A B O U T   M E

MY STORY UNTIL NOW

Thanks again for visiting my site! 

My name is Michael Mclaren, but you already knew that as it's

literally the name of my site.

For the hundreds upon hundreds of you all, who are eager to learn

more about me and my story, you've come to the right place.

And, to save you a little bit of time, I've narrowed it all down to what I feel

will be relevant.

There's two reasons why I've created this page.

1. So you can get to know a little more about me and understand the experiences I've had and the reasons as to why I feel the way I feel and talk the way I talk about weight loss & body image.

2. In the hope that I can pass on the lessons learnt from my experiences, struggles, failures & general tussles with my weight and body image over the years.

To save you some time, you can click on any of the links below to read more about that topic further down the page.

 

Nobody wants to hear my life story, right? 

 

Anyways, here’s everything you need to know about me.

Early Struggles With My Weight

How I Got Into Fitness

Becoming A Personal Trainer

That Time I Stepped On Stage In My Speedos

My Depression & Ongoing Battle With My Mental Health

My Why's & Philosophy As It Stands Today

To save you some time, you can click on any of the links below to read more about that topic further down the page.

 

Nobody wants to hear my life story, right? 

 

Anyways, here’s everything you need to know about me.

Early Struggles With My Weight

I was always a slightly bigger kid, and as far as I can remember have always had a, shall we say, “healthy” appetite! 

 

Picking every plate clean and never passing on a snack. I was certainly one of the more plus sized kids at my school. Before I go any further though, I don’t want to paint a picture of struggle. 

 

Truth is, I still had a pretty good time at school. There was the odd d**khead who’d make remarks about my weight and how I looked, but I always had a solid group of friends around.

 

At least until I entered High School, where things got a bit tougher. 

 

I’m sure we can all agree that experiences early on, especially during our school years, will have a massive impact on the kind of adults we become and how we generally process things when we’re older. 

 

I can pinpoint my own, to the very day, the very moment in fact (give or take a year or two…) 

 

It started with a trip to the hospital for something completely unrelated. I was asked to sit on what looked like a wheelchair. After about 15 seconds I was asked to get back into bed. 

 

20 minutes later the doctor came in, after speaking to my parents during that time, to tell me that his recommendation was that I begin seeing a dietician. 

 

I think we can all remember how stress free and playful our school days were. On the same note, we can probably all remember just how ruthless the classrooms and playgrounds could be too. 

 

It was tricky enough trying to fit in with the “cool” kids, without this added pressure of my weight being so much of a problem that I had to go to the doctors office to essentially fix it. 

 

I’d never seen my weight as a problem up until I was told it was a problem. 

 

Then I started to rapidly believe it to be so. 

 

It was as if this suddenly became the only thing that mattered. 

 

In hindsight, and with a few more years of experience in life, I can see that it clearly wasn’t the most important thing, nor were the adults intentions to make it so. 

 

Everyone had my best interests at heart. 

 

It’s just that as a 12 year old just desperately trying to have fun and fit in, my interpretation of it at the time was that I needed to be fixed. 

Getting Into Fitness

I literally had NO idea what I was doing! 

 

My friend and I would simply throw some dumbbells around until we felt sore, and I’d occasionally go for a 20 minute run round the town. 

 

If you need any proof as to what little clue I genuinely had, here’s a little insight. 

 

I’d cut holes in a black bag to stick under my t-shirt and hoody when running. The more you sweat, the more fat you lose, right? 

 

No, it wasn’t right. It isn’t right. It’ll never be right. 

 

Still, at the time, I thought it was genius! 

 

I dipped my toe into the world of training for a few years back in 2009. Consistency was never my strong point. I’d go to the gym for 30 days straight, following it up with 60 days of eating, drinking and playing my Xbox instead. 

 

I eventually did get slightly serious in 2012. I stopped going out to bars and started making all of my own meals (I was still living at home, this was a big deal to me!). 

 

I lost a few kilograms and started to feel a little better in the clothes I was wearing. 

 

People also started to notice. At the time, I described this as like a drug. That buzz from someone pointing out how I’d lost weight soon became the thing I was chasing. 

 

I didn’t have any goal in sight, I just wanted compliments and validation for the hours I was putting in at the gym. 

 

Looking back now, I can see this was never going to end well. It couldn’t. 

 

Things got even more serious when I ended up missing a few football training sessions in favour of the gym, leading to me eventually, and quite rightly so, being replaced as the teams goalkeeper. 

 

I could have no complaints. My heart just wasn’t in it. I’d found a new passion. 

 

A passion that would eventually lead me to quitting my job and heading south of the border to start a new adventure.

The Move South & Becoming A Personal Trainer

A simple coffee date with a close friend in the summer of 2014, ended up being the tiniest of forces to get this ball rolling. 

 

I was working as a Joiner at the time in my local town and I wasn’t all that happy. 

 

Don’t get me wrong, I had a pretty sweet life. 

 

I lived in a great town, surrounded by friends and family, was earning a good weekly wage and the job itself wasn’t exactly terrible either. It was physical and could never be described as boring. 

 

It just wasn’t for me. 

 

That quiet Sunday afternoon in the coffee shop changed everything. More than I ever thought possible at the time. It planted the seed. 

 

I searched for Personal Training courses in the weeks that followed and by January 2015, I was already enrolled onto a 6 month part time course in Edinburgh. 

 

I started studying and learning all the terminology to do with all things regarding exercises and nutrition. 

 

There was just one caveat. I had to keep it under wraps for the time being. 

 

I felt a little bad. People had invested money and time into me qualifying as a joiner. There was no malice of course on my part, I just had to do what I felt was right for me. 

 

So, for the next 9 months, I sat on this secret whilst travelling up to Edinburgh every second weekend to get my qualification. 

 

Fast forward to October 2015, and I was setting off with boxes of my stuff to start my new life in Manchester. 

 

Why Manchester? 

 

I could say I fancied something different.. 

 

Or that the chances of building a Personal Training business were much higher in a city such as Manchester compared to my hometown.. 

 

In truth though, I was in a relationship with a girl who went to University in Manchester. 

 

In all honesty, there was no major reasoning behind my decision in terms of finance of career progression. It just felt right at the time.