Fitness Competitor Winner
Who I Was
Watching my courageous mother fight hard but lose her battle with breast cancer was devastating and life changing. My mom always inspired me and it is her spirit that drives me now.
After also being diagnosed with some health issues, I knew I had to do something different to take control of my health. I can’t change hereditary risk factors but I knew I could change the controllable ones like exercise and diet.
At my heaviest, I was 160 pounds and a size 16 (quite a lot for my petite 5′ frame). My journey with weight loss began 10 years ago when I lost 60 pounds through diet and running. But I got bored and some of that weight came back.
I was the cardio queen. Surely that was enough to fight off illness and weight? Forget deadlifts, squats or pullups. What were those and why would anyone want to do those? The gym was a place I had to be at but not something I enjoyed.
Who I Am
The transformation of my body and attitude towards fitness started in 2010 when I met Joey Shillolo, my trainer at Goodlife. It’s been said that when the student is ready, the teacher will appear and that’s certainly what happened for me.
Joey convinced me (and it took a lot of convincing) that his “Train like a Soldier” bootcamp would not kill me and he was right. In fact, it had quite the opposite effect…it empowered me!
The bootcamp taught me that resistance training was the key to prolonged healthy living. The small class size made learning new dynamic movements safe and the variety of movements made it fun. Connecting with other like minded women and men was great as we encouraged each other through authentic military drills.
The bootcamp lead me to personal training with Joey. I started training with Joey 3 days a week and I’m now up to 4 because I love working with him. He has guided me through this journey and his customized programming challenges me every time with not one session being the same. The gym is now a place I want to go to be because I enjoy it so much. Besides the personal training, I also do spin classes or other cardio twice a week.
I’ve done two additional bootcamps since the first one and use them to supplement my personal training. I was probably one of the weakest participants during the first bootcamp and I’m now one of the stronger participants being able to many advanced movements.
Joey also introduced me to the Paleo or ‘Caveman’ diet which has eliminated all my issues with inflammation. I never feel hungry and actually eat more now than before. I’m just glad that I don’t need to “hunt and gather” my food like our ancestors did. I also have fun creating Paleo “treats” and Joey’s been a good taste tester for those treats!
I now weigh 110 pounds and am a size 2 (with toned and defined muscles). The shape of my body is totally different. I’ve lost 12 inches since working with Joey and am stronger than I have ever been. Some of my personal bests: deadlifts – 145 pounds, bench press – 85 pounds, back squat – 120 pounds, overhead squat – 70 pounds, front squat – 100 pounds. I can also do unassisted pullups and dips! You can imagine the look on my face when Joey attached a weighted belt to me for dips!!! But I was able to do them.
This change has also impacted my confidence. I’ve received many compliments from people I know and some that I don’t know. Other Goodlife members have seen my progress and asked me what I’ve done. It’s fun sharing my story and being an inspiration to others. Two of my co-workers participated in Joey’s bootcamp with me and have signed up as members with Goodlife.
Who I will be
I will continue to train with Joey 4 times a week to challenge my body to improve my personal bests. I want to see how far I can go. I’ll also participate in other bootcamp sessions to get the benefits of group training and just because it’s fun. You certainly don’t need to be as active as I have been but I am proof that your mind and spirit lead the transformation of your body…. at ANY age.
I have found something I love to do and want to share my success with others so that they can feel the way I do…confident, strong and empowered.
Tips for Success
- Find a trainer who will show you proper form/technique and who motivates you to be the best you possible. The trainer should be a good partner for you. I’m lucky enough to work with Joey (and proud that he was honoured as Goodlife’s Trainer of the Year).
- Change your programming/routines regularly so that you don’t get bored.
- Resistance and interval training are key.
- Diet is as important as exercise. Try Paleo for 30 days.
- Share your success. We can all effect change and creating a sense of community is inspiring.
- Most importantly do something you enjoy. You’ll be more likely to stick with it if you have FUN!
Train Like A Solider Bootcamp
I learned the importance of proper form, structural balance and optimal mobility- can now bench press 275, front squat 250, and back squat 285!
Lost 5% body fat
With each session I found myself progressively getting stronger, leaner and more fit than ever before. The Instructor Joey was a really great motivator. The exercises he put together were very challenging but yet fun. A lot was learned throughout the 16 sessions. Focus was put on proper form to prevent injury, strength, and core training exercises that can be incorporated into my own exercise routines, quick routines that will help me get the most out of my training when time was limited and the importance of proper nutrition.
Joey thanks so much for educating me, motivating me, inspiring me to do better and pushing me to the limits ! Train like a Soldier camp is definitely the ultimate, I am totally addicted and I look forward to the participating again in your next sessions.
Train Like a Soldier bootcamp
I go to two Goodlife locations one close to work where I participated in the Boot camp session and one close to home. A fellow gym member at the home location asked me the other day, “What have you been doing? You look fabulous, your muscles are looking more lean and defined then I have ever seen on you” to which I responded I joined Joey’s Train like a Soldier Boot camp.
Thanks so much Joey!! I will definitely be back.
Train Like a Soldier bootcamp
Before I started training with Joey I was a little petrified. After all I was told he used to train Canadian soldiers in Afghanistan. But when my training began with him, I was pleasantly surprised. He listened to what I wanted to achieve, took into consideration my current abilities and came up with a detailed plan for us to move forward. His training methods were different than what I was as accustom to as we began focusing immediately on improving my strength. This was exciting for me because I was starting to do exercises and lifts in the gym that I never thought I was capable of doing. And believe it or not, I was actually starting to enjoy working out.
I have been training 4 times a week for 9 months now and I can’t believe the results, I feel great and I regularly get compliments from colleagues, friends and family. As for my stats thus far, they are beyond what I expected. I now weight 169 pounds, down from 196 and have a waist size of 30 inches which is down from 36. More importantly I feel stronger and feel much more confident about myself in and out of the gym. This is largely due to my improvements in strength. When I first started training I was embarrassed about barely being able to do a couple push-ups. Now I am proud to be able to squat (full squat) over 240 pounds, deadlift over 290 pounds, and bench press 230 above my bodyweight.
In nine months I went from feeling like a sluggish couch potato to a strong athlete. I am certain that this transformation would not have been possible without the help, guidance and motivation that personal training provided. For this reason, I would highly recommend investing in personal with Joey!
Lost 40 pounds of fat, now lean and strong!