Member Spotlight | How Pilates by LAF® Changed This Woman’s Life

Member Spotlight | How Pilates by LAF® Changed This Woman’s Life

The idea of exercise being a chore or challenge to get done is sadly a common consensus among many, but it doesn’t have to be that way.

Meet Shayla W. of Riverside, CA who wanted to be healthy but was struggling with finding the drive to maintain the healthy lifestyle she wanted to live.

You see, six years ago Shayla wanted to be healthy by her 40th birthday.

She missed that mark by well over 100 lbs.

Between 2012 and 2016, Shayla lost 80 pounds and then regained 102 lbs. She struggled with feelings of being a failure. Her doctor referred her for bariatric surgery.

At first, she was not convinced that the surgery was necessary. Instead, she buckled down and changed her eating habits and started exercising regularly.

It didn’t work.

Shayla had gastric sleeve surgery in May of 2017. While most people believe that bariatric surgery is an easy way to lose weight, that’s not necessarily the case. The surgery does help with reducing the amount of food your body wants to eat, but it’s imperative that you are consuming the correct foods.

While every person’s own nutrition needs vary, Shayla is currently consuming 5 – 6 small meals daily. She eats about every 3 hours. The mornings are typically started with a green smoothie, and she makes sure to have at least one salad a day.

Exercising also plays into a big part of the equation, especially after bariatric surgery when you can lose fat and muscle. Wanting to build her muscle, increase core strength, and correct her posture, Shayla was searching for a Pilates studio. She learned about Pilates by LAF® studios from her co-workers who had attended an introductory workout and enjoyed it.

She decided to give the introductory workout a chance herself, and she loved it! She was also impressed with the small class set up and decided to join.

“It is the highlight of my day. I leave work and go straight to the classes. It has become my stress reliever. I am so glad that LA Fitness added Pilates by LAF workouts.”

Shayla W.

Pilates by LAF® Member

Shayla’s current goal mirrors the same one of her past, and that’s staying healthy. “I firmly believe that being healthy is not one size or someone’s visual perception of what is healthy or attractive,” says Shayla.

Shayla’s Advice?

“Take pictures as you drop and tone. It will document your journey to good health.”

Shayla W.

Pilates by LAF® Client

Exercise doesn’t have to be so difficult. If you find yourself lacking the motivation to get moving, try switching up your routine until you find something you truly enjoy doing. If Pilates isn’t for you, consider participating in group fitness classes, playing in club leagues, or perhaps booking a session with a Pro Results® personal trainer to help figure out just what it is you like to do.

Get moving to get healthy! We believe in you, you just have to believe in yourself – and we can help!

Pilates by LAF is available to individuals 18 years of age or older (or at least 14 years of age and accompanied by a parent or legal guardian). Paid-in-Full Pilates by LAF memberships are only available to LA Fitness members. Non-LA Fitness members must provide valid I.D. and sign a waiver of liability to use Pilates by LAF studios.  Separate membership agreement and fees required to access Pilates by LAF services. Please visit a Pilates by LAF studio for more information, including membership options and pricing.

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Member Spotlight | I Felt Like a Broken Man

Member Spotlight | I Felt Like a Broken Man

The sun rises and a new day begins. You get up, get dressed, and take on the day’s varying tasks. Some days are good, and some days are less so, but nonetheless, the day passes. You get ready for bed, close your eyes, and the cycle continues.

Until one day – a question hits you and breaks you from the routine of your everyday life. It’s as if the ticking of a grandfather clock suddenly stops. You’re left standing in the middle of a typical day, and yet it’s like your eyes have abruptly opened. You ask yourself, where has the time gone?

Meet Michael R., of Baton Rouge, LA, who joined LA Fitness in September 2016 after suddenly realizing that he felt like a broken man. He had let himself go, ignored the problem, and procrastinated until it all amassed to a breaking point. He knew it was up to him to take action. And so, the change began.

While the beginning of any journey has its uphill climbs, Michael was lucky enough to find support and motivation through the team of staff at his local LA Fitness. He began by sharing exactly what it was that he wanted to accomplish, and the very next day he met with another associate named Kale.

Kale listened intently, took notes during their meeting, pictures, and measurements that very same day. Michael recalls Kale saying “You will never look like this again”, which helped fuel a fire in him and generate an excitement knowing that his goals were obtainable and that he had a team that was confident in him.

In exchange for Kale’s confidence and support, Michael committed to listening and doing everything in his power to do his part, even outside of the gym. This included making changes to his current diet. Michael recalls that this is when the fun began.

He was teamed up with an LA Fitness Pro Results® personal trainer, who knew exactly what Michael was wanting to accomplish. She had him engaging in a variety of weight training exercises, isolating specific muscle groups on designated days, and HIIT (high-intensity interval training) and cardio on non-weight training days.

After some time, Michael was then paired with another Pro Results® trainer who took training to the next step. Patrick V., Michael’s current trainer, made sure to have Michael focus on form, positioning, and the mental aspect of working out.

“The thing I like about Patrick is that he understands what I am wanting to accomplish and he is providing me exercises to get me there. Some mornings, I may not like his methodology, but I know he knows best and I trust him.”

Michael R.

LA Fitness Pro Results® Client

When Michael first began this journey in September 2016, he weighed in at 238 lbs. He knew he was overweight, and he felt out of shape. Cut to just a little over a year later in December 2017 –  Michael weighed in at 195 lbs. and is leaner than ever!

By working day by day, week by week, and month after month, Michael’s goal of becoming a healthier version of his old self has finally come true. There’s no turning back now. Michael has made his new healthier routine a lifestyle and he shared how overjoyed he is with the success he has achieved with LA Fitness.

“Much of [my] journey consisted of exercise and making smart food choices and the incorporation of fresh fruits, vegetables, and berries as part of my meal plan.”

Michael R.

LA Fitness Pro Results® Client

“If nothing changes, then nothing changes! Dare to get out of your comfort zone and take suggestions from trusted people who have done what you are trying to do so you can create your own success story! Now, that I have accomplished just a few goals, health and fitness wise, I feel confident sharing my experience with others.”

Michael Roberts

LA Fitness Pro Results® Client

Social Handles:

Before: September 2016

After: August 2017

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Member Spotlight | The Accomplishment of Getting a Little Healthier Every Day

Member Spotlight | The Accomplishment of Getting a Little Healthier Every Day

From the time she was born, Dana R. of Pottstown, Pennsylvania, struggled with an illness that her parents and doctors were trying to figure out. At the age of 4, Dana was taken to the Children’s Hospital in Philadelphia where she underwent genetic testing and was diagnosed with Prader-Willi syndrome. A few of the key characteristics of this disease are weak muscle tone, poor growth, and chronic overeating due to lack of an enzyme signaling that the body is full. In some cases, children can eat themselves to death.

Because of this, Dana has struggled with weight her entire life.

For a young girl, this can be particularly devastating. Now at 17 years old, Dana has managed to find a way to combat the disease by incorporating fitness into her life.

A New Approach

Dana and her mom, Darlene, had searched around their local area at several different gyms but still hadn’t selected one. Shortly after their initial search, an LA Fitness team member was passing out 1-week guest passes at a school event. Dana decided to take advantage of the opportunity and gave it a shot for a week. She immediately fell in love with the Zumba® classes and signed up for a membership.

Dana started attending group fitness classes regularly along with watching her diet and has succeeded in losing a remarkable 20 lbs. since she first started her journey towards a healthier life!

“Going to L.A. Fitness has made me feel so much better. I have gone from 140 pounds down to 120. I had surgery on my leg several years ago and it feels much better when I exercise and stretch it. I also have scoliosis and will most likely have to have surgery within the next year. The classes and machines make my back feel much better, and they also get me prepared for surgery by strengthening my core and muscles.”

Dana R.

LA Fitness Member

Dana’s excess weight came from a body fighting itself, but Dana has found a way to fight back harder. With the motivation she receives from group fitness classes and encouragement from those around her she now “has more confidence, looks great, and smiles more often!” shared her mom, Darlene.

Advice from Dana

Dana’s advice to all is never give up. She may have more difficulties than most, but that hasn’t stopped her from accomplishing remarkable achievements. Dana is an honors student who secured straight A’s last semester. She plays clarinet in the concert band and sings in the chorus at her school. She has her driver’s permit and has now lost 20+ lbs.! She never gives up, has defied many odds, and continues to surprise others with her steadfast hard work and optimism. Dana plans to attend college within the upcoming years.

With all of these accomplishments under her belt and many more still to come, we can’t wait to see just how far Dana will go!

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On Air: Welcome to The Living Healthy Podcast

On Air: Welcome to The Living Healthy Podcast

Have you heard? LA Fitness has officially launched its first ever podcast!

The Living Healthy Podcast acts as an extension of the Living Healthy blog but in an audio format. It’s the perfect entertainment for your drivetime commute, or for those who would rather listen to health and fitness advice rather than read about it.

Listeners will get on-demand health, nutrition, and inspirational advice to better assist them in reaching their personal fitness goals.

The inaugural episode focuses on the Top 5 Myths of Nutrition and features LA Fitness registered dietitian Debbie James.

Episodes can be found on iTunes, Google Play, TuneIn, Stitcher, and many others! Download the free LA Fitness mobile app to stream the podcast directly from our Living Healthy blog.

Jill Grueling, Executive Vice President of Operations at LA Fitness shared,

“We want to help cultivate a larger fitness network that would be able to help support and encourage each other to maintain healthier lifestyles. We believe the launch of the Living Healthy podcast will aid in providing another platform for our members and future members to stay motivated and inspired to live their best lives.”

What Are You Interested In?




We Want to Hear from You!

How are we doing? What do you want to hear about? Do you have an inspirational story you’d like to share with us on air? Send us your thoughts, questions, and stories to or reach out to us on one of our many social platforms (Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, etc.) and use the tag #LivingHealthyPodcast.

You or your question could end up on the air!

Recommended Podcast Episodes 

Member Spotlight | Healthy Is a Way of Life

Member Spotlight | Healthy Is a Way of Life

Janelle G. of Gresham, OR struggled with weight her entire life. She would make excuses of being big boned or having a poor metabolism as her reason for being overweight, but that was not the case. It wasn’t that Janelle was inactive – in fact, she was athletic for most of her life. Although her weight frustrated her, it never really became an issue until later in life. In 2015, Janelle’s blood pressure was borderline for needing to take medications. She found herself struggling to get an airplane seatbelt on. She recalls a time when a flight attendant offered her a seatbelt extension before she had even tried putting her belt on. It was at that point she knew enough was enough, and she wanted to do something about it.

[Kimberly] inspires me by her knowledge, experience, and her support of my success. I always look forward to our sessions – not just because they benefit my body, but my mind and soul too. She continues to build my confidence and gives me the encouragement I need to keep going, even when life throws a few curveballs at you. Janelle G.

Pro Results® Client

Like many others, Janelle made a New Year’s resolution to lose weight. In February 2016, she joined a local LA Fitness and began seeing Pro Results® Master Trainer, Kimberly D. One of the main things Janelle learned was that she had to make working out a part of her routine. She began working out 5 to 6 times a week, always in the morning because it helped start her day on the right foot. Aside from working out, Janelle began thinking about food differently. She began to understand that in order to obtain the results she wanted, fitness and nutrition went hand-in-hand.

Left: April 2015 | Right: November 2017

Two Years Later

After having first walked through the doors of LA Fitness two years ago, Janelle is down 65 lbs. and she’s keeping it off! She’s happy that now when she puts an airplane seatbelt on, she actually has to cinch it up a bit. While she has had great progress, she knows that her journey continues. Working out and staying healthy is part of her life now.

A Bit of Advice

“You have to make working out part of your daily routine. It truly has to be part of your life and your schedule, and you have to make time for it in order to achieve and maintain long term results.” – Janelle G., Pro Results® Client

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