Trainer Helps Nikki Achieve Personal Goals
What if you looked at a photo and no longer recognized yourself? Registered nurse and Bryan Health employee Nikki Colgrove knows exactly what that’s like.
Over the last two-and-a-half years, Nikki has lost more than 100 pounds. No surgeries, no gimmicks, just a full-fledged commitment to get in shape and eat a healthy diet. It all began with a first step.
“I always struggled with being overweight,” Nikki says. “Unfortunately, I usually gravitated toward quick fixes and crash diets.”
Plagued by severe asthma, Nikki spent much of her youth on the sidelines of physical activity. Her chronic condition sent her to the hospital on multiple occasions. She lived in constant fear of experiencing another asthma attack. As she got older, this excuse kept her from joining a gym or participating in activities with her kids. In addition, the stress of motherhood plus a busy nursing career led to unhealthy food choices to cope with a demanding schedule.
“I just ate without thinking. Exercise wasn’t a part of my life either,” she says. “The numbers on the scale kept creeping higher and higher.”
In December 2011, Nikki read an article that made all the difference. In the article, an obese young woman suffered a heart attack. The woman’s children happened to be nearby, calling 911 to save her life. Nikki was horrified to think the same could happen to her. She cringed, considering the need to teach her children what they should do if she had a heart attack.
She immediately resolved to change her life, beginning Jan. 1, 2012.
“My aunt had a certificate for a free week at the Bryan LifePointe Campus, so I figured I’d give it a shot,” Nikki says. “My husband encouraged me to take time for myself. He supported me from day one.”
Nikki was determined to succeed. She joined as a full-time member, but longed to move beyond the typical 30 minutes on the elliptical machine. Realizing the need for a plan and an external source of motivation, she decided to sign up for personal training.
“I knew I needed to change, but I didn’t know where to start,” says Nikki. “I was honestly looking for someone who would just tell me what to do and push me toward my goals.”
Jon Cook, a health fitness instructor and personal trainer at LifePointe, has had the privilege of working with Nikki during her transformation.
“I love seeing clients get excited when they achieve their goals,” Jon says. “They’re ecstatic when they can start to see progress from their workouts.”
At the start, Jon worked with Nikki to conduct a variety of fitness assessments to establish a baseline for progress. The two began meeting a couple of times a week for personal training sessions. For the remaining days, Jon provided Nikki with a plan of workouts she could do on her own. Nutritional consultations, while not available with every training session, were added to the mix in the beginning.
“People often sabotage their own success in one of three ways: wrong intensity, wrong frequency or poor diet,” Jon explains. “By including proper instruction, workout planning and nutritional consultation, Nikki was able to counteract these common pitfalls.”
Personal training helps
While success is achievable, Jon is quick to point out that a weight-loss journey is never easy. Despite TV shows and success stories that glamorize the process, it takes commitment and a series of lifestyle changes to achieve positive results.
Personal training helps individuals with this commitment.
LifePointe sales and member services manager Sally Hempel highlights the importance of focusing on individual outcomes.
“We want to make sure that everyone who comes through the door at LifePointe finds a solution that works for them,” she says. “We design personalized solutions surrounding the answers to four questions: What is the fitness level of this person? What is their goal or objective? How practical is it? And what can we do to make that happen?”
For some, this means joining LifePointe and attending a handful of the 100-plus group exercise classes each week. Others may opt for a combination of personal training and individual workout sessions. Some members choose to pursue group training or tandem training sessions where they can spread out the fees amongst more people while still receiving personalized workout instruction and encouragement.
“We often see individuals consider personal training as a strategy to break through a plateau,” Sally says.
Although hitting a plateau is common, most people are surprised when it happens to them. Trainers like Jon remind clients that plateaus are normal, and that small changes over time lead to big outcomes.
“We all have a threshold for what we think our bodies can do,” Jon explains. “But it’s usually far below our actual abilities. As a personal trainer, I help people like Nikki realize what they’re capable of. I encourage them to challenge their perceived limitations.”
When Nikki first started working with Jon, she mentioned she’d like to do the Lincoln half-marathon someday. Jon encouraged her to aim for the next year. She wasn’t so sure, but Jon’s response was simple.
“Why not?” he asked.
He explained that she could establish a goal of simply finishing the race. This meant crossing the finish line, whether running, walking or crawling. It was possible, and he would help her get there.
Nikki was excited and nervous at the same time.
“I hadn’t even walked a mile in the last several years, let alone 13 miles!” she says. “But we started small, and in May of 2013, I finished my first half-marathon!”
Reaching for new goals
Fueled by the fire of a major goal accomplishment, Nikki set the bar higher. In the last year, she finished another half-marathon and a triathlon.
“We work together to view these goals as a series of small steps,” says Jon. “Walk a mile, then two, then four, then seven. Eventually you work your way up to milestones you never thought possible.”
While finishing a half-marathon is amazing, the numbers from the last two-and-a-half years have been impressive, as well. Through Nikki’s personal training journey, Jon has conducted regular fitness assessments to compare to her baseline data. The results read like a made-for-TV testimonial: Lost 100 pounds. Lost 50 percent body fat. Decreased blood pressure. Decreased cholesterol. Increased flexibility. Increased energy.
“I’m a completely different person!” says Nikki.
“While I thought personal training would be a temporary source of motivation, it’s turned out to be a critical component to my success.”
Jon and Sally agree.
“It’s very rewarding for us to work with clients like Nikki,” Jon says. “To be able to witness such a radical transformation is amazing.”
People who meet Nikki are inspired by her story and ask how she did it. She’s quick to credit her trainer, her family and her co-workers for the motivation to succeed. She also encourages others to take that first step.
“If you’ve never worked with a trainer, what are you waiting for?” she says. “Start now. You’ll be happy you did.”