*Similar results not guaranteed. Results may vary.
As a food editor and writer, it is literally my job to eat delicious, fattening things pretty much every day, from boxes of pastries delivered right to my desk to seven-course meals at upscale restaurants. Lucky, right? Too bad I don’t have the metabolism to compensate. After 12 years on the job, all that luscious food was definitely taking its toll. I’ve never been slender, but in early 2011 I got on the scale (a rare thing) and realized I was bigger than ever – 60-plus pounds overweight. But it wasn’t the number that scared me, it was what happened when I looked in the mirror: I didn’t recognize myself. I looked at least 10 years older — jowly and tired, draped in shapeless, boring clothes that offered no reflection of my sense of style. I saw shame in my eyes, and I finally admitted to myself that I had been finding excuses to avoid going out because I was embarrassed about how I looked.
I honestly felt like I was trapped in someone else’s body, like I was living a half-life that wasn’t completely mine. Who was this person who avoided her friends and holed up and home, who found the simple task of getting dressed utterly depressing, who shook her head when her kids shouted, “Chase me, mommy!”? What had I let my body do to my soul? By the same token, I had to ask myself: What had I done to my body? I had completely neglected it, and in doing so I had allowed many of the pleasures in my life to become burdens. And that’s when it hit me: I can totally change this. It will be hard, yes, but it’s completely in my power. And if I want to start really living again, I need to get active — from now on.
So after years of passing by Northwest Women’s Fitness Club, I finally went in last spring. Beth Goldstein gave me a tour and her enthusiasm and knowledge immediately won me over. I signed up then and there, knowing I’d be in good hands and surrounded by a supportive environment. Carol Nelson became my trainer, and with her help — both emotional and physical — I began to lose weight and gain strength. Family and friends noticed, and several were inspired to get active themselves. And as my endurance and confidence grew, a whole world of activities opened up. In the 14 months since I first walked into the gym, I’ve gone from struggling to run 1 mile to completing three half-marathons (thanks April and Angela!). And I’m looking forward to running in Hood To Coast this August and the Girlfriends Half Marathon in October. I’ve gone from a casual bike commuter to an avid cyclist, with the Cycle Oregon Weekend and the Harvest Century on my 2012 agenda (thanks Sara!). I went from barely being able to swim one lap without flailing to swimming two to three miles a week. I took up ice skating with my kids. I joined a soccer team. I’ve lost almost 50 pounds and had fun doing it.
Thanks to the support and dedication of the trainers and staff, I actually love going to the gym (something I never thought I’d say). I love that there’s always a new club or activity to join and I love feeling like my body is strong enough to give them all a try. Nothing is out of reach anymore, and for the first time in a long time, I feel like I’m truly alive.
Northwest Women’s Fitness Club and Northwest Personal Training have changed my life by helping me to be in the best shape of my life, physically, mentally, and emotionally. Not only do I feel great but the Club and Training has helped me to find that inner 20 year old small farm town girl who knew the meaning of hard physical work and showed NO FEAR to serve in the military! This change has helped restore balance in so many other avenues of my life.
My trainer, Sara has motivated and inspired me to not only believe in myself but also to challenge myself! Her training sessions have helped increase my strength, balance, and knowledge while reducing weight and body fat. Initially, I had little interest in Yoga or Adrenaline cycle classes and somehow her encouragement and example have lead me to taking those classes and enjoying them! I am amazed by my personal achievements, and I sometimes ask myself, “Can I really do that?” and of course Sara is there to say “Sure you can!” My goal right now is to prove to myself and only myself that I can do it! Look how far I have come! Thank you for your dedication Sara!
So, here is my story. I was the chubby kid and the young girl who lost weight through not eating or yo-yo dieting most of her life. As a young woman I went to the military to only learn that during basic training you had about 5 minutes to shove as much food into your mouth as possible. Then I continued to try to stay active and eat healthy but somehow lost my way amongst society’s idea of working long hours and then resting in front of a television eating some type of high caloric low nutrition meal. I had practiced the core values taught in the military: Integrity, Service before Self, Excellence in everything you do and somehow had forgotten the most vital tool of survival: Before you can take care of everyone else, you must take care of Number ONE!
There are times that I am not motivated and then I think of those that inspire me. My aunt is a huge motivator. She is 60 years old and was diagnosed with ocular melanoma a year ago and was only given about 3 months to live after it spread to the liver. As far back as I can remember, she used to work out every day and despite the chemo and drugs still attempts to go for daily walks. She loved to work out but her body just can’t handle it anymore! She has a saying of my grandfather’s that keeps her going. No te rajes! (Don’t give up!). I am fortunate to have a healthy body and an opportunity to work out! Throughout this journey, I have realized that whatever we want out of life we make it our priority. Health is my priority and for me Northwest Women’s Fitness Club and Northwest Personal Training are key. We get one life, one body and so many choices!
As a maturing 40 year old female every year that passes will present a challenge. My goals are to continue with personal training, classes and proper nutrition and maintain what I’ve accomplished. I am ready to tackle those challenges and excited to see what the future holds! I know this is the lifestyle I am meant to live, after all it is the one with the most rewards!!
When I walked through the doors of NWFC 9 months ago, I was an over-weight, out of shape mom of two, closer to 50 than 40 and pretty depressed about how I had let myself go. I wore clothes to hide my flab, was tired all the time and had zero energy. I loved to cook healthy food, but wasn’t making healthy choices when I made meals for myself. I made excuses as to why I couldn’t exercise or put myself first. I was creating an image for my family that I didn’t like or respect and I was setting a horrible example for my kids. I knew that I had to change. My New Year’s resolution was to start running (something I absolutely hated) and my goal would be the Girlfriend’s Half-Marathon in October. Now it was March and I knew that it was time to be my word. I registered for the “Learn How To Run” class at the Vancouver location and decided to hire a personal trainer to work with me here in Portland. Little did I know that this decision would alter not only my life, but my family’s as well.
When I first met Carol, I was embarrassed about my weight and how I looked. She took my measurements and to my chagrin, I was officially “obese.” It was just the thing that I needed to hear to get ready to change. That day, with Carol’s help, I set a goal of how much weight I wanted to lose and what the path to get me there looked like. I was motivated, even excited. I knew that this time, it would be different. And I was right.
I started out not being able to do much. Carol took it all in stride. She became my cheerleader and my friend. Through her guidance and wisdom, I started to see a difference, not only in how I looked, but even more importantly, how I felt. I woke up every day energized and excited to start my day. I became someone who looked forward to workouts and running became something that I “had” to do everyday. I was addicted! Before, I made excuses as to why I didn’t exercise. I was extremely busy with “life,” trying to juggle everything and not doing a very good job. Now, I am managing my time so that workouts become a priority and everything else fits around them. I became an expert at anticipating where obstacles might pop up for me and how I could overcome them.
I will never look back and will never be the person that walked through that door 9 months ago. I want to be running half marathons when I am 80. This May, I will be running the Rock and Roll Half Marathon, stronger than ever! I may even try a Triathlon, who knows? I see now how I was holding myself back and now how I can do it all. My kids now have a mom who is energetic, excited about life and who can do fun, active things with them. My husband has the woman that he married back, happier and healthier. I have learned that we cannot let fear or embarrassment rule our lives and make our decisions about our health and ourselves. We must live in the here and now, seeing (and believing) the potential that each of us has and honoring it through caring for and loving ourselves. It is a gift that we not only give ourselves, but those in our lives as well.
When I first stepped foot into Northwest Women’s Fitness Club, I was coming out of a horrible couple of years of job changes and depression. I had always been an athletic person, but I was finding things were harder to do than I remembered. I was tired of how I felt and looked. I knew I needed to start getting serious about my exercise and lose some weight, but I was hesitant to join a gym. I hated then, the smells, the intimidating machines, the intimidating people and the lack of support. I always felt like I was just on my own, relying on some knowledge I had gained from swim team training as a kid.
I had a welcome surprise with this gym. There were no funny smells, there were people around asking how my workout was, there were towels to mop up my sweat, and there was an aromatherapy room. I didn’t feel intimidated, I felt welcomed. I felt like I had joined a big family.
I was connected with Remy as my Personal Trainer. I was quite hesitant and nervous about having a personal trainer. I knew that I was out of shape and overweight, but certainly didn’t want anyone pointing that out to me. Remy was a perfect fit. She quickly read right through my hesitations and took things slowly. I didn’t have a fitness goal when I started, just wanted to come to the gym. After working with Remy for a couple of months, she mentions I should do a triathlon. I told her she was crazy, that I didn’t run, haven’t swum in 15+ years, and have a bike that is gathering dust in the garage. She said it didn’t matter, I didn’t have to run, and no one cares about the bike, and reminded me that I know how to swim. Next thing I know, I am running 3 miles, I have purchased a new bike, have gotten back in the water, and am signed up for the Girlfriends and Dudes Triathlon.
Doing that event has opened up a new world for me. I want to do more races and want to continue to improve my fitness. I actually want to go to the gym and miss it when I can’t go. Who would of thought? As one of my friends said while we were running a 5K race in June, “I feel like I’m in an alternate world. You are running!”
I could have never imagined how far I have come and how great I feel today (around 50 lbs lighter)), and I have only Northwest Women’s Fitness Club and Remy to thank for it.
At 50 plus, I was shocked to find my body beginning to experience a major melt down. Literally, it was as if my 90,000 mile warranty had expired and the tires were slowly going flat. No longer was my daily exercise keeping up with the decline in my muscle tone. I’d read about the importance of weight training as one ages, but felt overwhelmed by the machines and intimidated by the crowds of young men that gathered around the weights at my usual gym. I needed help and a friend recommended Northwest Women’s fitness. The “spa like”, calm atmosphere of NW Women’s fitness, including candles at the front desk, seemed to reassure me that weight training couldn’t be all that bad and if it was, I would be healed by the eucalyptus and soft rays of the full spectrum light room afterward.
I got connected with Alta as my personal trainer and met with her two times a week for a couple of months to help build weight training into my routine. Alta created workouts that were stimulating and interesting, but challenging enough that I felt as if I accomplished something when I was done. I found it helpful to have someone there to encourage me when the going got rough, and I wanted to give up.
Having a trainer helped push me in ways I would never have done by myself. When we started training, I could barely finish a “girl” push-up. Four months later, my buff 19 year old son came home from college, where he plays on a D1 soccer team. He taunted me that he bet I couldn’t complete a “regular” push-up. When I easily met that challenge, he readjusted and upped the challenge: “I bet you can’t do 15”. As I clicked off the last one, he said with pride, “Wow, most of the girls I know my age couldn’t even do that!” His comment alone was worth every ounce of sweat. I am continuing to work with Alta every other week, and by the time he is home for summer break I will impress him with a chin up!
When I first came to Northwest Women’s Fitness and Personal Training I was so terribly out of shape. I could barely make it through the first ten minute warm up of a step aerobics class I took. I was so embarrassed of the condition I was in, but the staff made me feel welcome and encouraged me to keep it up.
I was matched up with Alissa for some personal training. I was so afraid that she would be disappointed to work with me and make me feel bad for not being in better shape. I was totally wrong. Alissa showed me that I could get stronger and that with a little planning I could improve my overall health.
One day I told her I had seen the flier reminding people to sign up for the Girlfriends and Dudes Triathlon. I told her that someday I would like to see if I could do it and she said, “why not today? You can totally do this.” So I signed up for the Tri training club and 5k training club.
I was not a strong swimmer, didn’t own a bike and had never been a runner. With the support of all the trainers at the club giving me training tips and encouragement, I found myself crossing the finish line of my first Triathlon. Now I am planning on improving my time for next year’s event.
Thank you Alissa for helping me find my inner Elecktra Woman and being my side kick Dyna Girl.