#MyFitnessJourney: We Chat To PT And Trainer Denise Murphy About Her Incredible Body Transformation

We chat to blogger Denise Murphy, who shed 2.5 stone... and found a whole new way of life through fitness.

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Name: Denise Murphy

Age: 29

Location: Cork

Instagram: @dee_m_fitness

Website: Dee Fit Healthy Eats

Snapchat: @Denisey86

As so many of us do, Denise Murphy let her eating and fitness habits go by the wayside during her college years.

It was an overheard comment from an old acquaintance about  her weight gain that gave Denise the boost she needed to kickstart a new lifestyle. These days she’s 2.5 stone lighter and works as a PT and fitness instructor. She also blogs about food and fitness here.

We caught up with Denise to hear about her journey – and to get some exercise and recipe tips, of course…


You’ve come a very long way in the last few years. When did you decide to start your fitness journey?

I was quite an active child but in my late teens and early twenties the college lifestyle took over and I started exercising less and eating more fast food and alcohol. It was then that I noticed my weight going up.

I knew I was unhealthy. I was unhappy. I was tired of feeling crap about the way I looked and I was tired of dreading going clothes shopping as I felt that each time I did go, I was up a dress size.

Was there a turning point for you?

I finally got the kick up the arse that I needed just from one comment made by a guy I hadn’t seen in a long time in a nightclub. I chatted to him for a couple of minutes and as I was walking away I heard him say to his friend ‘Jesus she’s after putting on some amount of weight!’ I was absolutely mortified and I wanted the ground to swallow me up there and then. That was the last straw. The next day I weighed myself and slowly but surely made small changes to my diet and included walking in my day to day routine.

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How much weight have you lost on your journey?

In total I’ve lost over 2.5 stone (18kg) and I lost this over a considerable amount of time. I lost the first stone and a half over a six to nine month period but then my progress completely stalled and old habits started creeping in again.

It sounds like you faced a few challenges along the way…

Yes! In the end, it turned out that I actually wasn’t eating enough. I was under-eating during the week to allow for booze and takeaway-filled weekends… never a good idea.

It was only when I moved to Perth that I upped my game, educated myself on the importance of proper nutrition and got in to a solid training routine. It’s been a work in progress and definitely not a quick fix.


What has been the most difficult part of the process?

Controlling my diet was something I found tough. I was so used to calorie counting and avoiding certain foods that I never thought about building a long-term healthy eating lifestyle.

I can’t stress the importance of diet and nutrition in any weight loss routine. You can train hard five days a week but if you’re filling your body with the wrong foods you really are wasting your time.

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What’s your favourite recipe?

My favourite dinner recipe is my healthy version of Tofu Satay. I make the satay sauce from just three ingredients – medium curry powder, coconut milk and good quality peanut butter (100% nuts) – it’s delicious!

I serve it with lots of green veg and some cauliflower ‘rice’ which is simply cauliflower with stalks removed and blitzed in a food processor and cooked on the pan.

And your favourite homemade treat?

It has be Raw Mixed Berry Cheesecake. The ‘cheese’ bit is actually made from cashews which make it a vegan friendly option too.

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A lot of fitness bloggers cut out alcohol completely. What about you?

I do drink alcohol occasionally. I am a great believer in creating balance between your fit life and your social life! Although I don’t drink very often these days, I wouldn’t beat myself up for having a glass of wine if I wanted one.

What’s your fitness routine like at the moment?

I train five to six times per week. I always take at least one rest day or sometimes two if I feel I need it. I’m working as a trainer and instructor at Energie Fitness in Cork so every working day usually involves teaching a few classes. That along with my own training keeps me active.

What was the most effective form of exercise for your weight loss?

At the start of my fitness journey cardio was most effective for me. As I was quite overweight, small amounts of cardio really helped make a difference. However once I got a bit leaner and discovered weight training, it really helped to firm and tighten what was there.


We’re hoping to get in shape for our summer hols – any advice?

Preparation is key! Plan your meals ahead of time and prep your meals for the week ahead to help you stay on track.

Have a solid training plan in place and if you’re unsure where to start don’t be afraid to ask a professional for help. Training with a friend also will help keep you both accountable.

Make sure to drink plenty of water each day to ensure you are hydrated – sometimes hunger can be confused for thirst so its essential to hydrate each day especially when training.

What’s one key message you’d give to anyone trying to shed pounds?

Forget the word ‘DIET’. You need to have an eating and exercise plan that is realistic and that you can stick to so that you don’t feel restricted. Otherwise it won’t work. Don’t beat yourself up when you have a bad day. Dust yourself off and go again!


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