about marayka

Got a patchy exercise history? So have I ...
I’ve always struggled with my weight and body shape. The first gym I ever attended was back in the 1970s when I was just 16 and living in the Netherlands. It was a male-focused muscle gym, all weights, racks and grunting, zero assistance. Needless to say I didn’t go back.

By the time I was in my early 20s I’d moved to England. Gyms had come a long way, and I found myself going five or six times a week. But I was frustrated with how I seemed to plateau, make no further progress and not really change my basic body shape at all, despite my best efforts.

Working in a London office in my late 20s I was still a regular gym member, sweating a lot but not really getting anywhere. It was hard not to notice when a woman working in the accounts department, probably in her mid-30s and around a size 16, underwent a drastic shape change for the better. I asked her how she was getting such great results. She told me about Callanetics and showed me a Callanetics book she had. She offered to lend it to me … and I’m embarrassed to say I never got around to giving it back!

I'd like to say that that is the end of the story, happy with my shape thereafter.  Not the case I'm afraid.  Although I would follow the book to the best of my abilities and saw some pretty good results, I was basically self taught and unsure as to whether I was 'doing it right'.  I couldn't find a teacher and went back to the gym instead.  Fast forward a decade or two and my weight has gone up and down and up again.  Especially since getting older I just wasn't getting the results from the gym that I was after, even the ones with a personal trainer.  Then, oh joy, I found a woman in Melbourne who could train me to instructor level in South African Callanetics.  So I studied for the Certificate IV in Fitness (Personal Trainer) and then got my South African Callanetics qualification.  
My body has never looked or felt better.  I'm still not 'perfect' nor do I think I'll ever be (what is perfect anyway?).  I'm really happy with my shape now and love teaching women how to achieve this in just a few hours a week.

One of the few existing photos of me at this size, the heaviest I've ever been – I was so miserable I wouldn't let anybody take photos of me.