I first spoke with Melissa on the phone before I met her in person. She said she no longer recognized herself in the mirror. She, like most clients who come in, was feeling frustrated and fed up and ready for something better.
Then we met and this girl floored me with her wit. She is incredibly intelligent, well-spoken, and has a fantastic sense of humor. She's like Tina Fey and Amy Poehler rolled into one.
Melissa committed to this journey, making optimal nutrition, exercise and lifestyle habits a priority and it shows (every week she comes in showing me how much baggier her clothes are). Best of all, I've seen her grow into someone who is now way more kind to herself than she was when I met her, who is taking pride in her body and abilities and who no longer makes lots of jokes at her own expense.
She rocks my world and I'm so happy you get to meet her! Read her interview below!
Please tell me a little bit about yourself!
Hi, I'm Melissa. I moved to Evanston (after years of living downtown) in March and I started working with Isabelle in June.
What were your initial goals when you hired a personal trainer?
When I started training, I felt like my former fit self was hiding. Physically, I felt lousy. My energy was low and I wasn't sleeping well. I'd be lying if I said I didn't want to lose weight and look better. But it was also really important for me to feel better - physically and mentally.
What has been your biggest celebratory moment so far on your journey?
Since I began my training, I have had so many reasons to celebrate. From the routine - I made it to the gym 4 times this week! To strength - I can deadlift 115 pounds! I can do real push-ups! To food - Half a slice of cake really is enough. To clothes - today I wore a dress that's been collecting dust in my closet for at least 2 years. On top of all this, I feel great.
What do you enjoy the most about your training?
I love the energy I feel after a great workout - it's like I can do anything. I love feeling strong and knowing I did more than sit at my desk and run from meeting to meeting.
Do you have any fitness goals for the rest of this year going into the next?
Right now, I'm working on making sure I schedule time for working out like I would anything else in my daily life. Consistency can be tough for me.
How would you describe your philosophy on working out and nutrition?
Since I began training I've learned to listen to my body. I know that I feel better and have more energy when I'm exercising regularly and eating mindfully vs. hanging out in front of the TV and eating everything in sight. I really like feeling good- why would I want to make choices that would deprive myself of that feeling? Most of the time this philosophy works. Some of the time, I want cake and reruns of Downton Abbey - and that's ok.
What advice would you give to someone just starting out?
You probably don't need to overhaul every element of your lifestyle - acknowledge the many things you're already doing to support a healthy life. Then, look at areas where you can improve. Small changes to your daily routine can make a huge difference. An extra hour of sleep can take me from cranky to pleasant. (In October, I switched from my daily grande iced coffee with half-and-half to green tea. The result - much more energy and a lot less fat and calories.) (Yes, it took some getting used to.) Try to be patient with yourself and be sure to celebrate every victory no matter how big or small.