Eight years ago today, I changed my life.
Like most life-changing days, it was a day that started like any other.
I walked into the New York Sports Club on Wall Street to meet with my trainer. We’d had a few sessions before, and he was…fine.
But on this particular day, he didn’t show up. I was disappointed and dejected. After so many false starts, I was trying so hard to really make a change in my life and paying this man to help, and he still couldn’t show up — literally and figuratively. I sat, dejected, waiting for him, until a trainer named Joel walked over to me. “Hey, I see your trainer didn’t show up. I have another client right now but I’d love to train you. If you two work out together right now, I’ll give you a free session.”
He gave us a great session, and of course, by the end of that hour, I was telling Joel I wanted to work out with him instead. I could tell, it was more than a job for him. He really believed in his clients and wanted to help empower them to change their lives. Which is exactly what I needed at the time.
At the time, I weighed in at 189. My high school best friend, Mary Beth, was getting married in Aruba that summer, and I was fed up with being the fat one. But…how much weight did I have to lose? Like…30 pounds? Joel said he thought I needed to lose 50 — and more importantly — that he thought I could.
I showed up, and I put in the work, despite feeling embarassed at being overweight and struggling through exercises that were surely easy for everyone else. I embraced the crazy nutrition guidelines he gave me.
And quickly, the weight started coming off. By Mary Beth’s wedding in August, I’d lost 35 pounds.
By March 2010, I’d lost my 50 pounds.
But even though I am so proud of those accomplishments, I’m even more proud of what getting healthy has taught me.
It’s taught me that the people I include in my life are as important as the kale I put in my body, the weights I lift or the miles I run.
I’m so glad I walked into that gym eight years ago and met Joel — it truly altered the course of my life. If you’re where I was eight years ago on any level, I want you to know it’s possible. You really do have it within you.