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Jeffrey Morgan - All Stars Personal Trainer

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Maria

“You're my hero Jeff”

"Four months ago I felt very disappointed with myself because I felt very heavy and unhealthy. I decided I needed to make a change. I searched the Internet for personal trainers that could do outdoor sessions in a park nearby my house. Jeff was the first to reply and a lengthy and concise reply at that. After our consultation session I felt I had found a 'decent' trainer because Jeff was knowledgable about health and exercise. After our first training session I knew he was a GREAT trainer. During every session he pushes me to do the best I can through a wide variety of exercises. He is so encouraging and supportive. His most used mantra is 'good form, good technique' - which I repeatedly hear in my head even when he's not around.

The weekly weigh ins are great because they allow us to see my progress. Not only does Jeff train me but he puts together eating plans that ensure a healthy diet, the meals are also very delicious. He also writes up training programs to do out of our sessions, which to me shows he really is dedicated to my progress. I feel so much more confident in my body and am more at peace with myself. With Jeff's support I have went from 73kgs to 59kgs in four months. My goal is 55kgs and I know we're going to smash that within the next two months. Jeff has changed my life and I am so thankful."

The great Dalai Lama was once asked what he considered to be the meaning of life, he simply answered, “to be happy and useful”. I live by this philosophy and use it to guide me through every choice I make. If it makes you happy, do it. If you can make yourself useful to others, be useful. Life is meaningless if we live without happiness or purpose. I am proud of my life and of who I am. To get to this point however, I have had quite a journey. To understand how I have gotten to this wonderful point in my life I must appreciate all the challenges that I have had in my past.

When I was 14 years old I struggled to find myself like many adolescents. I struggled mainly with my body image. Looking back at photographs I was slightly overweight but hardly obese. Through teenage eyes though not having that celebrity bikini body was heartbreaking. I was surrounded by a loving family and many close friends but that didn’t stop me from developing an eating disorder. I remember clearly one day staring at myself in the bathroom mirror disgusted at who stared back at me, convincing myself that I was horribly ugly and fat. I began to eat very little and would force myself to purge when I felt I ate too much. It goes without saying that I unhealthily lost a lot of weight. I was unbelievably fatigued, weak and unhappy all the time. This continued for almost two years without realising I was slowing destroying my body. It wasn’t until my closest friend approached me in tears begging me to stop because she didn’t want me to die. After talking to her and a few other friends I came to the realisation that life was good and that what I was doing to myself was wrong. I definitely continued to have a poor sense of body image but I no longer purged or limited my food. As I nourished my body I slowly became more confident in whom I could be. Slowly but surely those bad eating habits became a distant memory.

The summer of my 17th birthday I fell deeply in love with my best friend. As beautiful and perfect as it was I was again at battle in my mind because I had fallen for another girl. For as long as I could remember I had envisioned I would meet a man, fall in love, get married and have children. It never once occurred to me that I could have all of this with a woman. Being raised as a Roman Catholic definitely made me doubt these feelings that I was so sure couldn’t be wrong. I felt like what I was feeling was wrong and unacceptable. Love is one powerful feeling though, all the doubts and fears about being in a lesbian relationship were diminished as we fell deeper and deeper in love. It didn’t matter what I once though love was because experiencing it firsthand redefined the whole concept. It goes without saying that it was not easy. We kept our relationship hidden for almost a year and once we shared it with our loved ones we were surprised by the support that my family gave us. Even today I know that they aren’t exactly thrilled at the idea of our relationship but they have come to accept that it is what makes me happy. Not everyone is respectful towards our relationship but I know that love should not be defined by human anatomy but instead the connection between two individuals. I very much love my partner and will continue to love her despite any person’s opinions, legislation or media perceptions.

After high school I decided to put tertiary study on hold and work full-time. In retrospect, this was not the best decision I could have made. Although I was earning enough of an income working in cafes to get by I did not realise that the amount I was earning and the lack of tertiary qualifications limited my future goals of travelling, buying a house and raising a family. My partner on the other hand went straight to college and gained fulltime employment in an industry that she is very passionate about. She advanced in her future endeavours while without realising I was not moving forward in the slightest. We decided to move out into a rental property together. The decision was largely hers to live together and I complied. Don’t get me wrong I very much wanted to live together I merely felt that I was not bringing anything productive into our relationship. Once we lived together I could feel myself becoming unhappy with where I was in life. I hastily resigned from the café where I had been working thinking that was where the problem lied. I thought that if I had more time to myself I could figure out what I wanted in life. At this point, I was jobless and would sit at home doing very little hardly ever leaving the house. I would clean and tidy and cook dinner for my partner, waiting all day for her to come home from work. That was the extent of my day for almost three months. I was very unhappy and began to put on a lot of weight.

After being fed up with feeling useless I began looking for work once again. I still wasn’t sure what my long term career goal was but I knew I couldn’t sit at home forever. With my experience in hospitality it wasn’t hard to find a café job within walking distance of my house. I love working in hospitality because of the interaction with the diversity of customers. The staff at this café soon became my new friends and I started to feel happy again.
Working again was great but over the next six months I continued to put on weight. Upon reflection I think it was because I didn’t know how to prepare healthy meals nor did I want to spend a large amount of money on healthier options. I began to hide my body under layers of clothes as I realised I was getting bigger. None of my family, friends or even my partner mentioned I looked any bigger so I quite comfortably ignored the tighter clothes and heavier figure. It was in the early days of September 2011 that my partner turned to me in bed one night and said something along the lines of, “I think you’re getting a bit big. Especially around the belly”. It felt like a slap in the face. At first I was so upset that she could possibly think this about me. All these feelings of worthlessness and ugliness about me rushed into my head. I woke up the next morning and took a hard look in the mirror. I could see that I was heavy but it wasn’t until I looked at older pictures of even just two years earlier how different I looked. Not only had I become quite heavy but I looked sad.

I sat on my bed in tears not knowing what to do. I realised that I simply did not know how to get fit. I did not want to choose unhealthy ways like purging or going on some crazy crash diet. I realised I needed help. I needed someone to direct me onto the right path. I needed to make a change. I searched the Internet for personal trainers that could do outdoor sessions in a park nearby my house. I love being outdoors and I didn’t feel confident enough to exercise in front of anyone else. I emailed at least ten different trainers. To my delight Jeff was the first to reply and a lengthy and concise reply at that. He straightforwardly answered all my questions. It was when he wrote “I have trained people for over 20 years changing thousands of people lives” that I decided to give it a chance. 

After our consultation session I felt I had found a 'decent' trainer because Jeff was knowledgeable about health and exercise. After our first training session I knew he was a GREAT trainer. He spoke to me encouragingly the whole time even though I could barely run 100m or do a proper lunge. He made me feel like even though I might have a long journey to fitness I could do it. I felt like my life was finally going somewhere. I t was a sort of self-confidence that I had never felt in my whole life.

During every session he pushes me to do the best I can through a wide variety of exercises. He actually surprised me with the different exercises he puts together. His most used mantra is "good form, good technique" -which I repeatedly hear in my head even when he's not around. Jeff puts me on a set of scales weekly and I love it. Not only does it let me see my progress but it is a way of holding me accountable to my own training.

I started training with Jeff in September 2011 weighing in at 75kgs and a body fat of 36%. These numbers labelled me as obese. Determined to change my life I committed to three hour sessions a week with Jeff. I am not going to lie and say it was easy. It was far from it. The hardest part was the first few weeks. Self-motivation was my biggest downfall. I doubted my own strength but I never let myself give up. I never cancelled a single session and once in a session I gave it 100%. Jeff sends out these great daily tips though text messages which never fail to motivate me. He always replies to my texts and emails and always has the answer.
Not only does Jeff train me but he puts together eating plans that ensure a healthy diet, the meals are also very delicious. Eating clean and healthily is actually a bigger challenge to me than training. But once you stick to Jeff’s eating plan you feel almost instantly healthier. Energy levels heighten and proud of what you eat. After a few weeks those oily fatty food disgust you because you’re body has detoxed from those toxins. I have it instilled in my head that today’s food is tomorrow’s body (another one of Jeff’s mantras).

Another great tool Jeff provides are out-of-session training programs. Working out is easy when you have your trainer there but knowing what to do on your own is a whole different story. Jeff happily writes up programs, which to me shows he really is dedicated to my progress.
In February 2012 I hit my goal weight of 55kgs and body fat of 20%. At that point I felt so much more confident in my body. I lost 20kgs in less than 5 months. It is now July 2012 and I have furthered my fitness greatly by achieving the weight of 49kgs and a body fat of 8%. I am now at an athlete’s level of fitness. Soon after hitting my goal weight I continued training with Jeff and realised I love running. I have committed to six full marathons in the next year. One of which is a 100km marathon. I train for up to three hours a day most days of the week while working fifty hours week as a café manager. I train with Jeff once a week where he continues to weigh me in and provide amazing support towards my new running goals. We continue to strengthen my body and he continues to educate me in health, nutrition and fitness.

Thanks to Jeff I have come to realise that I am going to be a great runner. I am also going to study Sport, Exercise and Nutrition in university in 2014. This further study will open up endless opportunities to support others in also leading a healthier lifestyle. I am very proud of myself for becoming a healthy and fit person. I know that in the end you choose your own path in life. Jeff has inspired me to make a great change in this world the way that he changes lives every day.
There are no words to express how thankful I am to have Jeff as my trainer. Not only is he my trainer but he has become a very great friend to me. Without him I would be on the road to so many lifestyle related diseases like diabetes, cardiovascular disease, liver disease, cancers and depression. He literally saved my life. Now I am smiling all the time simply because I am happy. Having a healthy body has created all other aspects of my life to be joyful. Everything in life seems to just become simple, happy and prosperous once you put yourself on a healthy path. I have never been as happy as I am today. I no longer doubt myself in any situation and am confident in my own capabilities. I have a very positive outlook in life and know that I am going to go even further with my achievements. I wouldn’t be where I am today without Jeff. I am so thankful every day for his continual support and commitment to my health. Thank you Jeff, you are my hero and always will be!

- Cafe Manager, Maria
 
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