Bootcamp and Virtual Training Helped Me Beat Depression and Lose 33 Pounds

By Cheryl N.

Before Weight: 185 pounds

Current Weight: 152 pounds

Location: Alexandria, VA

Occupation: Compliance Attorney

The turning point for me happened at the end of 2018 following a tough life event when I finally decided to get serious about exercising and my health. Bootcamp and the virtual training program gave me the tools to make that happen. A lot of people know they want something or that they need help but don’t know which direction to go in to get there. Having that kind of support network made what I wanted seem possible so I could pursue it, and also showed me I wasn’t alone in my struggles. Walter and the ladies were there for me and encouraged me during a difficult time when just getting out of bed in the morning seemed impossible.

Bootcamp gave me something I could depend on and look forward to, a purpose and a goal. Through it, I discovered that exercise and taking care of my body were therapeutic and healing for me, and once I started having success, it just made me want to continue doing better. 

The virtual program and coaching calls, in addition to helping me stay on track with exercise, helped me get and stay on track with my food habits and mental health needs as well. Through the calls and talking with others, I learned that food is something nearly all of us struggle with but there are strategies we can use. Following the meal plan advice and learning to eat to live rather than live to eat gave me results that just made me want to keep going to see what else I could achieve.

*You can listen to Part 2 of Cheryl’s success story in audio on the WLFS Online Academy.

Specifically, she discusses: 

  • Her daily routine that help shift her mind in breaking through depression and become health
  • What she ate daily to help her body transform
  • The various exercises and routines she did that reshaped her body
  • Why she began to love running after years of hating it.

I Used To Drink 21 Diets Cokes A Week, Now I Drink None

By Anne Degnan

When I first started working with Walter in October 2018, I was drinking up to 21 diet cokes a week! I would drink one in the morning since I don’t drink coffee, then when I felt sluggish in the afternoon I would have another, and sometimes I’d have another one with dinner! Walter said the first priority was to eliminate them from my diet. The first question he asked on each weekly call was, how many diet cokes did you drink this week? Then he would help me set a goal for the next week; I remember 14 being my goal at the beginning.

Since Walter kept making it a priority on our calls, it finally sunk in how important it was that I eliminate diet cokes. We set lower and lower goals for the week.  I didn’t always reach that goal. Then on a call before Memorial Day weekend, Walter said I could have four “treats” until the next phone call, a week away, and that a diet coke would count as a treat.  I had multiple picnics to attend over that weekend and I didn’t want to waste a cheat item on a diet coke! So, I made the commitment to get through that weekend without a diet coke, and I did. I haven’t had one since! It took until the end of May 2019, but I didn’t give up because Walter didn’t give up. 

I know that Walter’s virtual program was key to my success. I have a whole new mindset now. Having the discipline to avoid drinking diet sodas is giving me more discipline with other areas of my life. When I couldn’t control drinking diet soda, it made me feel like I couldn’t control other things. So I’m changing my habits with food now, increasing the amount of vegetables and fruit that I eat, and eating less and less sugar and processed food. With these changes, I actually have more energy. I don’t feel as sluggish in the afternoons. I don’t feel as achy as I used to feel. So I can increase the intensity of my workouts and I am gradually losing weight! What I love about the virtual program is having Walter hold me accountable; I can’t make excuses. The weekly call, where I can ask questions and get feedback on my week, is invaluable! I am confident that I WILL reach my goals! Thanks, Walter!

Couch to 5K and WLFS Bootcamp Help Me Lose 26 Pounds

By Amber Clayton

Results: Lost 26 Pounds

Location:  Alexandria, VA

Occupation: Director

My first program with Walter was the “Couch to 5K”.  I thought that was perfect for me since I spent a lot of time on the couch.  I hardly got any exercise and I was looking and feeling terrible.  I couldn’t do a sit up, or leg lifts and I couldn’t walk long distances or run without pain in my shins and my feet.  I didn’t think I would make it through the course but by the end of the 3rd week, I was able to speed walk the 5K.  I was the last one to complete it, but I didn’t care. 

Since then, I have done 3 more 5Ks, running and walking, and I plan to do more.  I have continued to participate in the Boot Camp twice a week. While training with Walter, I have lost 26 pounds. Also, my core is stronger and I feel better. 

I am so proud of my accomplishment thus far. Thanks Walter!

I Thought I Had Plenty of Time to Get Healthy

By Mike A.

Deep down, many of us want to eat better, exercise more and be healthier. We promise to ourselves and others that I am going to start getting in shape or eating better but I’ll start tomorrow.  Pretty soon, too many tomorrows become weeks, months and years and we never get on track to becoming a healthier version of ourselves. Sometimes those future promises to get healthy come at a cost. In my own case, I thought I had plenty of time to get healthy.

However, my own delays contributed to a health scare six years ago on my birthday. As I lay in the Intensive Care Unit recovering, I contemplated all I could have lost that day – my wife, my kids and my life.  I fully came to realize that what started out as a bad birthday, turned into one of the best birthday gifts I had ever received—a second chance to be with my family, to take control of my life and get back in shape, have a healthier lifestyle. I realized that I just could not say I wanted to do it—I had to take responsibility myself to take better care of myself. While the road back to a healthier lifestyle took time, I immediately changed my diet starting in that hospital bed. I then started exercising (under medical supervision) and lost 20 pounds over the next 6 months. Over the next several years, I got in much better shape. Although I liked the results I had achieved, I wanted to get in even better shape. Therefore, I hired Walter to take my fitness to the next level.

Walter is our fitness instructor at my employer, and I felt he always has a great approach to interacting with his clients. He could figure out what was motivating individuals to come to the gym. Walter also exudes a total positive approach to fitness, and always takes the right approach with his clients –  knowing when to push individuals to be their best and knowing when to back off. He was very sensitive to individual limitations, and barriers the person may be facing. He works with each person and helps them reach and achieve their goals.  Walter has like any great teacher the right “touch.” 

 Walter has been great, dedicated, and committed. He’s helped not just myself, but my wife, Jeanine, as well. Since training with Walter, we’ve incorporated a plant-based diet, with lower amounts of lean protein (chicken and fish) and more greens. We’ve also moved from a 3-based meal diet to 5/6 smaller meals per day. Also, I now exercise consistently 6 or more days a week, including a few two a days.

As a result, I’m much leaner, have reached my goal weight and body fat targets, and feel like I’m in the best shape of my life. Thanks, Walter!

Virtual Training Helped Me Find Time to Exercise, Eat Healthier, and Transform

By Elizabeth B

I put off hiring a trainer for a long time, thinking I could reach my health and fitness goals by myself.  After all, I am a runner and I eat healthy meals.

I was running at least three times a week and at a pretty decent pace for a 43-year-old mom (9:30 minute/mile) for three or four miles at a time.  But some warning signs had started to get my attention. Over the past few years, I had seen the pounds slowly creeping up, until I was 10 pounds heavier than I was when I had turned 40.  My clothes weren’t fitting as well as they used to, and the lack of any other type of exercise was putting a strain on my lower body at the expense of everything else. Plus, my running pace had slowed down with the increased weight and the repeated, similar workouts. I knew I needed to make a change, but I was nervous to try.

The challenge, in my mind, was finding time to work with a trainer.  I am a mom of three kids and an attorney whose work is not only full-time but also involves travel every month.  I didn’t have time to meet a trainer at a gym and I doubted my ability to keep up a routine while on the road. I also had never really worked with weights before. But when Walter told me about his virtual training program, with workouts programmed and pushed out through an app along with weekly phone calls, I decided to give it a try.

It was the best decision I could have made.  Walter helped me to identify my fitness goals: lose 10 pounds, improve muscle tone, and improve my running pace.  He developed new strength training workouts for me each week and sent them to me via his fitness app; with move-by-move demos, it couldn’t have been easier to follow along.  Walter had me start doing speed interval workouts to improve my running pace. He also gave me a customized meal plan with foods I liked; I tracked my meals through a food app that synced up with the fitness app.  Two big realizations for me from the food tracking process were that my serving sizes had been too big before and I wasn’t eating enough protein. Using apps made it easy to keep up with everything when I was on the road too.  I truly made my health and fitness a priority–and sometimes that required me to get creative with time. Blocking out an hour at lunch that I fiercely protected, going for a run while my daughter was at sports practice, or getting up 30 minutes earlier when on travel, helped me make time to exercise.

The results?  I couldn’t be happier!  I lost the 10 pounds, and my clothes fit normally again.  In fact, I am wearing suits that had become too tight, and others that I had purchased in the past year are now too baggy.  Even though I have more I want to accomplish on the strength training and toning front, I am proud to show my arms now, my stomach and legs are much more toned, and I have increased the speed of my running pace by over 1:15 minutes/per mile (now at 8:15 per mile!).  I am sleeping better and feeling amazing. Thank you Walter!!!