Member Q&A – Hannah Clayton-Scott
Name: Hannah Claytor-Scott
Height: 5ft 6inch
Weight: 8 stone 3 pounds
Before/After weight: 9 stone / 8 stone 6 pounds (after 12 week strong plan)
What you do for a living: Consultant at a service design consultancy
Hobbies: Reading, films, and traveling previously but I’ve recently found a new love of being more active – I’m increasingly spending time wanting to do things like hot yoga, hiking in the lake district and indoor climbing along with the gym of course!
Years training: 1.5ish
What product did you start with us?
I got the 12 week strong plan and macro consultation bundle in January and also bought version 2 of the strong plan afterward
Why did you start?
I used to be skinny as a rake growing up and a couple of years ago I guess my metabolism started to catch up with me – I went from a size 8 to a size 12. One day I realised my clothes didn’t fit anymore, I didn’t recognise myself in the mirror and I had no drive in me – I felt slow and sluggish. In April 2018 I decided to start making healthier choices. I’ve never been into fitness and had given up after 2 weeks every time previously. I actually started by buying the Live Well With Louise book for some healthy meal inspiration and did the resistance home workouts in that book. By the end of the year, I’d lost a stone and a half and had a little confidence boost from it. I’d got myself into healthier habits and was intrigued by doing some proper strength training in the gym but had no idea where to start. Just as I was looking around for personal trainers I saw this plan launch in December – it was perfect timing and because I’d already had a great experience with the book, this seemed like the natural next step.
How did you stay committed to the plan?
My husband and I work out together so if one of us isn’t in the mood we can help motivate each other. It also helps that we’re both on the same schedule and have similar priorities. And it makes it more fun! There are days when I’m tired from work and could easily go straight home but knowing I’m meeting him there gets me there in the first place. I find it also helps to think about how much better I’m going to feel afterwards.
What was the most difficult moment for you?
The lifestyle change was probably the most difficult for me. I work for a very sociable company so there’s always after work drinks, team lunches etc. I had to learn to say no sometimes and feel good about my choice. Now those things are an occasional treat and it means I enjoy them more when I do take part.A low was sometimes not being able to make progress as fast as I would have liked. Interestingly this became more about strength progress rather than losing weight! I got a bit frustrated with my upper body strength at times but I have learned to be patient – this isn’t a race, it’s a long term lifestyle.
What was your favourite day?
Any high moments you remember?Loads of highs! The first time I did an unassisted pull up I was absolutely buzzing. Going down a size in jeans. Hearing people around me tell me I looked great and asking me what I was doing. Feeling super confident in literally whatever I’m wearing.
What’s been the biggest lesson for you?
The macro consultation has been the most interesting – tracking what I eat has been a big eye opener. I’ve also learned that losing weight doesn’t always make the biggest difference and doesn’t always need to be the goal. I lost a lot more weight last year than I have this year (mainly because I had less to lose when I started) but because the plan has helped me with the stubborn bits and changed by body composition so I have more definition, the people around me have actively noticed and commented on the change.
Did your strength increase? If so, how much?
100% it has increased for every compound exercise but my lower body in particular. I still find upper body very challenging. As an example, in January I was squatting the 15kg bar alone on day 1. My squats were stiff and my mobility wasn’t great. I found 35kg squats super difficult. Now I’m able to squat 70kg which is a huge sense of achievement. Maybe I’ll get to 100kg by the end of the year… we’ll see… Although progress in my upper body has been more challenging I’ve slowly and steadily been increasing and I’ve also now managed unassisted pull ups. The challenge is a bit addictive and definitely keeps me motivated!
How did you find following macros?
I found it great. It allows for some flexibility in what you’re eating and you definitely get results. Tracking can be hard at first but my top tip would be to save your meals as you’re going along so that logging becomes easier. Also if you know you’re going to have a treat later – like a take away or meal out – log that in advance so you adjust the rest of your day easily. I’ve been taking this approach for 6 months now so it’s definitely sustainable. Obviously I’ve fallen off the wagon with my food or drink here and there for the odd weekend or a holiday away but it’s all about the long game!
Did you learn a lot from following our macros plan?
Yes, lots about what my body needs for different goals, the content of different foods through logging which has been a surprise at times. It has really simplified weight loss / eating to gain muscle for me.
What’s your favourite exercise?
Barbell squats. Although I am loving a pull up these days too!
What’s your favourite meal?
I love food and change my meals up all the time so this is a tough one. Mediterranean food is a favourite of mine so maybe a paella with greek salad.
What’s your typical diet like for the day?
On a weekday I’ll usually start the day with overnight oats (oats, almond milk, a scoop of protein powder, banana, and honey), lunch is something like tuna Nicoise / couscous, veg and protein or leftovers from yesterday’s dinner, I have high protein snacks like kvarg, fruit or recently I’ve wanted to up my carbs so might have some toast with peanut butter and banana to fuel my workout, I go to the gym 4 times a week after work so after my workout I’ll make a protein shake with almond milk and banana (I make enough for my overnight oats the next morning), then dinner is just a good mix of pretin, carbs and fats – lots of veggies, wholegrain noodles and prawns or chicken
What supplements do you use (if any)?
I take a multivit every day and I use protein powder. I don’t really believe in supplements I’d rather get the nutrients I need naturally. From tracking my food though I have noticed that my iron intake is quite low and I’ve struggled to up it so I’m considering trying a supplement to help with that.
If you could give someone 1 piece of advice before starting, what would it be?
Get straight into the mindset that this is a long term lifestyle. Having a holiday or event to aim for can be good motivation but you need to see the bigger picture. Don’t be too restrictive, do plan in advance.
What did you think of the private facebook group?
I love it – I check it every couple of days. The content on there is a useful accompaniment and a bit of added value. I think it’s great you’ve brought on members of the team who specialise in different areas – I love watching videos etc and the mini workouts you post on there. It’s also super motivating to see everyone’s progress and see everyone supporting each other through bad days. You do see the same posts all the time asking the same questions but hopefully as the plan format and onboarding improves that should minimise that.
What are your goals for the future? Fitness wise?
I’m really happy with where I am now, to be honest mentally and physically so my only goal is to maintain my health and keep working to get stronger and fitter. I have no desire to be athlete level but I’d quite like to be able to do 10 pull ups in a row and secretly yes I would like a little more ab definition – who wouldn’t?
What’s the one food you couldn’t live without, and how do you handle food cravings?
Curry. I actually manage to still have this as a treat meal – I just make sure I account for it in the day or within the week.
I had all the usual cravings – crisps, chocolate, wine. I have found dealing with them surprisingly easy since taking a macro-based approach. It means I don’t have to cut anything out completely I just have to account for it. I only have wine on Fridays and Saturdays now and try to limit it to 1 – 2 glasses when I do. I have pretty much cut out crisps and chocolate but I do have them occasionally, I just make sure I plan it in advance and let myself enjoy it when I do guilt-free. I’ve found that now I’m being more active and have experienced how much better I feel for eating better and exercising I don’t actually want the things I used to crave. I have things like kvarg, greek yoghurt with fruit and maybe a bit of honey or my smoothie to give me my sweet hit.
What’s your favourite quote?
Eleanor Roosevelt – “A woman is like a tea bag; you never know how strong it is until it’s in hot water.”