Client of The Month November 2021
Oct 25, 2021
What was your reason for starting at Fitness Together, and what has made you continue to train over the past 3 months?
At the end of June 2021, I was in a low place. At 31-years-old I had been struggling with sleep apnea for two and a half years and the impacts of this on my body and life were too much. The icing on the cake was that a surgery that I did not necessarily want to have but was looking forward to leading to some sort of recovery was canceled due to doctor error and my treatment plan was suspended. Despite working out regularly and eating well, I had seen no change in my weight, energy, or sleep and this – coupled with the failure of the medical system drove me to research some other way to tackle my health issues. Because I am totally incapable of wallowing for very long, I spent about one and half days wallowing and a very late night looking for personal training studios. I saw Fitness Together – Belmont and I liked the personalized nature of the studio as well as the diversity of trainers. As a Black woman, true diversity was important for me in the place I selected, and I was undoubtedly nervous about whether I would find this in Belmont. After reading the bios of the trainers, the next morning I filled out the form and that was that. As I write this, it has been about 4 months since I started at FT Belmont.
What Has Fitness Together helped you with most? What has Fitness Together helped you the most over the past couple of months?
Fitness Together has helped me most with reconnecting with my body in important ways. As someone who used to be an athlete and regular dancer, the impact of my health conditions on my ability to be active has been difficult to negotiate psychologically. When I am in the studio even if I am not feeling very well, what I am able to accomplish with the trainers relative to my day-to-day functioning is such a strange juxtaposition that at times, brings me to tears
How has Fitness Together helped you with your nutrition?
To be more concrete though, the weight/fat loss that I achieved so far has been a major accomplishment for me because of the impact that this has on sleep apnea. I had been trying to address this myself since April 2020 and did not see the scale move at all. Paula and Brian, both made it very clear that I could exercise as much as recommended but if the nutrition recommendations were not followed, I would see very little change (or change in the wrong direction) and vice versa. Learning how to track my macronutrients was a massive learning curve for me and I will not lie, the first month of this was rough. I wanted to give up, but I again am incapable of being given a sound recommendation and not following through to see the impact. Additionally, Brian took the time to do extra research on sleep apnea and nutrition, had me look together with him at my sleep data and MyFitnessPal, and this care and diligence yielded insights about my diet and sleep that has had a lasting impact on the quality of my sleep – something that my doctors have not been able to offer me in all this time.
I continue to have a lot of medical interruptions to my personal training due to other health issues, but I do believe what has improved the most functionally is my core strength (still more work to be done) and my resting heart rate/recovery. With all the stress on my body I have been chronically activated for quite some time and heart health is such an important part of vitality for everyone. Mentally, though things are still a rollercoaster, knowing what my body can do despite everything happening to it has also been crucial in terms of this “improvement” journey.
What do you like the most about the staff or atmosphere? If doing virtual Training, what do you like most about the virtual training?
There is no way to talk about FT Belmont without talking about the staff. This brings me full circle to the importance of “who” worked here when I did my initial research. I could not have been more pleasantly surprised. I love how welcoming everyone is, which honestly feels in stark contrast to my experience of living in the Greater Boston Area. It kind of feels like Cheers sometimes where everybody knows your name – and I know that is a bit cheesy, but it just makes me feel so welcome, and it makes the place less intimidating to come workout when you need to get your cardio in. Despite my history as an athlete, I have always hated gyms, the atmosphere is suffocating and intimidating and there is an assumption that you must know how to use all the equipment. No one has done that to me and most of the trainers have come to understand my quirky kinesthetic learning style to ensure that I am executing exercises to the best of my ability and in ways that make sure that I do not get injured. On a more personal note, I love everyone’s individual personalities and the ways that this informs how they work with people. I find that I am often sharing a laugh, in depth conversation, or sharing stories with the trainers when I am not out of breath.
Do you have any funny or inspiring tales of Fitness Together you would like to share?
One of my favorite funny tales of FT Belmont antics is one Saturday when Heath decided to “just see” if I could do Dragon Flags because I may have been mildly lamenting a particular ab exercise. He tried it out first to show me, and then I tried it, totally wiping out and lay laughing on the floor. He called Marc in to try it who we had to coax out by cheering and egging him on while Marc stated confidently that he did not know how to do these and that he probably would not get it. Heath demonstrated and Marc got on the floor and executed a perfect Dragon Flag, got up looking like he did not break a sweat, stating “that was hard,” and left the room. Heath looked at me and said, “I knew it was going to go like that.” This exercise was later added by Heath to my official workout plan because apparently, I have earned the reputation of the client who will try anything. It is a marker of how awesome FT Belmont is that I can say I have a few more stories just like these, just no more space to write them! <3 FT Belmont.