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The Smartest Transformation

Girl standing in gym in black leggings and white singlet

Transformation of Simone Manning:

This particular transformation of body, mind and soul took a VERY different approach.

Significantly, a slow and steady “before and after” so that the after, stays at an AFTER…….

How Did Simone Start This Transformation?

We did everything counterintuitive to weight loss and fat loss!

Particularly for example:

In the first 3 weeks she was NOT to train. She had been training 16 times a week.

More than twice a day, yet was morbidly obese. So, I said – NO TRAINING.

Or, if she does, it’s a deal breaker, I can’t help her if she can’t listen and take different advice.

She chose her own foods. Foods appropriate for her goals, that she LIKED. Not given an unsustainable “diet” that we all know won’t work long-term.

Finally, there was MORE FOOD, MORE OFTEN consumed by Simone even though she was NOT exercising at all.


What do you think happened?

Evidently, she lost skinfolds. Scale weight (not muscle) came down…. A lot.

After 3 weeks she was able to weight train twice a week for a few months.

Until she demonstrated to me that she was able to eat well, on a consistent basis.

Only then would I say that she could increase her training to 3 times a week.

When her food was on point. Instead of the usual diatribe of trying to “out train a poor diet”.

And if you are rejecting this concept already, well best jump off this blog, as you aren’t “getting it”. And I do.

As I have made my life about losing body fat and getting lean, stronger and confident.

Around month 9 she started 3 times a week.

Month 13 it jumped to 4 times a week where it has remained.

Keep in mind, in her “before” photo Simone was training 16 times a week. (Not a typo)

Simultaneously, other than walking (at a leisurely pace) Simone has virtually done no cardio.

The only exception was the last two weeks before her deadlift competition. This was not due to the photoshoot; it was to make weight for the class. Otherwise, here is the thing….

Transformation requires love not “hate”

I have always said, if you are trying to lose weight, recomposition your physique, gain muscle, get stronger, to become more powerful you have to gently coax your body to it.

Unquestionably, people have zero idea of appropriate timelines IF THEY ARE TO DO IT PROPERLY AND NOT REGAIN WEIGHT LOST.

So, the minute you try and force it, it will reject the idea and it will come back to bite you EVERY single time.

To Do a Permanent Transformation You Must behaviour change!

Simone had tried every PT in Geelong, tried every diet under the sun and had zero tools and strategies.

Issues such as her poor relationship to food, emotional eating, and overtraining and undereating.

Things that often leads to being chronically overweight.

We met on a Sunday after a random message on a Saturday night regarding liposuction.

We hadn’t worked together before but asked my opinion and stated, “you’re the only PT in Geelong I trust.”

Why did Simone want to transform?

Sunday, we met. Simone spoke. I listened. My office is a safe place.

Simone explained where she was at medically, mentally, emotionally, physically and somewhat spiritually.

I described her (kindly) as a “clusterfuck”. Simone was close to what I would call “broken”.

Full of shame. Disconnected from all the “good stuff”.

Her health – a ticking time bomb after a mini stroke. High cholesterol. Blood pressure through the roof.

Clearly obese. No self-esteem. Zero confidence. Not worthy of connection. Unworthy of an amazing relationship. Not good enough.

She was brilliant at numbing and self-medicating herself. You cannot selectively medicate emotions.

It’s impossible to medicate just the bad shit, anger, frustration, fear, guilt and shame. So, she numbed gratitude, happiness, joy.

No purpose, no meaning so she would hit the local milk bar for sweets, lollies and chips.

Let me tell you, had she chosen liposuction, or taken fat from her butt and put it in her cheeks, lips and forehead, she would still be that clusterfuck.

For her Transformation I Asked….

For her to take a risk, expose herself, be vulnerable and explore herself.

Therefore, really explore herself. And to start getting grateful. Showing gratitude. I know, you’re possibly already tuning out.

Just give me a diet and great program to follow. Some good supps?

Yeah, no. Band-aids again.

Really. How does gratitude have anything to do with getting into top physical peak shape?

Well, a lot actually, and again this is something my Staycations explore in depth.



And not just her body fat but her whole mindset.

How the f^%$k has she turned things around so dramatically? Not allowing herself to get bullied at work anymore.

Knowing what kind of man she wants a relationship with.

Standing up to her friends not supportive of her goals. Finding a voice. Believing she is worthy.

I always have the solution to your issues if it’s related to body fat and muscle mass (with the exception of serious medical conditions).

What if it was you I said this too?

The answers to these questions I have. It is not a sexy fitness sell.

Not at all. I told her point blank. “You need 3 years.”

Now let that sink in. What if YOUR coach said to you, it will take you 3 years to get on top of YOUR metabolism primarily.

3 years of being consistent. A long time to be “imperfect” to get where she needed to go.

She had to let go of who she thought she was to become the person she is.

You the reader, likely think “I don’t/won’t require 3 years.” And that, would 8 times out of 10, be wrong.

If you have a body fat issue, you probably do require that amount of time.


The reality is, when MOST women are in their 40’s and 50’s and want to “get back into fitness, this is my experience.

90% of them have very repressed metabolisms. So oppressed they are chronically repressed.

Any PT who tells them that can be rectified in 3-6-9 months is lying, or has no understanding of physiology. Or worse, both.

This doesn’t mean you won’t get some kind of results. However, as opposed to previously, I prepared Simone for zero expectations in the first 12 months.

None of this crap of “1kg per week” in her head. I told her to debunk that right out of her brain.

Still, imagine being told that? I suggested that she would experience many plateaus, and even regression.

Somehow, Simone wrapped her head around this. Consequently this partly can be attributed to her success.


We spent a lot of mental work on NOT sabotaging after a plateau, or a small regression.

Which is what 99% of people do. “Oh ITS” NOT WORKING”. No, you aren’t giving it enough time.

You are wanting instant gratification. Desiring the quick fix.

Regardless, NOT willing to go slow and steady to win the race.


So, I shall try to sum up things in a reasonably concise manner for you. Specifically, it’s quite a list!!

Major Health Issues and Achievements

After being kicked in the stomach whilst pregnant and left on the bathroom floor whilst husband went to the pub.

To shield herself from his advances she “got fat”.

-emotionally ate

-High blood pressure

-high Cholesterol

-Severe allergies all the time



-Low self-esteem and mental health issues

-Recovering from stroke

-Hormonal issues

-Brain tumor


-zero self-belief

After 3 years

-cessation of emotional eating. Completely. Thanks to my End Emotional eating course that I deliver in my staycations or online.


-Off ALL medication, no blood pressure tablets, no cholesterol medication (EXCEPT SHRINKING TUMOUR TABLESTS)

-No longer obese, in the normal, erring towards excellent amount of muscle tissue.

-Bodyfat from 54% to 24%

-scale weight lost was 30kg. But. It looks like more because of the amount of muscle she has developed.

-Recovered extraordinarily quickly from total hysterectomy, Doctors very impressed

-beating the brain tumor at the moment

-hardly ever gets allergies and has reduced her number of sick days at work dramatically

-usually with pituitary tumours, bone density is severely compromised – not Simone’s!


-in a total habit of being organised all the time. This has become automated behaviour. Consequently, she does it without thinking

-eats foods she likes and doesn’t get sick of

-So, plenty of complex carbohydrates and good fats to ensure she can continue to fuel her training and to continue to get her stronger

– specifically, 4 meals a day works very well for Simone. Not too many, not too few. Just right for Her lifestyle and “do-ability”

-no “good” and “bad” food. Good for whom and bad for what?


Simone matches her exercise to her nutrition quality and quantity NOT the other way around.

As opposed to 90% of the fitness population “trying to lose fat”

-maximum weight sessions per week is 4. She has not trained more than 4 times per week.

-cardio, virtually nil nearly the whole 3 years with the exception of the very last 2 weeks as she tried to make a particular weight class for powerlifting

-100 times stronger in her squat. Literally. As she couldn’t even bodyweight squat properly at the beginning

-twice as strong on her bench press (77.5kg bench).

-deadlift went from 40kg for 6 reps to a 1 rep max of 157.5kg!!


creatine cycles

-grasps the VITAL importance of sleep and recovery

-realises “down time” is imperative

-comprehends why she does all of her exercises


We focused on other “small wins”. Again, imagine that?! Could YOU do that?

(You might not need too; this is just the approach I took with this individual).


  • Competed every single self-image, self-concept task to improve her self-esteem and self-worth beyond recognition (taught through my staycations)
  • Simone stayed true to writing in her gratitude journal every day
  • Designed her picture card
  • Completed a social inventory
  • Set boundaries (very hard for her)
  • No more tolerating being bullied at work anymore
  • Found her voice and she uses it! This will get better and better at it with practice.
  • Simone is now working towards what many of us want to achieve on the “Me Tree”, self-efficacy
  • Meticulously kept a small wins journal
  • She is 1000 times happier and is now “living life on her terms”, PRICELESS

Powerlifting Achievements

-In her first ever novice competition Simone went 9 for 9. To give you some perspective of 3 white lights for each of the 3 attempts of 3 lifts, it took Ingrid 15 competitions to do that for the first time!!!

-2nd novice competition Simone won the Masters division and did PB’s

-3rd competition is her first SANCTIONED meet.

The deadlift only CAPO National event. Simone did 2 personal best lifts on attempt 2 and 3.

She also beat the National Masters 44-49 record by a whopping 10kg. Just WOW.

And 2023?

We debriefed this evening and had a good chat. Simone’s goals are twofold: mostly to compete next year in CAPO and/or WRPF.

Simone would rather put some time into this next comp, and add some serious kg’s to her lifts, so likely towards the end of the year.

Secondly, slowly but surely she want’s to continue to lean up, but no rush, as neither or us want her to feel “deprived” or in too low calories, just a subtle deficit over the next few months.

Congratulations to you Simone you deserve every compliment and accolade that you receive you are a completely new person in so many ways.




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