Member Spotlight | Understand Your Body and Change Your Life

Member Spotlight | Understand Your Body and Change Your Life

What are your current fitness goals?

My number one fitness goal, now and always, is to keep my autoimmune disease under control. Additionally, it is always a goal of mine to live a healthy and well-balanced lifestyle. I like to find the balance between enjoying my time in the gym and enjoying other activities, like eating out and having popcorn at the movies or a hot dog at a baseball game. It is so important to me to maintain a long-term and sustainable healthy lifestyle. Being too restrictive with my diet does not work for me!

How has training helped shape/change your fitness lifestyle?

Training has changed my mind, body, and soul! I remember how uncomfortable I felt in my body before I began my fitness journey, and before I started lifting weights. I hated the way I looked and I had to change my outfit 500x before leaving the house because I couldn’t stand the way I looked in my own clothes. Through weight training and proper nutrition, I have been able to shape a body that I truly love and enjoy. This has absolutely transformed my mindset. I am more self-confident and comfortable in my own skin. This transformation not only has an impact on my relationship with myself but also has leaked over into other aspects of my life, such as my job and relationships with others.

Left: July 2017 | Right: July 2018

What got you to join LA Fitness? How has it influenced your life?

I had tried different things to try to get in shape and lose weight in my young adult life, from Weight Watchers to diet pills. None of these options worked for me because they were not sustainable long-term. The turning point for me was my diagnosis with an autoimmune disease, Sjogren’s (SHOW-grins) Syndrome in March of 2017. Autoimmune disease is a condition in which the body mistakes its own healthy cells as foreign invaders and attacks them. In my case, Sjogren’s Syndrome mainly affects the moisture-producing glands, such as the nose, mouth, and eyes. I was 23 years old and the doctors told me I had to be on medication for the rest of my life. Fearing the implications of what a long-term medication might do to me, I started seeking out holistic treatment options. First and foremost, I researched foods, proper nutrition and how I could use food to heal. I eliminated gluten and dairy from my diet to see how I would respond. Although I wasn’t eating those “unhealthy” options, I still struggled to lose weight because I didn’t know much about general nutrition and hadn’t learned proper portion control. Within two weeks without dairy, my cystic acne disappeared. I knew that I was on to something with food for healing and eating for health. I reintroduced gluten successfully, with no issues. When I reintroduced dairy, my stomach was very upset and my acne returned. I am still eating a dairy-free diet to this day. It was such an empowering experience to get to know how my body responds to certain foods.

Around the same time, my boyfriend and I decided to join LA Fitness in hopes of getting into shape. We realized we had put on some “relationship weight” in our first year together, but it wasn’t until we started actually getting into the gym that we realized how bad it had gotten. Between his knowledge of weight training and my knowledge of nutrition at that point, we began to learn and share with one another. We decided to start tracking our macronutrient intake and weighing out our foods. It was during this time that we learned the proper portion sizes for our bodies and the nutritional value of different food options. It was the perfect combination and it started to actually work. I have lost a total of 30 pounds and my boyfriend lost a total of 75 pounds, leaving us with over 100 pounds lost between us!

If you could give others one piece of advice, what would it be?

My biggest piece of advice would be to be patient with yourself and stay committed to your overall health. It’s not just about how you look, it’s about how you feel in your body, and how your body is functioning. By staying committed for the long haul, you will experience sustainable, long-term health and fitness. There are no quick fixes. Just keep going to the gym, keep fueling your body with healthy and nourishing options and the rest will follow.

Summer S.

LAF Member

IG: @summersenna 


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Member Spotlight | Aim for Progress, Not Perfection

Member Spotlight | Aim for Progress, Not Perfection

I have been a member of LA Fitness for the last 4 and a half years – I joined the LA Fitness Vanderbilt Beach location in January of 2014! Over the last 4.5 years, I have used my gym (my second home) to do countless things including lose fat, build muscle, gain self-confidence, train for a bikini competition, prepare for a mud obstacle course race, and just plain get my endorphin fix!

Right now, my fitness goals are to continue to beat my personal records, try new things, whether it is a fun Zumba or Cycle class, sign up for my first marathon that I need to use the cardio equipment to build stamina for, and last but not least continue living healthy and staying as active as possible.

When I joined LA Fitness, I had never lifted a weight or even stepped foot in a gym, I was actually the girl who opted out of PE and team sports in high school for fear of failure. I was self-conscious and shy at the time, but the other members of LA Fitness and its employees welcomed me with open arms. I enjoyed learning about the different machines, experimenting with different workout routines, and of course, rewarding myself with a delicious shake from the smoothie bar after a hard work out! I’m not sure of how much weight I lost or how much muscle I’ve gained, I’m only sure of how my transformation has made me feel.

I’m much happier in my own skin and I have a sense of confidence today that I never knew prior. LA Fitness has felt like a home away from home for me for close to 5 years and I’m excited to see what amazing changes the next 5 years bring! Thank you, LA Fitness, for changing my life!

My piece of advice to others would be – its progress not perfection that matters! Set little goals for yourself and pat yourself on the back when you conquer each one. If you focus too much on the long-term goal you may get discouraged and feel like you’ll never get there. Continue making progress on your short-term goals every day and every week and I promise you’ll blow your own mind when you look back at how far you’ve come!

Left: January 2014 | Right: January 2018


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Member Spotlight | The Sunshine of the Gym

Member Spotlight | The Sunshine of the Gym

Let me introduce myself. I am Donna S., and this is how my fitness journey began. On January 6th, 2016 I joined Weight Watchers and Curves for Women. At 198 pounds, I knew I had to take charge of my life. After being diagnosed with an autoimmune disease called Polymyositis, in which I was prescribed Prednisone for 4 years, my weight started creeping up and up until it was out of control.

I began this fabulous journey towards a healthy way of life. I used a different weight loss program to learn how to eat healthy and by tracking what I ate, my weight started going down. However, after 7 months I realized that it wasn’t giving me the results I really wanted. After my daughter had taken me to an LA Fitness club, I knew that I would get better results going there.

I should tell you that my daughter has been my biggest mentor and supporter during my weight loss and fitness journey. I was apprehensive at first to join LA Fitness, but my husband and I joined together in August 2016 when it opened here on Hollywood Road. We walked on the treadmills, rode the stationary bikes, and did some of the machines.

Pictured from left to right: Mary N., Donna S., and Cassie S.

Then on August 28th, 2016, I had a fitness evaluation with Mary. At that time my weight was down to 160 lbs., but I was still overweight for my health. My body fat was 41.7%, BMI (body mass index) was 31.3%, and I could only do a plank for 31 seconds and a wall sit for only 43 seconds. I trained with Mary for over a year every week, and then once a month for 6 months until I decided that she taught me all the skills I needed for me to meet my fitness goals.

On December 4th, 2016, my weight was down to 120 pounds, my body fat went to 27.5%, and my BMI was down to 22%.

I started going to the classes. I started with Zumba®, then added Body Works, Kickboxing, Power Circuit, and Boot Camp. I have a regular routine schedule for each day of the week. I go to the gym 6 days a week now.

Mary has always called me the “Sunshine of the Gym”. Yes, I do dress in colors and for all the holidays.

It’s something that has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember since I taught primary grades for 40 years, and my students always loved the colors.

I feel younger today than I did 20 years ago, and I owe it all to the support, help, and confidence that everyone, especially my daughter, has given me and still gives me. I have met a lot of people here and have fun every day.

I’m living a very healthy and happy life.

Some slight adjustments have been made to the member’s story for grammatical reasons, length, and/or clarity.


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Instructor Spotlight | Practice What You Preach

Instructor Spotlight | Practice What You Preach

Before I was an instructor, I ran a daycare business from my own home. I had such a great time raising my own kids that I wanted to continue doing what I loved and luckily started a business out of it.

When my dad reached his 50th birthday, he was diagnosed with Diabetes. It was heartbreaking to hear. A while later, my eldest brother was also diagnosed with Diabetes when he reached his 50s. This was a wakeup call to me and the rest of my family. Maintaining a healthy, balanced diet was not something that my family was accustomed to.

When I first started out, losing weight for me was very difficult. After having 3 children, the weight would just come back any time after seeming to make a little progress with weight loss. Naturally, this became very frustrating for me. In 2010, my husband and I made a commitment to educate ourselves on nutrition, diet, and exercise. We researched everything we could on the internet and even started going to our local gym together. We became so addicted to this lifestyle that we were going to the gym 6-7 days a week for 2-3 hours a day. After some time, I started seeing results again, only this time things were different. I was able to lose weight and keep the weight from coming back. I realized that before, my results were poor because I wasn’t properly educated on proper dieting and exercise.

I think a main reason why people fail in their fitness goals is because they are misinformed. Everyone’s body is different, and therefore everyone’s plan should be different. I want to show and teach people that they can get the body they want if they take the time to learn about the diet and exercise that is right for them. In addition to that, I want to show people that making these changes to their lifestyle can make them more confident and ultimately bring more happiness into their lives. This was when I knew I had a passion for teaching.

Teaching was a natural career transition for me. I had a thirst for knowledge when it came to diet and exercise. I also love to dance and interact with people. Before I became an instructor, I attended many different conferences and certification courses. I wanted to learn as much as I could so that I could share the information with others.

I got my start at LA Fitness a couple years ago through a friend of mine who got me an audition as a Zumba® Instructor. I am so thankful for that reference because it has opened so many doors for me in the past couple of years. Not only do I teach Zumba®, but I also run boot camps and Aqua Fit workouts now.

At the end of the day, I feel very blessed to be where I am. I LOVE what I do and hope that people can feel that when they attend my classes.

Q: What are your current health and fitness goals?

My short-term fitness and health goals involve me getting as many people as I can to be excited about exercising. I’m a huge believer in spreading positive energy and getting people motivated to make healthy lifestyle changes. That type of energy/motivation can be infectious.

For the long-term, my goal is to maintain a healthy, happy and balanced lifestyle for myself. I’d like to teach for a long time, so I need to stay as healthy and happy as possible to do so.

Q: How has instructing helped shape/change your fitness lifestyle?

Instructing has definitely shaped my fitness lifestyle in a positive way. I’m a huge advocate of practicing what I preach. If I’m going to advise students to exercise, eat healthy and drink plenty of water (6-8 glasses) then I absolutely must do the same. Before I even got into instructing, I really enjoyed living a healthy lifestyle – teaching became a very natural transition for me because of that.

Q: If you could give others one piece of advice, what would it be?

Living healthy and happy isn’t for everyone, and that’s OK. My only advice would be for people to give it a try.


Member Testimonials

Marilou has changed my life and many others in the most positive ways.

As a 54-year-old woman, I came to Marilou’s class with some problem areas that I would like to work on. Marilou immediately assessed my issues and told me to commit to coming to her class twice a week along with my weekly class routine.

Almost 5 months later I am a changed person for the better. Not only am I sooooo happy because I am seeing results that hard work and dedication can accomplish but I am drinking more water, I am standing proud, I laugh, I listen, and when I do things now I say to myself CHECK ME OUT. Marilou has been the nurturing force behind all of these things I have accomplished.

Everyone wants to be around her due to her infectious personality. She explains the correct form and corrects us to do so. She explains nutrition. She laughs a lot and everyone loves it. She has changed the way I think. I like what I am seeing and am so proud of myself for getting there.

Her classes have doubled in size due to everyone wanting to be inspired by Marilou’s wonderful way of feeling good about yourself. I love going to her classes. I am not turning back as I know how hard it was to get here.

I not only think Marilou is one of the most knowledgeable instructors but I consider her a friend. I met so many new friends in her classes that all are inspired by her wonderful way of teaching. I told her I’m hanging a picture of her on my refrigerator as a reminder of all the things she taught me and how I love the transportation I am seeing when I look in the mirror.

Ann G.

LA Fitness Member

My experience in Marilou’s class has been nothing short of fantastic! She is very genuine when it comes to making sure we understand what it is that she is trying to show/ teach us. She is a very motivated individual that knows how to get myself and the class energized and ready for the class. For myself personally, the class and Marilou has made my fitness journey very enjoyable.

Zoe Y.

LA Fitness Member

Marilou is the best instructor! I have been attending Marilou’s bootcamp classes for over a year now. I notice my strength and flexibility increased and even my friends and family are impressed with the outcome. I never attended a fitness class before hers. Marilou inspires me to attend twice a week. She has an unstoppable enthusiasm that helps carry you through the entire hour. She is attentive to the newbies and the seasoned workout junkies. She takes time to ensure proper form and follow through on each exercise during and after the class. Her bigheartedness and carefree laughter are extremely welcoming and make me feel that I accomplished a great workout and I look forward to the next one.

Fay D.

LA Fitness Member


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Member Spotlight | Longest Triathlon in the World: Miami Local Crushes Guinness World Record

Member Spotlight | Longest Triathlon in the World: Miami Local Crushes Guinness World Record

This article was originally posted on PR Newswire. All news and content provided by Anthony DeNito and Jon Gudmundsson of Wheel Heroes.

MIAMIAug. 15, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — Miami’s Jon Eggert Gudmundsson breaks the Guinness World Record for the longest triathlon to bring attention to Wheel Heroes, a charity which provides specialty bikes to children with disabilities.

WHAT: Jon Gudmundsson has crushed the Guinness World Record for the Longest Triathlon. The current record is 3,762 miles. Jon will complete 4,847 miles of Running, Cycling and Swimming.

WHO: Jon Eggert Gudmundsson is called “The Viking” by locals. In 2006, he became the only person to walk the circumference of Iceland – 2,300 miles in five months. In 2016, he became the only person to cycle the same route.

Several years ago, Jon’s car broke down and he decided that he didn’t really need to drive anymore. So he left the car and started cycling everywhere he went. He often participates in cycling events around Florida. He rides to the events, participates in the events, then he cycles home, often taking the scenic route.

Jon loves cycling and feels that all children, even those with disabilities, should experience that same joy. “It gives them independence, exercise and the therapy they need.” His mission during his record attempt is to draw attention to the Wheel Heroes charity which provides specialty bikes to children with disabilities. Donations to Wheel Heroes can be made at jonthewheelhero.com.

WHEN: Jon has already passed the Guinness World Record and will continue to add miles until his final date of Aug. 26, 2018, at the LA Fitness swimming pool at 20505 S Dixie Hwy., Cutler Bay, FL 33189 at 3 p.m.

WHERE: Jon will complete the last mile in the LA Fitness swimming pool at 20505 S Dixie Hwy., Cutler Bay, FL 33189 at Aug. 26, 2018, at 3 p.m.

Image provided by Wheel Heroes.

MEDIA CONTACT:

Anthony DeNito: 305-323-5195, news@anthonydenito.comwww.wheelheroes.co

Wheel Heroes Inc. is a Non-Profit charity 501(c)(3)

Anthony DeNito

305-323-5195

RE/MAX ADVANCE REALTY 

myrealtor@anthonydenito.com

www.facebook.com/anthonydenito 

SOURCE Wheel Heroes

Related Links

http://www.wheelheroes.co


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