“I’m a firm believer in [that] you can only make yourself better if you try; I just had to try.”
Have you ever had a photo taken of yourself, and not recognized the person staring back at you? Rebecca Guy of Hamburg, NY, knows that feeling all too well. The picture to the right was taken at a friend’s Easter party in 2015 and Rebecca could not believe how much she had changed since she had started her office job in 2013. A retail job she held prior, kept her naturally fit by constantly staying active on her feet. Once her new office position started, she began noticing that she was sitting 8.5 hours a day, 5 days a week. When the extra weight started accruing, Rebecca invested in a step tracker, only to realize she was barely averaging around 3,000 steps a day. Depressed at how inactive she seemed to be, Rebecca threw out the step tracker, but made no further attempt at changing her sedentary ways.
The months progressed and life carried on, until Rebecca found herself at an office outing where another photo was snapped and caused Rebecca to no longer want to wear tight shirts – too embarrassed of who she had let herself become. (Photo shown to the right) Shortly after, in October 2015, Rebecca took a trip to Los Angeles, CA to visit her sister where they hiked, went to the beach, visited Hollywood Blvd., and various parks. But instead of enjoying the experiences and beautiful sights, Rebecca recalls feeling miserable. It was after this trip that Rebecca knew something had to be done, and soon.
“My journey began when I realized if I didn’t change my lifestyle, I would spend the rest of my life unhappy, uncomfortable, and with preventable health problems. I knew nothing about working out, though, and I was terrified of the gym! When I joined LA Fitness, the staff was amazing and understood my goals – to get happy, comfortable and healthy.”
In December 2015, Rebecca joined LA Fitness. Her only goal was to show up. She kept telling herself just to get there and she would figure out the rest later. What Rebecca didn’t know is that a complimentary fitness assessment is included with new member enrollment. When LA Fitness staff offered to schedule her assessment Rebecca shared with us, “Honestly, I had no interest in knowing how out of shape I was, but I stopped myself- if I’m going to do this I have to do this right, maybe this would encourage me to show up.” As Rebecca was given a tour of the club she was asked what she wished to accomplished. She just wanted to be happy, comfortable, and healthy. Those became her goals. And on December 26th, 2015 Rebecca had her first training session with Master Trainer, Sarah O.
Change Is Scary
For most people new to working out, gym equipment can be somewhat intimidating, and the free weight zone is oftentimes looked at as the no go zone. When Rebecca first began her membership, she only knew how to use the treadmill. She didn’t know what either a rep nor a set was. But, with the help of her personal trainer Sarah, she became knowledgeable of the gym and began to feel relaxed, rather than intimidated and stressed. Rebecca explained her goals to Sarah, and was told that her goals would be met if she kept showing up for training, working out, and made some healthy lifestyle changes. And that she did – but it didn’t come easy. Rebecca shared that, “at first this was really hard, I mean really hard- but [Sarah] was always there for me […] guiding, coaching and encouraging me to be a better me.”
Within just a few sessions Rebecca’s fear of the gym was reduced, she knew what reps and sets were, which muscle groups to train together, and was surprised to find that she was working out with free weights, just like Sarah had taught her, all on her own! Rebecca started finding herself looking forward to going to the gym. She knew if she worked hard, her goals would be met. She was beginning to feel happier and healthier, and knew that the feeling of being more comfortable in her own skin would come in due time, with the more weight she lost.
Hard Work Pays Off
While Rebecca’s initial goal was to simply become a version of herself, Sarah introduced her to the idea of fitness competitions. At first, Rebecca laughed off the idea, with the assumption that fitness competitions were simply about fit individuals showing off muscles on top of muscles; she soon came to know that there were a lot more to fitness shows. Rebecca had never competed in anything before – even as a child – and therefore, had never known the feeling of winning a trophy. Sarah began inspiring her daily, and training her to lose weight, gain muscle, and tone. There were times Rebecca questioned if all the “extra” work was really worth it… until the big Natural Muscle Association Can/Am Competition arrived (March 2017), and Rebecca placed in the top three!
So where is Rebecca now?
Today Rebecca is 130 lbs., happy, comfortable, healthy, and a natural muscle figure competitor. She continues to train with Sarah and has plans to compete in yet another fitness competition in the upcoming months.
Words of Wisdom
“My words of advice would be: don’t wait- just try it. I waited, I knew I had to do something to make myself better, but I waited; ignoring the problem and thinking it would go away. If I hadn’t waited, I would have been a lot happier a lot sooner. Just try- get there and try. Some days trying is easier than others- I have my days. Getting there is more than half the battle and when you get there, give it an honest effort you will thank yourself later when you feel and see the results.“
A Little About Her Trainer
“Be a story worth telling.” – Sarah O. MS; MBA; PhD
Sarah O. is a championship bodybuilder and figure champion, who placed as the 2009 USA winner. She been inducted into the Buffalo Bodybuilding and Weightlifting Hall of Fame, and featured in the National Fitness Hall of Fame, for both her accomplishments and efforts to revive the sport. She has been featured in several magazines, and owns a non-profit company which rescues cats from abuse and neglect. Sarah serves as a role model to those who look to become more.