Lisa is one of the rocks of our team... so dependable and supportive, always showing up for our team and our clients with an encouraging voice or just a funny comment to make you smile. She's also a wealth of knowledge about exercise and nutrition, since she's currently completing a degree in health and wellness. But what you don't see every day is how far she's come.
On the left is Lisa two years ago. After injuring her hip in a bike accident in 2013, she had given up on exercise. It had gotten to the point where she would lose her breath walking up a single flight of stairs, and her hip injury was causing her constant pain.
At this point, Lisa decided she needed to make a change and find a way to be active even in spite of her injury. "I wanted to be there for my kids," she says, "and I needed to do something for myself. I had put myself on the back burner for years until I became terribly resentful of my family."
She started going to the gym in September 2015 with a friend. When her friend stopped going, Lisa could have used it as an excuse to quit, but instead she took responsibility for her own health and she kept working out on her own, researching and developing modifications for any exercises that were difficult because of her hip.
So Lisa had already become more active, and she was already making simple changes to her diet including eating more vegetables and drinking more water, when we met in a fitness-related Facebook group. I ended up inviting her to become a coach on our team because I could see that not only did she have knowledge about fitness and nutrition, but she had already done the hard work that we are asking our clients to do—realizing that you and only you can set aside the excuses and decide to make a change—and I knew her story would inspire a ton of people!
Lisa was already a pro at constructing her own workouts to do at home, but she has found that it's fun to have a video to follow along with ;-) So far she has completed Core de Force and Body Beast, dabbled in Hip Hop Abs and Brazil Butt Lift, and is about to start the new YOUv2 dance-based workout program with our group in June! She has also adjusted her diet to the container system, focusing on nutrient-dense foods and eating more protein and veggies than before.
But it's not just about workout videos and nutrition plans. I always tell people the online community is the heart of what we do, and Lisa has found it to be really helpful for her: "It's totally different when you have people expecting you to show up and take care of yourself every day," she says. "They welcomed me with open arms and have really helped me keep a more positive frame of mind."
In the last two years, Lisa has lost 34 pounds and two clothing sizes (but I think you'll agree with me that the pictures show even more of a difference than that)! She does still have to take rest days because of her pain sometimes, but that happens less often, and Lisa says she has more confidence and feels more comfortable in her skin: "Now there are days when I have more energy than my child!" (Her daughter is 10.)
Although Lisa will eventually need hip surgery, she knows that the strength she's gained through exercise will make her recovery easier. But perhaps the most important transformation of all is the mental one... Now, Lisa says, "I'm aware that I need to be cared for, that I'm worth spending time and energy on—and I actually follow through with this awareness."
When someone starts talking about the mental transformation and is no longer just thinking about the physical results, I know they "get" what we are all about as coaches—and this is why Lisa is such a valued member of our team! Here's what she has to say about coaching: "I feel called to be a coach. My passion is health and wellness, and I want to share it with as many people as possible. What I hope to give to others is hope. No matter where you are in your life, you can change and become healthier and happier, and there's someone out there who understands."
Her advice for someone just starting their journey or contemplating making a change? "Make small changes, a little at a time, because it is easier to stick to. Make a date with yourself because you are worth spending time and energy on."
We are so glad you are part of this team, Lisa!! Thanks for all you contribute! I can't wait to see your influence grow as you reach more people with your inspiring story <3