“Going to the gym feels like nothing now compared to elite, I’m delighted with the results I’ve achieved!”

Karen Graphic

Total weight lost:

22.2 lbs

Hi, Karen here.

Like most of you out there, I have a pretty hectic life. Trying to balance eating healthily, exercise, friends, family, work, and everything else in-between can sometimes be a nightmare. However, at the end of April this year I decided my health needed to come to the forefront and I made it my priority by joining elite.

Aside from the health benefits, I’m getting married soon and like every bride to be, I want to look my best on my wedding day!

I’m not going to lie to you, at first it was hard! As you can see if you have a read of my blog below, transforming your life isn’t as easy as flicking a switch. You have to put the work in. I’ve made the silly mistakes, felt the pain the next day after a particularly brutal session, and looked longingly at friends wine glasses when we catch up, but all that has got me to where I am now and I absolutely couldn’t be happier. I’m delighted with the results I’ve achieved!

The support from the elite team has been second to none, and even though I was skeptical at first I have found the ‘elite family’ and network on Facebook to be invaluable.

I still cant quite believe I’ve hit the 20lb target, and I have already signed myself up for elite: Focus. Although I think I will have a celebratory glass of champagne first though!



Day 1

Got a phone call from elite at 16:30 saying I could start with them at 17:15 due to a cancellation! But I had just been to the gym! Phil said just to come along and do my best so I did. Got weighed, first time I’d been on a set of scales in years. Then the torture started. The jogging on the spot I could handle. The sit-ups were manageable. I didn’t mind the star jumps too much. But Oh My God then came the squats, and the lunges and the burpees! They are sent from the devil as a form of torture. I toddled off to my car on wobbly legs. Because I’d joined late I didn’t have the diet plan yet so I settled for a radox bath and a big bowl of healthy soup, then slept like a baby.

Day 2

Up at 03:40 and ouch, rolled out of bed on very stiff legs. As I start work around 04:20 I had no time to shop for the diet plan, but I had porridge at work and fruit so thought that shouldn’t be too bad. Then I read the diet plan, eeeek, there’s not much on it is there? Went to Asda and filled my trolley with brown rice, broccoli, tinned mackerel (bleurgh) chicken, blueberries, nuts, seeds and Tupperware. Felt thoroughly miserable passing the wine aisle, still on very sore and stiff legs. Went to my gym for a swim, I love swimming, got my goggles on then hit it. Thought I’d been on for hours then checked the clock, I had only been swimming for 20 mins! 50 is a long time in the pool but I persevered. I had a sauna and a little sit in the Jacuzzi after and that definitely helped ease the soreness. Nicest dinner on the diet plan for me tonight – tuna salad yay! I can totally cope with that. Getting used to cottage cheese too. I do feel a bit headachey from lack of caffeine though, hoping that eases soon. Measured out my porridge, blueberries and seeds for the morning.

Day 3

Ouch, thighs really sore and the thoughts of a session at elite tonight are terrifying. Made my porridge at work. Not too bad but I am really craving a brew and I’m not a green tea fan. Messaged the elite group for help, Phil told me I could have herbal but not fruity tea, yay Peppermint it is! Will graze on the seeds throughout the morning and see how I get on. They actually kept me quite full! I didn’t have lunch until 13:30 which is late for me. Quite enjoyed the chicken, broccoli and brown rice, put a bit of chilli in and all was well. Measured out lots of portions of chicken while I was on and stuck them in the freezer. Session 2 was ouchy! No going easy they got us straight in for a warmup including the dreaded squats, lunges and burpees. Then it was outside for some boxing in the sun, man those gloves and pads smell like cheesy wotsits! Definitely investing in some. Then it was back in for a fitness test, 100 squats, push-ups then sit ups. I didn’t get to the sit-ups by time out. I was up to 61 push-ups. Home for a radox bath and omelette night, yum I could live with this!

Day 4

Woke up still a bit sore but not as bad as yesterday and hurray, the lack of caffeine headache has gone. I had already measured out my breakfast and stuck it in a Tupperware in the fridge so easy enough to bang in the microwave at work. Looking forward to my banana today! Got hungry very quickly after the scrambled eggs. It had been my intention to swim straight after work but I was too hungry so went home for lunch first. This was the bit I was dreading – the mackerel! I don’t eat fish apart from tuna. Everyone warned me to try not to smell it when I opened the tin but I failed! I nearly hurled at the smell, had a dip in the tomato sauce and very nearly threw up. But I was brave, chucked it in with the hot brown rice and it wasn’t bad, I just imagined it was tuna! Had a nap then swam for 50 mins in the afternoon but then was starving again. Drank loads of water but the feeling lasted all night, even after dinner. I think it might have been psychological with it being Friday when I would normally be in the pub then take away on the way home. Nothing for it but to put myself to bed early.

Day 5

Up bright and early, green tea and water before training. Oh My God today’s session was brutal, absolutely brutal. Hill sprinting, tyre flipping, ouch. On the fitness test (100 squats, 100 push-ups, 100 sit-ups) I wondered what was going on as everyone seemed to hit the floor quickly for push-ups. My friend Sarah who is also doing transform said afterwards its my knees on squats, she could see me struggling. I have wearing of the cartilage in both knees and have torn the ligaments in my right knee so have to be really careful with them. Did 100 squats and 61 push-ups, didn’t even get onto the sit-ups. Brekkie after training was lush, never enjoyed porridge so much. 2 of my friends who are on the course are no way near as sore as me and they’re putting it down to the protein which I haven’t been bothering with so going to invest in some today, and boxing gloves! Ate cod for the first time at lunch. The fishy smell put me off when I opened it but held my nose, squeezed lime over it and chilli, lovely!

Day 6

Not looking forward to a long Sunday stretching out before me, especially when I can smell the neighbour’s Sunday roast cooking! I am finding I am much hungrier on scrambled egg days but I head to the gym nice and early and do 20 mins cross trainer, 30 mins bike. Watching the London Marathon in the gym helps, I just keep thinking I’m glad it’s not me! Kept myself busy with housework, supermarket and checking out the elite group on Facebook really helps! Loved the asparagus at lunchtime. Got a good tip from another group member to roast veg for salad to have a warm meal instead of cold. This really helped as I am definitely feeling the cold more than usual.

Day 7

Supposed to be a rest day but I really want to exercise, especially as I have just found out we aren’t supposed to be having salt, and I have been every day! Really hope this won’t ruin first weigh in tomorrow. Dreading it even more now.

Day 8

Really bad night’s sleep. Probably a combination of not exercising and worrying about weigh-in. Been reading the Transformation bible though and it says not to stress, so trying not to! Enjoyed the porridge and blueberries, left the cinnamon out this time. Had brekkie at 5am then snack at 8, planning on lunch around midday to try and get the spacing out right. Had lunch around 12:30, remembering not to use salt this time, can’t believe I only realised that yesterday! Squeeze of lime on the cod made it fine. Getting canny sick of rice though. Afternoon nap, lots of water then off to elite for the dreaded first weigh in. There was a huge queue waiting at the scales when I got there. Lots of people standing around comparing losses too, some disappointed by 3 or 4 lbs but that’s perfect, Phil said 3.4 lbs a week would hit the 20 in the 6 weeks. Got on the scales and was amazed, 5.9 lbs off hooray! Followed by a brutal circuits session, more hill sprinting. Had the protein shake for the first time when I got in and a hot radox bath, still needed deep heat on my ass, those burpees are murder on the glute!

Day 9

I have bought peanut butter even though I think its vile, its on the plan so I am trying it today on my rice cake! Hmmm not a massive fan but not vile either, It’s on the plan so will stick with it. Disaster, when swimming this afternoon I felt my right knee just go. I have a history of problems with my knees, wearing of the cartilage in both and I tore the ligaments in the right one a few years back, but with physio it got back to normal. Persevered and finished my swim, then did some stretches and deep heat overnight.

Day 10

The knee is still not right. I don’t want to NOT exercise now I am on a roll so have messaged Phil for advice. Still doing stretches to try and put it right. Managed to get a physio appointment for tomorrow afternoon and will train tonight wearing a knee support. Phil says he can adjust my workout to not put any strain on my knee.

Day 11

Good and bad news from the physio. I haven’t torn my ligament but I have aggravated it. She said it’s a warning to adjust my exercises to put less pressure on it, no more breastroke when swimming as the leg position is really bad. Passed all the info on to Phil so he can help me with the exercises at elite.

Day 13

It’s a bank holiday weekend and its really stretching out! However this is the first bank hol Sun in a LONG time that I have woken up early, clear headed, no hangover and bags of energy! Went to the gym with my knee support on – treadmill was fine but exercise bike hurt so I gave up and did upper body work instead. Drove my other half to the pub. Lasted 2 hours drinking water before the drunk people just started irritating me. Felt shattered when I got home so had my turkey salad and went to bed before 9. I’m finding I’m not up late enough to have the evening snacks.

Day 14

Up really early after going to bed at 9 so off for a swim even though it’s a rest day. Week 2 is always a low weight-loss week, so every little helps! Another bank hol another outing! This time down to Tynemouth with friends. Again I drove and drank water and didn’t mind it as the sun had come out and it was nice to get a change of scenery. When I got home I stir fried my salad, wow it was lush! Nice change to have a hot meal instead of a cold one.

Day 15

DREADING the weigh in as a lot of people I know have had minuscule losses this week. Drinking lots of water and trying to go to the toilet as often as possible – every little helps right? Really relieved to have lost another 3 lbs at weigh in, that’s pretty much 9 in 2 weeks, that’ll do for me! Phil and co ramped up the training tonight with partner work. More tyre flipping, side planks, chucking medicine balls, lots of squats! Ouch ouch ouch.

Day 18

Despite having just done a session last night I’ve swapped into Group 1 today for their 07:30 class – I’m away for the weekend for my hen do and totally don’t want to miss out on training! Halfway through and I now know why elite separate the sessions by a couple of days, the pain is immense. I feel good for it though, although a bit apprehensive about how I will get through the weekend. Luckily one of the fellow hens is a member of elite and has done Transform before, and another is doing Transform with me now. We arrive at our home for the weekend, a beautiful house in Seahouses, the owners have kindly left us freshly baked muffins! Good job I don’t have a sweet tooth.

Day 19

Thanks to Sarah measuring all of our food and bringing it in Tupperware we have prepped to the letter foodwise with no cheats! The girls had chilli and curry and we had our fish, feeling very virtuous. Up for an early morning training session. We brought our gloves and kettle bells so got properly stuck in, even adding a few hill sprints in. Its fair to say I have never done this on a girls weekend away before. We did nearly buckle when we headed to a pub with the girls, they were ordering beef stotties, chips, pulled pork and the smell of vinegar on chips was overwhelming, so we left!

Day 20

Up again for an early morning session and jog round the village, the village folk were really friendly and saying hello as we past, we could barely get greeting back for panting! More hill sprints, Sarah has clearly learned to count like an elite trainer – HOW MANY HILL SPRINTS DID YOU SAY???

Day 22

Dreading weigh in again after a rest day yesterday which was needed after a weekend of very late nights. Phew, relief, almost another 2 off which puts me at 10.9lbs down at the halfway mark – result!

Day 23

A few of us from Group 4 have decided to get together and train. After mine and Sarah’s sterling effort at the weekend we realised we work much harder if we train together! We all met after work, found a big hill, and ran up and down it! Then we did a tabata? No idea, one of the girls had it on her phone. 10 sets of everything from burpees to star jumps to squats and planks, gonna feel that one tomorrow!

Day 24

Today at elite training we had the pleasure of the Roxanne dance and workout – eek. You start running on the spot with high legs, then every time the Police sing “Roxanne” you do a star jump, and every time they sing “red light” you do a burpee. I very nearly threw up for the first time in training! I never want to hear that song ever again.

Day 25

Today is Superhero Day, raising money for Cash for Kids the radio station’s charity for very poorly children in the North East. All day we will be doing the Superman Dance, over and over again on a loop and travelling the whole of the region while we do it! Phil says I can add some extra food into the plan today as I will be burning calories all day so I am having porridge instead of eggs and taking rice cakes and fruit! The day was great fun but very tiring! We did the Superman dance 175 times, that means we did the actions 525 times in total! Resisting the copious buffets, cakes, sweets and booze we were offered on the way was really hard but I stayed strong and followed the plan!

Day 26

Very tired and sore after Superhero Day and hoping they go easy on me at elite this morning. How lovely, people I didn’t even know from the class before us were congratulating me on the amount of money we raised. Ha, go easy? Toughest training yet! Not only did we do circuits, we stopped down in-between every exercise for burpees, mountain climbers and some other hideous exercise I can’t even remember! But they had saved the worst til last. End of the session we had the 5 minute 100 burpee challenge. Apparently some kind of machine at elite once did 100 burpees in 5 minutes! Really pushed myself for this and managed 52. I was quite proud of that!

Day 27

Went to the gym but didn’t feel like I’d worked out at all compared to going to elite! I did have a NSV though. (Non Scale Victory). Treated myself to a new gym top – 2 SIZES SMALLER THAN THE LAST ONE I BOUGHT FROM THE SAME SHOP! Totally delighted with that. I then drove the other half to a pub to meet our friends and sit in the sun listening to some live bands. They necked beers, wines, ciders. I had 3 pints of water and came home starving from the smell of the BBQ going!

Day 28

Not sure why but I am in a really crappy, snappy mood! Feel really tired and have no energy. Talking to some of the fellow elite transformers on Facebook and sometimes this happens. They’ve bolstered my spirits though and a few of us from Group 4 are getting together to train, even though it’s a rest day!!! Had a right laugh with the others and went to bed with my mood fully restored!

Day 29

Worked out why I was in a bad mood yesterday, worrying about weigh-in today. It’s getting so close to the finish line now that we are all paranoid about it. The slots come out for final weigh in today too which is not helping the nerves. Planning to go early to get a good slot! Popped to elite at half 12, glad I did! Got a perfect weigh-in slot on the morning of our final class, now just the dreaded weigh in tonight. Weigh in was good, another almost 4lbs off which takes me to 14.8lbs lost in 4 weeks. I know that’s good and I shouldn’t be disappointed but I really wanted to hit 15 and get a new photo! They really ramped the training up tonight again! 10 squat jumps, 10 double crunches, 10 burpees, 10 tuck jumps, 10 low high planks etc etc. Each time we added a new set in. I didn’t finish one in the time yet! Every set I kept looking at people thinking “how are they on the floor already, I’m still squatting!”

Day 30

Shaun from elite says we can have a treat tomorrow, 120g of rump steak!!!! Well he can keep it. I’m not a massive red meat fan but when I eventually do have a steak it’s gonna be with chips, onion rings and peppercorn sauce ha ha! Cheeky day off work today. Our team was down in London at a swanky awards do last night, slap up meal, free bar, loads of wine on the table but I knocked back going to stay focussed and FTP! Feeling very virtuous. Did another homework session with Sarah, we nailed it. Hill sprints, burpees, kettle bells the works. Tried to do some crunches but hurting too much from last night’s elite session!

Day 31

Decided to trim my carbs down a little for the last push, I have 9 days left so cut my porridge down to 30g this morning. That was at 5am and I was starving by 07.30 so this might not work for me, I know some transformers are doing it but with my hours it might not be the best idea! Will see how the rest of the day goes and if I have enough energy for training.

Day 32

OMG last night’s session at elite was called Kettle Bell Hell, and it did exactly what it said on the tin. I never want to see a kettle bell again as long as I live. Those trainers certainly think of cruel and unusual ways to punish, I mean train us! I am a bit wobbly this morning and have an achey back but no pain, no gain. Obviously using muscles that I don’t usually! Spoke to Phil about the cutting carbs thing and how nauseous I’d felt all day and he suggested having the full amount of porridge on training days and just trimming back the other carbs like rice and sweet potato so just gonna try that! Gave my other half my sweet potato to make wedges out of for his tea tonight, BIG mistake, HUGE! Just watching him make them riled me. First he rubbed them all over in olive oil. Then I asked him if he wanted some of the garlic I was chopping for my tea. No, he said he’d just use the garlic oil! These wedges were swimming in oil, he then cooks them and tries to make me eat one saying “Just one won’t hurt” YES IT WILL ITS SWIMMING IN OIL, MOVE AWAY AND TAKE THE WEDGES WITH YOU! I didn’t over-react at all.

Day 33

Training at elite bright and early today, another killer session, they are really ramping it up for the final push! We did Tabata, lots of quick change overs and very short breaks in between exercises. When we planked at the end Phil was really, really strict, shouting at us to keep our knees up, then re-starting the countdown if anyone hit the deck. I must admit I was one of those who failed! I was sweating so much I slid off my mat! Had to move onto the astro-turf to keep a grip! Having a great NSV – Non Scale Victory, when your weight loss shows in other ways than just the scales. My clothes are too big so I’m off shopping for some new ones, even though I hate shopping! Roped my big sis in for a trek round town. She has a pedometer app on her phone and we did almost 10,000 steps in a couple of hours so it added to the homework too! Bought a few smaller items than usual and actually enjoyed shopping for a change. On the weekends I find it really hard to get my eating times right as my hours are so different from through the week. Had breakfast at 10.30 after training. Apple for my snack at 13.30 but then went shopping and didn’t get back until nearly 6pm. Had missed lunch so kind of combined lunch and dinner and had a feast!

Day 44

Very strange up and down day mood wise and food wise. I think its because we are so close to the finish line now. Only 3 elite sessions left, and only 2 of those before the final weigh in next Saturday. My day started well, I was up early and straight to the gym, leaving the other half in bed. Then to the supermarket, I’d already done my list, being on the transform programme certainly makes you organised! Home and breakfast about 10.30. I thought that’s perfect for a Sunday, I can have lunch and dinner at a normal time and not feel too hungry. Or so I thought. I was starving by half 12. Managed to hold off until half one then had lunch. Then I started thinking, oh God I can’t have much food for the next couple of days. Turkey salad later then eggs again for brekkie tomorrow and I have a busy day with meetings so won’t be home for my lunch until 13.30 at the earliest, that’s a nightmare on a weekday when I have breakfast at 5am. Then I started craving naughty things. And when I say naughty, I mean really naughty! I don’t have a sweet tooth normally and never eat sweets or chocolate. In fact I don’t think I have EVER ordered a dessert in a restaurant. But today I could murder one. Something with loads of chocolate and cream and nuts and caramel. This is so weird. I wouldn’t normally thank you for anything like that. Devoured my salad then my evening snack but didn’t feel satisfied at all. Had some more green tea and put myself to bed in a huff at 19.45, it was the only thing for me!

Day 45

Really bad night’s sleep, the end of the transformation is clearly weighing on my mind! Onwards and upwards though, busy week at work so have had to be really organised with food shopping and prep as always. Managed to get home from work just after 1pm so had lunch then went for a nap. Disaster, forget to set alarm and woke up at 3.45pm. Must have needed it! Got my kit on, stretched out and headed over to Sarah’s for a training session. We started off with a jog and she was impressed by how much the treadmill has improved my stamina! We continued with kettle bells, boxing, sit-ups, star jumps. Sarah did some skipping but I couldn’t master the rope and nearly tripped myself so left that alone! We finished with a plank – Sarah smashed the minute! I dropped at 26 seconds so tried again. 38. Slight improvement but must practise more.

Day 46

Session 16 and second last weigh-in day! Nervous and stress about weigh-in but trying not to be. I’ve followed the plan, I’ve reduced my carbs and I have upped my exercise. My clothes are definitely very loose and a couple of guys at work I’ve not seen in a while were very complimentary! Micky who reads our news asks for the info on elite as his fiancé is going to sign up on the strength of my results so that’s got to be a good sign! First weigh-in I’ve actually felt confident for, came away a bit deflated. I’ve now lost 17.1 pounds, so just over 2 this week. Really disappointed with that, I honestly thought this would be my strongest week after week 1. Got stuck into training though and tried not to let my face trip me up. We did the dreaded Moby Sally song, ouch! Phil pulled me up by my bootstraps and told me not to get down and be proud of some great losses so far. I’ve got 3 pounds to lose in 3 days! Its my own fault for opting for an early weigh-in. If I left it until Tuesday this would be no problem. But I have opted for early morning Saturday so I can enjoy the weekend! Well it is the second round of my hen do on Saturday! I know what I need to do and will re-group and focus on the last push. Also had a lovely phone call from Sarah giving me a lot of support and pep talking me, expecting a killer session with her tomorrow!

Day 47

So what am I doing today, 3 days before final weigh in when I have 3 lbs left to lose? Opening the new Dickson’s Pork Shop in Newcastle! Yes Dicksons, home of the saveloy dip, pork pie, handmade sausages…. My life is like a bad comedy at the moment, you literally couldn’t write it! I have warned them I am on a diet and will be having water only but I am already wobbling thinking about the lovely smells! As I’ve previously mentioned I don’t really have sweet tooth but I love savoury things so this is probably the most tempting place I could go. Kid in a sweet shop doesn’t really cover it!

Day 49

Yesterday I managed to resist the temptations of Dicksons, no idea how! I watched my co-host scoff a breakfast wrap then go in for pie, which I stopped him eating! I was like you can’t be hungry that’s ridiculous, so he stopped. We brought Dicksons goodies back to work and I even took pies and saveloys home for the other half without eating any, this is a big achievement for me! Today’s challenge – creating a new cocktail at The Botanist that they are gonna sell for our Charity – Cash for Kids. This was a huge challenge. I wasn’t that concerned about wanting to drink the booze, at this stage I’m not tempted, saving myself until after the last weigh in. What I was worried about was that I’d look like a right weirdo going to make cocktails and not tasting them! The guys at the Botanist were great when I explained why. Mixologist Brad even helped me invent a detox cocktail, although it still had vodka in ha ha! Other than the vodka it was quite clean with lots of citrus fruits and ice. I have no idea how it tasted. Session 17/18 at elite was an absolute beasting! Phil said it was going to be a doozy and it certainly was! I have never sweated so much in my life. Made the mistake of getting on the scales. Still the same weight as I was Tuesday, devastated! I might just have to accept that I have lost all the weight I can lose now. Getting so many compliments I just need to concentrate on that and the NSV’s like clothes being too big. Phil did say though that it might be down to all the water I am drinking and this should come off for final weigh-in, fingers crossed.

Day 50

Final day really as weigh-in is at 0745 on Saturday. I have been drinking over 4 litres of water a day so wanted to cut this back today however disaster has struck! The air con at work is broken so the studio is like a sauna! Gotta keep hydrated in these conditions which is blinking typical. The day is stretching ahead like a very loooong day so will try and stay focussed and distracted, and planning on a very early night. My lovely co-host Steve had given me a card with a really nice message in about my progress, and a pressie too. This has cheered me up no end and made me less worried about weigh in!

Day 51

Woke up very early on weigh in day with totally butterflies in my tummy! Got my neon top at the ready for our rave. For our final session they’ve asked us all to dress up and take glow sticks so we can have an old school rave! Got to elite for 0730 and it was a hive of activity! I was very nervous to get on the scales but really wanted it over with. I was absolutely blown away when I did. I’d lot 22.2lbs in total! Smashed the 20lb challenge! I was so relieved and very close to tears. I immediately signed up to stay on with elite for the Focus course. It really is a lifestyle change that I want to continue and I cannot even imagine not wanting to train with those guys! Phil says I definitely don’t need to lose any more weight, we’ll just built on what I’ve lost now and build shape where I want to. Sophie says they will give me a new nutrition plan with more variety too. All sounds great but first….the celebratory champagne!

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