So many people struggle with their weight and can find it a real challenge to shed pounds. But the beautiful and amazing Amy Leigh Basheer has shown us that what might seem impossible is in actual fact possible. Amy has struggled with her weight for a long time, which has resulted in many health problems that made her concerned for her life. But, incredibly, Amy would not let her weight control her life and knew that something needed to be done. Fitness enthusiast and inventor of 'We Push Ducks' (WPD), Tyson Brown has been training and supporting Amy in making that dramatic difference so many people find challenging. She is here to tell us exactly how she overcame her struggles and how We Push Ducks is changing her life for the better. We hope that her story will inspire those who are facing the challenge of losing weight.
So Amy, what’s your favourite thing about WPD?
It’s the fact that it’s an activity rather than an exercise session, with the ducks they distract me. Before I met Tyson I tried numerous times to get fit again. I tried the gym but I didn’t have the stamina to keep it up, I went swimming but I always had to go with someone and when they would cancel, I wouldn’t go on my own. So there was always something that got in the way and stopped me. So I thought, what can I do to make it happen? So Tyson comes to me so I don’t have to go anywhere else. I pay him at the beginning of the week so I feel committed. It’s so fun and Tyson celebrates every success with me, it’s like he is more excited at my accomplishments than I am. He changes it up every week, it’s different exercises to keep it fresh.Tyson is constantly challenging the body.
What was your weight before your training with WPD and what do you weigh now?
125kg and now 114kg. I never thought I would see that kind of weight loss in such a short period of time. It comes off gradually, it’s not something fast, not some fad diet, it’s not anything like that. My whole body shape has changed as well. It’s sculpting and I’m getting a 6 pack, I thought with my belly that I’d never get a 6 pack, but it is coming, I can see it. Everything's possible!
How long ago did you start the training?
24 April 2014. I started off with only 3 sessions a week before my honeymoon. Then after my honeymoon I came back and upped it to 4 times a week. So it’s been 4 times a week every week and I'm committed to 4 times a week.
So you're recently married? Did being engaged have any effect on you wanting to lose weight?
Yes, it’s brand new! I got married in March. Most people just diet ridiculously to fit into their dress. My wedding was planned and done within 2 ½ weeks. So I had to bulk out to fit into my dress because there wasn't enough time for the alterations. So I didn't have to worry, I could eat as many burgers as I wanted! So then after the honeymoon, I felt big in my pictures, so I knew something needed to be done. I knew I didn't want to be in a class situation straight away because I wasn't confident enough. And in the first pictures of the WPD class I went to in Croydon, you can see that I'm standing far away from everyone else, almost not in the picture and hiding away. Now, the most recent pictures, I'm bang in the middle! Holding the mascot! Proud of my curves! It’s changed my outlook, it’s changed everything.
After the honeymoon, I felt big in my pictures, so I knew something needed to be done."
How hard was it at the beginning?
At the beginning? It’s still hard now! But the most amazing thing for me was that at the beginning I couldn't even hold up my own body weight and now Tyson has got me doing push-ups! I can now do 1 handed planks, side planks and I'm like, are you serious! Tyson changes the training all the time, he never lets me get comfortable. But every time he says, “OK what we’re going to do is this...” and I'm like “Yeah OK...” because I know in my head I can’t do it. But then I try it once and I fail, because it’s hard. But by the next time, I've done it because he makes me do it a couple of times and I get better at it. The first session I did where he assessed my fitness, I passed out at the end of it, literally fainted because it was so hard and I hadn't done exercise in so long. I made it to the end of the session and when it came to the stretches at the end, I just blacked out. I came round and I was in Tyson’s arms, crumpled on the floor and I asked did I fall asleep. I think at that moment, when I fainted it was like the biggest trust builder. Tyson saved me from falling face first onto a concrete floor. Tyson gives you little baby steps to get you where you want to be. I've noticed with Tyson that he never gives me something I'm not capable of doing, he trains you at a pace that you’re comfortable with, but I don’t realise how fast I'm developing.
What impact has WPD had on your life and did you ever feel like giving up at any point?
In the training session, there’s always... I call it my wall. I reach my wall quite quickly, just purely because I was so unfit before. Everything hurts before the warm up these days. But Tyson just keeps on at you, he is like a Nagging Nora. He says, “Come on, it’s just a duck! I just need that one to there... This is your exercise...” and I’m like, “They are ALL my exercises in this hour!” And he would say “Don’t get cocky or I’ll move that duck back.” So he knows what type of personality I have so he can dig at me like that, because he does what he has to do to get the most out of me in that session. He pushes me to be the best that I can be. He will show me the harder versions, so then I push myself to reach that harder version. Meeting Tyson Brown has changed my life. I was in a bad place, I had a bad diet, I had high blood pressure which I was on medication for, I had high cholesterol and I was huge. So meeting him and his brain child as I call it has saved my life and changed my life. I am a happier and healthier person for my husband, I'm going to stay on this planet longer than what I would have done, because I have met this man. And I just think how different my life would have been if I would have met him earlier. I would have been fitter sooner, not had the health repercussion I had before. I'm just glad I've met him now.
I am a happier and healthier person for my husband."
How long into the training did you start noticing a difference?
With my fitness and my strength, I started noticing a difference within a couple of weeks. With my body, I didn’t feel it myself, but people were saying my trousers were big and look at my little waist. And then I took my first before and after picture as soon as 6 weeks came. So I saw that much of a dramatic change in 6 weeks, that’s when Tyson said lets capture this moment.
Did anyone tell you it wasn't possible?
Everyone has been really supportive. I'm blessed to have such a great group of friends. Before the training sessions, they saw what such a bad place I was in and now they see such a dramatic difference in me and they know it's because of Tyson, it's because of WPD. So they are all really enthusiastic about it. They all support me, going through it, my parents, my nan. Everyone asks me when is my next training session. After every training session, I call my nan and say Tyson just killed me! And she asks me what I did this time and I tell her I did this and that and I did push ups!
At this moment, do you feel you’ve reached your goal?
No not yet. The first time Tyson met me, he asked me what my goal is. I said XYZ, I want to be a size 14, I want to be healthy, I want to be able to walk up my stairs without getting out of breath, I want to be able to cross my legs like this, because I couldn't before and now I can. And he said, "I'll hold your hand and we will get there together." And ever since, that is what he has done, exercise-wise, nutrition-wise, everything has been to help me gear me up to get to my goal, because he told me, he would get me there... together. And he is staying true to his word. Because I market WPD so much, there was one comment on my Facebook page that said, "I hope you're getting paid for this free marketing." and Tyson posted back saying "She's getting paid with an epic body!" And I said: This man is staying true to his words. That is priceless for me. No one else has ever put so much passion and effort into something that I wanted, my dream. And Tyson is making that dream come true. So this man, I owe him my life in my words, because he has just changed me beyond belief. Now I'm getting upset... (interview pauses). That's just how much a journey I've been on, in such a short period of time. With a man that is just so selfless and who just gets so much pleasure out of helping people and there needs to be more Tyson Brown's in this world. Everyone needs their own one. He's busy in the evenings... but during the days, everyone needs their own Tyson Brown.
That is priceless for me. No one else has ever put so much passion and effort into something that I wanted."
Have you worked with any other personal trainers before? If so, how do they compare?
Yes. When I used to go to the gym they sign you up and they take your measurements and they give you all these stupid machines and they say, do that for 20 minutes... do this for 20 minutes... do those weights for 20 minutes. I had absolutely no passion for it. I didn’t even get a level of engagement or motivation from it. You can keep on doing the same routine for a long period of time, but you won’t see the type of results you get from WPD. There’s a way to do it, but if you can’t reach that way yet, Tyson simplifies it and he makes it work for you until you can build up and be confident doing it the way it should be done. When I was able to support my own body weight, it was a major thing for me. I started at the stationary plank and I had to hold it, I can still only hold it for a minute, but before that I couldn’t even hold up my own body weight. Tyson lets you know how you are progressing and also that’s the great thing with the We Push Ducks mats itself. Because before when I was in the push up position moving the ducks around the mat, I could just get to the top colours... now I can get them to the bottom row. So that means that I can’t just only do the top, I can do the side and the bottom row now. So you can physically see the progress you make and how much better you’re getting.
People say that just to exercise can cost a lot of money these days. Do you feel WPD is worth the money?
Yes... a thousands, millions! I found money to do it. My husband always nags at me. He says, "You could take out a mortgage the amount your paying this man to train you." But then I say to him, you're reaping the benefits, I'm reaping the benefits... and we're going to live longer together, forever, thanks to all this work I'm putting in. My husband is a gym bunny. He cycles to work, cycles back home, goes to the gym in the morning before work. So he's really fit and the complete opposite to me. He always wanted me to get into fitness. I started off going to the park, boxing with him but I had absolutely no confidence. Everyone was looking at me, I hated the fat, so I would always find excuses. Going to the gym with him, I just thought great, I get to stand in front of more people, including you, sweating my face off, looking hideous, feeling like everyone's eyes are on me. I said to him, let me just do a few sessions a week with Tyson, to build my confident, build my fitness levels so that one day I can come to the gym with you, feel happy and confident to have a workout with you. So that's how the journey started and that's how I got the yes, because my husband supports me and sees the difference that this is making. He comes to Tyson’s classes with me and after every class he says, "I'm never coming again, this is so hard... everything hurts!" and then next week, he's there with me again, because he enjoys it. It's something different, it changes up his workout and he's there to support his wife. Just find a way to afford WPD, that's why he does the classes.. the classes are just £5 for 1 hour. What else can you get for £5 an hour? You can't even get a burger and chips for that. So if you can't afford a personal training session, go to a class!
Would you recommend WPD to others and how have you been spreading the WPD news?
I feel like an ambassador for WPD. On my Facebook page I put updates of my progress. And Tyson, busy as he is, always tries his hardest to comment on it. So they can see from both side that I'm telling the truth, she is actually doing it and is getting genuinely great feedback from this guy, this guy is genuinely excited. And Tyson will post random Facebook posts about WPD, about Amanda Lee and Amy Basheer... so that bit goes to everyone on my page, anything he posts I like and I share them. My push up videos, photos of these crazy ducks. I get loads of enquiries, asking how much it is, where's the training? How can I get him? Because they've seen what I do. Even in my hall I was just finishing my WPD session and Tyson was taking everything out of the car. My next door neighbour, who I don't even know said, "Oh are you a personal trainer?" Tyson started doing a demonstration of WPD in my hallway... which I then thought, hello, marketing... recorded it and posted it on Facebook and of course, it's him explaining what the workout is doing, the whole purpose of the exercise and stuff. So every opportunity for me of a picture... I even designed new t-shirts, with logos on it, because I am probably as passionate about WPD as he is. So yes, everyone should try it and I highly recommend it.
Do you have any final words to say about Tyson?
Instead of saying more stuff about Ty, I'm going to sum up 1 word... no 2... 3? Three words! Inspirational. Brother. Epic!
If Amy's interview has inspired you to get involved, please click here for information on our 1-2-1 sessions and fitness classes.
- Team We Push Ducks