Over the years I have made a number of attempts to get fit. Each attempt started with the est of intentions but ended without achieving my desired results.

A year ago I received a wake up call. I had been sick with the flu for a week and finally I got out of bed and went to work. I was rugged up and the day was hot. I ran a short distance to the bus, sat down and my head was spinning. The next thing I knew I was being picked up from the aisle of the bus. The doctor told me not to run. So much for doctors!

At the beginning of May 2013 I met Anastasia at a Russian party and talked about chess and started playing each other. Anastasia suggested I come for a training session as she was a personal coach and felt I needed it. We had one session and I really enjoyed her style. Why? Because it was not formulaic. She was genuinely interested in understanding what my body required and more importantly who I was and how to use my nature in a positive way to achieve results for my body.

I decided to give Anastasia a go as my personal trainer. The journey began. We had a number of obstacles to overcome in my transformation. The first was my heart rate. When we started my standing heart rate was 130. With very little exercise is rocketed to 160. Anastasia suggested a heart rate monitor so that anything we did was within safe limits for my heart.

The second was my diet. I was very protective of my diet. Most days I would eat at restaurants and I enjoyed my food. Anastasia told me that I was overweight at 89 kg and I had excess fat. I was deeply hurt by this as I was under the delusion that my body was in great shape. How wrong I was. Anastasia put me on a diet of protein every meal and eating every 3 hours from breakfast to dinner. For the first 2 days I thought I went well. Then Anastasia suggested that I send her a photo of what I ate and when I ate it. Of course I objected – I don’t have time – I don’t want to waste your time – the usual excuses. But I let go and did as suggested. Then the blow torch was turned on to my meals. “What is that?”. “What is it cooked in?”, “Is that processed food?”. And then the final blow “Are you serious about achieving your goals or are you wasting my time?”

I had to do some soul searching. Change my habits or remain the same. I decided to change. The simplest path was to follow Anastasia’s instructions and see if it worked. She took me shopping one day and taught me how to shop for food. What to look for. How to read labels. The result was that after 4 weeks my weight had dropped from 89 kg to 75 kg. Each week my belt would go in a notch. Clothes which were getting tight now became perfect. I was transforming.

The training was equally challenging. I decided to invest in my health and had one hour training session each week day and on the weekends a 2 hour aerobic session at beautiful Bondi Beach. Combined with my weight loss my fitness improved dramatically. My resting heart rate went from 130m to 100 in 4 weeks and after 8 weeks to 80. Instead of a little exercise getting my heart rate to 160, it now gets to 130 and only with huge exertion get to 140.

Another interesting phenomena is my age or perceived age. I have been alive on this body for 60 years. I have always looked younger than I was – principally because I have been meditating every day for at least an hour since I was 20. Happiness is the best cure for aging. But I was starting to age. Since training with Anastasia how I feel has been changing. I feel as I did when I was 20. I also ask ransom taxi drivers my age and it oscillates between 35 to 45.

One last noteworthy point is Anastasia as a person. I have found her to be professional and totally committed to helping me transform and achieve my goals. She is on my side and I know that whatever she suggests is 100% directed to helping me. One of my obstacles was always finding the time to train. Anastasia makes the sessions enjoyable. Even though every set she pushes me beyond my limit and I scream in pain. The next minute we are laughing our heads off.

I completely recommend Anastasia as a personal trainer – but only if your serious about achieving your fitness goals.

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