That is how our Wellness & Nutrition Columnist, Zoey Hughes felt when she reached nearly 17 stone! Years of feeding herself from one service station to the next as a national sales rep turned her into someone that she did not recognise.  Read how Zoey coined the phrase #ItsALifestyleThing

It was the beginning of 2013 and I had decided to make a change in my own lifestyle habits, I was not getting any younger.  I was in my late thirties and hitting the big 40 was only just around the corner, I had a son when I was 19 and my life had revolved around being a mum and working hard so on my list of priorities, food and fitness were not at the top.

I had been a yo-yo dieter for nearly 20 years and my dress size had always fluctuated from a 14-22 and always had a bit of a J-Lo going on

Working as a national sales manager for a cosmetics company and living out of hotels, sitting behind a computer and travelling around the UK catching early morning flights and train connections for many years, resulted in grabbing food ‘on the go’ usually from service stations and never making time for myself.   Exercise was the last thing on my mind plus every time I dieted, it was for an occasion such as wedding, holiday or party.  I always dreamed of being a toned 14 which never happened and as soon as I got into an outfit I wanted to wear, I just stopped dieting.  This time I had to make a significant change and overhaul my lifestyle.

Finally, in June 2013, weighing in at 16 stone 9lb, I took the step on a new journey.  My main goal was health – I needed to be healthy as I did not want to diet ever again. I needed a lifestyle change.

So it was time to start to eat regularly.  Choosing healthier meal options plus start to move a little more and I started to swim at the local pool twice a week as I felt too fat to go to the gym.  I ate completely differently eating porridge for breakfast with chicken or fish and vegetables as a dinner choice.received_10209788578102283

I began to get more energy, feel a lot healthier due to choosing nutritious foods and adopting strict portion control.  Then I thought it would be fun to enter a running event so I chose a Race for Life with a friend and my eventing journey began (more about that next month)- all because of the little medal you receive at the end.  As I was swimming a lot, I decided to challenge myself to an aquathon in April 2014, which is a swim and run combined which made me really nervous (but in a good way).  I completed the event and received another medal.  I then entered a sprint triathlon in August 2014 and that was it!  When I completed it and ran over the finish line I knew that I wanted to do events, with my love and passion now for triathlon. I love everything about the discipline of the sport and decided to go one further to train for the ultimate of a 70.3 Ironman.

Since June 2013, I have transformed not only my body and mind but, more importantly for me, my lifestyle. I qualified as a nutritionist and fitness instructor and love working to mentor people through their own journey to a healthier version of themselves.  A lot of my clients will say to received_10209788577902278me they like working with me as I have experienced the journey myself giving me a very clear understanding of the process which I always promise it will never be easy but will always be worth it.

If you have any questions for personal trainer and nutritionist Zoey Hughes please email

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