Hello A. White Fitness blog readers! I have a very special post this week. I had the privilege of sitting down with one of my clients this past week to discuss her fitness journey: how she got started, how she's improved herself, and how she feels today! Rebecca was very candid in our interview, and shared some really valuable insight into her fitness journey and where it's taken her to this point. I hope you enjoy!
Pete: Why don’t you tell me about your fitness journey thus far, where did you start? Why did you start? Let’s start at the beginning.
Rebecca: I saw a video of myself at one of the Patriots games, and I kinda scanned the whole group of us tailgating and I saw me and I was like “oh my god, that’s not me…” When the camera first went by, and then it came back I was like “oh my god, that’s ME” and I was disgusted.
Pete: When you saw yourself, why were you disgusted?
Rebecca: When I was married first, I had put on a lot of weight mostly because of depression, right? And being in this terrible situation, and because of the kids, and just life happened, and so when I left him I really focused on my health and trying to be better for the kids, and I lost a lot of weight and I felt good and confident, I liked who I was and then I met my second husband… Life continued on and then all of a sudden I found myself going back in this rut, and then I saw this video and I was like “no, I’m not - this can’t happen again.” So that’s when I joined [Corporate Gym], and then met with the [Corporate Gym] manager, and then it just went from there.
Pete: You had Anonymous Trainer (AT) to start, right? How’d it go with him? Just out of curiosity.
Rebecca: I don’t feel like he was… I feel like the whole training experience at [Corporate Gym] wasn’t personal, I don’t think AT really cared, he wasn’t committed to it. Like he cancelled a couple times, he would text me in the middle of the night and you know it’s because he was out all night but then I found out I was actually charged for these sessions. I was planning on going to the [Corporate Gym] manager to say “hey this isn’t working out” when he came to me and said “AT left, but I have someone in mind for you, and that was you.”
Pete: when we started training together, how did you feel about starting up again with a new trainer?
Rebecca: I think I had mixed feelings, at first I thought… I don’t want to say “new hope” but it was like I was starting over, and I gave it a shot, it’s better than doing it on my own ‘cause I’ll never do it on my own. Then I met with you a couple times, and I hated you (laughs). I didn’t hate you, but I hated myself during the sessions and then after the sessions I would leave and be like “wow I feel like I accomplished something” where I never felt like that with those sessions with AT.
Pete: Let’s break that down, you were like “I hate you Pete” why do you think you were like “f you Pete?” (laughs).
Rebecca: Because you pushed me past the point that I would ever push myself.
Pete: You said that you felt like you accomplished something when you were done, why was that?
Rebecca: Yeah it was because like, it was almost like every session was a personal best for me if that makes sense, right? Because I’ve gone to the gym plenty of times, like when I was divorced that first time I lost all that weight kind of on my own but it wasn’t in a healthy way, do you know what I mean? But when I left every session with you, although I was telling you how much I hated you DURING the session I always felt like I pushed myself harder each time, which mentally had more of an effect on me than physically.
Pete: So your mental fortitude was building through our sessions together?
Rebecca: Oh yeah, definitely.
Pete: Do you think that carried over? Thinking back to when we first started together, that first month or two, do you think that carried over into other areas?
Rebecca: I think it took a little bit for me, just because I hadn’t really ever had great experiences. So it took a little bit for me, but yeah definitely. For sure.
Pete: Ok lets jump to now! We’ve been training together now for over a year. So how do you feel today?
Rebecca: Great! Confident. Right? I feel great in my own body, which I could never say before, and even after the first time I lost all that weight I was at one point 235lbs. That was my heaviest ever. That was during my first marriage and when I got divorced from him I got down to 165, but again it wasn’t healthy, I wasn’t doing anything for my mental health. It wasn’t until I started actually training with you that mentally I just started feeling more confident, I started feeling like “well if I can do this, I can do anything.” And even posting those uncomfortable pictures of myself online, I would never do that in a million years but I’m trying to tell people “I feel good with who I am right now,” and I couldn’t say that before. Ever.
Pete: That’s huge.
Rebecca: It is huge! It’s a big deal for me because I had never been the confident type. In fact, even in high school I was so painfully shy I would miss projects that involved me getting up in front of the class because I wasn’t comfortable with myself. I don’t care who you put me in front of now. It’s about my mental confidence, that’s been my biggest change with you.
Pete: Do you ever see yourself stopping exercising? Do you want to keep working out for the rest of your life? Beyond working out with me?
Rebecca: You’ve taught me enough that I feel comfortable doing some of it on my own. I still don’t think I push myself to the point you push me but yeah.
Pete: Do you think you have most of the tools that you need?
Rebecca: Absolutely. So, say if you couldn’t make it to one of our sessions, I feel like I have enough in my own pocket that I could go to the gym and work out comfortably and leave feeling like I accomplished something. I never felt like that before.
Pete: In a regular gym?
Rebecca: Yes. I really noticed the change most when we started working out 1-on-1 at Chapin Road.
Pete: Noticed what most?
Rebecca: The confidence.
Pete: do you have any feelings as to why that might be?
Rebecca: I don’t think we worked a lot together during our time at [Corporate Gym], but it was almost sometimes discouraging – you know, there were just always so many people there so whenever you tried to use something there was always someone else using it. So you would be like “ok let’s skip this.” And in my head, the way my brain works, if that’s what I was supposed to do now I’m not doing it, am I not reaching my ability because now we can’t do the ropes because someone’s on the ropes? Do you know what I mean? That’s where my brain goes. At the time I didn’t have enough knowledge to know that there were other ways to accomplish what we were trying to accomplish that day… for me, it was stuck in my head that if you had in your planner that day that we were supposed to do ropes and we couldn’t do ropes I was failing.
Pete: And so when we had that one on one time together, so no other people around, no other distractions, that really made you feel better about the training sessions.
Rebecca: Yes, absolutely.
Pete: Is this the best you’ve ever felt?
Rebecca: Yep! I am going to be 45 years old, I feel phenomenal. I told you the stress about turning 45 years old, this is a big deal to me. So coming up, this past year, I wanted to be in the best health I’ve ever been, for that reason alone. Physically, mentally, all around health. Even with all of the entire past year that I’ve been through this is still going to be a tough birthday for me, but I feel great.
Pete: What kind of things in this past year have you been through? If you want to or can go into it.
Rebecca: Yeah, just like going through another divorce, and everything with my son not being around, and life in general changing, my kids getting older, becoming more independent and needing me less, I feel like… you start to question yourself, like I’m 44 years old, the kids are older they don’t need me as much, and it sounds like of silly but… what is my purpose now? What am I focusing on now? Is it time to focus on me? Do I have the right to focus on me? You know? You struggle with this decision as a mom, they’re still my kids, but they’re older, they take care of themselves, so now it’s about me, but I also don’t feel like it should be about me. So yeah, this past year it’s been a struggle. And then turning 45 is going to be really tough, but I think if I didn’t do what we we’ve been working on this past year, I mean mentally, physically, I wouldn’t have imagined this when I first started. Like I know I’ll be fine. But before we started this, I wouldn’t have told you I’d be fine, I wouldn’t be so sure. I needed you to give me the stepping stones to be able to get to where I want to be.
Pete: Thank you. You’ve done so much amazing work, it’s unbelievable… That’s the f'in thing is like, yeah, the way I view fitness sometimes is looking better is almost a side effect of exercising.
Rebecca: Yeah! I did not think that going in.
Pete: But you were able to build that idea over time and what’s more important long term? Right?
Rebecca: And obviously confidence, that’s a big deal for me because I’ve never been the type. I’ve always been really shy, feeling like I don’t have a right to be in that spotlight or in the center of attention or at the front of the class like when I was in high school. I always felt like I didn’t have that “right” for lack of a better term. Now I’m like (scoffs) “f it!” I’m here! But it’s being able to have that confidence and knowing that I look better, I feel better, yeah.
Thank you for reading, I hope that Rebecca's words both impress and inspire you! She has come so far the past year, and I could not be more proud. And to Rebecca: thank you so much for all your hard work, you are truly an inspiration.
Until next week!
Written by Peter Kilian, Train with Pete LLC.