9st5lb down but Ulysses where I can keep improving.

9st5lb down but Ulysses where I can keep improving.

Ulysses, where I can keep improving.

Stacy’s journey so far.

I first decided to try lose weight when I was finishing Uni, having realised how unhappy I was. I lacked self confidence, always felt uncomfortable and I was fed up of being the biggest girl in my group of  friends. I went on to lose 9.5 stone by eating well and have maintained that loss over the last couple of years. Having gained some confidence from my initial loss, I started to exercise, soon getting into a routine of working out a few times a week by doing mainly cardio. I was happy doing this but felt I needed a bigger push, so I started spinning classes with my dad and loved them. Through spinning I saw my fitness levels as well as my leg strength improve massively so I started including other popular group classes like Body Pump, Kettlebells, Combat as well as weight training and this is where I found a love for lifting weights!

I maintained this routine for a couple of years but last year I felt like I needed a change.. I had seen crossfit workouts on social media and made a point of watching the games each year after seeing documentaries on Netflix, the women looked insane and I was jealous of their abilities.. Goals! It wasn't until I saw an Instagram post about Ulysses that I realised how close the box was to home, so I thought why not give this a go... For moral support I asked my partner George to come with me to a taster session in September last year and after only one session I was hooked.. I walked out of the box that night and I instantly wanted to go back the next day. Having been to many gyms, there is no comparison to Ulysses. You could walk into a standard gym, do your workout for an hour and not one person would talk to you. At Ulysses that just doesn't happen!

I quickly realised my strengths and  weaknesses and have been trying to focus on these each week. The feeling of wanting to give your all in each WOD is infectious, it pushes me to challenge myself, do things I don't particularly like doing and get out of my comfort zone.

Shortly after joining crossfit, I signed up for the 3 months free weightlifting and found my love for lifting heavy barbells again. I've learnt so much since attending these sessions and have seen a big improvement in my technique and my strength so far. With crossfit and weightlifting, the coaches are always there to encourage, help and offer advice, pushing you to challenge yourself. I love this because if I'm having a day when I'm doubting my abilities, that little nudge spurs me on to go hard in the workout or lift heavier.

Having been the 'bigger girl', I still struggle with the balance between losing weight, gaining muscle and feeling fit, but knowing that I'm able to go Into each WOD and try my hardest is an awesome feeling. I've been working at improving myself and my fitness for a long time by losing weight and building up my confidence, which has paid off massively - I wouldn't be able to do  what I can now if I hadn't started this journey, and I truly feel that I have found a special place at Ulysses, where I can keep improving.

More to nutrition than just weight loss.

More to nutrition than just weight loss.

It’s not all weight loss….

When we think about nutrition, we tend to default to weight loss, and while this is true there are many other aspects of nutrition we can look at.

The first we can look at is athletic performance, working within the gym this is something that people tend to take for granted. The principle of fueling the body correctly for their activity level and overall goals, what we tend to find is those who are looking to improve performance often overlook the idea of correct nutrition. For most people looking to improve their main focus will be to increase training volume, but not having the correct calories to support this can damper performance. As we look in to athletic performance we can dive in to all sorts of nutritional science, from the very basic of ensuring we are getting enough protein, to the more complex such as sleep and sleep quality. The possibilities of how nutrition can support all of these are endless.

So, let’s say you are looking to increase performance, your goal is to increase strength as well as aerobic capacity, where do we start? The first and most basic point should be our calorie intake, ensuring we are getting enough calories to either sit at maintenance, support muscle growth with a slight increase of calories or help with the reduction of body fat with a small deficit. After this our next area to look at is protein intake, for those who are looking to increase performance should be aiming for 1.8 – 2.0 grams of protein per kg of bodyweight (For instance an 80kg male would look to consume 144 – 160g) this is to support the growth and retention of muscle. Next would be the consumption of carbohydrates, carbohydrates are broken down in to glucose which is the bodies primary source. What we tend to find with a lot of our clients and athletes is that this number is massively underestimated, this comes from a pre-conceived idea that carbs are the enemy and make us fat. The last simple tip we can look at is meal timing, ensuring we are eating to fuel our sessions. Consuming a low fat, high carbohydrate snacks an hour or two before exercises can massively increase performance over that session. As well as this ensuring we are replacing our glycogen levels after a session, again a high carbohydrate snack within 30 minutes of exercise or even a sports drink can help aid with this recovery.

Secondly, improve lifestyle, now I understand this is quite a loose statement and could mean anything to anyone, but I am going to explain what I mean. For me improving lifestyle is a couple of factors, it is eating a healthy well-balanced diet that allows our body to function at it’s required level and obtain the right amount recovery. It is having a healthy relationship with food, knowing that we can have sweets and treats and that everything is in moderation, and finally it is understanding nutrition. Having a small level of education to support us making the right choices, living the right way & balancing life.

I could go further on in this post about the benefits of nutrition, but I think we will save them for another day, we can look into improving health & life markers, helping aid injury recover as well as supporting sleep and recovery. Nutrition is the building block for a lot of the success we have in life and we are going to further explore these each week!


CrossFit Level 1 / BTN Academy Nutritionist

Ladies. We've all done it! Peed our pants at CrossFit..

Ladies. We've all done it! Peed our pants at CrossFit..

Ladies.  We've all done it.  Pee'd our pants at CrossFit.   

Let me tell you why I make a joke of peeing my pants and why I tell everyone.   

I was only about two months into my CrossFit journey at Ulysses.  I usually went to class with my friend Laura, but she had a family thing she needed to go to, so rather than sit at home alone, I decided to just bite the bullet and go anyway. This was the best thing I ever decided, because after this class (and my most embarrassing day to date, but we'll get to that in a bit!) I've never been afraid to go to class alone.  

So I remember the day as if it was only yesterday. It was a very sunny day and the doors were open, the breeze through the box was warm but refreshing.  There was only around 5 to 6 people in the class and I'd only really spoken to one other member before and he was a really fit, good looking guy called Giles (ladies who know, know) and it was deadlift day.  I'd not done much deadlifting prior to this so my 'little accident' caught me totally off guard.

I was stood next to Giles and we'd both been egging each other on all class.   I took my shoes off from the advice of Ben and got by bar ready, warming up at 45kg and then putting 20kg more on either side, 85kg done, no problem.  Went up to 90kg no problem. Ben told me to believe in myself and I was stronger then I realised. Confidence booster right there so decided I'd give that 100kg a go, everyone seemed to be chasing it and I really, really wanted it.  I put a belt on, set myself up ready, feet shoulder width, bar just over feet, hands on the bar, back straight, shoulders back, head down. Pull. Pull. Pull. I got the bar up. Yes I did it! But I couldn't celebrate as I would normally, because I'd also pee'd my pants and a little bit dribbled on the floor. I couldn't even bare to look up at anyone because I was totally embarrassed thinking everyone had seen. I kinda did a little smile and sneakily wiped it a little with my sock.   You know what I mean, kinda used my foot as a mop. Omg how will I ever look at anyone again.   How will I ever return.

Ben came running over to congratulate me with a high five and he probably thought I was a moody cow, he asked me how that felt and I just kinda shrugged and said "yeah ok".   I looked up and my face was as probably as red a fire engine. I certainly felt like I was on fire with embarrassment. The look on his face when I didn't celebrate my massive achievement with him made me feel so bad. So I just said it.   "Yeah the lift felt great but I've pee'd a little". "Oh that's ok" he said, "most women do when deadlifting and double unders". I then looked up at the people in class and everyone was buzzing I'd got a PB and no one had actually noticed my 'incident'.  The embarrassing moment was literally all in my head. I had made it much worse than it actually was.

From that day forward I vowed that any new members who walk through the doors would never feel embarrassed. If I make a joke about how I pee my pants doing certain movements then they'll expect it and not worry.  

I once pee'd on the floor during double unders and this time it wasn't just a few little droplets, it was a full on waterfall. We all just laughed and I went to get the mop. It happens to the best of us and it's nothing to be ashamed or embarrassed about.  Even the most strongest of weightlifting women can pee their pants.

I say "oh I better go to the toilet before I pee myself, or "let's see how long it takes to wash the floor".  If I make jokes of it, no one in the box will ever feel like I did that day and no one ever should do either. I realised after my first accident that Ben was a totally awesome guy and he put me right at ease. He even suggested some movements to do to help my pelvic floor.  Which can also help you. (I do have a slight disadvantage more than just childbirth though, as when I was 4 I had an accident and had to have surgery ‘down there’, which in turn left me with a very, very weak bladder)

Being a mother or getting older takes its toll on our bladders and it's something that could happen at any time. So ladies, please don't be embarrassed, other women have probably done it or been there when their friends have and the men, well frankly they don't care. They just see you as a strong independent female and will celebrate your strength and achievements whether you've pee'd or not.   

(Maybe with all the new mothers after Ulysses baby boom, we should put tenna ladies on the list of priorities for the ladies toilets 😁😜)

Much Love

Yvonne Osborne

Customer Service/Admin Manger

Team Ulysses

Can the smallest change make the biggest difference?

Can the smallest change make the biggest difference?

Can the smallest change make the biggest difference?

We hear it everyday that nutrition can be over complicated, that at the end of the day it is just calories in v calories out. But can it be a lot simpler than that? Can small changes make a big difference?

For some people calories in v calories out is not as simple as it seems, it would imply we know how to track food intake, to understand calories within food and how to balance them. It would imply we have a level of basic understanding that not everyone has, or is interested in. So can we actually make nutrition even simpler, can a small change make a big difference?

If we look at the general population and people looking to live a healthier lifestyle then the smallest change can make the biggest difference. Below we have listed some of the things you could do that could have an impact on your health and nutrition

  • Drink more water daily – Our body is made up of 60% water and in modern society water is the most common macronutrient deficiency. Water is the most important macronutrient, period! Try having a water bottle at your desk and workplace, drink a full bottle in the morning, one in the afternoon and one in the evening, you will notice the difference immediately.

  • Having healthy snacks on hand – This probably sounds a little backwards, someone telling me to have snacks available. By having healthy snacks available we can use it to avoid temptation when presented with naughtier options, think protein bar, dark chocolate, string cheese and even jerky.

  • Include vegetables at every meal – Within nutrition there is a lot up for debate, but everyone can agree we need to eat more vegetables. They are the most nutrient rich foods on the planet and help fill us up.

  • Eat more protein - Eating more protein boosts your metabolic rate increasing the number of calories you burn while resting. Protein also helps to curb appetite making people eat fewer calories overall.

  • Finally, know the difference between thirst, hunger and boredom. With most of us walking around dehydrated all the time something like a simple glass of water can help curb hunger. We also live in a world where abundance of food is available, many of us eat out of boredom instead of hunger. Next time you are hungry try grabbing a book and a glass of water, or engaging your brain.

These are just a few of the simple things that can be done to help us make the biggest change. As always start small, change 1 or 2 of these a week and until they become a habit keep going. Once the change has been made we can then explore further options!


CrossFit Level 1 / BTN Academy Nutritionist

Team Ulysses

I want to make a change

“I think it’s time I got my nutrition sorted”

These are the words as coach’s we hear on a weekly basis. But what does it mean to get your nutrition sorted? Is it a case of eating more protein and vegetables, is it a reduction in calories? What are your goals and how are you training at the moment?

Just saying “it’s time to get my nutrition sorted” is a brilliant thing, it shows the clients understanding to change and focus, however it’s an open-ended question that we are going to delve in to.

Firstly, let’s look at your goals, what is the purpose of this change? Are you wanting to improve performance in the gym, get lean for summer or get strong? All of these have different approaches from a nutrition stand point. As nutritionists we need to make clear that one size does not fit all, we need to make sure our clients not only understand the process but how the science works. For example, a client who has come to us and wants to get lean for summer could simply be put on a caloric deficit and asked to track food intake. On the other hand, if we had a client who wants to improve athletic performance, we could delve in to all sorts of sciences, nutrition timing, carb cycling, macro & micro intake as well as optimal body fat. Whatever your goals are, will strongly decide which direction you need to take and should be clearly defined when starting this journey as one goal may contrast another.

Secondly, we could then delve in to the clients training. Are you training once or twice a week or more? High intensity or low intensity or not training at all? Each of these will have different effects on the body and what the body needs. If we use the example of CrossFit training a lot of the workouts are performed at a high intensity with varied weights. So how would this effect the client looking to lose weight? To fuel this type of activity a client may need a higher carb intake than others, additionally there may be a focus on protein to ensure strength is kept. The opposite of this could be your regular gym bodybuilder, this individual will be doing low intensity cardio and resistance training, therefore this type of client would need a lower carb intake but a higher protein one to support their training.

Lastly, how is your current diet? Are you a weekend binger? Big on the snacks? Like the odd beer or two? We look at these because the simplest of changes can sometimes make the bigger differences. If  you’re a weekend binger try having one day off and you will instantly see the difference. Like a snack? Maybe plan your meals better and ensure you are getting enough protein to fill you.

So, this has probably raised more questions than answers for yourself and that’s a good thing. When we look at making a nutrition change, we need to really ask ourselves the why. Why are we making this change & do we understand the process we need to follow? Next time your going to make a change write down your why, then from there track the sacrifices your going to have to make.

Do I want to get lean for summer? If yes, am I willing to sacrifice my performance in the gym? Am I willing to not have my weekend beers and takeaway? Working out and writing down your why will help when you're identifying the sacrifices and help keep yourself focus.

That being said the best nutrition change can just be the smallest, eating more good quality protein, lots of vegetables and less processed food.


Want to know more?

Book a free, no obligation  no sweat intro and we’ll prescribe you a route to your goals!


Damian Buck- nutritionist/ L1 CrossFit trainer/ L1 Weightlifting coach

Team Ulysses

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