StayFitAnywhere's Client Stories - #SFACrew Members
StayFitAnywhere wouldn't exist without our appreicated and valued #SFACrew members. Every one of them are dedicated, motivated and continue to excel every day. Here are stories about their struggles, perseverance and personal achievements.
About five years ago, I was at a place in my life where I had a little more time to devote to myself, but years of full time schooling, career development and parenting had taken their toll on me. I was twenty pounds overweight, and exercised sporadically at best. My diet was full of processed food and refined sugar. I knew lots about healthy eating and exercise, but putting knowledge into practice wasn't easy.
I bit the bullet and cut out refined sugars, while focusing on whole grains, healthy lean proteins, beneficial fats and tons of veggies. I felt better and lost the weight. At the same time, I joined a boot camp and found myself doing push-ups and laps around the park five mornings per week. It was life altering, and the changes in my body were reinforcement to keep going for the six months it took.
But here's the kicker. For four and a half years of those five, I've been working on maintenance. "Maintenance" doesn't sound interesting, motivating or fun, and it often isn't. It's the rest of my life, and it takes some hard work.
There are many tricks and tips I've learned that help me to maintain my exercise routine and healthy eating. However, I've found that one thing has really kept me on track: accountability. I am primarily accountable to myself, of course. Often that's enough, but sometimes it's not, especially during our long, rainy winters. The key for me is the accountability that having a personal trainer provides, and Joe has worked with me as my trainer for more than five years. The weekly hour-long workouts at a terribly early hour are my anchor for the week, and he sets another weekly web-based workout for me. If I don't show up to our sessions, or skip the exercises at home, I'm not only accountable to myself, but also for his time and effort. When my healthy eating patterns go through a rough patch, I've used the food logs provided on the website to good effect, and discussed with him how I can make positive changes.
Keeping up with my healthy eating and exercise through being accountable for my choices actually helps me to be more motivated. Joe and I add "mini-goals" during my training sessions, like building muscle mass or learning boxing moves. So, in the end, my goal of maintaining my fitness and weight seems less daunting. It's become part of my lifestyle, often enjoyable, and even fun! ~Tricia
I must admit that I was quite apprehensive walking through the doors the first day a year ago. I was 30lbs heavier and recovering from a frozen shoulder. Under the watchful eye of the StayFitAnywhere team, I flourished and soon realized this was the best thing I had done for myself in a long time (even at 6:00am lol).
I have 90% of my range back and I feel stronger and healthier than ever. The morning F.I.T. Camp class is limited in size and I feel like the workout has been geared just for me but I know we are all working hard together. I am thankful to my friend Tracy for introducing me to StayFitAnywhere and to Josh for pushing me to want something better. ~Chef Claire
In August 2011, I skimmed a book called 'Younger Next Year'. It convinced me that, as a 44-year-old, I'd better figure out a regular exercise routine that would prevent my body from suffering the rapid drop-off in health that most people experience as they enter their middle-age years.
I knew I didn't want to join a gym or do team sports, but had no idea what my alternatives were. Then I discovered StayFitAnywhere and started training with Joe. It took me a while to wrap my head (and schedule) around my emerging need to consistently and proactively invest in my ongoing fitness.
Fortunately, I made the changes necessary. Now I'm consistently experiencing greater core strength, which makes both myself and my chiropractor very happy. Undoubtedly the most significant benefit I continue to experience is the near absence of the neck and back strain I previously lived with due to working on a computer all day. Now I'm sitting straighter for longer, but also getting up every hour for a quick stretch, which keeps me loose.
Like I said, I'm not the gym type. But with my StayFitAnywhere online workouts, my living room is now my gym once a week. Convenient, quiet and welcoming.
I keep telling Joe it's brilliant that the StayFitAnywhere name stresses staying fit as opposed to getting fit. It's a great reminder that fitness is a never-ending project. Thanks to the StayFitAnywhere team for making it all the more attainable. ~Grant
When I first started training with StayFitAnywhere I was avoiding certain physical activities and exercises due to a painful knee injury. But with great dedication, focus and customized movements and keeping my weekly training sessions I quickly began to take improve on all my movements. Soon I was amazed at how quickly I could return to taking part in any physical activities I enjoyed, especially golfing (ladies long drive champ 2 years running!).
My training program continues to grow and more challenges are thrown at me as I progress. I recently learned the Turkish Getup and pressed 2 12kg kettlebells over head for 3 reps. I am so proud of my accomplishments and am already preparing to reach new levels of health and fitness, thanks StayFitAnywhere! ~Jen
For me, being physically active has always been my meditation and without it I go a little stir crazy. I almost get a nervous tic when I think that I may not be able to go for run, or snowboard, or workout. I have been training with the StayFit team for a long time, I can't even remember exactly how many years…but over those years they have supported me through every injury I've endured. From a re-occurring knee injury, to a lower back injury, a neck injury and a shoulder injury they have adapted my training so I can continue and forge ahead without having too much down time. I thank the StayFit team for it, heck, my family thanks them for it! With the StayFitAnywhere team's knowledge of health and fitness I have been able to get to back to what I love doing in a shorter period of time. Now being over 40 I am stronger, healthier then I was 10 years ago. And of course calmer! ~Kylie
My name is Glenys and I began my training with Josh in February 2011. I walked in following a few years off from the positive benefits of a great personal trainer. I have always appreciated how good it is to have someone who can push me and hoped I would find that individual with StayFitAnywhere. Well I'm still here, so mission accomplished!!
From a "Turkish get what"? and "how much does that "thing" weigh?" to this week's "TGU's" using 12kg with proper form; from "girl" pushups, with really no strength to speak of, to the advanced form of the exercise (with no "wobble head" and strong core); from the shock and secret pride( after what seemed like forever), that I was actually able to do unassisted pullups; to the "swings" which have quickly become one of my favorite movements, Josh has brought both variety and challenge to my training.
Josh motivates me to do it more and do it better...and has even lent an ear a couple times when I really needed it. It was going great until he used the "L" word a few months back....Lunges. I hate 'em, always have, always will. Yes I know that they are good for me.... so good in fact that I felt the need to send a "thank you " email two days later..... "thank you" Josh for reminding me how much I hate them and for every time I had to brace to sit down and get up (which lasted for 3 days!!). While the initial pain is gone, and Josh does manage to get them into every other session now.... you won't ever see lunges on my favorite exercises list. But you will see Josh on my favorite trainers list. ~Glenys
The "beast" is my cross court forehand tennis shot that is also described (by me) as the "claw", "sally sidewinder" or more recently as "the crusher"! I have recently rediscovered my love of tennis and am able to get back into the game I love as a result of a complete health renovation plan begun in 2007. Having undertaken an entrepreneurial journey that held a lot of stress and change of what I had as structured routine, I hit a "wall" and had to hit a health reset button.
My plan was to build a whole array of new habits from exercise to eating properly and loving myself. My new habits would replace all the bad habits that I had unconsciously mastered. Here I am today, almost half the size I was at that low point and I have the strength / energy / confidence to get back in the game. The SFA dedicated trainers have been the core to my success with his down to earth "fit for life" coaching style and smarts on how to work with my fitness goals at every stage of health recovery. I couldn't have done this without the simplicity of his "stay fit anywhere" approach. Our sessions have been everywhere, I have even worked out even in a stairwell. Whatever it takes, the journey to health is a path with no end and that is the best investment we can all make. Without our health, we have nothing. Anybody up for a game? ~Trina
I began working with Joe just over a year ago back in 2011. I walked into my first session with back pain, poor posture and no energy. As a former competitive swimmer, it was hard to accept how out of shape I had become. However, with Joe's encouragement, patience and non-
judgemental attitude, we took it once step at a time.
Some of the changes have been simple...as an example, I find it easier to pick myself up off the floor after playing with my nieces and nephews. Other changes have had a bigger impact. A year ago, due to back pain, I had difficulty getting out of bed and taking the first few steps in the morning. Now, I only experience a little discomfort...usually when I haven't followed through on my stretching routines. One of my goals was to get back into playing squash, without injuring myself. I'm happy to report that I am actively playing and thoroughly enjoying it.
I also like Joe's focus on functional movements and doing them properly. My sister-in-law, a physiotherapist, was impressed too with the exercises I told her I was doing. I still have goals to meet, however with a 10% reduction in body fat and increased strength, I'm happy with the progress I have achieved so far. ~Joanne
Six years ago, my husband presented me with my birthday gift. Wait for it .... four months of bootcamp! Let's be clear. I had asked for it and yes, we are still married. I'll be honest. I had been pretty sedentary since having my daughter and I felt it was time to get moving. I wanted to feel better. There is a history of heart disease in my family and I was hoping to have a chance of breaking the cycle.
Those first four months were hard... really hard. Class at 6 am, Monday, Wednesday and Friday was a bit of a change of pace. But Josh and Joe greeted us each morning with a smile and encouraged us all, whatever level we were at. And day by day, I got stronger and fitter. Most importantly, I was feeling healthy.
You need to understand a little about me. I truly dislike exercise. I really, really dislike it. So, making a commitment to three days a week at 6 am was not something that came naturally to me. But I understood that I needed appointment workout time, it had to be first thing in the morning (no excuses at that time – what else am I doing?) and the camaraderie of others in the same situation was something that appealed to me (I do like to complain....). And I will admit that as I stumble into the studio at 6 am, monosyllabic and grumbling, Josh's enthusiastic greeting and endless enthusiasm is refreshing.
So – six years with the StayFit crew. I continue to make small changes. My husband has joined me three mornings, we have an extra session (just the two of us) with Josh one evening a week, I have started journaling my food, working out in bare feet and have been dealing with my aches and pains with Josh's recommended RMT. I'm feeling rather together. I do complain less but my favourite time of the week is still Friday at SEVEN am! ~Tracey
My name is Christina and I had a lifestyle change in November, 2011. I was always a moderately active person who engaged in sports once to twice a week. Even so, I found my cardio was weak and my core strength was in need of a serious fix. In November I joined StayFitAnywhere with Joe as my trainer. I learned that I could workout out in the comfort of my home and still see results without over exhausting myself with long drawn out cardio workouts.
I re-establish better eating habits and a regular workout schedule which fit in my busy schedule. It's all about not thinking about a quick fix but a long term committment.
It has been almost four months since my first session and I am happy to say that I have been able to maintain my fitness schedule and look forward to it. I had very successful results and feel the best I have in four years. ~Christina
My success story is striving for constant "strength and power" from my body. This is exactly why I have attended 6:00 am classes for 10 years and counting and I plan to never give it up! I am not slim, but I feel fit and that's all that matters.
StayFitAnywhere's group training has kept me a young 52 year old and I am able to participate in sports with vitality and keep the downfalls of aging at bay. Do I struggle some mornings while it's dark and dreary at 5:40am, for sure. But I get up for the class, take it easy and away I go! 6:00am classes were the answer for me when I opened my own business and I never looked back.
I now look at my co-workout partners and we all have kinks and days of struggle but I know all of us will never give it up. We all feel this "strength and power" that I speak of and for me this is the only way to feel! ~TK
What you don't see here is the top of the beach umbrella. I'm single-handedly driving it into the grass and dirt, so that my gal pals and I can continue to picnic without getting sunburned. Yes, I am in plank: a position I know so well from my 20 weeks of training with Joe.
And today, in a week without enough time, I took my boy and his buddy to the outdoor wading pool, brought my 6 pound medicine ball and proceeded to do my online program while they chased each other around. I love being able to do the workouts anywhere, I love Joe's gentle reminders about food logging, I love the program changes weekly so I'm always challenged. And I love how this training helped my pals from getting wrinkly! ~Su
I have always been an active person. I enjoy anything outdoors hiking, kayaking, skiing anything that lets me be outside.
Fit however is never a category I believed myself to be in.
I have struggled with body image and weight since the age of 11. I would not think of myself as someone who belongs in a fitness newsletter.
If I could go back and tell my 14-year-old self-how to get through life I would tell her to get off her ass and do something, something that will at the end of the day make her smile with pride. Not something that parents, siblings or friends think is cool, but something that you think is amazing. Knowing that I can overcome something and survive makes it all worthwhile.
This last year I have taken exercise to a level that some would consider obsessive. I started with a simple 6 week workout video. I promised myself I would get through it, even if it took 8. I wrote down every workout keeping track of my progress.
I did it, and then I started to train for a 10k. I've done the sun run before but it had been a few years so I started from scratch. I did the run and felt no pain and for the first time I felt no self-pity. My mind didn't whine at me about being too slow, or not being good enough, instead I felt good. I had trained properly, I followed the schedule and I was capable, I was more than capable, I was having fun. I didn't just train my body but I also trained my mind to believe it was possible. That feeling of knowing I am good enough is the best. The sense of pride in knowing that this overweight lazy lady can change made me do just that.
So with that joy and the pride of feeling so good I signed up for another 10k, then another one, then I got a little bored of running, and kicked it up a notch. A coworker told me about this thing called tough mudder and I thought why not, that looks fun. So I posted my facebook status as 'who's into this?' and a month later I had 20 people on a team. Burpees, running, squats, pushups, you name it I did it. I stopped thinking it was something I was incapable of and started to sweat. I did the Whistler mudder in June then Seattle in September. During the first mudder in June I was mortified when two guys tried to lift me over the half pipe. I was embarrassed to think how heavy I was and what they thought of me, I made them drop me. I was too self-conscious. I dedicated myself to more training for the Seattle mudder, I let my teammate carry me on his back and let another teammate lift me over the same half pipe which I refused to do the in the Whistler mudder. I jumped from a 15-foot wall into freezing cold water, swam out and ran for a mile. I almost cried during the jump but I jumped and ran with a smile on my face. I laughed through the foot cramps and kept going. Heck, I can even do a pull up! Granted it's only one, but I can do it!
Anything is possible with proper training.
This out of shape procrastinator who eats a lot of chocolate dragged myself out of bed every morning and worked out. I exercised so much, I stopped thinking about my fat ass, stopped caring about how I looked and started to think more about how I felt.
I feel strong and I am strong. This is the feeling which motivates me to get up early in the morning and work harder. The harder I work the more results I get. I am so proud of myself. I have had the privilege of having this feeling a few times in my life. I have made it my motto of sorts to continue this feeling. If something makes me proud I'll do more of it.
So tomorrow I start training for a half marathon. Yes it scares the crap out of me but I know I can do it. ~Valeria
I was an active kid. I loved playing soccer. I remember being on the field, darting around players from the opposing team, intently focused on getting the ball into the goal. It was my meditation, before I even knew what meditation was. I ran, swam, did karate and generally had a lot of energy.
Something shifted when I got into my teens. I stopped being active. I watched more TV and participated in more passive activities. This more sedentary lifestyle continued well into my twenties. I knew I "should" exercise, but lacked the motivation to do so. I would go for a run every few months in an attempt to develop some sort of fitness routine, but it just never stuck.
I'm not sure what switched on in me, but eventually I mustered up the motivation to introduce more regular activity in my life. After a short time, I no longer needed to "motivate" myself because it just felt really great to be moving. Exercise combats my depression and stress and makes me feel more energized and alive. What more motivation do I need?
Working with Joe at StayFitAnywhere has been really valuable. Because I was inactive for such a long period, getting back into my body is an ongoing process. Having someone to check in with every week has kept me more accountable, and I have learned a lot from him.
My grandpappy is a real inspiration to me. He used to load up his backpack with rocks and go for long walks. He was active well into his later life. He was an avid hiker and did 100 pushups a day. My goal is to achieve a high level of fitness and to maintain it until as late in life as possible, like him. ~Monica