‘Fat PT’s’ incredible transformation
THERE was a time when April Franks couldn't bear to look in the mirror.
As a personal trainer, she felt embarrassed for "letting herself go" and viewed herself at "the fat PT".
"I couldn't believe how I let it get to that point," Ms Franks said. "It would put me in a depressed feeling where I didn't want to even go to my job as a personal trainer.
"I remember feeling like 'who would want to be trained by someone like me'."
At her heaviest, the 26-year-old from Mornington, in Victoria, weighed 73kgs and while it doesn't sound like a lot, she said it was unhealthy for someone of her petite size and height.
"I was feeling quite depressed about myself," Ms Franks told news.com.au
"I even had a fellow work colleague at the time ask me if I was pregnant, I was horrified and it made me so upset that I didn't want to go back into work."
Today her Instagram page is filled with inspirational workout videos and fit selfies of her toned physique, but life was very different for the amateur boxing champion four years ago.
DAY ON A PLATE BEFORE WEIGHT LOSS
Ms Franks was out partying and drinking with friends up to four times a week and would often stop at McDonald's for cheeseburgers on her way home.
If she woke up feeling hungover, she would eat a big bowl of pasta.
"I absolutely love pasta and could eat it three times a day, even as a snack," she said.
When she was bored she would make cookies and muffins and not just eat one, "but maybe three or four".
Her diet also consisted of hot chips and fast food on a regular basis. Salad wasn't an option for her - she thought it was boring and tasteless.
But eventually her bad habits caught up and for someone who was very active, playing basketball multiple times a week all over Victoria, had lost complete interest in the sport she loved.
"I loved it and it kept me fit, but once I felt sh*t about myself I gave up my love for the sport as I didn't feel motivated to play anymore," she told news.com.au
"My life was unfulfilled. I felt like a I could sleep all day. I would have zero motivation to do anything during the day I would be forced out of my room."
TRIGGER TO LOSE WEIGHT
The moment she knew a change needed to change was when she began to feel "quite depressed" about herself.
"Seeing the number on the scales. Feeling uncomfortable in my clothes and not recognising myself in the mirror," Ms Franks said.
But like anyone embarking on a weight loss journey, Ms Franks had fair share of challengers.
For her, staying motivated was the hardest part.
"I had to keep reassessing my goals. Something that kept me motivated was looking back at my 'before photos'," Ms Franks said.
She began running three to four times a week and pushed herself hard at the gym before noticing a change to her body.
But after a while Ms Franks said it became a lot harder for the weight to come off.
"So I knew I had to change my eating habits … and then again my eating got better.
"I started boxing which was such an amazing workout and great way to burn a lot of extra calories."
HOW BOXING CHANGED HER LIFE
Today, she can exercise up to two to three times a day depending on whether she has a fight coming up.
Ms Franks won her first international tournament The Arafura Games in Darwin this year. She is a silver medallist in the National Australian Championship and currently holds the (Victorian) State Title in the 51kg division.
The 26-year-old discovered her love for boxing after a trip to America,
"I had put on some extra kilos after already having started my weight loss transformation and just needed get them off," she said.
"I had always wanted to give it a go, so I looked up local boxing gyms around my area and was super lucky to have found the best one. I was nervous but determined to give it a go and fell in love."
Ms Franks said when she first started boxing she would often have people say, "Oh but you're not going to fight are you? Why would you want to do something like that? Why would a young lady like yourself want to be punched in the face? Girls shouldn't punch each other."
"It only fuelled me even more to fight. I wanted to show everyone who said I couldn't, that I could," Ms Franks said.
"I wanted to show boxing is a sport, it's not a brawl. There is a lot of skill and talent that goes into even just stepping in that ring."
She said the sport helped with her confidence.
"It gives you a feeling that you can protect yourself if you need to. I believe every woman these days should learn a little something to do with mixed martial arts as it brings some power back to the woman."
Ms Franks currently weighs 53kgs but she fights at 51kgs.
"It is not normal to sit at fight weight. When I do have to cut down the extra kilos for a fight, I still eat plenty due to how much I will workout but, I cut down on unnecessary snacks."
When she looks in the mirror today she sees all the hard work and commitment she has put into changing her life.
"Set a goal and imagine how great it will feel to achieve that goal," Ms Franks advises others who also want to make a difference in their life. "When you have a bad day it's not all over. Start again and again until you find a way to get there."
DAY ON A PLATE TODAY:
Breakfast: oats, eggs on toast or a smoothie
Lunch: Salad (filled with all the greens I love), soup or a sandwich
Dinner: White meat, fish or chicken, with salad or vegies but, I make it a lot more
interesting then just your "meat and veg".
It could be homemade chicken burgers or, taco bowls. I love to cook and make healthy options.
View this post on Instagram
ABS WORKOUT 👊🏻 You don’t need any fancy equipment you don’t need a gym to do this workout. These are some of my everyday ab exercises. Basic yet they definitely work 👍🏻 50 reps of each x2-3rounds This is great way to finish off any other workout you have done maybe a run maybe some weights. Give it a go 👊🏻 . . . #workout #workoutvideo #gym #fit #fitness #cardio #healthy #healthyfood #weightloss #strongwomen #boxing #running
TRAINING REGIMEN TODAY:
"It depends leading up to a competition. I will train three times a day - 6am gym session for one hour - noon I will do a five to 10km run or sprint work - 4pm boxing session for one to two hours which will be anything from pads to partner drill or sparring."
On a "normal day" when she is doesn't not have an upcoming fight, Ms Franks trains twice a day with a run or gym workout in the morning. It is followed by an afternoon boxing session.
Ms Franks is still a personal trainer today.
"I love being able to help my clients achieve their goals weight loss or not."