Lauren wasn’t athletic and didn’t start working out until after a horrible car accident. She went on to become a personal trainer and nutrition coach! Here’s her fitness success story.
The confidence you develop in the gym leads to confidence in life. I am absolutely convinced these two things are completely connected.
I only began my fitness journey six years ago at the age of 31. I grew up completely non-athletic and pretty much uncoordinated. I was the classic story of the girl picked last for a gym class team. Once I graduated high school I was so happy to never have to put myself under that stress or scrutiny again. I dove further into a life of theater and books and never thought I would ever have to play a sport or break a sweat again.
In my 20s, I was the typical cardio bunny. I would join a gym for brief periods because it seemed like something I should do, not because I was truly motivated to be there. I would hop on a treadmill or an elliptical with a magazine and bounce away for 20 minutes. Naturally I made no progress, and only lasted about a month before giving up. Once in a while I would pop in an at-home workout DVD and try to push myself to perform all those sit ups I was seeing or arm exercises. With no body awareness to speak of I would often hurt myself with even the lightest weights. I would drop the act all together, and go back to my rather sedentary lifestyle. Made worse by the fact that I worked long days at an advertising agency behind a desk and computer.
Related Post: Take the First Step: Jennifer’s Fitness Success Story
Fast forward a few years and I am now 31. I set off for a road trip with my mom to see my aunt in Pennsylvania for lunch. I was living in New Jersey at the time and the weather was rather bleak for a winter day, but the skies seemed clear. We headed out, but immediately realized this was a mistake once we got on the highway. The roads were icy, and I hit a patch of black ice that set the car spinning. I still distinctly remember my mother calmly telling me to hold onto the wheel as we turned around fast, and crashed into the guardrail. We walked away, but the car was completely totaled. It was amazing we were alive.
It all seemed like it would be ok until the next day at work I felt my low back turn into a spasm of knots. As a desk worker I often had issues with my shoulders due to long hours on the computer. But this sensation was completely different. I began to see a chiropractor to deal with the low back pain, and slowly began to improve. However, he cautioned me I would never truly feel good unless I started to work out and lift weights. He was concerned that I was way too weak for a women my age.
I made the decision that day to commit myself to a fitness routine that I could sustain. I joined a local gym close to work, bought a gym bag at Target and signed up for a package with a personal trainer so I could learn how to use the machines. Yup, even the elliptical. The first two trainers I worked with were very quick to leave the gym. I had no idea personal training had such high turn over. I was almost ready to give up. I was not feeling that much better and while I was not there to get 6 pack abs, I certainly hadn’t seen any physical changes after several months. The manger at the gym called me and urged me to try a new trainer at the gym. She was certain I would “click with him.” Panic naturally set in. I was not comfortable with the idea of a guy training me. I was also pretty sure he was the incredibly cute trainer I had seen working with different people at the gym. I meekly agreed to meet him, and he texted me a day or so later to set up an appointment.
This cute trainer, turned into my friend, and eventually my boyfriend. We are still together six years later. His passion for health, training and his steadfast commitment to helping me get better was a total game changer. I began to lift real weights, get strong and begin to see those physical results that only further fueled my confidence. Training began to be something I looked forward to rather than just a thing I had to check off in my appointment book.
My interest only increased and I felt an incredible need to share how these changes were slowly turning my life around. I felt incredibly unfilled at my job in corporate real estate. At Scott’s urging I started a blog named The Bikini Experiment. I began to write which I always loved, and shared blog posts focused on healthy recipes, exercise and this whole experiment I was just learning to figure out. This started to plug me into a huge network of women like myself who found joy through their love of healthy food and fitness. It felt like my calling and I threw myself into it without looking back. I also earned my health coaching certification through Precision Nutrition and my personal training certification through the NSCA to deepen my knowledge. I hoped that one day I could go even further to coach others on how they could channel a new way of confidence and happiness.
I am certainly not saying that this makes everything rosy. I have certainly had my share of tough times in the past few years. However, fitness and health have become such a source of strength for me. Even after a rough day a workout can make the world seem right again.
My message is that it is never too late to start. No matter what your age or circumstances nothing should hold you back from being your best version of yourself. My hope for you is to experience the confidence that comes with getting strong and being able to make real progress that can be sustained for a lifetime. Not just for a summer season. The most profound lessons I have learned through getting strong is embracing my ability to push past my boundaries, and get uncomfortable. That is where the true transformation takes place.
Lauren is a reformed skinny-fat girl who has discovered muscles, confidence and bikini living with lifting weights and eating protein. Once upon a time, a corporate marketer for real estate, she is now a fitness entrepreneur with a passion for helping other women find the solutions to their own Bikini Experiment. Lauren is a Level 1 Precision Nutrition Coach and NSCA Certified Personal Trainer. Check out more from Lauren on TheBikiniExperiment.com.