Movin’ and Improvin’: Real Life Fitness

Libertyville & Gurnee, IL

This story is part of a partnership with Advocate Condell Centre Club.

Melissa and Loralie have partnered with Advocate Condell Medical Center Centre Club to spend the next year working to achieve their health goals. They’ll be documenting their steps to get Movin’ and Improvin’ and be fit by 40.  This is not a weight-loss series, this is a journey towards health. Read the series introduction to learn more. Today we hear from Melissa…

centre club personal training

I’ve been on this path once or twice before. You know the “I’m going to eat better, exercise, and lose all the weight.” I have also worked in healthcare. So I know what I’m supposed to do and how I’m supposed to do it.

Knowing and doing are two very different things.

Generally, my path has looked like this…..

Eagerly declare a new diet/exercise plan THE ONE and commit to it like nothing I have ever done before.

Join a new gym or start a new class, video program. Go 150% from the get-go, hardest level, heaviest weights. Workout every single day no fail. Post sweaty selfies about how I’m dying from the workout.

Two weeks or less in burn out, get bored, get derailed because of a sick kid, or get injured. Throw in the towel and declare this plan a total failure, not for me.

centre club personal trainers

It’s been different this time, and not because I’m older and wiser that is for sure! The benefit of being at Centre Club for this journey, a medical-based facility as opposed to a fitness center, is that the trainers and staff are all looking out for me and my health. They are not concerned with making an up-sell, trying to get me to sign up for additional classes or food. Their core mission and combined goals are to make sure everyone is working out in a safe and healthy manner.

That is why all facilities and classes are included in the membership. Unless it’s taught by an outside instructor or has limited space (TRX, Pilates Reformer) all the classes are available to any member at any time. It’s also why every single new member gets a one-on-one training session with a Centre Club trainer before they start working out. The trainer will talk with them about their goals and their history, go over all the equipment and how to use it properly and help develop a routine to get you off to a good start.

Here is a (slightly longer than) 2-minute tour of mine and Loralie’s first visit and training session at Center Club Libertyville.

I have since been using that workout for over 80 days. I have upped weights, lengthened cardio time, and chose the cardio method I liked the most on any given day. I recently added one more “circuit” to the workout as I have built strength and stamina. I can tell you that this guidance and help to start slow is exactly why this time I am successful. Steve sees me in the gym several times a week and has stopped to ask how I am doing, has helped me master certain machines and worked on my form on others where I was struggling. Most importantly he is like my own personal cheerleader cheering me on with a thumbs up and a wave whenever I am in the gym.

Now these results may not look like what you are used to seeing on TV or in the “Fitspiration” posts on Instagram and Facebook, what it is is real-life fitness results. What you see is 81 days where I worked out at least 3 times a week… but it’s also real life and some weeks I only made it once. It’s a diet I have been working to change since November but I still slip up and still indulge sometimes.

movin and improvin midway results
movin and improvin midway results

Despite that, even if you can’t see it, I have made huge strides!  First, a reminder of my goals:

  • More energy and better sleep
  • Be able to keep up with a very active toddler
  • Be able to hold a 32 lb. toddler through the entire Sunday church service
  • Carry a tantrum-throwing toddler in one arm
  • Lower cholesterol, the goal is 30 points
  • Be comfortable in my own skin

Here is where I am at:

  • I am down 11 pounds, 6 since I started working out.
  • I have been able to up my cardio from 3 sets of 6 minutes to 4 sets of 12 minutes.
  • I have noticed that my heart rate when doing cardio does not go as high as fast and comes down to normal faster. When I first started just stepping on the elliptical and getting it going would put me in the red zone for heart rate. Cardio health is my ultimate goal and I think this shows great improvement.
  • I am more than able to keep up with, carry and hold my 32 lb toddler. I can now carry him football style under my arm (always playful!) up the stairs without panting. I hold him and hoist him through most of the Sunday church service without tired and achy arms.
  • My skinny jeans are no longer skinny. You can barely tell from the photos but I have tightened up a ton in my lower abdomen (that pesky spot under the c-section scar) as well as in my thighs. While I still have a bit of a muffin top in workout clothes my everyday jeans only fit right out of the dryer, by the end of the day they are a slouchy mess!
  • I’ll let you know about cholesterol in 6 weeks when I get it tested.

Overall I feel fantastic! I’m not *as* tired (I’m still a work at home mom of a toddler, I think rested is relative). My clothes fit better and everyday life is more fun and less exhausting. I have not been this successful in sticking with a program in a long time. While my before and after certainly are not the shocking reveal of reality TV shows, they are real life. Real busy, tasty, exhausting, hard-working life. They’ve inspired me to keep going and I hope they will inspire you too!

centre club gurnee

Advocate Condell Medical Center –  Centre Club is a Hospital-based health and wellness club owned by Advocate Condell Medical Center and operated by Midtown Athletic Clubs. They offer a choice of group exercise, basketball, racquetball, weight lifting, swimming, indoor track and more.  They also offer various health programs, personal trainers and massage therapy.

Connect with Advocate Condell Centre Club
200 W Golf Rd, Libertyville | (847) 990-5750
1405 Hunt Club Rd, Gurnee | (847) 625-4750

Find more reviews of classes and gyms at Fitness in Lake County.

Disclosure: Loralie and Melissa have received a one-year membership from Advocate Condell Centre Club in exchange for sharing their journey and progress with our readers. All thoughts and opinions belong to the writer and no further compensation was received.

About Melissa Haak 626 Articles
Melissa is mom to 4. She used to dream of traveling the world, now she dreams of a clean kitchen. She can be found on most social media sites as @PBinmyHair because with this much hair and four kids, you're bound to find something in it.

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