Client: Amy | Personal Trainer: Christie Bruner | Location: St. Petersburg, Florida

Finding her reason. Any individual who embraces and maintains a healthy lifestyle typically does so for a reason. Amy, a 31-year-old former fitness professional and mother of one, found her “reason” after giving birth. “I have always struggled with weight, even as a child, but when I gave birth to my daughter I made a firm decision that I was not going to be the ‘fat mom,’” she says. “I want to be active with her, and I want her to be proud of having healthy parents.”

Amy started making dietary changes and walking regularly with her daughter, which led to an 80-pound weight loss. Then came the dreaded plateau. Amy knew that it was time to integrate more structured and focused exercise into her weekly routine.

Making her move. “My first encounter with Amy was actually over the phone,” says Christie Bruner, national director of fitness programming for Baby Boot Camp® and Kärna Fitness™ and a Baby Boot Camp franchise owner.

Amy was scheduled to move with her family from Texas to Florida and had reached out to Bruner in hopes of joining her weekly classes. Initially, Bruner had concerns about Amy’s ability to commit to consistent participation since the workouts were quite a distance from her new home. Amy held firm on her promise; Bruner recalls seeing her the very first week she arrived in Florida.

Knowing her limits. Amy had been successful at making dietary changes, but was deconditioned physically. However, Amy’s experience as a former fitness professional gave her a leg up over most new or returning exercisers. “Our first workouts together were not like a typical first-time class with a new mom,” says Bruner. “She was very outgoing and wanted to meet other moms. Amy loved the concept of Baby Boot Camp because it combined a quality cardiovascular and strength training workout with a fun and social experience for her and her daughter.”

Amy was experienced, understood many of the movement patterns and was highly motivated, but Bruner cautioned her to avoid doing too much, too soon. “We started slowly, and I made sure that Amy was able to complete the basic exercises correctly before we moved to more complex movements involving instability and increased resistance.”

After a few weeks, Amy progressed and requested to increase the resistance. “She continued to utilize tighter resistance for all exercises, and I gave her cuing and technique pointers regarding how she could continue to challenge herself,” Bruner recalls.

Accepting her struggles. Despite her successes, Amy struggled along the way. “One time was in the fall of 2012 when Amy neared her weight loss goal and transitioned from weight loss to weight maintenance,” Bruner explains. “I think mentally it was a tough challenge for her.”

However, the support of the group environment combined with participation in races and competitions helped ease Amy through this transition. “These races and events proved to be a great motivator for Amy [as she] continued to have something to aim for and focus on when the going was tough.”

Sharing her enthusiasm. “In the past year that Amy has been working out with us, she has lost an additional 30 pounds,” Bruner reports. “She has also run several half-marathon races and a multitude of 5K and 10K events.”

“I am much stronger than I ever thought I could be,” Amy says. “I have completed physical accomplishments that I never thought possible. I used to think that people who liked to run had mental problems, but now I am one of them. I used to say that I would never run a half marathon; I have completed five since November 2012.”

For her success, Amy credits a supportive environment that incorporates bonding time with her daughter. “We work out with our children,” she says. “We sing songs and play games with them while getting a great workout. The [program] for both of us is better than any gym where we would have to be separated. This experience is teaching my daughter that fitness is not only a part of daily life, but it’s also a lot of fun.”

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Finding her reason.

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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