Three years ago if someone had told Leona Connolly that she be visiting the gym twice a day, and loving every minute of it, she’d have laughed in their face.
The 29 year-old had no confidence, was insecure and was tipping on the edge of depression.
Leona was almost 16 stone, a size 18, and by her own admission on a fast track to an early grave. But after joining FF Fitness bootcamp and then Seamus Fox’s Transformation Programme, Leona, now 32, has never looked better.
After losing an amazing five stone, Leona said she has started a new life.
“When I started I hated every single minute,” she said. “I was almost crying going to the session but my friends Karen and Nicole dragged me over each time.”
By chance Leona had seen a poster for the Transformation Programme when she went to get weighed with Seamus Fox, and decided to join up.
‘One thousand 40kg dead lifts, press ups, squats, sit ups and kettle bell swings and a 5k run, all in four hours. The training was brutal but I thrived off the challenge’Leona Connolly after her five stone weight loss
“Most thought I wouldn’t last two weeks, so that made me more determined, just to prove them wrong. It was a lot of hard work, but Seamus put an awful lot of effort into it too. If I had been on my own then I couldn’t have done it.
“At the start it was tough and a rude awakening, but after a few weeks I fell in love with the training. By the December I had lost just over three stone. I was in a group with amazing people who are now my closest friends.
“FF Fitness became my second home. I pushed myself harder than I ever thought possible and my goal was to have off five stone in total by my 30th birthday. In the April, two days before my birthday, I smashed that goal! I had gained the confidence back, formed friendships and found a new passion.
“That wasn’t going be enough so I set another target and decided to complete a 5000 rep challenge in August 2014. This consisted of one thousand 40kg dead lifts, press ups, squats, sit ups and kettle bell swings and a 5k run. Training in the weeks previous was brutal but I thrived on the challenge and got it completed in just over four hours.”
Leona has since become Irish Powerlifting national champion, secured gold in the European deadlift championship and silver in the European full power championship. “
And she’s now planning to study personal training herself.
Trainer Seamus Fox said: “Leona is one of most dedicated people we’ve come across at FF Fitness. Her constant and burning desire to achieve has resulted in her personal health and fitness revolution. In just over two years her devotion has completely transformed her life – not just her looks. “Her nutrition, habits, outlook and confidence have all been positively changed.”