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Success Story- Alyssa Pakulski


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Name: Alyssa Pakulski

Practitioner: Kate Shafer

Start Date: 11/11/2015

Results to Date: Overall weight: -19.5 lbs, Fat mass: -17.55lbs

1) How did you hear about AFS?
 I heard about AFS by just driving by, initially. I saw the work being completed on the building in Plymouth and was quite curious about what AFS offered. Which leads to my answer to question #3…

2) What/Who inspired you to take the first step toward getting in shape?
I had been really unhappy with how I felt and how I looked for about two years. I knew I needed to do something, but I just never managed to take advantage of the treadmill in my basement or the opportunity to get in shape on my own. I finally hit my limit when my fat pants got too tight and I was too tired to keep up with my daughter. My mom passed away unexpectedly in 2012 and I have missed her terribly every day since. I knew if I didn’t start actively working on getting healthy, I was running the risk of leaving my daughter behind or becoming so debilitated that we wouldn’t be able to have adventures together. It wasn’t working to get healthy on my own and enough was enough.

3) What initially intrigued you about our program/why did you sign up?
Shortly after my fat pants began to pinch and after continuing to worry about being healthy for my daughter, I got stuck in traffic right outside of AFS and thought, “As soon as I get home, I’m looking into this place to see what they offer.” I checked out the website, read lots of reviews, and got brave enough to email Nate. I was hoping I’d hear something later that week, but he actually got back to me that evening and seemed genuinely interested in my goals and my story. Instead of feeling embarrassed about my situation or worried about what AFS would think of me, Nate was kind, helpful, and offered to have me come in right away just to check things out. I came in for my initial visit and was very impressed with the beautiful and clean facility but, more importantly, incredibly impressed with the people I met and the programs that AFS offers. I knew, and know, what I needed to do to lose weight, but I wasn’t doing it. I needed the guidance and support offered by AFS. The fact that I would have a trainer who would guide and assist me, someone to check in with, someone to hold me accountable, was what initially motivated me to go ahead and sign up. What has kept me at AFS, and what allows me to sing their praises to everyone who says, “What are you doing? You look fabulous!” are the people who work there. I have had negative experiences at other gyms with trainers who clearly were not interested in working with an out-of-shape, sweaty disaster like me and I was nervous that this would happen again. Nothing could be further from the truth! Every single person who works at AFS is there to help every single client who comes in the door. I know everyone there is cheering me on and invested in my success. The overwhelming kindness, support, help, and encouragement I have received never ceases to amaze me. I have to say, the other clients at AFS are an amazing bunch of people too. The atmosphere set up by the staff of AFS has clearly carried over to the clients. AFS clients run the gamut from incredibly fit to, well, me, and I have never once felt judged, mocked, or uncomfortable in any class I’ve ever attended. This is a very big deal to me and the support I receive from the trainers, staff, and other clients is why I keep coming back!

4) How did you achieve the success you’ve seen thus far?
My success to date is all because of the Weight Loss Solution program, the unceasing efforts of my trainer, Kate, and trainers who run my WLS classes. Again, I knew what I needed to do to lose weight, but I wasn’t doing it on my own. Being held accountable through my food logs, knowing that Kate knows every single time I come in for a class, and being able to get in touch with her any time for assistance, questions, or concerns has been instrumental in my success. If I didn’t have to log my food or if I knew Kate wasn’t really going to look at it, I wouldn’t be mindful of what I’m choosing to eat. Kate completely understands that I’m human and she’s kind to me when I slip up. She always comes back with helpful suggestions and advice for getting me back on track, all without making me feel ashamed, embarrassed, or judged. She is honestly and truly there to HELP me, and I appreciate having a cheering section. As someone who does not identify as an exercise guru, I cannot overstate my appreciation for the exercise classes at AFS too. The directions are clear, easy to follow, and each trainer does an amazing job of motivating me, supporting me, making sure I’m doing the exercises correctly, all while ensuring that I’m not phoning it in. I don’t know how the trainers know when I can push harder or use a heavier weight, but they ALWAYS know and they ALWAYS come by and make sure I’m putting in my full effort for the best results. The genuine care and concern of the staff and the supportive, encouraging environment at AFS are unparalleled and not available at any other gym.

5) What changes have you noticed in your life since starting with AFS?
I have lost weight and I have lost inches since starting at AFS! Don’t get me wrong, this is awesome, but I have to admit that I am constantly amazed by how much BETTER I feel. I have so much more energy and I’m so much stronger than I used to be. I can DO so much more than I used to before I started. I’m excited that I’m making significant, permanent, positive changes to my lifestyle. My daughter has noticed how much more “fun” I am these days and I’m glad to show her that taking care of my health is a worthy investment. I want to be healthy for her and I want to set a good example for her to follow. I sleep better, my clothes fit better, I look better. My blood pressure is down, my doctor is thrilled! I have finally reached a point where I understand that this is a journey, one that I will be on for the rest of my life, but one that I have finally learned to embrace and enjoy.

6) Advice you can offer others looking to make changes you’ve made?
My best advice to anyone looking to make these kinds of changes is don’t wait. My only regret in this whole process is that I wish I hadn’t waited so long to get started! I was scared when I started, but I took a deep breath and did it.  Believe me when I say, if I can do this, ANYONE can do this. It’s not a secret spell or magic potion, but it’s the magic of AFS and the support, guidance, and help they offer. 🙂

Great story Alyssa! Very relatable! You’ve already accomplished so much and we know your mom would be proud 🙂
-AFS Team

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