Category Archives: Client Success

Jessica’s Success

I met Jessica at a Christmas party essentially minutes after she moved to Port Hueneme. Her son was somewhere around 14 seconds old and she was just jumping right into conversation with this group of women I had met a number of times. While I sat quietly in my seat taking everything in, Jessica was relaying hilarious stories from her move and experiences in general. That’s the thing about Jessica, she’s just really fun! The following November I had put together my first Fit For Festivities challenge and she signed up to join. Up until then, I would consider us acquaintances through our husbands. We definitely chatted and got along, we had just never spent much time together outside of work gatherings for our husbands. When Jessica joined the challenge, she knew something had to change, but she was not quite ready to make that change yet.
Leading up to joining our group, Jessica had been to her doctor a number of times about back and knee pain. He told her she had two babies too close together – there isn’t really anything to be done about it. Obviously she dumped this doctor as soon as she could, but circumstances had her seeing him for far too long. One of the bigger issues turned out to be her gallbladder! When I launched the Bathing Suit Challenge in February, she was ready to commit! Jessica decided to do a round of Whole 30 in conjunction with the Bathing Suit Challenge. During the six-week challenge she lost 11 lbs and 19.5 inches.

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Bathing Suit Challenge Results

What makes her success amazing is that during the fifth week of the challenge, her family and she were in a horrible car wreck. Thankfully they all survived with minimal injuries – Jessica’s of course being the worst. After the wreck she suffered from severe migraines and other aches and pains that she still has. In the months following her wreck Jessica and I chatted a lot. We continued to talk about throwing out the scale and focusing on how she felt. She could not workout often, but she stayed in the group for the support. Sometimes she couldn’t workout because she was physically incapable. Sometimes she didn’t workout because she was feeling bad for herself. According to her, she ate a little more than she had been, and had been indulging in more food outside what made her feel healthy. For the most part though, she ate well and didn’t put the weight back on that she had lost. It really showed me how much her mindset had changed over how to maintain her health.
By August Jessica decided she was done with her excuses. She decided that she was not going to be crazy and push through pain, but discomforts she could work around. She told her husband about her goals, and that was it. He doesn’t mess around with accountability. They looked up a 10k training plan (C210K – it’s a free app so I linked it up), looked up some races, and she put together a plan to combine her running and her Fitness With Kristen workouts. She has been killing it with her training, and still getting in her FWK workouts to enhance her running. She started off running only 90 seconds, and is now running for 30 minutes straight without stopping! She has fought tooth and nail for her health. She didn’t just decide she was going to be healthy and that was it. She had a bad wreck. She had awful doctors. She has moved five times and had two babies in the last four years. She has not let that stop her. This woman is so amazing and genuinely inspires me everyday. I asked her a few questions about her journey below.

unnamed-5For what reason did you join Fitness With Kristen?  To learn how to make myself a priority again and physically feel better! 

When you began Fitness With Kristen, what were your goals?  What did you want to get out of Fitness With Kristen? Change my eating habits and make working out a priority! Make changes that would last and not just be a temporary fix.

What have been some of your biggest obstacles in reaching your goals? My biggest enemy is myself! I am my own worst critic and I have to constantly remind myself to look how far I’ve come and not focus on how far I still have to go!

Have your goals changed since you joined Fitness With Kristen? Yes, I’m no longer judging myself based on the scale:.. In fact, at the moment I don’t even own a scale. I weigh mostly when I go to doctors appointments and it’s nice to watch the numbers just keep moving down. I am now focused on feeling my best so that I can give my family the best of me!

What has been your success in terms of numbers? I am down close to 40 lbs total with about 20-25 of it being lost since starting FwK and still maintaining 22 inches total lost!

What has been your greatest health/fitness accomplishment in your journey? Regaining my confidence and feeling comfortable with myself again.

unnamed-6Has working out changed your attitude in other parts of your life?  If so, how? Yes. It makes life easier. I have more patience, more energy and just a better attitude all around! I used to feel guilty for taking time for myself, now I can tell a huge negative difference in my attitude when I don’t!

What is your favorite healthy recipe? PaleOMG spaghetti squash pizza pie

Working For It

unnamedI first noticed Dana as the crazy girl who would come to the gym in long pants and a sweatshirt, put her treadmill on a high incline, and sprint. She would do these sprints sprinkled with jogging or walking, for what felt like an hour. She had been working with a trainer for a while when I met her, but had taken a break for a month or so due to health reasons. When she was ready to begin working out again, we began training. Her goal from the beginning was always to “get cut up”. She wanted to not only feel strong, but also look strong. She did not want to get bulky, which is a big fear for many women, though it is rare. Dana wanted to lean and tone, and that is exactly what we did.

 

Since Dana already had a fitness base, our goal was to push her past her comfort zone. This was harder than it is with most people because she gave 110% every single day. Dana walked into that gym at 5:00AM before she would head to work as a teacher, with a fierce attitude, ready for anything I threw at her. Whenever I had a new, really challenging workout that I did not want to modify, she was on the top of my list of clients on which to test it. Dana steadily lost inches and body fat percentage. We also tracked her weight, which did drop, but we focused mostly on her body fat percentage, and inches. Over time, her muscle definition began to pop through, much to her pleasure. I love working with clients, and finding ways to help people stay healthy, but when I get to work with someone like Dana, who gives it 110% every single day, and does the work I give her outside of training, it is hard not to fall in love with my job all over again.

 

Dana

 

Here are a couple things Dana had to say about her fitness journey:

For what reason did you begin training? I began training because I wanted to get into the best shape of my life for health reasons as well as a nice surprise for my husband when he came home from Afghanistan.

What were your goals? To lose some pounds and get lean

What were some of your biggest obstacles in reaching your goals? My health challenges and emotional status of my husband being gone.

Have your goals changed since you began training? Just trying to maintain now and not be to hard core because we are trying for a family.

How are you maintaining your fitness and health now that you no longer have a trainer? Pretty good….I know what to do because of the training so that helps a lot!!

What is your favorite healthy recipe? Blueberry Mango Muffins!!!

What is one of your biggest health/fitness accomplishments? Running 5 miles straight and just realizing how hard I can push myself to reach my goals!!!

Confidence In Strength

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I knew Beverly as friend long before we began training together. Before we started training, she attended the free boot camp class I held, and we did a few workouts together “just for fun.” I remember one of the first workouts we did together was a circuit that included lunges with lateral raises. It was at the beginning of the summer and part of the way through the first set she became dizzy. She sat down, drank some water, and regained her composure.

Beverly began as my client in October, with the goal of becoming stronger. We started slowly, doing low reps and really focusing on form. Her form improved quickly, especially with squats, allowing us to move up to higher reps and higher weights. Just this weekend Bev did 50 squats in a set, ten times the amount we did on our first session!

Bev’s personality is awesome, because she is either bouncing off the walls excited, or completely disconnected from her surroundings. Whether she has had a draining day, or exciting day, she gives her workouts 110%. Half the time she notices when her form is off and does an extra rep to make up for it, without me even saying anything. On the days I can tell she is particularly frustrated, I pull out the boxing gloves and encourage her to pummel away! Since some of our workouts are done at the school where she works, her students have complimented her on being “so bad ass” when they see her boxing.

 

Bev

In the six months that we have been training Bev has made tremendous strides. Her confidence in her ability to complete exercises has increased significantly. As time has progressed, she has become more dedicated to her health, including doing the “homework” I give her, and preparing her meals ahead of time for her hectic schedule. She notices the difference in her energy and confidence on the weeks she puts in the extra effort to eat in a way that fuels her body. Moreover, her strength and balance have increased significantly, as has her range of motion. As her strength has grown, her confidence has grown, which has in turn helped her to try more difficult exercises, which help make her stronger. It’s a fun cycle! Here are a few things she had to say about her time training with me:

 

For what reason did you begin training?  

I knew that I was only using my body to get from point A to point B. If I wanted to do anything fun or exciting, I knew my body wouldn’t be able to keep up.

When you began training, what were your goals?  What did you want to get out of training?

I began training in order to gain muscle and to be able to use my body for fun physical activities that I enjoy.

What have been some of your biggest obstacles in reaching your goals?

My biggest obstacle has been finding the motivation necessary to do meal prep for the week and to do my “homework”, workouts that Kristen gave me to complete over the weekends.

Have your goals changed since you began training?

I’ve definitely noticed that I care more about what I am eating, so new goals have been added. I choose healthier options and love how it makes me feel.

What has been your greatest health/fitness accomplishment in your journey?

The most amazing accomplishment was running a mile in my best time yet. I don’t run regularly, like once a month if that. Ever since grade school, I’ve hated running, mainly due to exercise-induced asthma. Every mile would end with me walking while hyperventilating and crying (which exacerbate each other). Thus, I haven’t been inclined to do many physical activities. This past month, I ran a mile for fun, and it was awesome. I could feel my body working for me and my breathing was controlled. It was a great benefit of working so hard with Kristen.

Has working out/training changed your attitude in other parts of your life?  If so, how?

I do feel more confident about myself. I make the effort towear outfits instead of just throwing on clothes. Also, I don’t hesitate to do more fun, physical activities.

What is your favorite healthy recipe?

My favorite healthy recipe is simple vegetables with seasoned, grilled chicken. My husband has become a grilling-god with grilling some tasty, juicy chicken. And, of course, a sweet potato at any time of the day.

 

Commitment

Mental and Physical Strength

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In May 2012 I met Phylicia, my first client.  I was working in the evening and we were introduced around 8:00 PM.  She was quiet and unobtrusive.  At 24 years old, she was feeling sluggish and unhealthy.  She wanted to lose weight and learn her way around the gym.  Her breakfast at the time consisted of a can of Mountain Dew. Slowly, but surely she drank less and less Mountain Dew, and began adding a healthy breakfast to her morning. She no longer drinks Mountain Dew, or Soda at all.

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In the beginning we met for thirty minutes two days per week.  Her initial strength was low, especially for someone so young. As time progressed we started adding in a third day per week where she would work out on her own. She began a couch to 5k program and in February 2013 we ran a 5k together – her first!

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Throughout her journey, Phylicia steadily lost one to two pounds per month. Her body fat and/or inches went down every month, and she consistently listened to my advice. In the beginning we worked on circuit training to boost her metabolic burn, but as we neared the end of our training together, and as she continued to shrink, we focused more on strength training. Here is what Phylicia had to say about her hard work and time training:

 

What were some of your biggest obstacles in reaching your goals? My biggest obstacle was mental. I knew what I wanted but I had to find the courage within myself to go out and get it. Eating healthier was a daily challenge, I used to eat fast food several times a week and drink Mountain Dew for breakfast. It took some time but it has now been 8 months since I’ve had a soda and I never go to fast food restaurants anymore.

 

Have your goals changed since you began training? Yes, I have met and far exceeded my original goals of wanting to get in shape and feel better about myself. Now my goals are to become stronger. I want to be able to do an unassisted pull up and muscle up.

 

How are you maintaining your fitness and health now that you no longer have a trainer? After training with Kristen, I had high expectations. I joined a CrossFit gym and they work me just as hard as Kristen did!

 

What is your favorite healthy recipe? Smoothies! I make them with greek yogurt, almond milk, strawberries, bananas, blueberries, spinach and protein powder

 

What is one of your biggest health/fitness accomplishments? I amaze myself every time I go to the gym with how much stronger I have gotten. After 18 months of beginning training, I completed the Tough Mudder. I had some doubts along the way but Kristen helped me gain the confidence I needed to prove myself wrong. And that has bled over into all aspects of my life.

 

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Phylicia is working while she earns her master’s degree.  Though she is very busy, she makes it a point to have healthy options available and to work out several times per week. She is branching out to try new activities, which recently included a trapeze class!  In the 14 months that we trained she lost 28 pounds and over 13 percent body fat!  Most importantly, she has gained physical and mental strength with her new body and new attitude!
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New Goals and New Outlook

In October, I met with Kristina to take her on as a new client.  During our first week working out, she got so dizzy that her lips turned blue and I was convinced my morning would start with a call to 911.  After that morning we chose to build a foundation for her fitness and took long breaks between sets and during exercises.  Over six months later, she can do that same workout she did the first week, with far less effort.  She has faced many obstacles on her journey, and her attitude has never wavered.  We meet twice a week, but her son, between ear infections, fractures, and normal three year old sickness, has had to miss school many times, which means we miss meeting up.  On those days I send her a workout, and she ALWAYS does that workout and sends me her feedback afterward.

Kristina Halloween

When we first began Kristina told me she wanted to get healthy “but if I lose weight along the way that would be great.”  She told me she weighed herself, but tried not to harp on the number.  In the first three months, she lost several inches, but no weight.  Though this was frustrating she brought her A-game to every work out.  In January when she went to her doctor, who is also a nutritionist, the doctor told her the reason she wasn’t losing weight was because she wasn’t eating enough!  Once she changed her diet, she continued losing inches, and pounds dropped off.  Just two months later she has lost more than ten pounds and fourteen inches.  Her total success in numbers since we began is twelve pounds and 29 inches gone!

Here are some questions she answered for me about her journey:

For what reasons did you begin training?

I realized that I was not allowing others to take pictures of me, finding every excuse to not be in a picture because I was ashamed of what I had become. I needed to get out of a mental rut, become a healthy, happy mom-who would be in pictures with their own child!

When you began training, what were your goals?  What did you want to get out of training?

My goals were just to lose weight. I wanted to get “skinny” and have it happen instantly. (I was an idiot.)

What has been the biggest obstacle in your fitness journey?

Being a mom. My training schedule goes around my son’s school, sleep, and sickness schedule. Sometimes I have to delay training because I have been up all night with him, and sleep is all I can think about!

What has been your greatest accomplishment in your journey?

The realization that it wasn’t going to happen overnight, that this is a LIFESTYLE change. If I want to be healthy and be confident, I have to change everything I do. Realizing this was the mental epiphany. Once that change happened, my goals and views on life were completely changed-for the better.

Has working out/training changed your attitude in other parts of your life?  If so, how?

Yes! I don’t like being as sedintary, because I know it isn’t helping me get to that “healthier me”. I consiously think about the food that goes into my mouth, and why it would be good or bad-not just “it tastes good, shovel it in!”… Food is no longer a “comfort” thing, it is the body’s fuel. Clothes shopping is also getting better. While I still hate it, I don’t feel as bad about myself when I do try on clothes. Yay for better self confidence!

What is your favorite healthy meal?

Simply grilled chicken with a baked sweet potato and a pile of green beans. To change it up on the chicken I simply change the spices I put on the chicken before grilling.

How does fitness play a role in your life as a Mom?

It creates a healthy start for my son. He will grow up knowing how to live a healthy life without having to think twice about it. Fitness and healthy eating should be a normal part of life-not something we have to figure out as an adult. It has also helped me be a happier mom. I have more energy to play, I laugh more, smile more, and love more.

Kristina After