At 62, I suspect I am older than most of the clients here. I wish I would have started caring about my health and fitness earlier, but better late than never. I was a normal sized child until I experienced a personal trauma at about the age of 5 or 6. Being that young, the way I coped with it was to eat, eat, eat. Girls weren’t encouraged to be fit in the late 1950 and 1960’s, and believe me, I wasn’t. My community didn’t have nutritional knowledge either, so as silly as it sounds, I had no idea that the sugars and fats I ate daily would lead me to being obese at 12. The larger I grew, the more diminished my self esteem. I didn’t date in Junior High or High School- I was fat, felt ugly and lacked confidence. The only thing I had going for me was that I was fun to be with. I had a quick wit that people enjoyed. My eating and fitness habits remained poor. When I graduated from High School, I weighed 235 lbs. I was smart and was fortunate to have been accepted into a program for minority students that would prepare us for college and if we succeeded, provide funding for our educations. Unlimited food was now available in the dining halls with no one to tell me what to eat. And so I did. In my sophomore year, my Mom and I decided to do something about our weight (yes, she too was obese). We went to a “fat” doctor who prescribed these terrible tasting pills for us to take. One before each meal. One of them, the gray one, made me really sick, but I took it anyway. I lost 60 lbs in one summer. When I went back to school, I had no idea people would respond as they did. Young men now started paying attention to me. I had no clue how to respond and reverted to my comfort zone and started eating again. I gained about 20 lbs back, maybe more. I transferred to 4 year college to complete my last 2 years. My eating didn’t change a lot, but there were lots of hills to climb to get to and from class. I lost some weight because of them. I met my ex-husband there. He was a handsome star football player who swept me off my feet. We decided to get married. In the months prior to our wedding, I ate sparingly. I never weighed myself but could feel my clothes hanging on me. Climbing those hills and this new eating pattern dropped me down to a size 8 on my wedding day. My ex-husband and I moved to his home town, Pittsburgh, PA. I was accepted to grad school there and realized that my world had expanded, but my marriage had not. We realized that we had very different goals in life and divorced. After graduation, I was fortunate again to have been in the right place at the right time and accepted a promotion that would take me to Philadelphia, which would get me closer to my family. Somewhere between my wedding and transfer, I now weighed about 215lbs. In Philadelphia I gained more and left there to move to New Jersey weighing close to 230 or 240lbs. In the 22 years that I have been in NJ, I’ve met friends, dated but haven’t found that special one. Each day was the same- work to home and vice versa- I ballooned to 272 lbs. I was unhappy and knew that I had to do something. I tried so many diets before and failed. In 2004, I decided to put my life on the line and had gastric bypass surgery. With modified eating and exercise I lost 130 lbs in a little over a year. I was too way thin. You could see my entire spinal column, bones popped out of everywhere and had little muscle. My body hurt when I laughed. Ten to fifteen more pounds on my frame would have been perfect, but I gained 30 lbs over the past 4 years. I was in a rut! In December 2013, I was looking through a community publication that advertised local businesses and saw an ad for Yvette Salvo Fitness. I thought that one-to-one personal fitness approach would work for me. I remember that the photos I saw in the ad and on the website were of young women. I mentioned this to Yvette during our call. I wanted her to know that I was older and might not be able to keep up with the other women. She was great and told me that regardless of my fitness level or age, there was a place for me. And how right she was!. She scheduled my consultation with Cris When I met Cris, her energy hit me right away. I knew I could trust her to not make me feel worse about myself. Instead, she encouraged and lifted me up. The training is more challenging now and I have confidence that I can do it! I am loving how strong I have gotten and that I can see and feel my muscles. I LOVE IT! I was diagnosed with osteoporosis a year and a half ago and one the recommendations was to do weight bearing exercises and that’s exactly what Cris has me doing. My exercises are varied and even though I sweat like a pig, lots of fun. I am committed to becoming a healthier woman. Making the call to Yvette was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. I am not focusing on the numbers on my scale right now, but will. Thank you for being there, for caring; for seeing my potential and thank you for a great year! I look forward to more to come. To borrow your words, Yvette, “train like a beast, look like a beauty”!!!! With an abundance of affection for all of you. You’ve had such a positive impact on my life (especially Cris). Alexa Grant Cris here….. Alexa has incredible drive. She comes in ready to work. She pushes, sweats and SQUEEZES….making me laugh all the while! I truly enjoy watching her become stronger with every workout. I am so proud you sweetheart! Keep up the fantastic work!!!! Congratulations on all that you have accomplished!!!