In September I saw an ad for in-home personal trainers. It originally felt like an indulgence meant for others with tons of money and very poor motivation, but I realized that I did indeed have poor motivation when it came to figuring out how to get and stay fit in a new ‘middle aged’ way. So I decided it was a critical investment in me and my health, not an expense or a luxury (or a sign of weakness).
I met Beth Fahey and the rest really is history…and my personal blessing. In my first conversation with her, Beth first told me that people really needed to love their trainers, which I thought was strange and certainly not what I thought I needed – I just needed someone to ‘tell me what to do.’ I couldn’t have been more wrong! The relationship Beth establishes is so personal, so tailored that it was (and remains) central to my success. She never made me feel guilty that I couldn’t ‘pull it together myself’ and in fact was passionate that we all need coaches to help us along, and that it wasn’t a shame or weakness, it was the way human beings were built…to need support.
She also provided a great metaphor about a ‘fitness pendulum’ where you allow boundaries of which way your fitness level can swing depending on the inevitabilities of life so that you don’t become frustrated when your weight or fitness level slips off a fixed target number. This helps me tremendously because I can still have fun and give myself a break when life gets busy or a special food is calling my name. So I don’t have the pressure of 100 percent extreme fitness compliance, and I also don’t feel immediate failure because I’ve eaten something extra or skipped a run. It is a practical and workable way for me to integrate fitness into real life. And while she is a realist she also isn’t afraid to hip-check me when I take it too far and become a bit too much of a slacker.
Beth recommended reading Clean Eating and provided several sample menus for me. I love the fact that there is room for what we enjoy – it is not ‘pasta is good or bad’ but rather what pasta means in the context of the day’s events. It is not a diet, but rather a living and eating plan for someone who loves to eat. I have really come to love clean eating and though I’m not 100%, I feel the benefits and am a believer and a convert that it is as a better way to approach eating and nutrition.
An amazing by-product of working with Beth is to that my shoulder and surrounding muscles not only got stronger, but also improved incredibly in terms of appearance. The muscles built up around it to the point that it helped masked the appearance of jutting bone, but also the sense of ‘instability’ in functional movements of everyday life as well as actual exercise. I wish I had taken before and after pictures! You wouldn’t believe the difference!
I have also been able to resume running and have completed a 5k, a 5 mile and am about to do a 10K. I have a few half-marathons scheduled for the near future too which is exciting and something I hadn’t thought I’d be able to do again. Training has put me back in shape to do what I enjoy. My riding trainer has said that my strength and body position in the horse has improved which I attribute to stronger muscles and a trimmer waist.
Perhaps most importantly (and unexpectedly) is the increased sense of confidence and emotional happiness I have gained. Being in better shape has helped me look better, but also feel better, more confident and happier.
Beth is so positive and so real. She gets that I have bad days, high and low levels of motivation, and sore muscles and she seems to know when to push and when to do something alternatively. Her eyes are on the big picture. I initially felt ashamed if I couldn’t deliver 15 solid reps but Beth encourages me about how ‘muscle failure’ is good. This is a tough concept for us Triple A-types who feel like mastering a rep session is success!
I live in Newburyport MA and have for the last year. Prior to that I lived in downtown Boston and various places around MA. I grew up in upstate NY. I’m self-employed in the media relations business and work out of my home. My hobbies include reading and horseback riding."
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