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I'd trained with several PTs over the years, changing as I moved jobs and homes. I'd already fallen in love with weight training and its many, many benefits, so I wasn't a hard sell for Stephen – although I soon discovered the hard sell isn't his thing. He doesn't need it. When I first started at Elite, I was taken aback, frankly, at the genuine passion and infectious enthusiasm Stephen had for what he preaches (and diligently practices himself): A lifestyle. 

I explained honestly to Stephen how much work was needed with my food habits, expecting to be told off and guilted into quitting things I loved. But no such guilt trip came. Instead came encouragement, education and support – exactly what is needed for someone trying to overhaul their lifestyle long-term. This was as opposed to what I'd previously experienced with trainers that just wanted a decent 'before and after' pic that could net them more clients.

Cynically, I remember thinking Stephen's in-depth involvement in my progress and serious personalisation of every single training session wouldn't last. But six months of one-on-ones later and that passion hasn't wavered for a second. The honest interest Stephen (and Laura too) have in their clients' overall wellbeing is mindblowing. I felt supported at all times, never guilted into anything or pressured into a routine that wasn't sustainable. 

From the very first session I enjoyed training so much I couldn't wait to go back. I still feel that way, and while pregnancy has somewhat curtailed my progress in terms of how much I can lift and how much conditioning (torture) I'm able to endure, each session continues to do more for my mental and physical health than I could have anticipated. 

I feel like training with Stephen and physio with Laura, in combination, has prepared me more than I could ever put into words for the biggest physical challenge I will face thus far in my life: Delivering my first baby. I feel very lucky to have found, in Stephen and Laura, both expert, passionate people as well as good friends on my doorstep. To be honest, I'm somewhat reluctant to big them up too much in case they're poached by a celebrity client and tell me they're being paid millions to move to California – I'd be absolutely lost, but not shocked.

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