Kirsty Matthews

Kirsty Matthews

12 Months

Joe Parish

“This journey has not only changed my life, it has changed my family’s life.”


“During my late teens and early 20s I went to the gym, followed a program and had a fairly active job. Food was never an issue and nothing was ever off limits. I liked how I looked and felt comfortable and happy. Fast forward a few years to my late 20s (28 to be exact) and I was married with two babies, only 14 months apart in age. I’ve also had two c sections and these certainly took their toll. I found myself permanently exhausted, sleep deprived and to compensate for this I would overeat (mostly chocolate biscuits).


At the age of 31 I decided to lose the baby weight and did that the only way I knew how – by restricting foods and exercising excessively. I cut out basically all carbs and did a ridiculous amount of HIIT body weight classes. I lost weight, felt good but it was not enough as I still didn’t like the way I looked. I then restricted foods further, cut out milk in coffee, wouldn’t put dressings on food etc. basically just lived off salad and meat. This obviously only lasted so long before I went stir crazy and would eat anything I could that was “off limits” for a sustained period.


I never got to the place I wanted to be. I never looked the way I wanted to look. Hell I even went and done my HND in fitness health and exercise and still didn’t feel I was anywhere close to the place I wanted to be in. I knew something had to change.


Some of the instructors at my gym had got a coach (Joe) to prep them for competitions so I contacted him for a coffee (without milk!) and I told him my history and my battles. He said that he was confident that he could help me but he also explained that it would take time – this was probably the hardest thing I had to deal with. I wanted another quick fix but knew deep down that this was not the way forward.


The thought of increasing calories and not focusing on dropping body fat initially was really difficult but I put my trust in Joe completely to get me back into a good place with my food and to stop these crazy restrictive eating/binging cycles.


Soon my mindset shifted and I began to focus on my strength gains in the gym. I needed to focus on something other than the way I looked and I loved lifting heavy and seeing the weights progress. This became my new focus.


10 months down the line I can finally say I am happy with the way I look. I no longer have to change outfits 5/6 times before I can step out the door. I enjoy family time so much more, as “mummy” doesn’t have to freak out about menus before she goes out. Even my kids notice that mummy eats cake now, which is something that would have never happened before. This journey has not only changed my life; it has changed my family’s life.”