A Letter to Newbies – From Alison Hodgkiss

Dear Newbie,

When I started Nutrition@ClubTowers’ Habit-based Nutrition & Lifestyle Coaching Programme I was exercising regularly and had what I considered to be a reasonably healthy diet during the week but this relaxed totally during the weekend.

As a family I have a vegan teenage daughter, a teenage meat-selective son and a husband who announced the week before PN started that he wanted to try a vegetarian diet. By the start of the PN journey therefore we were all at least vegetarian……if I didn’t try it too, I would be cooking too many meals!

I work full time so like many of us nowadays I have a full life of food shopping , cooking, cleaning, supporting kids, supporting husband, supporting elderly-but-ok mother, and somehow managing to do some exercise by getting up at stupid o’clock…..but it works for us……usually.

When the opportunity for this Coaching Programme came through, I thought it would be a good opportunity to learn some more about nutrition and lose some weight.

At that time, I was feeling “hefty”. In clothes my body was …just..ok….or so I thought (more about that later). I carry weight around my middle so am an apple shape but as I am tall, I can carry a fair bit of weight before anyone (including me) really notices so it’s easy to ignore. However, once my weight goes above my husband’s, I know that something needs to be done! I was at that point.

My exercising was fine. I was swimming in the morning a couple of times a week and doing two classes at Club Towers. I had started doing some different swimming routines  to prepare myself for some open water events I had’ stupidly’ agreed to do and I was slowly seeing improvements in my flexibility in Body Balance and strength in Pump.

Whilst this was good, I was obviously eating more than I needed calorie wise………most of this happens at work with biscuits and a seemingly never ending supply of cakes!! 

So, what would my advice by to someone thinking to do this Coaching Programme?

It will blow your mind!

There have been so many things that I have learnt factually, so many things that I thought I knew, when in fact I didn’t. It made me look at everything again with fresh eyes –  I even apologised to my husband for being such a frump as I honestly hadn’t realised what I actually did look like!

It really helped to motivate me, and helped me realise that there were many things that I am good at, which has helped me though the process.

My advice to you as you start this journey is to be completely open to it and embrace it fully. If you do that, you will find your wellbeing increases and you may find you lose weight because your eating habits will change.

You may find you need to become the main food purchaser/cook in the house and if you are part of a couple/family, you will need to bring your family on board or be prepared to be slightly different for the duration… may find if this is the case that eventually they start to come onboard too.

The camaraderie and support I have had with and from our group has been fabulous and fun. This is available if you want it. Not all of my group seemed to be active members (of the WhatsApp group for example) so if you are a quieter person who just wants to do the programme, then I think that would work too. But, if you are a busy bee like me, it has been great.

This Coaching Programme is something you have to be  prepared to work at each day: set aside 10 mins or so to read the lesson, be prepared to practice elements each day and carry out weights and measures every other weekend. Who knew you could lose centimetres from arms, calves and neck…amongst other places I hasten to add!!

Every now and again there is a longer workshop to read and inwardly digest but I read this over a couple of days so it was manageable.

Ann as a coach is great and will provide as much support as you need or leave you alone if you do not. We have had regular meetings which have not only been times for learning but also for group friendships to develop and the one where you bring food is fantastic.

Overall, this course has changed my life. It has given me the tools to make better, healthier choices. To understand how to make these choices, to forgive myself when I fall off the wagon but the impetus to wipe the slate clean and carry on with the good work. I now have the knowledge and confidence to be a better version of myself and to try new things…I tried spin and after 3 months it really was not the exercise for me. I tried the Couch to 5k and am now running one 6k a week and two 5k distances.

It’s an experience that if you throw yourself into, it will throw out a healthier and fitter you not only bodily but mentally too.



(This letter was written in April 2020)

Would you like some help to become the healthiest version of you?

Most people know that regular movement, eating well, sleep and stress management are important, yet many need help applying this knowledge in the context of busy and sometimes stressful lives.

That’s why we now offer nutrition based services at Club Towers, available to members and non-members. Using the proven curriculum & resources of Precision Nutrition (PN) and delivered by our in-house PN Level-2 Certified Coach, our goal is to help our members and the wider community to achieve sustainable vitality through healthy nutrition and lifestyle habits…….whatever challenges you may be dealing with.

This is offered in three ways, a habit-based nutrition & lifestyle coaching programme
, 1-1 consultation sessions and Information Hub.

To find out more about how we can help you, book a 20-minute consultation (free for all members) with our Coach, Ann Towers at [email protected].