Christina Coogan

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Can you tell us a little about yourself and your history before Body By Control?

I am a 22 year old student and a part-time gymnastics coach. I have always been into fitness and sports growing up and I started weight training about 4 years ago however, I didn't follow a specific plan and I would regularly take long breaks from the gym. I love being active but lacked the guidance to get to where I wanted to be and that's when I went looking for someone who could help me out.  Hi Paul!

When and why did you decide to start working with me?

Having always been quite fit and in shape throughout my teenage years, it came as a shock  when I realised I couldn't eat and drink whatever I wanted  whenever I wanted anymore.  I had gotten into bad habits of eating junk food every day and not paying attention to what I was putting into my body. I had stopped working out frequently too. When I spent my summer in New York, everything had gotten out of hand and I didn't feel good inside or out. I was eating mac & cheese and drinking beer every day! I decided to start taking care of myself as the benefits to eating well and working out were huge, especially on my mental health above all. I wanted to build muscle and look 10x better than I felt.

How would you describe working with me and your experience overall?

Extremely positive. The knowledge Paul brings to the table is the best part. The reasoning behind everything I did and wanted to do was explained to me clearly. There was nothing generic about my plan, it felt personalised and fully supported throughout. The support and guidance given was excellent. Paul was there to answer any questions, give advice and was in constant contact with myself and others. Some days were hard but before I knew it I had completely changed how I looked and felt without feeling like I was depriving myself of anything.

How does that compare to anything you've tried to do before?

The feeling that someone genuinely cared about my progress over getting paid was a big deal to me. I hit a couple of bumps in the road along the way and Paul did his best to help me out. It has been a lifestyle change and not just a short term get fit quick challenge. I didn’t want to let myself or Paul down. Tweaks were made when necessary and also a good motivational speech was made every now and again to get me back into the swing of things

Do you have any advice for anyone embarking on their own journey?

Be clear in what you want to achieve. Set daily goals to achieve your bigger goal. Track all your food and get your workouts done even when you really don't want to. A couple hours out of your day has to be set aside for you and what you want to get achieve.

What does a typical week look like for you from a diet, training and lifestyle perspective?

Food - tracking everything and planning out my meals in the evening before the next day. I do my best to hit my protein every day and leave some calories for a treat in the evening because my life is incomplete without chocolate.

I do 5 workouts per week, 1 yoga class, and 10,000 steps daily. Nothing drastic or excessive.  I was quite active while coaching gymnastics too which helped.

Lifestyle wise, it was hard to get used to making better food choices while out for dinner and avoiding the cinema snacks. I brought my own healthier versions of snacks to keep myself in check. Eventually it all became part of my routine.

How useful do you find having a supportive group around you?

It is the most important part in my opinion. You need at least 1 person in your life who supports your goals.  Having someone around you that is also on a fitness journey themselves is very helpful. I was lucky that I had several people in my life who I could go to the gym with, chat about meal prep and moan about the hard days too. Whether in person or through a group, it really really helps.

What do you think you did really well and what are you trying to work on being better at right now?

I think I nailed down the basics pretty well. Tracked food and worked out consistently. I didn't eat the same food every day and made sure I had a variety of different foods so it wasn't boring.

Right now I'm trying to I improve my mindset around food when I'm not in a fat loss stage. There were times when my attitude was terrible and once I started eating 2 biscuits, I didn't care anymore and ate a few more even when I wasn't hungry. I want to improve on getting better at listening to my body and knowing when it is time to stop.