I’m Stacey (you might recognise me as @mamabear_wwuk on Instagram), and I’ve lost 28lbs on the WW Freestyle™ programme.
What is WellnessWins?
For those who don’t know, WellnessWins is a rewards programme from WW that recognises the small steps you take towards building healthy habits, and reaching your healthy living goals. That means free rewards such as wireless headphones, yoga mats, a 90-day Headspace membership and loads more, for just doing simple things like tracking your meals and activity.
As a total gymophobe I was quite nervous to use my vouchers, but I was also ready to step up to the challenge and see how it went.
Although I’ve lost the weight I wanted to lose and I’m now at my goal weight, I wanted to see if the gym would have an impact on my overall fitness and mental wellbeing. I was also intrigued to see what difference it would make to my WW journey.
On my first visit, I went with my friend and WW buddy Colette. It was great to go along with a likeminded WW member, as we had time to catch up and talk about all things WW (such as FitPoints® & WellnessWins), whilst we got used to our gym routine.
On arrival we were greeted by a lovely chap called Callum. He was very friendly and noticed straightaway that we were new, so made every effort to make us feel welcome and comfortable.
He showed us around the gym, explaining how and why we might want to use the equipment, which definitely helped to make me feel more at ease, especially when trying out equipment I had never used before. He also told us about the classes they offer at The Gym Group, which seemed like a great addition to the membership.
Despite it being a gym, I felt like there was a relaxed atmosphere about the place – plus it was bright and airy, very clean, and there was music playing in the background that added to the positive buzz.
It was great to see all the other members getting stuck into their workouts, and they were of all shapes, ages and sizes too. Not only that, I found they were really friendly – lots of people were giving me welcoming smiles - and a lady even helped me out with a weightlifting machine when she could see I didn’t know how to use it.
I did find my first gym visit quite tiring due to the fact that my fitness levels are pretty much zero, but I just listened to my body and did what I could manage at the time.
On my second visit, I managed to double what I achieved on the first! And it was amazing to see the FitPoints adding up, all of which were synced from my Fitbit to the WW app, meaning I was earning all my Wins too.
I even went on my own a couple of times after work as well. This is something I never thought I’d do, but the staff at the gym are great, and they take the time to say hello and ask how your journey is going, so I always felt at ease.
During one of my visits, one of the lovely staff members offered to help me complete the Body Composition Baseline Test. He was brilliant and explained each part of the test thoroughly. It was interesting to see the amount of fat and muscle you have as well as your metabolic age, weight, and how hydrated you are.
After just a couple of sessions, I started to notice a shift in my mental wellbeing – I felt good, great even, and I was refreshed and energised. I also noticed that I slept amazingly on the days where I had been to the gym beforehand.
I usually only earn FitPoints by going for walks in the park with my son Leo, so it was really rewarding to see them all adding up, not to mention losing a few pounds after going to the gym too.
My overall experience of The Gym Group was fantastic, and I would highly recommend them to anyone looking for a friendly gym with great equipment, helpful staff, and a good choice of classes – as well as excellent value for money. It’s open 24/7 too so ideal for people looking to work out at any time of the day or night!
Hi, I'm Colette, aka @backtogold_wwuk on Instagram, and the last time that I stepped into a gym was well over 10 years ago now. With a shift working husband, 2 children, and a 20-mile commute to work, I thought it would be impossible to find the time again.
Then WW gave me the opportunity to try out The Gym Group as a way of testing the WellnessWins rewards, and of course I jumped at the chance. It was open 24/7, meaning I couldn’t even come up with any excuses as to why I couldn’t go!
I joined up online, and it was a really easy process, even coming with an informative and detailed induction video. This meant that when I visited the gym for the first time, I knew just what to expect, and it definitely helped me feel less nervous on arrival.
I must have looked like the new girl though, with all the gear and no idea, as I couldn’t see the changing rooms and the look of panic on my face meant the manager came straight over to me! He gave me a friendly smile though and asked if I was okay, which was just what I needed.
A member of the team then showed me around all of the machines and taught me how they worked, and told me to just ask If I needed anymore help.
I’ve never been an avid fan of exercising, but when I joined WW I did start to do a lot of walking. I found that the more I walked, the more FitPoints I earned, and the more weight I lost and so on – but it became much more than that when I started going to the gym. I loved the energetic spring in my step it gave me, plus my head felt clearer and I felt totally refreshed.
I’ve surprised myself with how much I’ve enjoyed going to the gym, and the great sense of achievement I’ve felt from it afterwards too.
Before going, I had imagined walking into the gym and everyone watching and judging me, but that couldn’t have been further from the truth. You do your own thing, at your own pace, whilst everyone else is doing the same thing for themselves too.
Since going to the gym I've definitely felt my confidence soar. Not only that, as I push myself harder, I can feel myself going a little bit further and a little bit faster too.
Will I carry on going? Definitely! I’ve enjoyed it far more than I ever imagined I would. And my advice to anyone who's scared or hesitant to go to the gym? Just go for it – you’ll feel amazing, trust me!