Who Am I?

I have been involved in fitness for over twenty years and hired my first personal trainer in 1994. I can vividly see my trainer walking me past the aerobics room, where ladies were laughing, dancing and having fun, into the weight room where there were men were dropping weights, grunting loudly and flexing in the mirror. I thought to myself, “Where is he taking me? What did I just get myself into?”

Little did I know, my journey to transforming and walking my talk was just the beginning. Hang on, because it was a bumpy ride.

I fell in love.

I loved the changes I saw in my body when I incorporated resistance training with cardio conditioning. I ate a little better as a result of working out, but I was still in the dark as to what good nutrition really was. Several weeks had passed and I could feel my arms getting tighter, my waist starting to appear, all while my butt dimples were smoothing out (y’all ladies know what I’m talking about).

We continually walked past the ladies in the “fun class” and my trainer noticed my longing looks which resulted in the statement, “Do you see any changes in the women’s body shape in that cardio class over the time we have been working together?” The answer was no, but my body was transforming right before my own eyes. Making that mind-shift, even when I saw results in myself, was taking time. ‘Women who lift weights would look like a man.’ ‘Men are not attracted to muscles on a woman’. ‘The scale is going to go up with all that muscle’. Though I was seeing positive changes in my body, deep down inside I still believed what I always heard and I was terrified.

Who was I in the past?

I had already been to classes paying $7.00 weekly fees (that’s what it cost back then). I had lost weight and became a life-time member, but the weight always came back. I visited the centers where I had my ‘one-on-one’ coach and took home $300 worth of food in three bags (freezer bags for cold food and regular bags for all other food). I was afraid to eat other foods when I could no longer afford to buy that food. My next program, I did the take-off drink for the first 3-days promising I’ll lose 7lbs in seven days. I bought their bars and shakes, but then they went out of business. I was stuck again. Okay, I’ll try the weekly weigh in at $15.00 a week again; get me some bars, candy drops, shakes, my week one book and attend with friend for outside support. Whoohooo, got my gold star for 10% weight loss.

“Why did I not feel more motivated to keep it off permanently? How many things did I have to keep trying?” This is where all the ladies went and were successful, why not me? Or so I thought.

Footsteps to personal training.

I could not go back to re-trying center programs again. I saw changes in my body when I worked with a personal trainer using weights and cardio conditioning. I did look different and my body was reshaping, regardless of what the scale said. I had to continue down this path of weights and cardio along with proper eating. Over time, I worked with several trainers and had an ‘aha’ moment. I CAN DO THIS! I can train ladies with weights and debunk the myth that women who lift weights look masculine and get big muscles.

My regimen and philosophy of fitness broadened. I knew I could learn, apply and share what I was doing. “Ladies gotta hear about this”. I became a personal trainer, aerobics instructor, step-n-sculpt and body tone ‘guru’ at Bally’s Total Fitness. I worked at many locations like downtown and hotel gyms. I even worked at a boxer’s gym (I can tell you stories on that one), as well having in-home clients.

I received extensive training in Mat Pilates, Step-n-Sculpt, Body Tone, and Aerobics. I got certified through AFAA, AAAI/ISMA, Mat Science for Pilates and WITS (World Instructors Training School). Because I walked my talk, I was able to get down to 128lbs and 11% body fat. I helped many ladies reshape and lose weight as well. I did it and would never lose it again.

Life happens. Life Changes.

If you live long enough, you will experience the thrill of milestone achievements and the pain of life-altering challenges. It happens to everyone. How you choose to deal with it and move on is what determines the type of person you become. It’s a choice. My mother was only 52 and a breast cancer survivor for 12 years until metastatic breast cancer ended her life. Just two years prior to that, her mother died of metastatic breast cancer. I found out my great-grandmother also died of breast cancer. Did I have a bullet in the chamber just waiting for me? I’m 24 and taking care of my mom dying of breast cancer. My mind went to what I could control – I’m 128lbs and healthy.

I’m 30 years old and sitting in the gynecologist office. “With your history, you qualify for a program at Fox Chase Cancer Center where we do periodic biopsies on your breast tissue for early detection. You are in a high risk group, Adriene”. Tell me something I don’t already know. How you choose to deal determines the person you become. Multiple biopsies vs bi-lateral mastectomy with re-construction. My choice, my health… walk my talk. I went for the bi-lateral mastectomy and never looked back. Ovarian and breast cancer are linked, which resulted in a partial hysterectomy 10 years later and soon an oophorectomy to remove my ovaries.

Not an easy road.

I went through body betrayal because I no longer looked like I once did. Anger and depression set in along with weight gain. BETRAYED!!!! Now I’m right back on the weight loss roller coaster again. NO, NO, NO. Wait, do what you know. Training with weights, cardio, eating healthy, mindset correction. Have an accountability partner to get you the push to get you where you KNOW you can be. Don’t give up, don’t give in, life happens. It’s your choice. You can be successful. I heard recently from a powerful young lady, ‘if you did it once, you can do it again’. That statement is so true.

I worked with several trainers and didn’t stop until I found the one who gave me EXACTLY what I wanted. My hand was held as I ‘talked’ about what I wanted but I was also ‘walking’. I was tenacious and in 16 weeks I lost 30 pounds. I “transformed, I walked my talk”.

My future for me and my future for you

I am a devoted believer in expansive education and have acquired my credentials in FNS (Food Nutrition Specialist) through NASM and acquired my CPT (Certified Personal Trainer) through SCW Fitness Education.

Achieving any worthwhile goal starts with the right mental disposition coupled with a tenacious spirit. A laid out plan of what to eat and how to work out, accountability, encouragement, and support is where you invite me in.

Make the choice to succeed in your fitness goals and we will work to make it happen. Each person is different; but together, we can define what you truly want and develop the best way to get there.

Ask yourself, Is it my time to “Transform…..Walk Your Talk”.

Let me help you do that.

Photos by Rebecca Henasey Photography