Fit Body Boot Camp-Week 10~A Gym With An Incentives Program?

What is the best part of going to a gym? Getting in shape and feeling better.

What is the worst part of going to the gym? Finding the will power and motivation to create a life style change.

This is where most gyms fail their members. They may have 16 rooms and a bunch of classes, but generally they feel very impersonal, and unless you go with a partner, or have a trainer; there is a good chance you will walk in and out with out having said a single word to anyone else.

When I use to go to a “regular” gym, I avoided eye contact, and would make my way to the Cardio Cinema, where the room is dark, and there is a large screen playing a movie, helping to create the illusion that no one is watching me. I found the regular gym to be, intimidating.

At Fit Body we all know that steady stream cardio, does little to raise the metabolism for much longer than the duration of the actual exercise; but before I was with Fit Body Boot Camp, I was unaware of that fact.

So, each time I would go to that dark room, I would hop on a cardio machine, and zone out. I was consistant with it for about 5 weeks, and couldn’t see any improvements. I stayed away from the weight machines and free weights because it had been years since I had lifted, with out instruction I was wary of injury. Those 5 weeks started to get really boring, jumping from one stationary cardio machine to the next. I wasn’t being challenged physically, but mentally I was being challenged to just walk through those doors on a daily basis. Eventually I just stopped going, feeling defeated.

Fast forward to January of this year, when I joined Fit Body Boot Camp-Cheyenne’s 6 week Transformation Challenge. From the moment I signed up, I was given paper work to read regarding nutrition and how the body uses that energy through food, to build muscle. I was also invited into an online Facebook Accountability Group with all of the other Challege participants.

Right away, I knew this wasn’t some ordinary “figure it out for yourself” program. The trainers want to encourage a healthy lifestyle that will create noticeble results quicker than your average cardio class, and they also want to train people to make this a sustainable lifestyle of fitness.

In orientation I had to write down, my goal weight/size, and I was informed of an incentive that, if I get to my goal within the year of attending FBBC… They will PAY ME $300.00!

I want to look better and feel better, and wear a size 8 in jeans… I have a ways to go, but if I reach my goal within the year, Fit Body Boot Camp will be paying for my new wardrobe! See what I am saying about incentives?

Everyday that I am able to show up, I am able to look at people, and have conversations with them. I am learning about their lives; these are the people who make up my community both in and out of the gym. They are people who come from all walks of life. For me, this is an incentive. There is a sense of trust, that if you can jump around and jiggle together, then you might as well learn the name of the people next to you. You start to see who is who, and when you interact in the online accountibility group, you find a little family of people who all struggle at times, but also have triumphs. Here is where you can find 24 hour support from a community of people commited to bettering their own lives and assisting others in their desire to be better as well.

Photo Courtesy of Jaimel Blajszczak
Photo Courtesy of Jaimel Blajszczak

Part of the sponsored accountibility is the personal responciblity to record a food log, and hand it in. There is also a sign in sheet that one must remember to sign everyday. You must weigh in at least twice a month. All of these things are being recorded by the Trainers, and being noted in your personal file. The reason is to show progress, and trigger point what may be stunting progress. It’s also being used as part of an incentive program called “Fitty Club.”

Fitty Club is exlusive and invite only. It will include a night out for dinner with all the trainers and winners, and their families. It will Include awards, and prizes! Yes, prizes…

For the last Six Week Challenge, the Fitty Club met up on a Thursday evening at Two Doors Down, a local eatery with some great options for those who are eating clean. (The Tuna Wrap or Salad seemed to be most popular with the Club members.)

There was a lot of laughter and jovial conversation, as Challenge Winners were able to sit across from one another and talk over their meal; a pleasant change from huffing and puffing, red-faced and focused during Boot Camp.

After the meal was finished Owner Sara Goossen casually called up the winners to recieve their awards.

1st Place was taken by Amy Porter with 12.89% overall change, which took into account weight, measurements and body fat. She was awarded an Ipad mini and a $50 gift card for Itunes! She was plesantly surprised by her gift.

Amy Porter with her Big Win Grin and a snazzy Ipod mini with $50 gift card.
Amy Porter with her Big Win Grin and a snazzy Ipod mini with $50 gift card.

2nd Place went to Michelle Heinen with 10.26% overall change, and she won $200. I know right?!?!

2nd place winner, Michelle Heinen with Sara Goossen. Pictures courtesy of Monica Yarborough
2nd place winner, Michelle Heinen with Sara Goossen. Pictures courtesy of Monica Yarborough

3rd Place was hard earned by Courtney Tatum with 9.54% overall change, she won 1/2 off her next month.

3rd place Winner, Courtney Tatum stoked with her win!
3rd place Winner, Courtney Tatum stoked with her win!

Does your gym do anything like that for you? Probably not. Like I said, Fit Body Boot Camp has great incentives. If this sounds like something you could use in your desire to live a healthier life, give Fit Body Boot Camp-Cheyenne a visit on Facebook or at fitbodybootcamp.com/cheyennefitnessbootcamp/.

*Thank you to Monica Yarborough and Jaimel Blajszczak for their photo contributions to this article!

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Fit Body Boot Camp~ Week 9- Meet the Administration, Tristin

One of the best byproducts of attending Boot Camp, is the people you will meet, and the stories that you will hear in regard to individual fitness journeys. It takes courage to step out of an unhealthy comfort zone and into a whole new arena of health and wellness. It can be an intimidating thought, of jumping around in a class, sweating and jiggling all over the place in front of strangers.

Knowing that each member and leader started somewhere, brings a common bond and a common mission.

The great thing about boot camp is that it is the great equalizer amoungst it’s members. No matter what journey transpired that brought each member through the door, and no matter how long they have attended, it is a challenge to every level of fitness.

There is a good chance that if you contact Fit Body Boot Camp-Cheyenne, that you will talk to the friendly and effervescent Tristin Williams. You will recognize her at the gym by her lusterious red mane, her love of tye dye and her beast mode passion for lifing extraordinarily heavy weights. Tristin isn’t your average admin, and her fitness journey is a testament to her determination.

Summer 2013
Summer 2013
Tristin Currently
February 2015

STATS

NAME: Tristin Williams

AGE: 34

HEIGHT: 5’0″

WEIGHT: 182lbs (starting weight 227lbs)

STARTING & CURRENT MEASUREMENTS:

ARMS– 15.5″ / 12.5″

CHEST– 50″ / 42″

WAIST-47.5″ / 36.5″

HIPS-52.25″/ 45

THIGH- 27″ / 25.25″

BODY FAT– 47% / 36.5%

FAVORITE EXERCISES– SQUATS (max 250)

DEADLIFTS (max 265)

BENCH PRESS (max 200)

Tristin Deadlift

Tristin has a unique story, on how she came to Fit Body Boot Camp, and if you were to superficially judge her, you may think that she is unhealthy. Tristin isn’t tall, standing at only 5 foot; and her body is apple shaped. Often times she can be seen wearing a hoodie, so it is sort of hard to imagine what she is packing under there. She may not have the mainstream media’s ideal body shape, but she has had two beautiful children and can probably dead lift the crap out of your average fitness buff.

I wanted to talk to Tristin and find out her fitness background, and her goals going forward…

May I have the pleasure to introduce you to Tristin Williams, Administrative Assistant at Fit Body Boot camp- Wearer of The TyeDye and Dominator of Heavy Lifting-

Me: So Tristin, tell me about your fitness past.

Tristin: Well my Mom, was a power lifter and a body builder, she held two State Records for years and my Dad was her trainer. So I grew up in the gym, in the daycare (which I despies to this day.) My mom would have power lifting meets, so she was always on the (restrictive) diets, and so they felt bad, and let me eat other things… Because they knew, “what kid wants to eat chicken and broccoli, every night?” So, they would let me eat unhealthy things, like Spaggeti-Ohs. Plus, I am an only child, and I am kind of spoiled. (laughter) Just, putting that out there… So they would ask me, “What do you want?” and I would say “Spaghetti-Ohs.” I LOVED Spaghetti-Ohs.

Tristin went on to explain that the summer between her 4th and 5th grades, she stayed with a cousin. Their collective summer mission was to beat Super Mario 3, which led to a stagnant summer of sitting on the couch, indoors, playing the beloved video game.

Tristin: So we just sat inside, obsessed with the Nintendo and eating chips. All Summer, doing nothing but playing video games.

I have always been “stocky”, I guess you would call it, but that is when I really gained weight. And then it just, kind of got worse.

Me: Oh, that has got to be one of the worst times to gain weight, just as your body is sort of kicking into hormones.

Tristin: So I gained weight, and between 7th and 8th grade, I worked out with my mom and we would go over to what is now Gold’s Gym, and I lost quite a bit of weight, and I maintained that for years. I was a size 9 for years, until I had (my first born) Isaac.

Tristin was able to maintain her weight from 9th grade , despite dropping her work outs; however as she became more social, one thing led to another, and she found herself gaining 60 lbs of pregnancy weight.

Tristin: Chocolate milk, was THE THING during that pregnancy. I was drinking a gallon of it a day. I was in a terribly abusive relationship , so I didn’t have the desire to self love, or to go do anything about the weight that I had gained. I was just misrable for a while; and then I got out of that relationship and just still felt I needed to lose this weight so somebody will find me attractive, ya know?

So for may be a year I lost some weight, I am not sure how much, maybe 15 or 20 lbs. And then (May 2006) I met my husband, and (laughter) we met each other and got married after about three months. And our plan was, to have a year or so to ourselves and then have a baby… well… that didn’t happen. We were married on September 12, 2006, and found out a week later that I was pregnant. (lots of laughter) My family and such thinks we just got married because of that, but it wasn’t.

So then I had Jaylenne, and I only gained 30 lbs with her, but I found out I have Gestational Diabetes, so I really watched what I ate, and cut out all the sugar and all of that. And so I lost most of all that weight, but I was still around 200 lbs at that time. I am only five foot, so 200 lbs is still, uh, not lookin’ pretty good on a five foot person.

The first six years of Jaylennes’ life, I was comfortable in my relationship; Rod loved me the way I was, and I am like “I’m fine.” I was drinking 44oz of Mountain Dew a day.

Me: Complacent comfort?

Tristin: Hmm mmm, yeah, I was eating fried food constantly, you know, fast food and all of that. Which I think my highest was around 230. The day I came and weighed I was at 227 and I couldn’t breathe. That is one of my goals on my sheet, is to be able to breathe. You could hear me breathing, just sitting here.

Me: Did you smoke cigarettes at the time?

Tristin: I did at the time, yeah. I smoked for 17 years. I was a misrable walking piece of human being, is pretty much what I was. I was happy with my marriage but I hated myself.

Tristin was then introduced to Fit Body Boot Camp, Cheyenne, by her friend Kate. Kate proceeded to share pictures of herself over the months that she had been training at FBBC. Tristin couldn’t help but ask what she was doing to get these results. Kate gave the low down on FBBC, and Tristin sat on the information for about a month, hesitant to call the number.

Tristin: I called and talked to (owner/opperator) Sara (Goossen) and asked things like “Are people going to make fun of me?” I thought of all the questions that a person who is over weight will want to know, like “Is it hard?” Then I came in, 11/9/13 and met up with Sara, and I got my measurements and something just clicked. I came in the next Monday, and I quit drinking soda, and probably haven’t been to a McDonalds since.

Me: Tell me about that first day?

Tristin: I came in kind of cocky because I had worked out before with my parents, and because they were body builders and power lifters, I thought I knew what I was doing. It was a leg day, we had some squats and push ups… the next day I was SO SORE for about a week. When Sara tells people in consultation, that some days going to the bathroom will be difficult, brushing your hair will be difficult, she isn’t kidding. It’s not a lie. I have never been so sore before in my entire life; but I pushed through, and I kept coming and I didn’t miss a day for months. My uncle died, and that day I still came to work out. Some people may use those as excuses not to come in, but I didn’t . I thought, that might be okay for you, but for me, I was like, anthing to not come in is an excuse, and I don’t want to make excuses. I just pushed through the hard times. I had three deaths in my family last year, and I pushed through all of them.

January- August 2014
January- August 2014

Tristin really started to evaluate her path forward after participating in the 12 Week Transformational Challenge, and was deeply inspired by Trainer Ashley Richards.

Tristin: I really wanted to pay it forward, and become a trainer. I am not a trainer, yet, but when the Admin job became open, it was perfect because I had worked as an Administrative Assistant for years. It was scary, I went from a full time job to part time. I took the risk, but I knew I was going to be helping people, and pay it forward, and eventually I will get my training certificate.

I am content where I am at right now.

My passion is powerlifting. I love to lift heavy shit! My mom is my hero, and inspiration for that. She is tiny, she is about five foot, and when she set her record she was 118 lbs.; her dead lifting record is 300. I do want to compete at least once. I love to max out, I love to see where I am at and how I am performing.

Me: Has this been benefical to your relationship?

Tristin: Oh yeah, my husband has been doing it with me since May or June 2014 and he has lost 35 lbs. I feel better about myself, he has always been great about telling me I am beautiful and that he loves me, but I love myself now, and when he says something like that, I can, more than half way believe it. Now I could see how he could say it, where as before… Yeah, it has been really good for our relationship.

Tristin takes a moment to attest to the words on one of the gym’s T-shirts which says “Fit Sex is Better than Fat Sex.” “It’s true!” She says pointing at where the shirts hang. “I can attest first hand to this.”

I ask what her biggest struggle is, and like most people who have made huge dietary changes in tandem with reaching their physical goals, she says “food.”

Tristin: I love me some chocolate! I thought it was going to be the soda, because I was drinking at least one huge 44oz of soda a day. At LEAST, one… I don’t miss soda. I don’t eat fast food anymore, except Subway, because I can control what goes on it. No burger joints, no fried foods. I gave away my fryer; I was frying chicken at least once a week; deep fried shrimp and fries. I kept the fryer for a while because my family was not on board with the healthy eating and one day I just decided to throw out the oil and give it away.

Me: What do you think your greatest advancements have been?

Tristin: Mentally, I would say it’s that I love myself now. Am I totally where I want to be? No, but I am over halfway to the goal of where I want to be. I don’t really focus on the scale because it really hasn’t moved much since September, but my pants sizes have gone down. I was in a 22 to 24 (size) pant and I am wearing an 11 now.

Me: Are you still smoking?

Tristin: My last cigarrette was June 8th last year, and then I started vaping. My thought process is that at a year, which will be this June 8th,  I can slowly start giving up the vape. I am proud of myself because every other time I have tried to give up cigarettes, I couldn’t. I know it’s terrible. And I know that the vaping may not be much better, but I smoked for 17 years, and now I feel better. It’s definitely not 100 times better, but it is better than a cigarette. And I have these girls here to keep on me, and tell me to get off of it and I love them for it. I have had people on me (in my family) about it (smoking) for years. And one day I just decided I was sick of it. I hated the smell. But I am a firm believer that I had to decide that for myself. No one could make me do it.

November 2014
November 2014

Great advice, from a woman who has had some pretty deep lows and heavy burdens in her life.

You see, Fit Body Boot Camp is such a great enviroment because it works not only as a support system, but also like a family. Every one realizes that by coming to the table, they each bring their short comings; but they also bring their strengths. And those strengths are used to build each other up, not tear each other down.

Tristin, came to FBBC scared that she would be rediculed and shunned for her short comings and the past of mistreating herself and her body; instead she was welcomed with open arms, and she wouldn’t be the woman she is today, with out it.

Fit Body Boot Camp is so inspiring to it’s members, that it isn’t strange that they would be catalyzed to pay it forward and to assist others in feeling better; because feeling better has a holistic impact on a human. Imagine the state of paralysis an individual feels when they hate their body, and feel shameful about being in public. All of that mental/ emotional energy being consumed by fear.

However, erase that fear?

Allieviate the problem and the body, mind and soul get their energy back to focus on the bigger picture; the example we set for our children and their future impact on the world.

If you would like to make a change, a shift, or a transformation in your life, and you are ready to take a risk for the sake of your health, give Tristin Williams a call at (307)421-7387 or check out their FaceBook Page Here, or their website at http://www.fitbodybootcamp.com/cheyennefitnessbootcamp/. Help yourself by helping us reach our goal of impacting the lives of (at least) 5000 Cheyenne Residents with health and physical fitness.

Fit Body Boot Camp~ Week 8- Meet your Trainer, Ashley

The consistency and energy of our trainers at FBBC Cheyenne, is one of the reasons Fitters truely enjoy, and look forward to the grueling half hour we spend getting our asses in shape. One of the biggest draw backs of going to any old gym, is the lack of personality and connection one feels when going to work out. Out of shape gym newbies, can feel put off by the need to self motivate in a guideless envioronment. There is also a higher risk of injury for newbies who may not be educated on how the equipment should be properly handled.

Fit Body and it’s Trainers are aware of these issues, and when you step through the doors of their gym, you will immediately notice a difference between a “normal” gym, and boot camp. Firstly, FBBC, is primarily women! Yes! Women of all shapes, sizes and ages, socioeconomic back grounds and cultural blending. Secondly, men do boot camp too! Not as many as you see at a “normal” gym, and in fact, most of them are married to another boot camper, so there is never that letcherous feeling you may get at other gyms, with uncomfortable stares, and inappropriate comments.

Today, I was able to sit down and talk with Ashley Richards, one of the fantastic trainers at FBBC Cheyenne.

Ashley is like a contained ball of fire. At first, she can be quite unassuming at how much energy flies out of her when the class get’s going. I talked for a while with her about her fitness journey leading up to being a Fit Body Boot Camp trainer… Let me have the pleasure of introducing her to you; WORLD meet Ashley Richards!

STATS:

Name : Ashley Richards

Age: 29

Current measurements : Arms- 11 1/2 in.

Chest- 32 in

Waist- 26 1/2 in

Hips- 37 in

Thigh- 22 1/4 in

Total Body Fat- 19.8%

Height: 5’5″

Weight: 140 lbs

Weight at peak of unhealthy lifestyle : approx. 165lbs

Favorite Exercise: Dead Lifts, and Push Ups

Max-Out on Deadlift: 215 lbs (!!!!)

Ashley-May 2014
Ashley-May 2014

I don’t know about you, but when I look at Ashley, I see a strong, well porportioned woman, a woman who can easily exicute all exercises with a sense of finesse and ease. She makes everything look effortless; and for her, it is funny to think that just 7 or 8 years ago, she never would have dreamed of being a fitness trainer.

Ashley is a Cheyenne, Wyoming native and you may recognize her face from graduating from East High School. As a child, she participated in intermural sports, and she enjoyed the games of basket ball and volley ball. She even gave track a try, only to realize running is the worst sport out there.

When I asked Ashley about her diet growing up, she recollects that is wasn’t healthy; which plays heavily in to her mentality and current life style in tandem with her larger goals as a trainer. By the time Ashley had entered high school, she gave up sports, primarily due to the rather short shorts and revealing uniforms required by female High School sports participants. It would be almost a decade before Ashley’s attention would turn to physical fitness.

Anyone who has grown up in Cheyenne, will profess that there is little to do outside of school activities for the youth. Ashley was no exception, and since she was disinterested in school sponsored sports, she was on her own to find entertainment and fun. She readily admits to standard bored teenage behavior; parties, and lots of alcohol.

Ashley-July 2014
Ashley-July 2014

Ashley: I am pretty lucky. I probably should have died more than once from bad decisions.

Upon retrospect, she is thankful to be alive today, and fully conscious of some of her youthful, selfish decision making. Ashley realizes that she wouldn’t be where she is today, with out some of those mistakes.

Flash foward to around 2008. Ashley meets the man of her dreams, who happens to also be a former State Wrestler, football player and currently certified gym rat. Billy grew up in Hulett, Wyoming, and didn’t leave his athletesism behind after graduation. So, like any strange new date and the way relationships go, Billy took Ashley to the gym to work out with him.

Me: So what did you think of the gym, when he took you to work out?

Ashley: I was like, “why are you doing this? What is the point?”

This would be the beginning of two love affairs, one that would lead to marriage, and the other, a complete life style over haul.

Ashley: I started taking classes like Zumba, and Hot Yoga, a few times, but I didn’t like them; so I quit, and tried something else. I was going to a women’s gym, and I had the same mentalities as most people who start working out, ” I’m working out, I can eat whatever I want.”

Ashley- December 2014
Ashley- December 2014

Me: So was there any focus or teaching about nutrition at the women’s gym?

Ashley: No. Not unless you paid for a personal trainer. I later found out that the trainer at (the womens) gym, had only gone through, like an 8 hour weekend training certification in Colorado over a weekend. That disturbed me.

Me: So how did you come to Fit Body?

Ashley: I saw it on Facebook, and I was working for the County, and one of the girls I worked with was also interested in checking it out. We came to a class during lunch, and I the first day I tried it I freakin’ loved it. I freakin’ loved it! So I signed up. But my sincere fitness journey, didn’t start until about a year and a half ago.

Ashley started training part time, while holding down three other jobs. She credits Owner and Operator of Fit Body Boot Camp, Cheyenne, Sara Goossen, to be her biggest inspiration and influence.

Ashely: I learn from Sara, I watch Sara, I grow from Sara. She is the reason I do, what I do. Had it not been for her, I wouldn’t be where I am at.

Ashley-January 2015
Ashley-January 2015

With Ashley’s new found determination, she jumped head first into getting her certifications to train. She is currently certified through the International Sports Science Association; the Center of Health and Fitness. Ashley has studied nutrition and training, while keeping up with her continuing education credits and is working on becoming versed in Strength Training for Kids.

Me: Where would you like to see this (training) go?

Ashley: I want to see kids get healthier. I hate seeing obese kids. I think kids deserve a chance, ya know? I grew up, eating crap; I grew up not knowing anything about working out. I played sports, but it wasn’t teaching me anything I would take with me.

Me: So what is your vision?

Ashley: I just want more classes. I want it to be something that is “us” at Fitbody. I don’t want to take it out on my own. And why? Because I feel almost like I owe the payback. I want to pay it forward. I feel like, if we can do it through Fit Body, then it’s more like “Fit Families;” Mom’s and Dad’s and kids, you know, that would just be better… becoming something ‘more’ than we already are, and incorporate what we already have into something bigger.

Me: So like a 4:30 kids class upstairs, that would be cool.

Ashley: Yeah, something like that, or just to start out, a summer program. As it grows we would have to grow with it, but to start from there, we (would do the summer program and) see where it goes.

No interview about fitness would be complete with out hearing about the struggles a person faces in making such a drastic life style change; especially when the person is interested in helping others change their lives as well. Empathy and comisseration are part of the job, and Ashley is no stranger to personal struggle.

Me: So what would you say, has been your biggest struggle in this journey?

Ashley: The goddamn eating! (laughter)

Me: Keeping up with your nutrition?

Ashley: Yes! Like I tell everybody, our bodies are our grown up science fair project. And we all work so different. What may work for me, isn’t going to work for everybody. What works for you, may not work for me. That has been my biggest struggle, figuring out how my body wants to be fed, not the way some one else wants to feed my body.

Me: Are you finding balance with that?

Ashley: Yes. I piece together my program from all the things I have tried, and what has worked for me.

Me: Where do you feel your greatest advances have come through this.

Ashley: My biggest advance, is that even on a bad day I love myself more now, than I ever have. I have been through a lot of stuff in my childhood, as has everyone. It’s the love for myself. I couldn’t be happier. Of course there are those things you nit pick about yourself, but I think at some point, it is better to embrace what you have, and love what you have been given. To Love YOURSELF! If you don’t love yourself, how are you going to love anyone else? Another struggle I have is practicing what I preach. We preach so much as trainers, sometimes we forget to practice what we preach. Who are we to give advice if we can’t take our own advice.

Ashley- February 2015
Ashley- February 2015

Though Ashley has only been a trainer for a relatively short time, she is obviously dedicated to it. She has had to make some comprimises and adjustments to her life, to embody this as not only a life style, but a carreer path; and she isn’t looking back. Her desire to impact families in this community is inspiring, and I wish her well with the task of building interest and participation.

If you attend Fit Body Boot Camp in Cheyenne, and/or you have kids, make sure to express interest in seeing a summer kids program. The more interest shown, the more potential of getting the program up and running, sooner than later.

If you don’t attend Fit Body Boot Camp- Cheyenne, but you would like to see what we do here; contact Sara Goossen or Tristen Williams at (307) 421-7387, or on FaceBook at Fit Body Boot Camp Cheyenne. Set up a consult, come do a class, and make that life style change you have been thinking about.

If you would like to read more about my first hand experience with Fit Body, you can check out my past blogs here.

Fit Body Boot Camp~ Your body, Love it or Leave it

Perhaps you feel how many people feel. Fitness is daunting. It can be hard to figure out where to start. Maybe you get bored with walking, and running just isn’t a possibility right now. Perhaps you watch entertainment, and see ads online, wishing you looked like the models and actors that grace our screens and pages. Perhaps you feel ashamed of your body, and have become a bit of a hermit; unwilling to show yourself in public. Perhaps you feel incredibly alone in your struggle.

We live in a society where media is saturated with unrealistic images, photoshop, and cosmetic body augmentation; sometimes it is hard to accept the natural part of having a biological system that does not conform to the examples of what we admire. And as we know that we can be our own worst critic, sometimes it is hard taking that first step into redefinition.

Fitness advertisements are unavoidable, as health and fitness have themselves become big business. Where does a newbie start?

Sit down in a quiet place and assess your goals. What can you do, to make your transition into fitness as comfortable and engaging as possible?

First, figure out what you would like your body to be able to do. Maybe to start out, you would like to be able to do a full push up, or to be able to stretch far enough to touch your toes. It doesn’t matter how small the goal may seem, when our bodies are out of shape, it takes consistent hard work to adapt and overcome.

Figure out what you need to do, to achieve that goal. How many days a week are you willing to commit to reaching your goal? As our bodies age, our metabolism slows down; making it harder to shed unwanted pounds. Bad nutrition can aid in the bodies struggle to feel good. Be honest with yourself and what you are willing to give to reach your goal.

Do your research of gyms and classes in your area. Do you like to dance? Are you curious about lifting weights? If you are completely new to fitness, find a couple of enticing options and commit to going to a class or consulting with a personal trainer to see how you can reach your fitness goals with out injury. In this day and age, there is something for everyone. If you find you get bored easily, switch things up often to keep yourself challenged and motivated.

Find an accountability group, and become accountable to yourself. This key move can assist those of us who find it hard to keep up our own motivation. It is a great way to feel involved with a group of like minded/ similarly goaled individuals. Accountability groups can have all skill levels, and the more skilled members can impart some very important insights into the fitness journey. It can be very motivating to talk to people who have triumphed over the same struggles you may be having in your current journey. The support and encouragement of accountability can be a life saver, especially when you feel down and out or like giving up.

Reframe your attitudes toward exercise. Instead of viewing fitness as a burden or a pain in the ass; look at it as a gift to yourself. Taking steps toward your health can help prevent future illness, and each and every one of us deserves a healthy existence.

Get your family and friends involved. Talk to your family and friends about their fitness goals. Make an effort to support each other by participating in activities that encourage team work. Get involved in community events that foster Health and Wellness. Get a team together and run/walk a 5k.

Push yourself a little further everyday. Time seems to be flying by so quickly, and it can feel like there just isn’t enough time in the day to fit everything in. True as it may be, it is imperative to keep the body active, to keep from later atrophy. Keep with it, your body five years in the future, will thank you. As little as 30 minutes a day of high intensity interval training can boost your metabolism for 28 hours after a work out; and that 30 minute work out CAN be the most rewarding part of your day.

Believe in yourself! Make your health a priority. If you have children, they are watching you. The example you set for yourself can have a huge impact on their future, and the future of your grand children. Encourage yourself and your family into health.