I got it for you…her name is Solange Swafford. Solange found me on the Eco Fitness website, and we first met on December 1, 2011. I’ve only known her for 7 months, but she has made an enormous impact on my life. I’m supposed to be the person motivating and inspiring my clients, but with her, she motivates and inspires me just as much (maybe more). I knew that I REALLY liked her from the second that I met her, but I had no idea that we had so much in common and would become such great friends.
Everyone has a moment in their weightloss journey when they are finally ready to get serious. For her, it was back in November when she went to a event hosted by Charleston Magazine. The next week they posted pictures on their website. She saw a picture of herself and called to see if they would take it down (which, by the way, they wouldn’t). That was it…the desperate moment begging someone to take down a picture so no one would see. She is clearly beautiful (in both the before and after pictures), but in this moment she couldn’t see that and didn’t feel it. Here is the picture.
After having her ridiculously adorable daughter (who is now 2 and a half), she convinced herself that part of motherhood was giving up her physique and giving up on ever having energy again…this was her new life, and she just needed to accept it. This picture lit a fire under her, and she decided that she was going to do something about it. I could tell when she walked in the door that she was serious. My personal training clients are mostly young moms. I don’t have kids yet, but I feel like through my sisters, friends and clients, I have a glimpse of how challenging it can be. I totally see how easy it is to make a million excuses why you can’t eat clean and get your workouts in when you’re not sleeping, constantly cleaning, fixing meals, going to birthday parties, etc. It all boils down to how badly you really want it, and Solange REALLY wants it and has never made a single excuse (oh, and did I mention she also works part time).
So, on December 1st, she committed to a healthier life. I’m sure when I first gave her her program she thought I was crazy, but she trusted me through the whole process. Her program consists of eating clean (including food logging and calorie counting), cardio (one hour, six days a week, switching it up from intervals, step mill, spinning, running, eliptical) and strength training (three half hour sessions with me per week). I wrote the program, and she put in the hours upon hours of hard work, will power and discipline. When you’re ready to make the change, you’re ready. She did everything I asked her to do. (Even in week 4 when I told her to go to a 2 hour spin class and she looked at me like I was on crack). She has been surprising herself with what her body is capable of every week for the last 7 months. Now that she has taken time to take care of herself, she feels like she has become a better mom, wife, sister and friend.
Last Friday was an emotional and exciting day for both of us. She finally hit her 30 lb weightloss. Even more impressive than that, she’s lost 16% body fat in 7 months…30 lbs and 16% body fat in 7 MONTHS! SO AMAZING! Most importantly, she did this the right way…through proper nutrition and exercise. She busted her ass, and her hard work paid off! Now she is a major athlete and a total badass. Here’s what she looks like 30 pounds later! AMAZING, RIGHT!?!?
One more time, let’s see the before and after side by side.
There are a few things that I would attribute to Solange’s success:
- She doesn’t make excuses…EVER! She has taken responsibility every step along the way. Again, she has a 2 year old, a part time job, a great social life, tons of friends and 8 million other things that could have gotten in the way of her new healthy lifestyle, but choose to put her health (and herself) as a priority.
- She has an amazingly supportive husband. Solange and I meet every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 7am. By the time I see her at 7, she’s already done one hour of cardio. That means she gets up in the 5’s and her husband is on Daddy duty for those mornings. More than that, he supports the whole lifestyle…the clean eating, the sore muscles, the tiredness…every part of it.
- She completely trusted the process. She did everything I asked her to do.
- She makes working out fun. Solange has become part of my fun group of workout friends that meet at the gym at 6am. It has become a social event, and it makes it so much more manageable. She also finds ways to exercise with her daughter and friends, and to workout outdoors and enjoy the beautiful city where we live.
Experiences like this are the exact reason why I wanted to be a trainer…to help people create a healthier (and better) life. That’s what Amanda did for me, and that’s is what I want to do for other people. In the process, I have gained an amazing friend. I seriously could not be more proud of her hard work and dedication!