February 8, 2019

Ascend Together: Andy and Sally Watson

 Andy and Sally Watson are your everyday husband and wife duo, having to juggle their daily responsibilities on top of a busy work schedule. For Christmas 2017, the couple decided to embark on their body transformation journey with UFIT. Strength and Conditioning Coach Tom Clarke and Head of Nutrition Wendy Riddell were alongside them for this journey. 

“Sally has bought me Christmas presents every year, which basically say, you’re fat! Diet books, fitness equipment and videos...but I was still overweight and unfit.” – Andy Watson

Sally’s thoughtful gift of the UFIT Body Transformation Program helped Andy while they discover the biggest advantage of it all – being able to do this together.

Q: What are some of the family meals before and after the program?

A: We thought we ate quite well but possibility a bit carb-heavy, whether it was chilli or curry with rice, meat, veg and potatoes or large servings of pasta.

S: We thought we were having balanced meals but later realised that we were consuming too much sugar in all its various forms.  

A: I was also drinking too much alcohol.

S: The biggest transformation for us, nutrition-wise, was recognising hidden sugars. We don’t really eat desserts or add sugar to tea or coffee so we thought we were fine. So it was a real eye-opener to learn that we needed to avoid all sugars for a while, in fruits, in dairy products and obviously in alcohol.


Q: Did you do the Clean and Lean Challenge?

S: Yes it was part of the program. We had both done the Clean and Lean Challenge twice before so we were aware of the nutrition aspect of things. Wendy educated us and gave useful personal nutrition advice. She was really on Andy’s case and was measuring, checking, photographing, sending clips and all that to keep us going. Basically, what Wendy says is the law and Andy bows down. Wendy speaks and he accepts. I tell him something and he doesn’t listen, but Wendy says something and he is fine!


Q: So Wendy played a huge factor in shaping your entire program but how about training? How was training with Tom like?

A: Brilliant, Wendy set us up with Tom and Tom knows Rugby, he has worked in and around Rugby clubs in the past and also plays a part for Wanderers here, so he very much understands the way I am. I was a very keen rugby player, and am still very much a rugby enthusiast so he knows how I work and he knows how to challenge me. It’s not like you have to crack a personal best every day - he assesses what sort of form I am in on the day and then he pushes me until I am soaking wet at the end of the session. It was really fun. He chooses the motivation and he also sends videos and motivating texts and that is really, really good. There is great chemistry between Tom, myself and Sally.

S: He has done an amazing job. Our body shapes are different and so are our strength levels - Andy started off being inflexible, while I am more flexible through yoga but not as strong. Tom manages to combine the exercises so it works for both of us, which is excellent.

 Q: What was the most challenging aspect of engraining this into your lifestyle, especially being together, were there any disagreements at the start, any points of frustration or was it all smooth sailing?

A: For me, I didn’t really realise what bad shape I was in before I took stock at the weigh in. I was 136 kg and really inflexible. The first week is hard, the second week still tough but from there on in, it gets better and better.. You know you’re losing weight but don’t see the big physical changes straight away. That’s where the support team of Wendy and Tom (and Sally) we there to keep you driving at it. This is a huge mental challenge and that’s where doing this together with Sally is an advantage. I wouldn’t be able to do this without her!

S: I think the biggest factor for us was, and I quote Wendy on this, and maybe a few trainers, “you can’t out-train a bad diet”. So it’s fundamental to improve your diet to improve your training. It’s all in the planning - knowing what we are going to be eating everyday and making sure the ingredients are there so we don’t have time to sit around and think, “Hmmm maybe I’ll just grab that bag of chips or have a beer.” Everything was kind of scheduled and a little bit more regimented and organised for a meal. The beer and alcohol was more challenging for Andy as it was just habit and part of his social life. With regards to training, there was never any conflict. The only difficulty was working around his work schedule. It has been such a great experience for us – we show up and train and then go for a coffee afterwards.

A: Going for coffee is like a date, it is very nice.

S: Yeah, we sit down for half an hour, 3 mornings a week.

“They say couples who train together stay together. Do it with support, make sure you’re in a good network, with a partner or in a Clean and Lean environment with people who are motivating you. With Tom as our trainer, he’s got his eye on us and does it in a motivational way but doesn’t “punish” us when things are not going according to plan. It’s more like, okay that’s what happened, let’s pick up and move on and see how we can take it from here. You can have a bad day, just pick yourself up, put it behind you and move on - one step forward.” – Sally Watson

Train and ascend together with your partner towards a healthier goal this season of love and kick-start your journey with us!

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