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Taking the First Step

Taking the First Step


For many, their fitness journey resembles more of roller coaster then a steady straight line. Losing weight, gaining it back again. Being fit, getting out shape. Trying new fitness regimens or the latest fad diet, only to become frustrated when they are not sustainable.

There is such truth in the quote “the hardest part of any journey is taking the first step”. This week we are profiling a new member, Brenda, who shares with us why taking that first step again was so important for her and how she is approaching this life changing process differently this time around.

How Long Have You Been Working Out with Zack?

I’ve been working out with Zack 2x per week for 6 weeks, since joining Chelsea Piers.

Why did you decide to do personal training and what were your goals when you first started out?

I had been on the roller coaster of weight loss and gain, more fit, less fit for the better part of 10 years. I’d try a program and it wouldn’t stick. I recently hit 200 lbs and I can’t accept that. Stamford Hospital, where I work, has a program with Chelsea Piers called “Be Fit.” I didn’t fit the criteria to join the program, but I decided that I would join the gym anyway. I visited with PT and thought, “I wish I could make the time to do this” and then I decided that it was what I had to do for me.

In the first 6 weeks you haven’t really lost weight. What is motivating you to keep going?

I’ve lost 3 % body fat and gained 3 lbs of lean muscle, so I am seeing changes that the scale hasn’t shown.

Zack, has been supportive, motivating. The workouts have been motivating. I’ve joined other gyms in the past, and worked out with other trainers. The workouts seemed designed to just kill me and the trainer didn’t seem to care. I would only last a few weeks.

Zack is different, he created the workouts based on what I needed, my lifestyle and what my complaints were. He brought me gradually into the program so I didn’t get completely wiped out. He is extremely patient and not at all intimidating. Zack keeps me accountable for completing an exercise and corrects my form without making me feel bad. He will ask me where I’m feeling the exercise and if I’m not doing it right, he helps me correct. It actually makes me feel good about exercising! He is all about positive reinforcement and that works really well for me.

In many ways I was surprised to find a good trainer who cared and treated my journey with patience and cooperation. It makes me feel good about it and that there was hope for achieving my goals.

What are some changes you have seen that the scale isn't capturing?

My clothes fit better, my jeans are starting to fit better and my uniform fits better. I also feel better. Before I started, I couldn’t get up and down the stairs. Now, it is easier to get up and down the stairs. I’m more likely to take stairs at work or wherever I’m going. And it may sound silly but I’m more acquainted with my muscles and body parts. I couldn’t imagine being there again. I’ve also started to lose weight and I’m going to keep it up.

How have your overall health habits changed?

I’ve had to change my diet. Binge eating is now done. Zack has been open to questions about diet and how to compliment the training. He suggested I don’t jump in all at once and try to give up sweets first and then move on. He helps me watch my calories. Made suggestions about meal prep. You have to be motivated. You can’t just binge eat. You have to make the commitment to not do that. Zack is supportive and coaches me through by reminding me once I make a change that I “won’t need it” like I used to.

Have incorporating these changes into your life been easier or harder then you thought?

It’s a life changing process and it is a hard one when you’ve ignored it for 10 years. I would make attempts to change and stick with it, but it was hard. But not trying it, ignoring it, something’s gotta give. So I take it day by day and commit to my goal. I don’t take dessert, I don’t take pasta. I’m eating more veggies and more protein. No more comfort food. Or just a smaller portions. I’m watching what I’m eating at work.

What advice would you give to other members on a similar journey?

You have to do this for you. Chelsea Piers is just a great place to come. For me, it is like a luxury and that is a motivator- I’ve really enjoyed it. Personal training has cost more money, but I’m investing in my health and myself.

What Zack has to say about Brenda’s progress:

I am extremely happy with Brenda's progress both physically and mentally. She is an amazing client to have and is doing a great job keeping up with her nutrition and training.