AGE:  27

PROFESSION:  Advertising Account Executive

BACKGROUND:  I moved to LA from New York City a little over four years ago, and the change to my lifestyle was enormous. In New York, I didn’t need to make much of an effort to work out to stay in shape because I walked everywhere. I have never liked going to the gym and have never been an athlete, so getting motivated to work out when I moved to the driving life of Los Angeles was really difficult for me. So much so, that two years into living here, I had gained 20 pounds and knew I needed to make a change. Since joining Sonki Fitness, I lost the weight I had gained and have gone from a pants size 10 to a size 6. I have never been in such good shape, and I feel great! I have people tell me all the time that I look completely different since joining Boot Camp – it’s such a great feeling!

How long have you been working out?  I have had stints of working out since college, including running, kick-boxing and ballet classes. I’ve been taking Sonki Fitness classes consistently for a year and a half.

What is your current exercise routine?  I attend Sonki Fitness Boot Camp three days a week in Westwood. My weekends are usually spent doing something outside (riding my bike and hiking).

What is your motivation to stay in shape?  I am motivated by the change I have experienced since joining Boot Camp – I look and feel so much better than I ever have and that keeps me motivated to stick with it. Also, I love to eat, and I love being able to eat most of what I want (in moderation of course) because I am working it off.

What is your greatest challenge to staying in shape?  My greatest challenge is mental – on the days that I feel too tired or stressed out (or Boot Camp days when it’s rainy and cold outside), I struggle with getting out of bed to work out. But once I get past that and show up, I have realized that those end up being the best days to get out there because it makes me feel so good when I’m done. The days I feel the worst tend to be the days I need it the most – it’s just getting over that initial mental hurdle. And if I’m ever in a bad mood, the easiest cure is working out.

What is your key to success?  I would say the biggest key to my success was signing up for a program that required me to make an appointment to work out a few times a week. As simple as it sounds, showing up to work out is half of the battle. The second half is fear. When I first started Boot Camp, I struggled with the fear of not being able to do it – like getting in shape was such a monumental task, it would physically be impossible for me to do. I adopted the method of taking it one day and one step at at time, and I have been using that method ever since. Each time I go to work out, I make a point of staying in the moment and mentally focusing on the physical task at hand (like a minute of push-ups or getting to the top of a switchback when hiking), rather than thinking about the fact that I have an hour of class ahead of me or 5 miles until I get to the top of the mountain. While I’m focusing on the task, I really try to concentrate on form and how I feel – if I feel like I can push myself harder, I do. If I feel like I am pushing hard enough or need to take a break, I do. This method has really worked for me because I always feel like I am in touch with exactly how much I can physically achieve on a given day, and I never feel overwhelmed or want to give up. With time, I have gotten stronger and I’m able to do more and more.

How long have you been doing Sonki Fitness Boot Camp?  Consecutively for a year and a half.

What do you like about Sonki Fitness Boot Camp and how has it affected your life?  Joining Sonki Fitness Boot Camp is one of the best choices I have ever made. Since I never played sports or had a consistent physical activity in my life before joining Boot Camp, I had no idea of my physical potential or the amazing benefits that exercise has had on my entire life. I love the supportive, positive atmosphere and the great instructors I’ve had at Sonki Fitness that have given me the confidence to keep at it and continue challenging myself. I have been going to the same class for over a year, and the friends I’ve made in that class are a constant source of inspiration, especially when I don’t feel like getting out of bed to work out on Monday morning! Boot Camp has changed my body in ways I never imagined, not only losing weight, but now having the strength to take on activities such as hiking and back-packing that I never could have imagined doing before. I manage stress better, and I feel so good that I have been able to move forward in so many positive ways in all areas of my life. Boot Camp has changed my life so much that I seriously tell everyone I know to try it out – I just love it!

What advice would you give to others about fitness?  To make a commitment, show up to your work out, and then be patient and kind to yourself. Start small and slowly  build on what you do— the results will be amazing.