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Time to invest in herself, to age well

Apr 05, 2016
Ashley Ann Lawrie

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Last fall, Sarah Wells was feeling her age. She would be “creaky” when she got up in the morning, with aches and pains and the possible onset of sciatica.

But this isn’t a problem anymore. The difference? Hitting the gym twice a week for the past four months. Losing the aches and pains is only part of story.

“I’m also dealing with stress better, I have more energy and I’m sleeping better,” said the 52-year-old executive director. “I had always heard that exercise would give you these benefits, but I’ve been really impressed by how fast I’ve seen the difference.”

As a single mom of two and a busy executive, Sarah never had much time for exercise. She came from a family that was more cerebral than athletic. But last fall, after seeing her youngest off to university, she decided it was time to invest in herself, to improve her health and age well. Part of her motivation comes from having to care for parents with dementia.

“It wasn’t about weight loss,” she said. “I didn’t care about a number on the scale. I just wanted to be stronger and fitter and have more energy throughout the day.”

Sarah had tried boot camp classes and memberships with the Ottawa Athletic Club, but never a personal trainer. To get herself on track and into a regular routine, she decided give a trainer a try. Free Form Fitness’s promotion of eight sessions for just $96 drew her in.

Still, she was sceptical about how well the experience would turn out.

“I didn’t think working with a trainer or coming to a gym would be a fit with my personality,” she said. “I’m shy and stubborn – I thought that would make it hard for me to take direction and let a trainer push me to work harder.”

But FFF’s friendly atmosphere and the supportive guidance of the trainers won her over. And while weight loss wasn’t her goal, losing 25 pounds has also inspired her to keep at it.

“The workouts are different every time and I really appreciate the positive reinforcement I get from the trainers,” she said. “I also like how they make sure I’m exercising safely, to work smarter and not harder.”

A big part of her weight loss, however, has come in the kitchen, after trainer Joey Blais politely suggested she might want to change her nutrition habits. Sarah has stopped skipping breakfast, and now eats more regular meals with more protein and fewer carbs. She’s cut the sugar and cream in her coffee and skipped the fruit juices, which can be just as sugary as soft drinks.

“I didn’t set out to stop eating junk food, but once I started paying more attention to the quality of the food I was eating, it just naturally fell out of my diet,” Sarah said.

Best of all, she can come to FFF and get great results in a short time without having to think about it.

“I’ve got enough other stuff to worry about in my life with my kids, my job and my parents, to worry about what kind of workout I am going to do today,” she said. “I have Joey to take care of that.”

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