He prefers a “scientific” and “evidence based” approach to losing weight
As a member of the 1st Battalion, the Royal Anglian Regiment, Andy Ciaravella was part of a family – both literally and figuratively.
He served in the Armed forces for 22 years, from 1991 until 2013, and was part of the band of brothers which goes hand in glove with the Army.
His father, brother and brother-in-law also served in the same battalion. The ties were strong.
So moving out from Army life to the civilian world presented new challenges. But now, Andy is drawing on his experiences to help others.
He has set up his own fitness company in Colchester, inspiring others to bring out the best in themselves.
Andy, 45, said: “I travelled to a variety of countries such as USA, Kenya, Singapore and also conflict zones such as Northern Ireland, Afghanistan, Iraq and Bosnia.”
As well as handling the trauma of war, Andy also suffered huge personal loss.
The mother of his children, Julie, died when the children – Shannon, Connor and Cameron – were young.
Andy said: “The year 2007 was, no doubt, the worst year of my life due to the passing of my children’s mother and many colleagues being killed in action on a tour of Afghanistan. My daughter was eight at the time and my twin sons were six. As you can imagine it was a tough year.
“The Army supported me with a role as an Army Recruiter in Chelmsford, allowing me to stay local and care for my children.
“Shannon is now 21 and gave me a grandchild who is one in December, and Connor and Cameron are now approaching 19.
“The past five years after leaving the Army have been tough and an emotional rollercoaster.
“With my love of the gym and exercise as well as working with amazing clients helping them to achieve their goals, it has helped me keep focussed on the present.”
He has always had a passion for fitness, and studied it before he left the Army.
The Army funded some of his fitness courses as part of his resettlement into civilian life.
In 2013 he first set up his business, Stabilis Fitness, and his clients are now commending him for his emotional support.
He said: “Having gone through traumatic experiences in my life I found fitness to be the biggest motivator and feel good factor.
“I also felt great when helping people in general so to start a business allowing people to change their lives was key to my success.
“My goal was to help people get their lives back on track whether this was fat loss, functional training, strength training or mental health reasons.
“I have and continue to help people all over the world as well as Colchester.”
He offers one-to-one coaching in Colchester, bootcamps and worldwide online coaching.
He said: “My main aim was to rid the constant fad dietary information and crazy exercise regimes to allow people to fully understand through the scientific approach and evidence based knowledge I have gained.
“I have learnt a lot whilst in the industry and am doing my best to get the message out there on just how important fitness and a balanced nutritional intake is to our health both body and mind.
“My emotions, just like any other person’s, can change but I focus on what is important as well as understanding many of my emotions are direct result of my losses in life.
“My determination with my work has allowed me to manage low days through exercise, which keeps me moving in the right direction.”
His bootcamps are held at Abbey Fields on Tuesdays and Thursdays, from 7pm to 8pm, and Sundays from 9am until 10am.
He also provides coaching at The Gym in Queen Street.
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