Every once in a while, I come across a story that completely blows me away. It causes me to stop, think and marvel at the level of belief, fortitude and resilience required to both transform their body and life.
Jemie’s story epitomises this. Growing up and living with cerebral palsy, Jemie’s journey has not always been straight forward. But over the past two years I’ve witnessed her defy previous limiting beliefs, break through new barriers, and use the physical as the vehicle for the greater good.
Cerebral palsy (CP) is a neurological disorder caused by a non-progressive brain injury that occurs while a child’s brain is under development. It primarily affects body movement and muscle coordination and, in some cases, can affect swallowing, trigger uncontrolled movement and high levels of fatigue. There is a wide spectrum of severity in Cerebral Palsy , and Jemie has mild symptoms of this condition.
For Jemie specifically, she struggled with muscle stiffness, imbalanced strength on the right-side of her body, difficulty with grip, poor balance and high levels of fatigue. Before starting RNT, she spent years cycling through a number of PTs, cookie cutter plans and quick fixes in the search of something that would work for her and accommodate her needs.
This unfortunately resulted in programme hopping and a yo-yo dieting mindset. She was in a cycle of training hard, bingeing to squash her appetite and then feeling frustrated and losing any motivation because she’d be gaining weight.
It was time to transform.
In the two years en route to her first transformation checkpoint, Jemie’s story highlights the power of being committed, consistent and coachable. Her physical change is incredible, but as you’ll soon read, how she’s now using it as a vehicle to do the previously unimaginable is life changing.
My cousin recommended RNT to me after she knew a few people who were on the journey and had achieved life changing results. She could see nothing was working for me, but knew I was committed, willing to learn and above all open minded! At first, I was so sceptical and baffled at all the transformations. I was convinced the images had been photoshopped…no way were these REAL results. I thought this was going to be another programme I joined and it would yet again, not work for me!”
‘Strive For Progression, Not Perfection’
There’s no ‘right timeframe’ or linear route to a checkpoint. Every individual has a unique lifestyle, challenge and need that requires a specific set of 3Ss (structure, strategy and systems) to facilitate their journeys. What’s critical is that there’s continuous forward momentum over time. The goal, as Jemie aptly says on episode 147 of the RNT Fitness Radio podcast, is to ‘strive for progression, not perfection’.
With any journey, there’s never going to be a perfect day, week, plan or situation. In this ever-changing world and environment we live in, all we can strive for is being a little bit better over time. If you rely on perfection, and think if you’re not at 100% you may as well be 0%, because you’re setting yourself up for failure.
The reason Jemie’s been able to transform in such a remarkable fashion is because of her strive for self mastery. When beginning her RNT journey, she started thinking differently. She started thinking of it as a journey, not a new, quick fix plan. She started thinking of small steps, instead of trying to achieve it all overnight. All of this meant she was able to fulfil the three transformation keys: commitment, coachability and consistency.
Not a week has gone by where Jemie hasn’t checked in with RNT. Every single week Jemie has harnessed the power of accountability to learn about herself, become educated and strive for that extra 1% in the next week.
All the information I received when I signed up was overwhelming at first, but once I got used to the terminology and processes it was easy to follow. The programme was adapted to me and what I wanted! With the level of knowledge on nutrition and training RNT provided me, I instantly saw why they achieved such great results. Benefits of having a team of experts in your corner are endless, it really helps you stay on track each week and helps you to discuss and overcome any issues you may face.
I believed gaining muscle would make me ‘bulky’ and would make me look like a bodybuilder, however I was proven wrong. Gaining muscle has allowed me to gain the definition and the toned physique I adore. I feel so happy and overwhelmed that I’m on the right track on achieving the results I want! I needed that professional direction, accountability and a massive helping hand along the way. It was not an easy journey and a lot of consistency and determination is needed, however the days of constant programme hopping and diet hacks have gone! I’m so happy I have experienced this journey and my only regret is that I wish I discovered RNT sooner!’
With her unique challenge of cerebral palsy, her willingness to be open minded, strategic with new ideas and try her best has been the secret sauce. It’s not been one linear path; along the way we’ve done the following:
- Manipulated training volume and incremental weeks away from training the upper body (to allow her grip to rest)
- High periods of steps/cardio to increase expenditure where necessary
- Periodic ‘diet breaks’ to recharge the system and consolidate new body weight lows along the way
- Periodic ‘mini investment periods’ of building calories and focusing on muscle development
As she created consistency, she’s been able to implement these different tactics within the context of her whole journey; with her feedback, she’s been able to mould the journey to her lifestyle.
My mantra: ‘progression, not perfection’ has been so liberating. It’s been the secret sauce that’s kept me going. I’ve gone from holding 1-2kg dumbbells to being able to hold 8kg dumbbells! Previously I could only just about hold a plank for 20 seconds, and now I’m going for a minute! My cellulite is reducing, my glutes are firming and my waist is getting tighter. It’s so surreal! I remember reading the testimonials and seeing the transformations online and wishing that one day that would be me. In fact, I even bet Akash (big mistake!) that it wouldn’t be possible. Little did I know 2 years later I’d be adding comments to my own case study online – it wouldn’t be possible without the mantra!’
The Physical Is The Vehicle
Jemie’s visual transformation is outstanding by itself. By looking at her you can see the exuding focus, control and confidence she’s now sporting.
But this is the tip of the iceberg. While she’s marked her checkpoint with a photoshoot, for Jemie, she’s now only just getting started. She’s thinking about things she never thought possible. She’s broken her shackles and realised the skyis the limit. She’s now ready to use the physical as the vehicle.
“After my shoot I really was overwhelmed looking at the pictures when Shyam (www.skotvisuals.com) sent them over. If someone told me, when I was 15 years old, that one day I would be strong and do incredible things, I wouldn’t have believed you!
Growing up and even now, I always tend to hide my disability. Not because I’m ashamed, but because I don’t want that extra sympathy or special attention. As my CP is not that noticeable, it leads to even more daily struggles than people may realise. However, after accomplishing so much in this journey so far, and realising the power of what can be done, I wanted to highlight and prove to people that everyone can achieve the transformation they desire, even if you may face the more unique challenges like myself. If you’re in a similar boat, I want to show you that it is possible to change your life, and it all starts with belief. Nothing easy is worth having and no change can happen without a little discomfort. I’ve never been this happy within myself and it’s all because I just keep on going and focusing on doing this for me and only ME!
Through this journey, and especially since my checkpoint photoshoot, I’ve thought way beyond my physical appearance.
Tasks I have never been able to do before don’t seem as daunting. For example, I have never been able to ride a bike, swim, do a handstand or even hop on my right leg.
I struggled with things such as: doing buttons on my shirt, zips on my clothes, or even as simple as cutting my food, they have all slowly improved. I’m more independent with these daily ‘routine tasks’ now that my arms are getting stronger.
Growing up I couldn’t walk far due to high levels of fatigue. Pre RNT, I didn’t move much either, as I thought I would get too tired (poor mindset, more than anything). However, I am now walking 20,000 steps a day and training like a beast! It’s all these little things I’m noticing now that I have achieved. I’m realising that achieving the physical goal was just one element I needed to now accelerate in other areas of my life. The physical is the vehicle!’
Jemie’s Story Told On RNT Fitness Radio
You can listen to Jemie’s story on episode (147) of RNT Fitness Radio on any podcast platform or directly here:
Checkpoint Pictures & Stats
To show how far she’s come, the pictures in the ‘after’ are actually 12 weeks since her photoshoot, highlighting how just well she’s consolidated!
Starting bodyweight: 66.1 kg
Checkpoint bodyweight: 41.5 kg (-24.6kg)
Starting clothes size: 14/16
Checkpoint clothes size: 8/10
Waist: 38.5 inches > 26 inches
Hips: 42 inches > 31 inches
Thighs: 23 inches > 19 inches