5ft 8 inches and a comfortable 62kg. 

How would you describe your experience with Body by Control?

If I'm honest I was apprehensive at the start, I thought I would end up paying someone to tell me what I should be doing but then not really do it...I couldn't have been any more wrong. Paul has taught me more about the body, how it works, and what it takes to treat it properly than I ever thought possible. There are so many different things out there, so much conflicting information regarding whats what it health and fitness but with Paul, everything is explained in great detail and backed up by evidence.

I was skeptical about the whole macro controlled diet, but it's not a diet!

It's a lifestyle adaptation that allows you so much flexibility in comparison to other "low calorie" fads. You see all of these instagram fitness people telling you how it's not about counting calories or macros etc, it's about making the right choices. What they are telling you is contradictory in itself, by making healthy choices you are in effect counting calories and being aware of your macros!

My experience has been nothing but positive with Paul, he has listened to my complaints and rather than making me feel bad when i have messed up, he has just encouraged me further. 

What advice have you got for anyone thinking about joining Body By Control?

DO IT!! You won't regret long as your reasons for joining are right then do it. I think the most important thing for people to realise is they need to take accountability for their own decisions. Anyone can sign up with a coach, but if you aren't actually willing to make a change in your day to day choices and actions then you can't expect results. When it comes to training you need to prepare to be consistent and make time, it's not good enough to say, "I don't have time" or "I was tired after work" all the time. It's like anything, if it's important enough then you will make time for it.

What did a typical week look like for you; from a food, training and lifestyle perspective

The most crucial part of my week and what helps me the most is meal prep. I spend one hour on a Sunday preparing my breakfast and lunch for the week. This makes everything so much easier and less temptation for on the go foods which aren't always the most healthy. Then I make dinner fresh every night. Typically (given it's winter here in Oz) I'll have mixed berry overnight oats for brekkie with a high protein yoghurt afterwards, soup for lunch with a protein shake, a protein bar snack in the afternoon, and then dinners vary consisting of protein and lots of veg.

The best part is, I always leave room for some Halo Top Ice Cream or some chocolate in the evening. It's really not hard, especially when you get into the swing of it. At the beginning I tracked my food everyday which makes you much more conscious about what you are eating.

I train 5 times a week, all weight training. Then I do a small bit of cardio once or twice a week, but this is something I choose to do as a self care measure! My weight sessions take me anywhere between 45 minutes and 1 hour, so I don't really have an excuse not to fit them in!

In terms of lifestyle, this is my lifestyle now so I don't really see a big change. Luckily for me I don't really drink alcohol, but if I do, i'll have a couple of gin and soda waters and fit them in to my macros for the week.

If I know i'm going out for a brunch or dinner at the weekend then I'll save some calories from the day before or a couple of days before to allow for this. It's all about balance and you can still have a life. I was much more strict at the start, which I think you need to be, in order to get used to food groups/calories etc, but then as time goes on it just becomes naturally integrated into your life.

I notice now that even when I'm "bad" I don't do what i used it and just go all out, I have the pizza or the Chinese and then get straight back to a good healthy meal after it.

How important do you think it is to have a supportive team around you?

Although you can do this on your own, it is much easier when the people closest to you support you and encourage you.

It isn't easy if people don't appreciate what you are trying to do.

The fact that Body By Control allows you access to an online community all going through the same experiences makes the whole thing even better. We give each other helpful tips and tricks, share difficulties and wins, recipes and snack ideas. It's fab!