About me

I’m Michael James, a gym enthusiast, and body transformation advocate.

I spent all my adult years, until I was 34, overweight and unhappy. I was about 18 stone at my heaviest, and had been since I ballooned when I was 18 years old! 16 years of misery, moaning about it until something finally clicked inside me and I decided I had to do something about it.

I would always make excuses, convinced myself I didn’t eat that much! But I did!! And I barely moved… sitting in an office all day and going home to spend the evening on the sofa filling my face! I was unhappy being single but felt so bad about my weight that I didn’t have the confidence to go out and meet women…. and I let this go for too long!

One morning in August 2015 I got up early and switched on the TV (to FOX) and there was an infomercial on for Focus T25. I watched Shaun T wax lyrical about this high-intensity workout that would only take 25 minutes a day. And I was totally taken in by the success stories shown. I thought to myself ‘I can do this!’! I didn’t order it straight away, I ummed and ahhed for a few weeks and finally bit the bullet and went for it!

It arrived a few days later and I committed to doing it every evening. The first workout made me feel physically sick…. I had to stop and wait before I could carry on – but I did carry on! The next morning I could barely walk! I was in no fit state to do a workout the next day…. or for several days in fact! But I started again the following Monday and made it through a little bit easier and did it day after day for the next 5 weeks! The more I did, the better I felt every day – energised and already feeling fitter than I had for years!

I should also say that I was, of course, eating sensibly and healthily at the same time. I didn’t follow the included nutrition plan, the ingredients were way too expensive, but I did eat high protein and low or balanced carb meals – I swore by M&S’s ‘Balanced for you’ range at the time.

I did T25 Alpha, Beta and Gamma and then moved onto Insanity Max 30 and Insanity Asylum – I lost 8 stone by the end of it.

I felt amazing when I lost the weight, I gained the confidence to start dating and met my future wife in June 2016. Trying on clothes, looking good in them, and not having to buy XXL tops and 40-inch waist jeans felt great – I couldn’t believe I had finally done it!

But 2016 wasn’t all great for me. My Mum was diagnosed with Ovarian Cancer in May and we lost her in August. 2016 was both the best and worst year of my life and things changed in so many ways for me.

As a tribute to my Mum and because I’d lost weight, I decided to run the 2017 London Marathon for Ovarian Cancer Action. It was amazing and an absolute honour to run in Mum’s memory. She’d watched me be unhappy about my weight for so long and I know she would have been so happy for me.

But losing weight was just the beginning of my journey. I was pretty skinny when I first lost the weight and I decided to move on from the home workouts and join a gym to start to build muscle and change my body even more.

I started going to the gym seriously (PureGym Tottenham Court Road was my first) in May 2019 and, although it was daunting at first, I soon found my rhythm and loved it. I had put a bit of weight back on by this time and was committed to not going backwards any further! I went every morning before work and as soon as I started to see results I was hooked!

First day at the gym vs home workouts during the pandemic a year later!