I used to hate personal trainers.

My idea of a personal trainer: a screaming sadistic, hard-bodied czar who wears a slightly insane smile on her face because she actually gets pleasure out of tormenting her victims, I mean clients. Not exactly the kind of persona that would mesh well with my workout style, which looks a little something like this:


Not to mention the money. Personal trainers are just too expensive.

This was how I felt before Tiffany came into my life. Tiffany is a Life Coach and a Personal Trainer. She was in my Life Coaching training class, and offered to help me after I was complaining about feeling overweight. We worked together via Skype and all we did was talk.  We didn’t set foot in a gym. I repeat: NO GYM! This was my kind of personal trainer. She simply talked to me in a kind and supportive way.

No screaming. No shaming. No unrealistic goals.

She simply encouraged me to take one small step at a time, to make one little change at a time. One small step, one little change.

Because of Tiffany, I small-stepped my way to:

  • Ending my obsession with the number on the scale.
  • Drinking more water.
  • Eating healthier protein bars.
  • And opening my mind to the possibility of actually working with a Personal Trainer, in an actual gym.

Tiffany helped me to see that what was getting in my way was my unrealistic, imagined, untrue perception of what “all” Personal Trainers were really like. She assured me that she was not a screaming, in your face, “drop and give me twenty” kind of trainer, and that there were other trainers out there like that too.

When I was ready (this was key, when I was ready), I found a reasonably priced program at my local community center. I discovered that they sold discount packages, and twice a year you could get that package for an additional 10% off. And best of all, they offered 30 minute sessions.

One small step. One little change.

In order for this to work, I knew I had to find the exact right trainer for my personality type.

I needed kindness.

I needed a sense of humor.

I needed someone who would challenge me just enough, but not too much.

The first trainer I tried didn’t fit. We spent way too much time talking and not enough time doing. We ended up going into vivid details about the history of Pilates featuring Mr. Joseph Pilates himself. Joe, you seem great. Just not looking for a history lesson at the gym.

The second session I learned all about the merits of TRX training. I believe TRX stands for Torturous, Ruthless, and X-tremely unpleasant, but I may be wrong. Let’s just say, I wasn’t a big fan of that specific form of exercise either.


The third session I spent more energy thinking about ways to nicely break up with this personal trainer than actually exercising. “It’s not you…it’s me.”

But after she didn’t work out, I didn’t give up! I tried a different trainer.

*Enter Mary*


Mary is the personal trainer who I work with now. Here’s what I like about Mary:

  • She is my age and has 4 children.
  • She creates routines that are enjoyable.
  • She believes that you don’t need to be sore for the session to count.
  • She thinks that 30 minutes is plenty of time to get a good workout in.

Here is what I Love about Mary.

  • She incorporates yoga poses into my routines.
  • She listens to what I like and what I don’t like.
  • She says things like: “Try this and if it feels too hard for you, get off The Struggle Bus”
  • She has never once raised her voice at me.

Because of Mary, I don’t hate going to the gym. I actually look forward to it!

The right person.
The right amount of time.
The right price.

If you want to add, change or increase exercise in your life, ask yourself, “What is one little small step I can take towards achieving my goal?”

What do I need to make this a positive experience so that I will look forward to doing it?

What personality traits do I need in a teacher or trainer so that I will feel inspired and motivated to show up?

Where can I go that will offer trainers and classes that fit into my schedule and into my budget?

What can I do that feels good and is sustainable?

One small step. One little change.