Gail's Success Story: Overcoming a Back Injury, Losing 50lbs and 10% Body Fat

Submitted by: Kristin Santos

Gail's Success Story

Published in Pep Boys Corporate Newsletter:

Every fitness success story begins at a crossroads. Gail Seravalli arrived at hers in October of 2011 when she injured her back trying to move a heavy box. A trip to the doctor revealed she had bulging discs in her cervical and lumbar spine.

Gail was in near-constant pain and was forced to spend hours on a retraction machine in an attempt to relieve her throbbing back. She knew she needed to make a change to get healthy.

“Working out was something I dabbled in, but after injuring my neck and back, I was afraid of starting back at the gym,”
Gail said. “I did some reading and realized I needed a qualified trainer who understood my situation and could modify my workouts. [I needed someone to] alleviate my initial apprehension about getting hurt again all while helping me get healthier.”

Enter Pep Boys Fitness Center Manager Kristin Santos, an
NPTI-certified personal trainer and nutritional consultant.

“Gail came to me in February of 2012 and had already lost
about 15 pounds by eating healthier and walking,” recalled
Kristin. “She was determined to relieve her back pain and get herself healthier and stronger.”

Kristin continued: “I knew after the first few sessions that Gail would get to where she wanted to be physically
and successfully change her lifestyle because she worked
hard in every session. She listened to my advice on
nutrition and stretching. She even took the extra step to read and educate herself more about the things we talked about in our sessions.”

Fast forward to today and Gail is a completely changed woman who is not only focused on fitness, but also maintaining an overall healthy lifestyle.

“I have been working out with Kristin for two years
now,” explained Gail. “In the beginning, Kristin modified
all my circuits and helped me strengthen the areas around my injuries. She also taught me how to eat cleaner
without dieting. As I continue this lifestyle change, I learn more and more and continue to grow and improve
bad habits.”

According to Kristin, Gail has not only conquered her back and neck pain, she has gotten stronger – much stronger. Kristin recalls how quickly Gail went from modified (elevated) pushups to full pushups on the floor to now being able to deadlift her own bodyweight.

“I am getting stronger and more toned – I’m probably the strongest I’ve ever been,”Gail said. “The fitness center classes and strength training are helping me achieve my fitness goals, but eating plays a big part in my success. I’ve eliminated most processed foods, and I feel so much better. Every day I work hard so I never return to the old me. Kristin keeps me accountable for my actions and has taught me I can conquer any obstacle by striving strong.”

And conquer she does. In the last few weeks, Gail conquered her first bodyweight pull-up and ran in the John
Gentile Memorial 5k Run / Walk, placing first in her age group.

“I’m extremely proud of Gail – she has come a long way
and it wasn’t easy,” Kristin said. “There were some struggles along the way, but she was determined and she always kept her focus and did what she could to keep
making progress.

“I see an inner athlete in everybody,” Kristin continued. “I don’t care if you are the least-coordinated person and
you’ve never played a sport in your life, I think everyone has it in them to be strong and fit and live a healthy life. You just have to want it. If you don’t want it bad enough, you won’t reach your goals.”

It’s obvious that Gail wanted it and that was the main reason for her success. What about you? Do you want to
change your life for the better? Maybe it’s time to see what Kristin and the fitness center can do for you – you’ll
be greeted and welcomed by a growing group of committed, supportive associates.

“It helps to have some direction and support, and the community developing in the fitness center is great,” said
Kristin. “It is much easier to succeed with a group of people who help and encourage each other because they all want the same thing. Gail not only has the support of others in the fitness center but she is also everybody’s biggest fan and wants others to succeed as she has.”


Gail Before


Gail After