If you’re looking to transform your health for 2017, who better to take inspiration from than our four amazing Vitality members who completed their 10-week transformation plan? These trusted tips will help you achieve a healthier body and mind for good

We gave four Vitality members –Jamie Barnes, Sharon Salter, Samantha Bates and Kevin Molesley – everything they needed to take part in our 10-week transformation plan. With the help of our nutritionists, personal trainers and life coaches, together they lost a combined weight of more than five stone, conquered lifelong vices and chose to make healthier life choices for good.

We asked them and our experts for the best tips, tricks and mantras you need to transform your body and mind this year so you can follow in their footsteps…


Our Vitality transformers


1. Work with what you already love

“I played six-a-side football once a week, which wasn’t consistent enough, but I knew I enjoyed sport more than repetitive gym training. My personal trainer helped me work this to my advantage. We decided to take a sporty approach to my fitness, combining weight training with circuit training movements specific to sports.”

Jamie, Vitality member

2. Exercise to energise

“One of the biggest motivations to lose weight was sleep. I was grossly overweight and because of that I snored, so every morning I’d wake up tired, lacking the motivation and energy to exercise or eat healthily. I found with every walk on the treadmill or resistance training session with my trainer, I’d feel one step closer to being more energised.”

Sharon, Vitality member

3. Respect your body

“Through doing the transformation plan, I discovered I had a heart defect that is treatable but could have cut my life short. It made me realise the importance of getting regular check-ups and looking after your body with a healthy lifestyle. It just can’t be understated.”

Samantha, Vitality member

4. Re-think the purpose of food

“I totally changed my mind-set around food. My life coach helped me to start seeing it as fuel for my body as opposed to comfort. It made me want to look after my body rather than cram it with rubbish.”

Kevin, Vitality member


Our experts


5. Doing something is always better than doing nothing

“I do a parkrun (5km) every Saturday morning. I’m very slow, but I tell myself each week that I’ve beaten all the thousands of people that are still in bed!”

Professor Jane Ogden, health psychologist

6. Consistency is key

“Working out once a week is not going to have a huge impact on your body composition. You need to be training at least three times per week to see positive changes and results.”

Emily Cole, personal trainer

7. Work to your own rhythm

“I believe in working with your own rhythms. Having listened to celebrities and health professionals my entire career, I’ve collated what works for me. I eat, drink and do what my body tells me and push myself when I know I need to. I listen to motivational music and I walk everywhere. It’s basically about eating less and moving more – it’s not a new idea, it’s just what works.”

Jane Druker, Vitality magazine editor

8. Don’t forget to celebrate

“I helped Sharon learn to celebrate the little day-to-day achievements such as feeling more alert or walking up a hill without getting out of breath, bringing the benefits of her hard work into the here and now. It’s important to give yourself credit.”

Professor Jane Ogden, health psychologist

9. When we feel good about our bodies, we feel better in our minds

“Experts still aren’t sure exactly why exercise is so effective at boosting mood, but it’s likely to be a combination of the feel-good endorphins that our bodies produce when we’re active, the satisfaction we feel when we achieve a goal and the fact that exercise boosts both physical and mental energy. So take every opportunity to run, walk, play squash with a friend or go swimming with the kids – it’s not so much what you do, but the fact you do something that’s important.”

Dr Richard Graham, consultant psychiatrist 

10. The good life is a process, not a state of being. It’s a direction, not a destination

“This is a quote by Carl Rogers, an American psychologist. A patient sent it to me after completing therapy. They had a terminal illness and I was helping to treat their anxiety and panic attacks. We spent a lot of time developing skills and techniques so they could experience good moments.

“A couple of months after the patient finished therapy, she sent me an email thanking me for my help. She included the quote at the end, explaining that our work had helped her truly understand its meaning. Ever since, I’ve found it helps me (and other patients) reframe and move forward when things aren’t quite how I’d like.”

Brendan Street, Nuffield clinical lead (CBT)

11. This too shall pass

“I learned this during a 10-day silent meditation in India. The fact that the only certainty in life is that all aspects of how we look, feel, think and experience will be different tomorrow is actually really liberating and helps me live more fully in the moment.”

Amanda Hamilton, nutritionist

Look out for the next issue of Vitality Magazine coming soon, where you can read more about our four Vitality members’ stories and transformations.

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