Sometimes it’s not as easy as you’d think to come up with blog topics, so I turn to my clients and inquire if they’d like to share their thoughts and stories with you.
This time, I decided to ask Dena Kouremetis, one of my more mature clients (in her 60s) about the past year and a half of training with me, what she has learned and what wisdom she is willing to share with others. Some of you may have already met her during workouts and know her by her stories as well as her playful but dry sense of humor. I just love her evolved attitude about getting to the size she has in mind and how a freight train couldn’t stop her from reaching her goals. I gave her free rein to write whatever she pleased …
Hi there. When I first discovered Tiara, I was, of course, impressed with her looks. No one can look like her without having consistently committed herself to being fit — which instantly made me want to know more about just what she would do with someone like me.
You see, I have never been devoted to exercise, even though I love the idea of strength training and am fully envious of women with flat bellies and toned arms. With each decade from my 20s until my 60s, my torso grew by 10 lbs. — as if it were a cruel joke being perpetrated on me in slow motion. I saw my chest and arms grow larger as I reached menopause and my once-tiny waist thicken. Fortunately, I am blessed that I have no health issues to speak of, take no prescription meds, and have no worn-out joints. Even Tiara was surprised by that, so at least I was, through no real effort on my part, ahead of the game health-wise.
My biggest goal in my otherwise blissfully happy life is to get to a single-digit size before I pack it in, and hopefully I’ve got plenty of time to do it. It’s just that I am not the most patient person in the world. One thing I feel I need to share with all you younger women is that you won’t notice all the changes taking place as you age. They happen in tiny increments and begin to add up by your 50s and beyond. Balance. Flexibility. Size and girth. You’ll find that you can’t eat what you did in your 30s and even 40s and expect not to gain weight. Sorry. It may suck I am saying all this, but it’s true unless you are one of those few, lucky women blessed with a fast metabolism and can drop pounds by simply staying away from desserts for a week.
My first session with Tiara showed me just how weak my legs and balance had become. I had wondered for several years why I had become so cautious and deliberate when going down a set of stairs, hanging onto handrails for dear life, and why I no longer found myself going up even a few steps on tip-toe, like I used to. Tiara tested me out to see if I could lunge just by setting up some “trainers” next to me to hold onto and found that I was wobbly, meaning she remained unconvinced that I would not fall over trying to lunge across the floor if asked to do so. And when walking to my car that day, my knees gave out from the sheer exhaustion from a single leg workout with her. Shockingly, I found myself gracefully falling to the asphalt by my driver side door as Tiara watched.
Poor Tiara. She freaked.
Nevertheless, she (and I) persisted. And 18 months later, I can lunge deeply across a gym floor with the best of them without losing my balance, plank for a minute or longer (I think she purposely forgets to tell me when the minute is up), drop down and climb mountains at hopping speed, and lift the same weight levels I see much younger women handling (that’s sweet indeed). I am now back to standing up fully balanced as I pull up a pair of jeans. And when I was on a recent trip to a theme park with my daughter, I actually “hopped” down a set of stairs without thinking about it. No longer do I have to do the old lady “roll” to all fours when getting up off the floor. To me, that is epic.
Although my arms are not as slender as I’d like them to be, they are toned, shapely, and no longer “jiggle,” enabling me leave the sleeves of shame behind me. And I have recently upped the number of times per week I exercise from 2 times to 4-5 times. For me, that's major and it's still a struggle.
Tiara has a gentle-but-firm way of getting me to challenge myself while never making me feel bad or any less committed for missing a workout, and this has been a key to my progress. It did, after all, take me YEARS to get to my size, so it will no doubt take me a while to get to the size I have in mind, but I am on my way. I also know that consistently healthy eating is at least 80% of this equation. But for the very first time in my adult life, I am actually jazzed about the changes I see taking place in my body and the agility with which I now purport myself.
I see how many women my age move and I patently REJECT the idea that I will ever amble, hunch over or be unable to swivel my head around like I used to. I REFUSE to wear old lady shoes and I refuse to dress frumpy just to hide my shape. I may never look like Tiara, but I can certainly use this time God gave me in good health to making the best of what I have. And I will never forget her for helping me to make that happen.