If ever there was true validation for a conditioning and exercise programme it was revealed this week…

John Shepherd – top athletics coach, all round oracle on training and fitness and the man masterminding my 16 week programme – has lost 2kg! That’s right, he has been losing weight. And because of his overseeing role, he’s probably only doing about 75% of what I am doing!

I thought that was so funny.


The former full international athlete, Masters athlete and top coach, and he’s losing weight thanks to the programme he has put me on!

To his credit John laughed about this too and, although he hardly carries any excess, he isn’t too unhappy about it!

So what about me? As previously stated I started this process somewhere reasonably close to my best ‘fighting weight’ so this was never going to be like one of those dramatic weight plummeting stories where a whole new wardrobe is required after six weeks. Although I confess there maybe items of my wardrobe I’d like to fit into just a little more comfortably.

The truth is that I may even gain weight as we progress. Body fat percentage may drop gratifyingly but the work we are doing will definitely tone and strengthen and that might actually add a kilo or two. But that is fine because I will look better, feel better and perform better. And that is what this is all about after all…

We remained on the track and the infield at Crystal Palace and I am starting to feel at home here amongst the ghosts and echoes of historic athletic feats! In fact, I can’t image John and I training anywhere else. In terms of exercises we have continued what we began last week but raised reps and duration another notch.

Parisa Louie Ultra-Fit Challenge week 4 My coach in weight loss shock_2

I’m still feeling exhilarated and energised by what we’re doing and think I have more to give and am eager to push

However John knows how to judge these things and it’s a fine line between operating just inside capacity and completely blowing out for the sake of misplaced ambition. A good coach knows how to pace and time things regardless of what the client may think.

And a good coach also knows how to handle a client who is not at their best for one reason or another. That certainly defined me during our second session of the week. It really had been ‘one of those weeks’ with all manner of random events and circumstances conspiring and contriving to be as awkward, de-railing and energy sapping as possible. The result was easily my worst mental and physical performance so far, but despite that I was proud of how I still applied myself and took steps forward – literally and figuratively.

This was partly out of my own determination and innate stubborn sense of discipline,

but also thanks to John’s ability to sense when someone isn’t at the top of their game and adjust his requirements and tone accordingly. It is not all about physiology it is very often about psychology too.

If this is as rotten as I feel over the remaining 12 weeks yet we still maintain course, keep on track and maintaining an upward trajectory, then I’m very excited about what we can achieve.

And not only that, I’m fascinated to see how much more weight Coach Shepherd will shed?!

 Check out Week 1, Week 2  and Week 3 of Parisa’s Ultrafit Challengeand grab a professionally designed fitness plan yourself!

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Pollyanna Hale Health and Lifestyle coaches
Lost 13 Kg in Total
Mel, 32y Location: London, United Kingdom Working with Pollyanna changed everything. I lost 13kg, got toned and have more energy than ever! Get same results!


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Lost 45 Kg in Total
Chris, 50y Location: London, United Kingdom Lost 45kg after the age of 50 and now competes and wins physique competitions and runs marathons Check our weight loss plans