Leanne is a Personal Trainer and owner of the Lean With Leanne Program. She’s been a Personal Trainer and Fitness Instructor promoting exercise and healthy eating for 10 years, inspiring many to get fit and change their life. But for Leanne, the passion wasn’t always there. But we will let Leanne share that story.
I was always the overweight girl at school and I hated P.E. I hated ANY type of exercise whether it was team sports or athletics I HATED it. Growing up I had an extremely bad relationship with food. I would use food as a comfort, binge eat and secret eat. I was severely bullied at school for my weight and eventually my issues with food spiraled out of control and I became bulimic. Secondary school was tough for me and the thought of joining a gym could send me into a panic attack but as I reached sixth form I hit breaking point. At the age of 17 I weighed 15 stone and was manically depressed! I was carrying around the burden of an eating disorder with no way out and no one to help me learn how to improve my physical and mental health. I joined a gym and HATED it! I had no induction, no contact with a trainer, no one showed me how to use the kit and I remember feeling like everyone was looking at me thinking I didn’t belong there! In that moment I knew I wanted to help people NEVER feel the way I did in that moment.
Since that moment I have become a very passionate Personal Trainer and huge mental health advocate. I have fallen in love with training and teaching and now help others improve their physical and mental health.
My mental wellness
I battled for years in my late teens/early twenties thinking I would be happy if I just reached that goal weight, if I could just get into those size 8 trousers. It has taken me a long time to realize that making my mental health a priority is the real way to improve. Through counseling and vlogging about mental health I have learnt so much how you can really focus your mindset and improve yourself mentally. I also know the importance of exercise to keep me motivated, fit and healthy and to keep my mind right.
How I decided I needed to change
At school I was severely bullied for being overweight and I hated any sort of physical exercise but at the end of GCSE’s I realised that I could not carry on. My mental health was so low that I felt I had to turn it around so I joined a Gym but felt so insecure about being there I never really got anywhere. I would just go from Crosstrainer to treadmill and do the standard quick start 10 minutes but I found it boring and hated it. I then tried a fitness class and that was the game changer. I loved the class environment, the fun group fitness aspect and I fell in love. It was there I realised that exercise would be my saving grace for my mental health.
Why I workout
Working out and training is my safe place. Training allows me to zone out, focus on me and motivate myself towards positive performance goals. I have always grown up focusing my self worth on how much I weigh, or what size jeans I can fit into but weight training in the Gym, running marathons and building a community of clients has really helped shift my mindset to focus on being the strongest, fittest and healthiest version of myself I can be. I love pushing myself to see what I can achieve whether it is my first pull up, a 100kg Squat or getting a PB on a half marathon. All things I never would have dreamed I would be capable of if you asked me 10 years ago.
What motivates me to workout
From a training stand point progressing with any form of fitness motivates me to continue training. I love trying new exercises and seeing how far I can progress with them whether its heavy lifting or Yoga poses. I love inspiring others with my journey. I have gone from being an overweight girl who would cry at the thought of running 200m at school to someone who ran the London Marathon and I love sharing that experience to help others see they can achieve whatever they put their mind too.
I’m a normal person
As a Coach I try to be so honest with my struggles. I share my journey not only with my physical health but my mental health. I openly talk about my issues with Bullimia, poor relationships with food and exercise and I also share my experiences with counseling and treatment. I think it is so important for people in the fitness industry to vocalize and be honest about issues with mental health and I am so passionate about sharing with people that you have to work on all aspects of health to be happy. Sometimes I get out of bed and run 10 miles and sometimes I stay in my PJS all day watching Disney films but I believe it’s all about balance.
My day to day routine
I have an active lifestyle as a Personal Trainer and Fitness Instructor. Pre lockdown my daily routine is spending most of my time at my Gym Winners 2000 Fitness Paignton. I train more than 30 clients a week through the Lean With Leanne Program and they are all amazing. I also run Group Training specifically designed to help people build confidence on the Gym floor. When I am not PTing I can usually be found in the studio teaching Zumba, Body Pump, Combat and other classes which I love. I personally train 3 times a week in the Gym focusing on heavy lifting and progressing some of my favourite lifts such as Squats, Deadlifts, Pull Ups and Hip Thrusts. I love exercise for everything it has given me, confidence, strength, health, fitness but more importantly it has brought so many wonderful people into my life.
I was approached by a local mental health charity called Step One to run the London Marathon for them and to be honest I couldn’t say no. Despite the fact I was bricking it and never imagined I would be able to run a marathon. I have done many local half marathons and to be honest I am not a runner in any shape or form however I have found running distance such an achievement given the fact I hated it at school. So i trained my butt off and ran the London Marathon in 2019 and I can honestly say it was one of the most amazing experiences of my life. The charity asked me to raise £1500 for them and I smashed it and ended up raising £4000 for such an amazing charity that is close to my heart.
To learn more about Leanne’s classes visit www.leanwithleanne.com