Client: Beth
Personal trainer: Jennifer Trimmier, owner, Strong Body San Antonio
Location: San Antonio

Training from a distance. Jennifer Trimmier, personal trainer and owner of Strong Body San Antonio, enjoyed success as a mobile trainer, meeting clients at their homes or training locations of choice. After word spread about those successes, more people began to take notice.

“As my clients did well and met their weight loss and health goals, they shared their stories with friends and on Facebook,” Trimmier says. “This meant that their stories—and pictures of their shrinking waistlines—were crossing city and state borders via the Web. As clients shared their successes, their friends and family members began to contact me and inquire how they could do the same.”

Instead of letting distance become a roadblock, Trimmier accepted these requests and slowly ventured into online training.

Family ties. Trimmier received a call from a potential long-distance client eager for guidance—her Aunt Beth. Beth, a widow, confided in Trimmier that since her husband’s death, she had “let herself go” and had gained a lot of weight. Worse, she said, her preteen son was following the same path. Beth’s concern escalated when her son failed to pass the physical examination required to play school sports. “Beth admitted that a diet of fast food and soda had caught up to her family, and she knew she wanted to change before it was too late,” says Trimmier. “One of her biggest fears was having health issues at a young age—heart disease runs in her family—and possibly leaving her son parentless, if she were to die from her bad habits and decisions.”

Beth hoped that her niece could help her get back on the right path. Trimmier didn’t have to think twice.

Confidence to move. Beth had zero exercise exposure prior to seeking Trimmier’s help, and she feared that she’d be incapable of completing a workout. “she talked about seeing others post on Facebook about their exercise sessions—10-mile runs; CrossFit® workouts that left them breathless and unable to walk; boot camps that required hundreds of push-ups—and said she would ‘never be able to do anything like that.’”

Trimmier acknowledged the concerns and asked Beth to begin her exercise program by walking for 8–10 minutes, three times per week. Trimmier recalls that “After just a few weeks on her initial walking program, Beth’s confidence and attitude toward exercising changed drastically. She was suddenly asking for more exercise and wanting to know how she could achieve some of what she saw others doing in the fitness realm.” Trimmier integrated a walk/jog into Beth’s program and developed some strength workouts for Beth.

Eat more, lose more. The next step was tackling Beth’s food choices. At the beginning of the program Beth had completed a food journal, and she and Trimmier had discussed portion sizes and how to budget calories. However, Beth always felt hungry. Trimmier knew that despite keeping calories under control, Beth’s nutrition problem stemmed from her poor food choices.

“Beth was watching her portions and maintaining a proper calorie intake for her goals and weight, but she was still choosing to eat a lot of processed food,” says Trimmier. “To help Beth understand how she could eat more, I sent her nutritional information on some of the foods in her food journal and compared her choices with healthier alternatives.” The message clicked, and Beth immediately updated her food selections to include more vegetables, fruits and lean proteins. She told Trimmier that she felt satisfied after her meals and sometimes couldn’t finish them. “For several weeks, she went from losing 1–1.5 pounds to losing 2.5–4 pounds per week” says Trimmier.

Practice makes progress. Beth has lost about 70 pounds and continues to see progress. After just over a year of training with Trimmier, she completed her first half marathon—a feat she never thought possible.

“What tops my list of Beth’s successes is her new-found confidence,” says Trimmier. “She no longer doubts that she is capable in exercise and in life. She sees difficulties as challenges and finds ways to conquer them.”

Ryan Halvorson

Ryan Halvorson is an award-winning writer and editor. He is a long-time author and presenter for IDEA Health & Fitness Association, fitness industry consultant and former director of group training for Bird Rock Fit. He is also a Master Trainer for TriggerPoint.

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