Friday, July 29, 2016

Trainer Jim Wants You to Make Healthy Choices

The only currency required between an unhealthy lifestyle and a healthy one is choice!
"Nine years ago, after living an unhealthy lifestyle through my late 20's and early 30's, I decided enough was enough. I went from a healthy and steady 185 lbs in my 20's to 230 lbs by age 33. After spending a day playing with my then toddler daughter and finding myself completely gassed after a short amount of time, I decided a change in lifestyle was a must, not only for me but for my daughter. I dumped all junk food, including sugary drinks and fried foods, and started eating veggies and fruits. I drank nothing but water. I started to exercise up to 2-3 times a day, split between cardio and weight lifting. I noticed early on that not only was this new lifestyle changing my body, but it was also eliminating daily stress, which was a nice surprise and bonus. This is a lifestyle I continue to this day.

In 2014, I volunteered to coach the Lose Big program at the Downtown YMCA and fell in love with helping other people achieve their personal fitness goals. Clients who participated in my first two Lose Big programs/competitions, came in 1st place, and although I felt great pride in helping them achieve a much healthier body fat percentage, it was more enjoyable to witness them break out of old bad habits and push themselves over and beyond what they thought was possible. Change comes from within, not without. To see positive change in others based on their own choices is very satisfying.
The Y staff noticed how much I enjoyed coaching and encouraged me to pursue a certification in personal training. In August of 2015, I became a certified Personal Trainer through AFAA (Athletics and Fitness Association of America). The YMCA hired me as a part-time Personal Trainer, and I absolutely love it! I love to work with people one-on-one, helping them to not only achieve their personal body composition goals, but to feel the benefits in their overall lives."

To sign up for personal training with Jim or another Y trainer, visit our trainer page today!


Friday, July 15, 2016

Brenda Makes a Lifestyle Change at the Y

We often hear that if you want to reach a goal, you have to make a plan. Brenda took the opposite approach.

“Part of my success was that I didn’t have a plan,” admits Brenda. “I didn’t count calories, or weigh myself regularly. I just knew I needed to make a change.”

That’s when Tracy, group instructor at the YMCA, invited Brenda to her 5:30AM morning class. “She didn’t tell me it was an advanced class at the time so I didn’t know! I was just competitive enough that I thought, ‘If they can do it, I can do it.’”

Brenda took the class, and made 35lbs and 4 belt loops history. However, she did it over 6.5 months. Brenda doesn’t believe in fad diets or short term programs. She wanted a lifestyle change.

“I didn’t realize how badly I felt until I’d gotten healthy and fit.”

Together with her husband, who also lost 50lbs by changing his diet, she increased her activity level and made healthier eating choices. She notes, “No bread, no pasta, no sugar." However, the transition from a heavier, less energetic Brenda, to the healthier, glowing Brenda we see today included cheat meals. “We went to Florida. I still worked out, but I enjoyed my vacation. My diet wasn’t perfect during that time, but you have to be realistic and create balance. You have to live your life.”

She knew she would never get better in Tracy’s class if she only went once a week, so she started lifting weights at home until she felt comfortable enough to use the Y’s weight room. Now she runs to the Y, lifts, and runs home. She’s now stronger in class.

Brenda has been a member of Kerasotes since the facility opened five years ago. “My sons played baseball; they would use the gym. My husband liked the elliptical and likes to run. Before Tracy encouraged me, I would sometimes half-heartedly swim. I’ve always been athletic, but when the boys were at home, I would always push it back.”

When we asked what piece of advice she could give to working mothers she said, “Get it in… in the morning. I would sleep in, tell myself I would work out at night, and then night would come. I’d be tired and tell myself I would do it in the morning. I just kept pushing it back, but now I make my workouts a priority. Morning is really the best time, because the rest of the day will get away from you!”

She recalls a day when she and her husband were traveling. He mentioned he would like a water out of the cooler, which was in the very back of the vehicle, so they would have to pull over. Instead, she got up out of the seat, shimmied back over the luggage, grabbed the water, and maneuvered and stretched her way back up into the front seat. She sat down and gave her husband a water and a smile. He exclaimed, “I don’t think you could have done that 6 months ago!”

Interested in reclaiming your healthy lifestyle? Ask the front desk about a free wellness session today, and begin your journey to looking and feeling better.