Liz O’Riordan

When Liz got in touch with me in February 2020, she was determined to achieve a physique she never thought was possible for her. As a breast cancer surgeon who had survived recurring breast cancer twice, Liz was an advocate for exercise and cancer, but felt that she needed a coach’s support to lead from the front.

While she was experienced in running and cycling, Liz was a beginner in the gym. We started off by getting used to training with weights, and we focused a lot on nutrition, which was a blind-spot for Liz. Unfortunately, one month into coaching, the UK went into a national lockdown but that didn’t stop Liz – she fully kitted her house out and didn’t stop training, determined to complete a photoshoot to mark the exciting beginning of her journey.

In this timeframe, Liz has overcome a wide range of challenges, but she stood her ground and kept working on improving herself, and this was the amazing result we achieved.

This is what Liz had to say about her journey:

“I woke up one morning, looked in the mirror and admitted that I didn’t like the body staring back at me. It wasn’t just the scarred tissue on my flat chest wall thanks to two rounds of breast cancer treatment. I had no muscle definition. The toned figure I used to have was long gone. I could cycle up mountains and looked good in clothes, but it wasn’t enough.  I had no excuses. I lived off carbs for breakfast and lunch and hadn’t set foot in a gym since chemo five years ago.

Weight training is an essential part of cancer recovery. It can reduce the risk of a recurrence by up to 50% and prevent osteoporosis from my early menopause.  I reached out to Clara to see if she could help me get strong again, not sure what to expect. It was three weeks before lockdown.

I was enveloped in a cloud of positivity and simplicity. Simple gym plans were converted to at-home workouts with dumbbells, resistance bands, a bar and some plates. I got used to tracking macros with a really easy meal plan and my body began to change. I no longer needed daily painkillers and my left shoulder muscles woke up again. Every time I had a wobble, Clara was there to pick me up.

Although I had dreams of competing as a proud ‘uniboober’, Clara suggested a photoshoot first. Getting back in the gym spurred me on and I couldn’t believe the woman staring back at me. The final month was hard as the calories dropped but Clara was with me every step of the way. I am so proud of the body I managed to sculpt, but more than that, I feel strong and powerful and ready for whatever live throws at me.”