For those of you who have known me and followed me over the years know that not only am I fitness professional but a very passionate one. You see, fitness to me is a way of life. I’ve just been fortunate enough to make a career out of it. Most view fitness as a side activity, one that either fits into their lives or it doesn’t. I take a great deal of pride and education for myself in helping people to understand the positives that fitness can have on their lives. I don’t always have followers but that’s why I continue on. I want to share with you today a story of a client who has done all those things – made fitness a priority in her life; continued to follow my guidance; took all the positives along with the negatives and turned out to become the best version of herself.
How We Started
Tricia and I first met about 12 years ago when I worked at Pottstown Health Club. She had been working with one of my trainers and it was brought to my attention that I might be better suited to help her. Tricia had a “nagging” forearm issue of sorts that we later determined was the result of carrying heavy bags (computer, handbags). With a successful evaluation and treatment plan, Tricia’s arm got better and shall we say, the rest is history. Tricia has been a personal client since then and stuck with me through the gym closing and venturing out on my own. Stories like you’re about to hear are one of the many reasons why I do what I do, why I love what I do, and where my passion for all things fitness comes from. What better way than for you to hear this story other than from Tricia herself.
I’ve always been athletic; a tomboy most of my life. As a kid, I played baseball and football with the boys in the neighborhood. I played field hockey and lacrosse in high school until knee issues sidelined me during my senior year. Since then I’ve had a total of 5 surgeries on both of knees. Ultimately, I will need a full knee replacement, so I have learned to manage the issues and pain since I was 17. Having a chronic injury like that impacted my participation in sports, as well as working out. This led to weight gain, which is not good for anyone, but for me with my knee issues, it was worse because I found it even harder to work out or even move. That’s when I decided to take control and lose weight. Another motivator was that I was engaged and wanted to look my best for the wedding. I joined Weight Watchers, as I knew I needed to be accountable to someone other than myself in the weight loss journey. I lost 30 pounds and was very proud of myself. I focused mostly on my nutrition but was working out a little as well.
After the wedding, a few of my work friends started working out together at a gym close to the office. Within a year, I was at my most fit and felt great. I really enjoyed working out with my friends (never thought I would be a “gym rat” but I was there a lot). Then life happened. I began traveling a lot with work and was not home a lot. Because I was working out so much, I had a lot more “flexibility” in my diet. When you stop working out consistently and continue to eat the same “flexible” way, a not-so-funny thing happens; you gain weight. I did work out while I was traveling. I found I had less excuses to NOT work out when I wasn’t home. It helped that most of my work travel mates were working out in the hotel gyms, so if I brought my workout gear, and told my colleagues I was going to work out. I was accountable to them. So, I tended to work out more when traveling then when I was home, but eating more than I should have, and maybe drinking more. Because of my travel schedule, as well as losing most of my workout buddies (started families, changed jobs, moved) I canceled my gym membership.
My husband and I decided to join Pottstown Health Club together. I was using the cardio equipment and taking classes. It had been a while since I spent time in a proper gym, so felt like I needed to work with a trainer; also felt like I needed someone to be accountable to again. I had started working out with Cathy but then I met Jeff. He created a workout for me that allowed me to continue my momentum despite my injury. I have continued to work with him since.
Fast forward a couple of years to the week I turned 40. That seemed to be the year I hit the wall; it felt like I hit the wall, bounced off, then got run over by a truck, got up, and then fell face first into a vat of molasses. I’ve felt stuck for the past 8 years. The week I turned 40 my back spasmed. I never had any back issues until that week. I spent most of that week in bed trying to recover from that until Jeff had recommended massage therapy. In March of my 40th year, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. Luckily it was caught very early, but a lumpectomy and 7 weeks of radiation were necessary. Oh, and you can’t forget the 5 years of Tamoxifen. Through my recovery, it was difficult to bounce back into a healthy, fit lifestyle. It’s been nearly 9 years, but I found my way. My health journey has one consistent factor…accountability. And today is no different. I got a sinus infection in January and visited the local urgent care. They take your temp, blood pressure and weigh you before seeing the doctor. As you leave, they provide a synopsis of your visit, including an evaluation of your weight. I rarely read that information, but for some reason I did after that visit. Based on their information, I was considered OBESE. I knew I was heavy, but to see that word in my “chart” was eye-opening.
Jeff and I talk about accountability a lot, and why it is so hard for people to be accountable to themselves. I think it took the word OBESE and the quarantine to finally get me to be accountable to myself. I also know that I do not want to start my 50’s feeling the way I have for most of my 40’s. I’ve taken advantage of the time that I’m home to take care of ME. I’ve been using my normal “commute” time to work out. At 6:00AM I ride my Peloton for 20 minutes (that’s my normal commute time). Again at 5:00PM, I’m on my bike for another 30-45 minutes. I’m also eating clean and healthy; tracking everything I eat (using Weight Watchers again). I am feeling great! I have a lot more energy and just overall feel better. My approach to the quarantine has been one of taking care of me. Since I am not traveling (which has been a major excuse for not always eating healthy or working out) I really have no excuses to NOT take care of me. If I’m not going to do it now, I’m never going to take responsibility for myself.
My husband is benefitting from it as well. His pants are a little looser too. And I just hit 40 pounds lost!! I am at the same weight I was when I got married 18 years ago. The journey has not been easy. As much as it is about eating healthy and implementing a fitness routine, it is also about psychology. I’ve found that without feeling accountable to myself I would self-sabotage. It was a viscous cycle. It is a little crazy that it took the word obese and a quarantine to set me straight.
Tricia – a living example of what it means to train smart, eat well, and be better!
Til next time, train smart, eat well, and be better