What motivated you to start at AFS and what keeps you coming back?
The short version: The concept got me in the door. The community got me hooked. The results keep me coming back.
The long version: I had struggled to establish a regular exercise routine for the last few years. My life has been chaotic between grad school and moving across the country (more than once), but I was tired of feeling squishy, out of shape, and unhappy with myself. I knew I could do better. I also knew from experience that the traditional, self-driven open gym concept isn’t the most effective or motivating for me. So when I found AFS through a friend’s Instagram post and started to investigate, the trainer-led class structure and concept of every single client being paired with a practitioner really appealed to me.
Once I started, I learned very quickly that everyone (and I mean everyone) at AFS is friendly and supportive. There’s a genuine investment in helping me achieve my goals. The trainers, staff, and other clients make up a great community, which has been enormously motivating. Going to the gym means spending time with people I like, which means it’s been easy to make it part of my routine. That has led to some pretty great results, which in turn motivates me to keep working.
How is your life different now?
Overall, I have more energy. It’s easier to wake up in the morning and when I have a difficult day, I work out my frustrations in class instead of sitting on my couch and watching TV. I try to plan more active things with my friends instead of constantly going to restaurants/bars/movies. When I work out, I’m more aware of my body and the different muscles I’m engaging, and I feel more comfortable in my own skin.
What changes (diet or exercise) are you currently working on?
I’m working on consistently making time to meal prep or cook during the week. My time management can be difficult, because it always seems like I have something else going on. However, I’m working to prioritize it because I know it’s better for my body AND my wallet. I’m also trying to work in an extra day at AFS every week.
What is your long-term goal? How do you envision yourself getting there?
I want to be one of the old ladies that goes viral for being in better shape at 89 than people in the prime of their life. But really: I’m here to create a sustainable, healthy lifestyle. It’s not a specific or very defined goal, but is one that’s working for me right now because it means I’m putting less pressure on myself to reach a certain number or milestone. Instead, I’m keeping my focus on being as healthy as I can for as long as I can.
Tell us about a moment where you were really proud of yourself
There actually have been a lot of small moments of pride, like every time I can do certain exercises that were previously too difficult. Those small moments really add up. But, the other day I was looking through my photos and found some progress pictures I’d taken in September, two months after I joined AFS. I took new (6-month) progress photos and put them side by side with the ones from September. Obviously, I knew I’d been losing fat and building a little more muscle thanks to the In-body scans, but it’s hard to tell when you’re looking at yourself every single day. Seeing the direct comparison was so impactful and made me realize my efforts are paying off.
What advice would you give others looking to start with AFS?
More than any other gym I’ve found, AFS emphasizes lifestyle changes. That’s not easy. But your trainer is not here to make you feel bad for eating a piece of chocolate instead of a carrot stick. They’re here to help you find a balance that works and is sustainable for you, and a life of self-denial is not sustainable. At the same time, no two people are going to have the exact same path to success. Communicate and be honest with your trainer about how things are going so you can adjust the plan if you need to.