After beating aggressive blood cancer Seb Probert-Broster was ready for a new kind of challenge.
At 21 stone, he lacked confidence. He had spent a year in hospital fighting the disease and gained five stone.
Two days after leaving hospital he signed up to The Performance Project in Haywards Heath and has shed eight stone.
Seb, 31, said: “I came across The Performance Project online. I had seen a few previous clients, including Jimmy, the local barber. I had known him for years, he cut my hair at school. I thought If he could do it then I could.
“I always used to play a lot of sport and was quite active but I had always been overweight. My brother was a professional rugby player, so I was always following his career and I was motivated by him.
“I thought if I was going to do it properly, I needed to do it with a professional. I started sessions with Jerome four times a week, I was throwing up after sessions at first. Almost every session I was thinking I couldn’t do it.
I lacked confidence when I first started – now I am back to where I was, if not better, and I have Jerome to thank for it.Seb Probert-Broster
“Jerome was amazing, we are mates now. He was always checking to see if I was OK. He knew I liked to go out and had a big social life.
“Since leaving hospital I must have had 30 weddings planned, at least six stag do’s and holidays and I enjoyed eating out, so we came up with a plan together to tailor around this.
“It is now weird if I don’t go to the gym. I am really happy with the results but I have not reached the end of my journey – this is just a mark in the sand – there is always room for improvement.
“I lacked confidence when I first started – now I am back to where I was, if not better, and I have Jerome to thank for it.
“I highly recommend The Performance Project, I have made so many friends and there is a great community spirit there. Everyone is really supportive.”
Seb, an independent financial advisor, who lives in Haywards Heath, was diagnosed with stage three non-Hodgkin lymphoma, aged 27, in July 2013. He had been on a drinking session with his friends on the May bank holiday weekend but still felt ill afterwards.
“I felt lethargic and I was always picking up little infections,” he said.
“I ended up phoning NHS 111 and they told me to get emergency help. I had tests and eventually had a lymph node removed which was pressing on my windpipe.
“I didn’t know what to expect, no-one knows what chemo is like until you do it. I just had to get on with it. Fortunately my family and friends were amazing – my mum spent almost every day I was in hospital by my side.”
Seb spent a year in the Royal Sussex County Hospital in Brighton.
His latest scan was in June last year, which was all-clear, which he said felt ‘incredible’.
“You can’t really put it into words – it was a massive relief,” he added.
Jerome Bolze, 25, opened The Performance Project four years ago.
He said: “For me, what I love the most is I get to see the person at the start and finish. I see the confidence change and personality changes.
“Seb couldn’t really go for a walk – now he can go with no problem. He now does 10k runs and high intense classes. It used to be an effort to get him to go to the gym – now it is part of his life.
“I have seen so many people over the years but the difference with Seb was he had gone through an illness and had been through chemo.
“He had not trained for a very long time. The important thing for me was keeping him on track and making sure he still enjoyed life as well.”
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