by Latoya Burnham

Sophia Forte and Kirk Bryan
Sophia Forte and Kirk Bryan

Don’t tell Lisa about weight loss. Don’t tell her about dieting either – because before joining the Body by Kirk and Lifestyle Body Solutions’ Ultimate 8-Week Fitness Challenge, she knew about it all intimately.

Lisa Bennett was the winner of the Barbados TODAY competition where the prize was a spot in the challenge. She impressed the judges because she told of her despair. In short, this was part of Lisa’s plea:

“I need to be in this weight loss challenge just look at me. I am a hott mess. I hate looking at myself, buying clothes is a nightmare. Every diet fad I have tried, pills, teas you name it I’m sure I’ve tried it and if I haven’t when I hear about it I going to try it. I’m depressed and fed up, fed up, fed up. I have two beautiful children to live for I want to set an example for them and health comes first. Don’t know what more to say.. but I NEED THIS!!!”

Now, six weeks into the challenge, while Lisa says the meal plans are her biggest worry, she laughs and there are almost tears in her voice when she talks about her progress.

“It is a God-send. I wish I had known about Kirk and Sophia before I spent all that money on other gyms. I’ve been to gyms where all they do is put you on a machine and tell you well, 30 minutes here, and then they show you how to do the balance ball or whatever and by they are like, you’re finished, bye, but they don’t care.

“Sophia and Kirk are like my mom and dad because they come and they are like, ‘Lisa you can do it. Give me five more, I know you got it.’ I need that. I really need that. I never had that before,” said Lisa.

“The food is a problem, but the exercise, at the gym Sophia and Kirk are great. They give me that extra push that I need because I know I am lazy and I admit that and they give me that extra push and I am seeing the results.

“I don’t see it looking at myself, but when I put on my clothes they are looser, so it is inches and not weight. When I look in the mirror I don’t see it, but my clothes tell me it’s working.

“I am so happy that I signed up to this. I want to thank Barbados TODAY because it is an answer to my prayers. I went to many gyms and I even had personal trainers and did not get the results. I went to gyms and paid three months memberships and never got these results that I have in just six weeks. It’s working,” she said.

She said she would be sad to see the end of the challenge in another two weeks and was hoping to get a job soon that she could afford to continue. Her lack of a job, she revealed, was one of the reasons the meal plan was so challenging. With two children, a 15-year-old and a two-year-old, Lisa said her boyfriend was the only source of income for the household, which could mean crunching the dollars at times.

What Kirk and Sophia did, recognising her challenge was to put her boyfriend on a meal plan as well, to help motivate Lisa to stay true to the routine.

“Sophia would have formatted a meal plan for Lisa in the first instance and I acknowledge that her boyfriend was quite interested in what she was doing and wanted to push her as well. Half-way through the tournament I had a chat with her to find out how she was progressing and she seemed to have some struggles because she was the only one in the house eating [on a meal plan].

“It was like sometimes she would eat and they would pick at what she had. So what I did was have a chat with her and reformatted the plan. What we do sometimes in situations like that is try to get the household eating out of the same pot. So despite the fact that we were working with Lisa, we formatted some numbers for him as well to get him to eat the same foods as her, the only difference was how many calories he could take versus Lisa because his metabolism is different,” Kirk explained.

He said since Lisa’s boyfriend was a former footballer, he understood about food and exercise, which made it easier to format a plan. Now he and Sophia were trying to keep Lisa focussed, and motivated to continue especially with the results she’s starting to notice.

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