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PEOPLE PROFILE


PEOPLE PROFILE Wil Graham


How many years have you worked as a professional dancer? I turned professional in my early 20s – around 10 years ago. But I first started dancing when I was five years old.


Was it always your dream to become a dancer? Not really. We had just arrived from Italy as a family and my mum loved dancing, so she used to drag me to dance classes on Saturdays. Eventually I got hooked, made friends with the other girls and started salsa dancing in a group. When I was about 13, one of the teachers suggested I find a partner and start doing competitions.


What’s your typical day to day? Between Christmas and mid-January I was doing rehearsals for the Midnight Tango show at Aldwych Theatre in London. I was in rehearsals from 10.00am–6.00pm. Rehearsals are the hardest time of the show cycle – you go through things over and over again and your body is tired. At the moment it’s less arduous. If it’s a


When and why did you decide to ‘turn your life around’ and get fi t? I’d been extremely overweight since I was 19 and, at the age of 28, I realised I was putting on a stone or more every single year. By March 2010 I weighed 29 stone 6 pounds, and I talked to my GP about bariatric surgery. I was approved for a gastric band, where they remove over 80 per cent of your stomach. When I told my parents, they were really disappointed – they felt it was the easy way out. While at my parents, I used their PC to check my emails and came across an application form for The Biggest Loser. I entered never expecting to be selected, but after numerous tests and checks I had to make a choice – surgery or the show! I thought I’d try everything available to me before surgery, so went on the show.


two-show day, I need to be at the theatre at lunch time, and I’ll stay there until the second show finishes at 9.30pm.


You’re now a Maxitone ambassador – what does that entail? I was already using Maxitone products – bars and shakes mainly – when they contacted me. I hope to use the partnership to increase awareness of heathy nutrition – to help people understand how important it is to have healthy eating habits as well as being physically active.


What do you think is the key to getting people, and women especially, more physically active? It has to be a combination of things. I think women need to be given more opportunities to seek advice on how to lead more active, healthier lives.


majracnuary 2012 © cybertrek 2012 h 2012 © cybertr k 2012


Can you describe the experience of winning The Biggest Loser? It was the best and worst situation I’ve ever been in. The best because I’m now looking forward to a healthy, happy life, but the worst because I did it in front of millions of people. Trying to change, crying, eating and tackling physical as well as mental demons head-on in public is defi nitely not for everybody. It sounds silly, but when I used to imagine being semi-naked with someone like Davina McCall nearby, standing on cattle scales for a television programme wasn’t at all what I had in mind!


What was your profession before featuring on the show? My background is in marketing. Right before the show, though, I worked anti-social hours for a bank – I felt like I wasn’t capable of doing anything else because of my weight.


What made you decide to pursue a career in fi tness? It’s such a signifi cant part of my everyday life now that I know better than anybody


flavia cacace


Wil won the 2010 edition of the hit ITV series The Biggest Loser after shedding more than 8 stone. He’s now training to become a PT with Future Fit Training


Strictly Come Dancing star Flavia Cacace is passionate about fitness and has joined forces with Maxitone to spread the message of leading a healthy lifestyle


It’s all very well realising you need to lose


weight and tone up, but how many people know what they have to do to achieve that? My guess is not many. There need to be more avenues for women to access expert advice, whether that’s over the phone, in person or online. It needs to be a service where they feel no question is too silly to ask. That’s precisely what Maxitone is doing,


and it’s a project I’m personally involved in. They’ve partnered with a number of gym groups to do club visits, making themselves available for people to come up and ask questions about nutrition and exercise. Gyms can be intimidating for women who


aren’t regular attendees, and having an advice service creates more of a community feel. If a club doesn’t have that, it makes it even harder for people to motivate themselves to go.


What drives you? I think I have a natural drive. Once I finish one project or activity – or often before it its even finished – I’m already looking for something else to tackle. My motto is: ‘Feel the fear and do it anyway’.


WIN A DANCE CLASS WITH FLAVIA!


Health Club Management is offering its readers an exclusive chance to win a dance class with Flavia Cacace. The class will take place on 2 April


else how benefi cial fi tness can really be. To think I might be able to have a positive impact on somebody else’s life is just immense – and the fi tness industry is growing so quickly that I just know I can make a positive difference. When I found out about Future Fit, I knew I had to train with them – they have great courses and I just felt they’d support and prepare me to help others to the highest standard.


You are training to be a personal trainer – what are your plans after you complete the course? I’m really fortunate to already have a waiting list of clients! As soon as my training is done, I’m going to complete my GP referral and specialise in fat loss and the obese market, since I know fi rst-hand how hard the fi rst steps can be – and how rewarding it is afterwards. I’ll set my own business up – I can’t wait! In the long-run, I’m aiming to open gyms


targeting people who are obese or morbidly obese. I don’t believe there’s anything affordable out there at the moment that specifi cally caters for people struggling with overwhelming targets. I’m also going to launch my own weight


management group in 2012 – weight loss with a difference!


2012, at five-star resort Celtic Manor in Wales, as part of ‘Maxitone on Tour’. A one night luxury stay and breakfast will also be included. To enter the prize draw, visit www.maxitoneontour.com and use entry code “HCM”.


Terms & conditions: 1) Entries close on 25 March 2012 2) Winner will be selected at random after competition closes. Entrants must be contactable via email on 26 March 3) One dance entrant and a night’s accommodation and breakfast as described. Travel and any other costs/expenses not included. Prize not transferrable, no cash alternative, no other dates apply. No purchase necessary.


What’s the number one weakness in the fi tness industry Based on my own experiences, I’d have to say that only the best fi tness providers get the balance right between sales and retention through good service. It’s one thing to get a new member, and completely another to keep them happy afterwards.


What’s your favourite life motto or quote? My trainer from the show and now one of my best friends, Richard Callender, used to say to me: “The greatest pleasure in life is doing what people think you cannot do.” This really sticks out for me. He believed in me when I never even believed in myself.


THE THE


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