After having my 4th child I started to develop what I thought was irritable bowel. I went to doctors and specialists who couldn’t find anything wrong with me. I would schedule everything I did around the bathroom. Constantly, what if…what if I had to go to the bathroom and I couldn’t find one? So I never really went out for longer then an hour at a time. I was also about 40 lbs. overweight. Baby weight I had collected over the years and I really despised the way I looked.
My husband was always very active and his weight fluctuated up and down and he was always able to lose the weight quickly. I decided I wanted to get the weight off. I was contemplating going to a gym but I wanted one on one personal attention from someone who was knowledgeable. I knew that a lot of the personal trainers at the gyms had minimal training and I wanted someone with experience and who lived what they preached.
One day looking through the newspaper I saw an article for Karen Gallagher. And I knew that was what I was looking for. I quickly made an appointment with her and she was great! She was kind, understanding, nonjudgmental, and extremely knowledgeable. She made me feel very comfortable. I didn’t feel intimidated. I was able to tell her about my irritable bowel issues that kept me from going out, stomach pains, gas, and constant nausea. I lived on Alka Seltzer and Pepto. Calling Karen was the best thing I ever did for myself! It completely changed my life and it hasn’t been the same since.
Karen went right to work putting together exercise and food plans. Starting right off the bat eliminating processed foods, junk food and adding fruits and vegetables. Combined with one on one person training within a couple weeks the weight started coming off, it was the greatest feeling ever! I was starting to feel better about myself. I felt free. Everything became clear. I think the best thing that improved was my sex life. I was finally able to put on that sexy lingerie that my husband bought for me and actually feel sexy in them without trying to hide. I thought in the beginning it was all about being thin and as it turned out it was about being healthy and having tons more self-confidence and self esteem.
Losing the weight was just an added bonus. I had tons more energy, and all of my irritable bowel issues subsided. I learned why I had those issues and it turns out it was lack of exercise, nasty processed, junk, sugar foods that were causing it. I became more in tune with my body. I know if I eat the crap, I will pay for it later. I had also never exercised at all in my life so this was a totally new experience for me. Weight training was hard in the beginning but eventually I started to feel stronger and more in control of my body and that was very empowering for me. And with the cardio, I learned it was an incredible stress reliever and it gave me more energy to devote to my family. I know it may sound ridiculous to someone who doesn’t exercise because I was that person too but it’s liberating and makes you feel so much better.
Today I continue to train with Karen because for me my life is so busy and to have appointments already scheduled makes it easy to fit in. Plus I am running around all the time this is the time I put aside especially for me. As well, after 5 years of maintaining a healthier lifestyle I have become more interested in learning more about health and nutrition that I decided to go back to school and receive my diploma as a Holistic Nutritionist!
What were your health and fitness goals when you originally started training with Karen?
When I first came to Karen I just wanted to loose weight. I wanted to start exercising and because I hadn’t exercised before I wanted to make sure I was doing it right. I didn’t actually think at the time that I had a terrible diet or that some of my health issues were related to diet and exercise. Until i started to feel better and lose weight.
What were your accomplishments and have you been able to maintain and for how long?
In a few short months I was able to lose 30 lbs and feel great. It became apparent to me that it was my diet and lack exercise that was making me feel so crappy. It was easy to maintain because eating healthy is so important I needed to be a good role model for my kids so they could live a long healthy life.
What has helped you most to maintain a healthy and balanced lifestyle?
I think knowing how important it is for my health to exercise and eat properly. And because I have children I need to implement those into their lifestyle as well.
How has fitness and maintaining a healthy and balanced lifestyle changed and affected your life? For example; confidence, family, career, goals in life etc…
I think losing the weight I have regained my self-esteem and self-confidence. I think it has made my family happier and healthier. I decided to go back to school to become a Holistic Nutritionist so that I could help others in realizing the importance of healthy living.
How has Karen guided you in terms of Sports & life performance coaching? (“Life” goals aside from fitness)
If it wasn’t for Karen I don’t think I would have went back to school. She gave me the confidence to do something for myself.
What do you like most about working with Karen?
She is enthusiastic, non-judgmental, kind, caring, energetic, and happy. I enjoy our conversations and learning new things about health and fitness.
Would you recommend Karen as a trainer and Sports & Life Performance Coach? Why?
Yes, absolutely! Because I believe that Karen puts in 110% and works her ass off to help you accomplish your goals.
When you go looking for information either on Health and Fitness there is so much information out there, and it’s hard to know whether the internet is right or not, with Karen I know she is knowledgeable and has the correct information. I don’t have to worry about it.
What are your greatest fitness accomplishments so far?
My greatest accomplishment is losing 30 lbs. Being able to keep up with my kids and having more energy.
Do you believe that leading a healthy lifestyle and setting goals in fitness and in life are important and beneficial? If so, why?
Living a healthy lifestyle is so incredibly important to your health. Weight training and exercise is so important now and you only benefit, as you grow older. It’s so important for your bones and prevents many health problems in the future.
Setting goals allows you to keep moving forward in life, developing new skills and becoming a better you. I think setting goals allows you to not get too comfortable and keeps things from getting stale.