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Find YOUR reason to change and make it happen!

[I have to say it’s about time we got some female perspective on this site! I’m working each day to bring you stories and tips from industry professionals and I’m pleased to introduce YourInnerSkinny’s first female trainer, Sandi Rennie]

Article by Sandi Rennie

Sandi RennieThey say the average person makes, what is it? Five career changes in their lifetime? Well, I’m on number three right now and I’m pretty sure that’s where I will stay. I became a personal trainer a year ago and to say I have found my passion in life is an understatement. Seriously, I’m like one of those annoying people who actually LIKES to get up and go to work on Monday morning. I feel ridiculously lucky to be doing something I love so much, to feel so rewarded in my work, and to know that I am actually doing something that makes a difference. I took a leap of faith when I started in this industry. It was a scary leap, but one that has proven to be the best decision I’ve ever made in my professional life. Change. Change was what I needed and change was what I got.

What made me do it? After all, when we make big changes in our lives, they are usually a result of something big happening. It’s like when a woman drastically changes her hair – it’s usually because something big happened in her life. My big thing was running my first half-marathon in Walt Disney World in January of ’08. I was never really a runner prior to training for that event. Yeah, I’d always worked out and stayed active, but I had never really set myself an actual goal before. This time I did, and it changed the way I looked at health and fitness forever. I spent about three solid months preparing my body for the race. I stuck to a schedule, I ate well, and I got focused. I had an actual purpose behind my workouts now and it felt like a whole new world to me. When I got back from that event, I felt like there was nothing I couldn’t do if I put my mind to it. That in and of itself was a real “light bulb moment” for me. It’s not that I was a quitter in my life before per say, but I often didn’t finish things I started. This, I finished. And it changed the person I was in so many ways. Again, I felt like there was nothing I couldn’t do. It was an amazing feeling and I wanted to spread that feeling around. It became my mission to find someone who I knew would appreciate what I was experiencing. I called up a friend and told her I wanted her to run the Bluenose 10k that year. She thought about it for a few days, and then finally committed herself to the challenge. We spent months getting ready – meeting once a week for our long runs and exchanging numerous emails of encouragement in between. On race day, I watched my dear friend cross that finish line and when I saw the look on her face, I knew she got it. I knew she felt just like I did the day I crossed the finish line in Florida. It was then that I realized I wanted to make more people feel the way she felt that day. That’s when I turned to personal training. I registered for the course and was hired part-time at Nubody’s a few short months after. I worked two jobs for almost 9 months until I was ready to make the 100% transition into this new career. Since then, there’s been no looking back. It’s my passion. It’s what I am meant to do with my life. Change is good.

And that’s what taking care of yourself is all about, isn’t it? Change? Deepak Chopra says “Our body is a process, not a structure.” I love that! It’s so true. The body we have today is not going to be the body we will have tomorrow. We may not notice the changes in obvious ways – but they are there. Some of them are good changes, but most, if we do nothing, are bad. It’s up to us to make sure most of those changes are the good kind. How do we do that? Well, we get moving. We stay active. We get our asses up off the couch and we DO SOMETHING!! There are far too many benefits to living an active and healthy lifestyle. Choosing not to take control of your health is downright irresponsible.

As a trainer, I want to teach people how very important it is to take care of themselves. I want people to get serious about their health. And I want people to get that it’s not just about losing weight. At 5’1″, 112lbs, I do not have a weight issue. But, I work damn hard to stay fit and healthy. And it’s not only because I want a body that looks good – because, let’s face it, we all want that at some point – but, more importantly, I want a body that is strong and healthy. I want a body that, when it’s 70 years old, is going to say to me “Hey, Sandi – thanks for all that running you did. My heart and lungs are so strong. And yeah, thanks for that yoga, too – I can still bend over to tie my own shoes thanks to all those Downward Dogs you did in your 30′s. I’m even gonna give you props for that crazy kettlebell work you did, because it made me strong and functionable in ways I never imagined I would be at this age.”

Don’t you want your body to say those things to you years from now?? It will. Take care of it and I promise your body will pay you back tenfold – now AND later in life.

I’m hoping this post (and future ones) will inspire you to make the changes necessary to take your health and fitness to a new level. As a trainer who currently works with women only, most of my posts will be focused around female training. But, hey fellas, you could learn a thing to two as well, you know! C’mon – there’s no guy out there who wouldn’t want the chance to understand women a little better, is there? So ladies (and gentlemen) expect to read about body image, weight-training for women, tips on how to find balance between family/work/working out. And, may I be so bold as to assume you may even be interested in my own personal fitness goals and what I’m doing to reach them? Trust me, that should provide some entertainment for you!

So, girls – lace up those sneakers, update your playlists, pull on the sports bra (yep, there’ll be a post on that topic someday), and get in the game. Change is coming, ladies. Are you ready?

Sandi Rennie was born and raised in Goose Bay, Labrador but now considers Halifax her home. She has been a certified personal trainer at the Clayton Park Women’s Only Nubody’s since February ’09. In addition to working with clients one-on-one, Sandi runs Boot Camp twice a week as well as a 6-week weightloss challenge called “The Weighting Game”. She has developed a reputation for being a “tough” trainer and has been nicknamed ”Jillian” (as in Jillian Michaels from The Biggest Loser) by many of her clients. One client in particular told her that a training session with her is “like a bad date that never ends”. Sandi actually considered that to be a compliment! If you’d like to train with Sandi, join her Boot Camp or Weighting Game, have an idea for a post, or just want to say hello, email her at livefitlivewell@yahoo.ca

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