When Seana first started her journey with Freeletics, her main goal was to lose the weight she gained at university. After just a few weeks of consistent training and healthy eating, she already started seeing, and feeling, results. Now, 3 years on, Seana is preparing to run her first ultramarathon and landing on podiums across Europe. Back then, she had no idea how much these first 15 weeks with Freeletics would change her life forever. Here’s how it all began:
"Hi I’m Seana. I’m from a small town in the north of Scotland but now live in Munich, Germany. I come from a pretty sporty family, so growing up and in high school, I was always active. But it was the typical student lifestyle that got the better of me: studying all day in the library where the only food available came out of a vending machine. In the evenings, after university, I worked in a bar and restaurant and then usually went out partying with friends most nights, resulting in not enough sleep and waking up hungover and craving more unhealthy food.
My nutrition was pretty unstable. I usually skipped breakfast and just had a sandwich later in the day. In between lectures I would snack on chocolate bars or potato chips and then in the evening I would either cook a pasta dish or order pizza. I wasn’t really interested in healthy cooking and my priorities at the time meant I didn’t have the time to do it either. I had a gym membership and would sometimes be really motivated to go and train there for a few weeks but I was never consistent enough to see any results. Most of the time, I would grab some fast food or ice cream on the way home after a gym session anyway, which more or less defeated the purpose.
In September 2014, shortly after I graduated from university, I moved to Germany for a job. That’s when I decided things had to change. In March 2015, I remember seeing my reflection in the mirror one morning after yet another heavy night of fast food and alcohol that I thought “this is not the person I want to be anymore”. I could no longer use my student lifestyle as an excuse. I knew if I wanted to change, it was now or never. I decided to try Freeletics after I saw the Freeletics transformation videos online. I had a feeling it would be intense, but effective, and that’s what I was looking for. After the first Aphrodite left me with muscle pain for days, I became hooked. It was the moment of realization when I hit finish at the end that left me hungry for more. It’s a feeling of accomplishment like no other that still pushes me to set myself bigger goals to this day!
During those 15 weeks I made it my mission to stay consistent and train regularly. In the beginning, I followed the Freeletics Bodyweight Coach 3 times per week, so it was mostly high intensity bodyweight training. Each training session lasted between 20 - 45 mins and I usually did these in the morning before work at around 7am. After the first month, I increased my training and added 1 or 2 runs per week from the Freeletics Running App. I first started seeing results after 4-5 weeks but the biggest changes happened after week 10. After that I could see changes and progress almost everyday.
Freeletics also taught me that training and nutrition go hand in hand and if you don’t improve improve both, you won’t see the results you are looking for. With this in mind, I also made changes to my diet. First of all I cut out all fast food, processed foods, alcohol and refined sugar. I always knew these weren’t good for me so it was clear they had to go. Then, I gradually cut back on the amount of simple carbs I ate - so foods like pasta, bread, rice etc. especially in the evening. Actually, I stopped eating a big meal in the evening altogether, and had a larger breakfast and lunch instead. I also paid more attention to what I drank. I swapped fizzy drinks and fruit juices for water, black coffee and tea only. I began researching healthy recipes and tried to cook and prepare my own food as much food as possible, that way I could see exactly what was going into it. This also made me more interested in cooking and finding out the role that certain foods played within my body, for example protein etc. A typical day would be something like this:
- A bowl of yogurt or quark (low fat curd in English) with chopped fruits like banana, blueberries, apple etc., peanut butter, coconut flakes, cinnamon
- Salad consisting of foods like lettuce, salmon, boiled eggs, avocado, tomatoes, roasted nuts and seeds, goats cheese, halloumi, grilled vegetables - pretty much any combination of veggies, nuts, some kind of cheese and a balsamic dressing
- Omelette with spinach, feta and sundried tomatoes and side salad
- Baked sweet potato with spinach, koriander, feta cheese, avocado
- Small bowl of avocado and tomato
- Homemade hummus with cucumber and carrot sticks
- Fat free yogurt
- Carrot sticks
- Fruit and nuts (no more than a small handful)
- Natural energy bars
- Homemade banana bread
It didn’t take very long to see and feel the first effects. I think it was 4-5 weeks of eating and training like this when I noticed my jeans were too big and I had to start buying a new wardrobe.
Many people ask me how I kept it up and never went back to my old eating habits. Or what made this attempt different? I think this time it was the intrinsic motivation to change. I really wanted to do this for myself and that’s why I stuck to it. Freeletics also educated me about nutrition and training, so I began to learn what was good for my body and the reason why I was doing certain exercises or cutting out certain foods. This pushed me to get stuck into the topic of healthy eating, not just losing weight.
I never went back to my old eating habits because I love my new ones. My body feels so much better after I’ve eaten a balanced, healthy meal compared to an unhealthy pizza or fast food takeaway, so I actually never feel tempted anymore. The clean food that I cook myself also satisfies me much more than anything else. I make my health and fitness my number one priority, and that’s how I stay on track no matter how busy I am. If I know that I’m going to have a busy day, I find a solution - I wake up earlier to train, workout on my lunch break or go in the evening. If something matters to you, you’ll make it happen. There is no excuse not to. Same goes for healthy food - there is always a healthier choice. Ok, sometimes I might be in a situation where the “healthiest” choice is not available, but I always make the best choice with what’s available. I often also follow the Freeletics Nutrition Coach and prepare a lot of my meals at the start of the week. Healthy eating doesn’t always have to be fancy. Some cottage cheese with a handful of almonds and honey, or with some chives and carrots is super simple and will satisfy your hunger.
The biggest reward I have gained from my transformation with Freeletics has been realizing my mental strength and also my passion for running. It all started because I wanted to lose a few kilos, but what I discovered about myself and my body became my number one achievement. Freeletics is really tough at the beginning. It’s more than just a few training sessions every week. It’s the decision to change your life and your mindset. Also your relationship to food - this is especially hard because nutrition is so connected to our emotions. But that’s what makes it so rewarding when I look back and know that I was strong enough to see that first part through and now my life is so much better because of it. I feel really powerful, both mentally and physically.
If I could give any advice to someone starting Freeletics training, it’s to be patient and stop making excuses. Like I said before, if you really want something, you will make it happen. So next time you’re about to cancel your run because it’s raining or you “don’t have time” - first of all, recognize that this is an excuse and ignore it. Also patience because results take time and differ from person to person. As long as you stay consistent and keep going, you will see progress. If you quit, you never will.