1. Tell me how you first got involved in with fitness?
When I was in Junior High, I worked at a Ladies Only Gym after taking my Fitness to Music Instructor course through BCRPA. I loved it. I started to work out, spent time with the employees that were fitness competitors and worked under Sharon Mann before her career took off. It was so inspiring to watch her prep for competition and see the drive and determination to succeed. I continued working out for a number of years until my health took a turn for the worse and had to give up working out. It feels incredible that I have found my way back.
2. Why did you seek out a personal trainer?
I had the first signs of muscle weakness from my liver disease and was told by many doctors that losing weight and building muscle would be difficult, if not impossible. Well, I really didn’t like that answer, so I wanted to work with someone who really knew what they were doing.
3. What was your first impression of NXTLVL?
I had worked with two online trainers prior to working with Alan and although I had some weight loss success, I really wasn’t seeing the results that I had hoped for. He was the first trainer that I met in person and honestly, because I was a newbie at weight training, I was very intimidated. It was his passion for training, his enthusiasm and his determined attitude that he could help me achieve my goals that helped me make the decision to work with him.
4. What's your first memory of going to the gym?
When I took my Fitness to Music Instructor Course, we were first introduced to the gym. At that time, I spent most of my time doing cardio and teaching step classes.
5. What has surprised you most about working with Alan as your coach?
Being that I had worked with two other trainers prior to working with Alan, I was still a bit skeptical that I would see results and the results I got were immediate. Everything he planned in the beginning as far as my weight loss and muscle development has happened exactly like he told me it would…he knows what he is doing. Trust the process…it’s taken a bit to get that in my head, but it’s true.
6. What do you find most challenging about personal training?
I think that the mental journey is certainly the most challenging. Whether it is struggling with the number on the scale, going to workout when no one is there to motivate you, waiting for those slow results to show, or trying to get your willpower to kick in so you don’t cheat on your meal plan, all parts of the process are mentally challenging. Alan has been there in all of my “crazy, stressed-out moments” helping me understand what is normal, what to expect and how to cope with the difficulties. I have learned that my mind, is the key to my success.
7. What's the best/worst thing to happen since you started working out?
So many amazing things have happened since I started working out but the one that made me the proudest is that I can now do a full pushup. This may sound silly but in 39 years, I have never been able to do one. I can now do 15!
8. If you could change one thing about your journey this far, what would it be?
Now that I know the success I have had working with Alan, I wish that I had found him first. I can only imagine how much progress I would have made had I not spent 6 months with other trainers. But I truly believe you have to find the “right” trainer for you and it took a few that didn’t work out to find the right one!
9. What do you wish other people knew about you?
I just hope that most people understand that I am doing this for me and hopefully my story can help someone else reach their goals or inspire them to make a change.
10. Why are you with NXTLVL as opposed to another facility in town?
I found Alan through his Instagram account so once I found him, I didn’t look into alternative facilities and I don’t need to. NXTLVL has a very knowledgeable, friendly and motivating team of trainers. The customized plan works perfectly for me, my goals, and my lifestyle.
11. Tell me about some of the people you've met while training at NXTLVL?
I haven’t met all of the trainers/coaches at NXTLVL yet, or the clients, but even through following them on IG, the only way I can describe it is that it feels like you are a part of a little fitness family. Everyone is very welcoming and supportive with a common interest in fitness. Being someone that works out alone, this type of support is incredibly helpful to keep me motivated.
12. What would you say are some of your strongest beliefs about fitness?
My views on fitness today are certainly quite different from when I started a year ago. Last year, I would have said that exercise is for losing weight and that a clean diet would be almost impossible to live with. With my customized plan (and a totally clean diet I might add) not only have I lost a total of 80 pounds, but I am much stronger than when I started. I am no longer on the liver transplant assessment list, I am off most of my medications and my symptoms from my health issues are almost non-existent. My doctors are in awe of the transformation over the last 12 months and have encouraged me to keep doing what I am doing. They never believed my health would be this good. Living a healthy life through diet and exercise, can change your health significantly and my journey has only just started.
13. What's your personal fitness philosophy?
Be patient, work hard and trust the process. You get out of it, what you put into it and only compare yourself to who you were yesterday. I simply want to work towards being a better me.
14. When your friends/family find out that you work with a trainer, what do they say or ask?
The number one question is always ‘what does it cost?’ Followed closely by ‘Is it hard to follow the plan?’
15. What would you tell someone who is thinking about getting a coach?
Do it. You won’t regret it and you will wish you hired one sooner!
16. What do you think will change about your fitness destination over the next five years?
Right now, I am still trying to understand the process and following the plan that Alan has for me. I have hit the weight loss goal that I had, but hopefully over the next little while, I will find a specific direction.
17. If you weren't working out, what would you be doing instead, or what would your life be like?
The thought of where I would be incredibly scary. Not only would I still have been overweight, I would likely be on the transplant list for a new liver. This is certainly not something that I ever want to go through and after the incredible change over the last year, I am hopeful that I won’t have to.
18. How would your coach at NXTLVL describe you?
Well this is a tough one. I’m not quite sure how he would describe me but I hope that I have proven that I am determined, hard-working, driven and that I don’t make excuses or give up easily.
19. Tell us the most surprising thing about you, fitness related or not!
That when I was working at a gym in high school, I had a dream of one day competing in a fitness competition. I watched three of our employees prep for competition, refine their routines and come home with trophy after trophy. My best friend was also a fitness competitor and I was always envious at what she could physically push her body to do. At the time I was overweight, incredibly weak and had zero confidence. I never told anyone assuming that someone would laugh at me.