Coming to America from Liberia at the age of 13 and wanting to belong, sports were the bridge that really helped me fit in. Whatever I couldn’t articulate emotionally, I did physically – on the field, on the track, and in the gym. This form of coping has stayed with me throughout my life. I’ve always found peace and solace in the gym. When I battled depression and alcoholism, I found myself in the gym. When I was experiencing a particularly stressful situation, I found myself in the gym. This 60-Day was no different. I recently found myself severely stressed with family, school, and work; I felt unmotivated and unfocused. I used this 60-Day Challenge not only to motivate my clients but also to motivate myself. Getting excited about the gym and having a goal to work towards helped me in every aspect of my life. But more importantly, my clients saw my dedication and that inspired them. I excelled at work. I ended the school semester with a 3.8 GPA. I have more energy around my family. I’ve always believed and advocated that exercising has more than a physical reward. When done as a lifestyle change, there’s also an emotional and spiritual component to it. I preach this to my clients all the time but this 60-day challenge was a reminder to myself. My ability as a trainer to affect positive change in the lives of people I connect with goes beyond my knowledge of exercise, metabolism and nutrition. It also involves my excitement about what I do and involves how I look. I have a genuine desire to affect my clients’ quality of life and this 60 Day Challenge helped me refocus.
Deciding to start and stick with the Challenge was one thing, actually doing it and making it work was another. In order to get the best results from the challenge, I had to employ all of my skills as a personal trainer and metabolic technician. I understood from the beginning that in order to accomplish my goals, I would have to change my workout routine and my diet. Finding the perfect balance between diet and exercise was challenging. However, my determination to learn more about the benefits of nutrition forced me to keep trying until I found a plan that worked. I made sure to supplement properly and consistently throughout the challenge. I ate moderately healthy – minus my birthday weekend – and worked hard in the gym. I also incorporated a healthy sleeping schedule, did Pilates, yoga and surrendered myself to a massage therapist once a week. My clients and coworkers were really instrumental in keeping me motivated on a daily basis; it inspired them to see me work hard towards my goal.
More than anything else, this 60-Day Challenge has taught me how much a healthy lifestyle affects every aspect of our lives. I can’t wait for the next one!