Making the decision to work with a personal trainer isn't easy for everyone. Initiating contact, that you know will lead to some kind of follow up, can be scary as hell. It's completely normal to feel that way. We sat down with one of our long-term clients, Dee, so she could share how someone from South Portland got over the fear and completely changed her life by hiring Foss Fitness ME.
FFME: Tell us a little bit about yourself.
DEE: My name is Dee, I live and work in South Portland. I'm a kitchen manager, cook, and aspiring chef. I grew up playing sports. I was incredibly active all the way through high school. I'm engaged to be married and just over a year ago I reached my breaking point with being unhealthy and out of shape. I knew I needed to change my life, and being engaged gave me a sense of motivation I had been missing.
FFME: What was your first package with Foss Fitness ME, and how were your results?
DEE: My first package was for 6 months and I trained 3 times per week at the studio. In those 6 months, I lost 32 pounds, so my results were pretty great.
FFME: Before hiring Foss Fitness ME, how did you knowledge of exercise impact your decision making regarding exercising at all?
DEE: I was very apprehensive to exercise on my own. My whole childhood I was active because I played on sports teams, so all of my exercise was coached. The coach telling me what to do and when to do it. Admittedly, I was fearful of hurting myself by exercising on my own. That and I wasn't even sure where to start.
FFME: How did you hear about Foss Fitness ME?
DEE: I was referred to Foss Fitness ME by a close friend.
FFME: What was it like for you to reach out to us for the initial complimentary consultation?
DEE: I was very nervous, scared even, but I was also excited at the prospect of getting back in shape.
FFME: What was it that scared you about making the initial contact?
DEE: I was scared of the unknown. I didn't know what to expect, I didn't know you (the trainers). I didn't know if it was even going to work for me, or if my body could even do it.
FFME: How did being referred by someone who did know us ease any of the uncertainty?
DEE: Having the referral really helped in giving me a level of trust, which helped me make the call.
FFME: Did having the initial complimentary consultation help put you at ease?
DEE: Yes, actually being in there, seeing the studio and meeting you and Amy made the whole experience more personal. Talking with you two made me feel more calm because you broke it down for me and explained how you were going to use my information to create custom workouts for me. You set my expectations and made me feel welcomed.
FFME: How did you feel on your very first day of exercise?
DEE: Nervous! I knew my body was out of shape and I really didn't know what it could even do anymore, but once I started I felt much better in that first session.
FFME: As you continued, how was the exercise?
DEE: It was doable! Some days were better than others, I struggled mentally in the beginning and even had a complete breakdown during one of the sessions, but Amy was right there with me through it. She didn't make me feel bad about myself, instead turned it around for me so I could continue. The work got "easier" as I got stronger. I'm not going to say it was easy, because it's wasn't and there were moments where I didn't like you or Amy so much, but it's what I was there for. It's what I hired you to do; give me workouts that I'm not going to give myself. To push me when I can't push myself. To help me get that sense of accomplishment back.
FFME: What else can you tell us about starting your first personal training package?
DEE: The first 2 weeks to a month were the hardest, obviously; both physically and mentally. What stands out the most is that it definitely took longer for mindset to catch up to what my body was actually capable of doing. There was this constant battle in my mind about what I thought I could do and what I could actually do.
FFME: How difficult was the nutrition side of your personal training experience?
DEE: The nutrition was the hardest part. Making the honest effort to make the behavior changes necessary for better eating was not easy to do. In my work I'm surrounded by food all day. The temptations are real, and they're hard to fight. I had some social pressures too that added to my challenges.
FFME: Can you elaborate a little on the social pressures you faced?
DEE: Yeah, for me, it was the invitations to out to grab food, or go out to a bar and have drinkS (emphasis on the plural). Going out to eat, or having a bunch of beers at a bar is counter-intuitive to the effort I was putting in to lose weight. On the other hand, I had worked really hard those weeks, and I wanted to reward myself, and I wanted to be social. Finding a balance between the two needed to happen.
FFME: Was finding the balance easy or difficult?
DEE: For me, a little of both. Hiring you guys was something I took very seriously because it was for my own benefit, and also because it was an investment I was making in myself. The financial portion made it easier for me to do what I needed to do to be successful- which was to take a break from going out to eat and going to bars.
FFME: We know how hard it can be to miss out on something all your friends are at, with that said, what was your support system like?
DEE: My support system was an intimate group- my fiancé, my family, and a few close friends.
FFME: How important was your support system to your success?
DEE: For me, having a support system outside of the studio was crucial. I made the decision to get healthy not just for me, but for my family too. I wanted to set an example for my family members who are struggling with their weight and/or health. I wanted to make my family proud by showing them I could do this.
FFME: It sounds like your support system was also a motivating factor for you, what kind of support did you get from them in relation to your personal training?
DEE: They were, definitely, and they absolutely gave me support whenever they could. They could see how hard I was working, they could see the physical changes my body was going through and it was the little things they did that really stood out. For example, if there was a family event it would normally include some not great food choices, during my training, the foods that were my biggest temptations were completely excluded so I wouldn't even be tempted. Or my fiancé might say to me, "You've already come this far, do you really want to eat that." They all cared so much about keeping me on track.
FFME: How did you feel as you approached the end of your first package?
DEE: I felt like I had already dedicated so much time and effort into my health that I wasn't ready to stop. I wanted to keep going with training because I knew that there was still stuff for me to learn and I had new goals I wanted to meet.
FFME: Have you referred anyone to Foss Fitness ME?
DEE: Yes, I have.
FFME: Before training at Foss Fitness ME, what was your impression of personal training?
DEE: I actually never thought of personal training as "personal." I figured that you show up and meet this stranger who will shout exercises at you, you do them, then you go home and repeat. I didn't expect a lot of personal connection, or even really talking with the trainers outside of the sessions.
FFME: How was your actual experience with Foss Fitness ME different than that?
DEE: It was the polar opposite. It's such a vulnerable place to be in, needing a personal trainer. I wasn't in the best mindset when I started and you and Amy became part of my support system, not just during the sessions but outside of the sessions. I could reach out to either of you whenever I needed, for whatever I needed. During our sessions, you were both so in tune to me [respectivey]. If I was having a bad day, you knew and we'd talk about it until I felt better. I thought it would all be about exercise- get down to business, but it was all about my health, wellbeing, and mental state too.
FFME: What are your biggest highlights from your training experience with Foss Fitness ME?
DEE: I lost a bunch of weight. I gained back my self confidence, and I made lifelong friends with you and Amy, and we have this great relationship!
A massive "thank you" to Dee for sitting down with me to share her experience with personal training in our studio! If you have a story of your own, or have any questions about personal training please send them our way! Email firstname.lastname@example.org.