This fall, MyFitness member Grete Lisette took part in the Estonian Fitness Challenge Championship, organized by the Estonian Bodybuilding and Fitness Union. What makes this training journey even more amazing is the fact that 30 kg of excess weight was lost and a big change has been made in eating and movement habits. Today, healthy eating and exercise are part of Grete’s daily life, which brings with it new goals and a surge of energy. How to find inner strength to get out of your comfort zone and consciously change the quality of your life? We share Grete Lisette’s inspiring training journey with you.

How did you get a personal trainer?

I came to a personal trainer by chance. I had just started my residency when my supervisor suggested we go to training together. Initially, there was no big goal and we just wanted to “move a little.” We decided to hire a trainer for a couple of sessions to get some useful advice. We chose personal trainer Cätlyn Toomerewho immediately after the first training session and listening to my “biography” simply stated the fact: “Okay, I have big plans for you, we will get you in shape!” By this point I had been at my peak weight for some time. I didn’t see a particularly positive future and was quite sceptical about the plan. I used to train on my own and watch my diet, but nothing helped so far. At 26 years old, I thought that the longer I stuck in my comfort zone and put off change, the harder it would be for me to achieve my goals.

How do you manage to combine work and training?

I work as a doctor, currently studying in residency. The work of a doctor is quite intense, and it is quite difficult to fit sports into your schedule. My attitude is – if you really want it, you can get it. So I used the time I spent doing nothing. If I didn’t work out, I’d probably be lying on the couch scrolling through social media or watching TV.

If I didn’t work out, I’d probably be lying on the couch scrolling through social media or watching TV.

As a doctor, I know the positive impact daily physical activity has on our bodies. It improves resistance to infections, chronic disease control, and mental health. Here are some key points that will help:

  • Daily passive movement is very important, i.e. an active lifestyle – park your car further away, get off the bus 1 stop earlier, prefer the stairs to the elevator. This should be the day of a person who cares about his health and loves himself.
  • Even more important is “targeted exercise,” as one top-level Estonian cardiologist likes to say. This means workout after workout, moving to get as much physical load as possible at once. This could be training in the gym, intense walking at a faster pace, cycling, swimming, dancing, etc.
  • With targeted exercise, we force our body and heart to work harder, which contributes to better health and weight loss.

Thinking about all this, it was not a big deal for me to sacrifice my “free time” for the sake of training. Today’s reality is that I rest best during training.

How has the last year changed your life?

Over the past year, I have not only changed my appearance, but also gained more self-confidence. I felt better, it became easier to enjoy different things and I had more energy. I learned to listen to my body more and discovered what it was capable of. Over the past year, I have spent significantly less time lying on the couch, which I previously considered the only way to relax. Now I have discovered that, aside from the mentally challenging work of being a doctor, it is through working out that I can most effectively have fun and calm my nerves.

What has been the most challenging part of this journey?

Of course, at first the most difficult thing was introducing a new life rhythm and habits. At first, all the logistics of training, as well as choosing “healthier” products at the store took quite a lot of time and effort. However, under the guidance of a trainer, everything fell into place and healthy habits became clear on their own. Throughout this year-long journey, there were also difficult periods when the weight stood still and the feeling of hopelessness arose again. At these moments, trainer Cätlyn helped me, bringing me back to earth and giving me new motivation.

To overcome setbacks, you need a strong home and mental support, which I have received from my trainer Cätlyn and my family. A good way is to engage in self-reflection from time to time, even in low moments. For example, think seriously about your goal: why am I doing this, what has already been achieved and how to move forward. When you realize that you have already come such a long way and spent so much time on it, then you should not give up everything and return to your old way of life. Instead, try to keep working hard, overcome difficult moments and strive for new results.

How did you come to the Fitness Challenge?

We got to the competition in one of the workouts, when instead of strength exercises we tried a HIIT type workout. Cätlyn recommended trying several Fitness Challenge exercises. Since we realized that I could do these exercises and performed them quite well, the trainer suggested that I should prepare for the Estonian Championships. I grabbed the bull by the horns, and that’s how we got me in shape for my first Estonian Fitness Championships within a month.

“In fact, we all have this willpower; we just have to find it!”

At first, entering the competition caused very mixed feelings – I can try, but will I really fit in? The training process was powerful, I felt like a real athlete, but before the competition I was still very nervous. The day of the competition was extremely emotional – the whole day and every move was planned on time. Overall, the competition was very intense! I’m glad we went “just to try.” Thinking about where I was a year ago and how far I’ve come still makes me feel proud. In fact, we all have this willpower; we just need to find it!

What do you recommend to others who are struggling with their health and don’t know where to start?

The first step is always the most difficult; moving forward is much easier when the goal is thought out and in front of eyes. I recommend finding out what is really important for you. Being active will definitely improve your mood and sleep, and you will have more confidence and stamina for everyday activities. Even small changes can make habit formation easier. Besides the weight/size reduction, it’s a fantastic feeling when you can finally “choose” your clothes in a store and no longer have to buy simply something that fits.

There are always excuses for not doing anything, but it actually feels really good to pick yourself up and do something for yourself and your future. The human body is a powerful system; it is capable of keeping us alive. Pamper your body and give it something in return – challenge it with exercise and treat it with healthy and balanced food!

Cätlyn Toomere

As a personal trainer, Cätlyn combines her two biggest passions – working out in the gym and helping people. Cätlyn believes that conscious exercise and proper nutrition can be a part of everyone’s lifestyle, and therefore she does her best to share her knowledge with clients. An active lifestyle also plays a very important role in good mental health, but the path to it is not always easy. A solid plan and consistent work will make the dream come true – come train with Cätlyn and reach your goals!

Telephone: +372 5302 5710


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