Like many women in their mid-40s, I started gaining weight. I couldn’t exercise often enough or hard enough to fight-off the extra pounds that were adding up year after year. Jogging was my favorite exercise but my knees and back would no longer bear the punishment of the pavement.In August 2006, after ten years of spiraling downward, unable to comfortably wear anything in my closet, and feeling completely demoralized
I raised the white flag and joined the 24-Hour Fitness Club that opened up close to my home. I never considered personal training for myself. I thought it was for elite athletes or people in high-profile careers. The club was running the “Biggest Loser” promotion in September and I decided to train with Andre for five 30-minute sessions. I was impressed by Andre’s professionalism, work ethic, integrity, and personal interest in helping me reach my goal of fitting into a pair of size four jeans. He introduced me to the weight room equipment, taught me how to use it properly and safely, and gave me the confidence to workout there by myself. Andre ‘mixed up’ the exercises so I wouldn’t overwork the same muscles. He also gave me exercises to stretch my back and strengthen the muscles around my knees. It wasn’t long before I was working out everyday alongside the ‘big boys!’ Combining the appropriate strength training exercises with cardio was the turning point in my ability to achieve success.
After completing the initial sessions, I was convinced that the personal training was working so I signed up for the Solutions Program with Andre. He had high expectations of me and I worked hard to meet them. By October, I was wearing size six jeans. In November, I fit into a pair of size four jeans. Our workouts were fun, rewarding, and best of all I stayed injury-free.
Andre also convinced me that food was my friend, not my enemy; it fueled my body. After all these years, I finally got it!! In the beginning, I didn’t want to give up wine at dinner or chocolate during the day. I tried that in the past and I couldn’t stick to it. Andre worked the extra calories into my exercise program but I realized that my performance was better when I eliminated the simple carbohydrates. I also realized that working out decreased my craving for sweets and junk food. I’m not completely denying myself these foods; I’m just craving healthier foods. It doesn’t feel like a sacrifice which often happens on a diet. I have also learned to eat before working out and eat again when I get home. This is a major life-style change for me. As a result of my diet and daily eating habits, my exercise stamina has increased.
Although I am not currently receiving personal training from Andre, he continues to take an interest in my workouts. It’s not unusual for him to correct my form or modify an exercise in order for me to achieve better results. We have bonded as trainer and client and this bond is grounded in mutual respect for each other. He is a motivator with limitless optimism. When we first met, I tried to convince him that women in their 50s could not lose unwanted fat and reshape their bodies. He proved me wrong. We can look and feel fabulous!
Training with Andre has been a life-changing experience for me. I’ve lost weight, gained muscle, increased flexibility, coordination, and balance all of which makes everyday activities easier. He helped me discover my passion and in the process, re-discovered myself. For the first time in 25 years, I’ve put myself first and everyone in my life is benefiting from my excitement. Last year, if asked my age, I would have said I was 53 years old. Today, I say I’m 54 years young! I may not have the body of a 20-year old but I feel 20 years younger. How great is that? I’m happy, energetic, and strong. I sleep, feel, and look better. And, if that’s not enough, I can do a cartwheel! Thank you, Andre!