Health & Fitness

By Lisa Penza

I’ve been a big girl most of my life, having started gaining in middle school. From the time I was about 12 I’ve tried countless ways to gain control of the scale: diets, exercise programs, pills, supplements, et cetera, et cetera, ad nauseum. Most offered a quick fix, and I would lose 10, 20, once even 60 pounds in a go. It was amazing, transformative… and sadly temporary. Few programs I’ve tried gave me the support and tools I needed to keep it going over the long haul. Which is what first drew me to Progress Not Perfection Health Systems and it’s founder, trainer Mike Sacks.

Mike’s story is similar to my own. While he was athletic growing up, an avid biker, an injury sidelined him. This set him on a path that earned him 70+ pounds and an unhealthy lifestyle. Starting from there, he instituted a different philosophy in his program. “What you find with many other plans is that they are destination based,” he explained. “Which works perfectly if you are looking to lose quickly for an upcoming event. I’m more interested in the journey, and starting my clients on a path that they can keep up for life.” Which is what we all want, of course! I’m not in this to lose 30 pounds and gain back 60, which I have experienced too many times. I was ready to start on the journey to a new me.

I met Mike for a training session in an unlikely place: my apartment. “Sometimes what can trip up a beginner is just getting the motivation to get to the gym.” I couldn’t agree more! The idea of traveling somewhere to work out, when just getting myself TO work out was always a hurdle. However, I didn’t exactly own much exercise equipment. No worries, Mike assured. “We start simply using your space as our gym, and your own body weight as the resistance.” Nothing to buy, nothing to rearrange, he gave me a circuit training work out to complete twice a week, while supplementing a morning yoga ritual daily. “The point in the beginning is consistency, getting you into a routine on a regular basis.” Start small, get consistent, and work up. I already love it, and having to only work out twice a week, excepting the small daily yoga routine, would fit in my schedule and make it easier not to find excuses.

This is not to say I’m getting off easy! The circuit he assigned me is difficult, including the dreaded plank (which, if you’ve never done, oh let me tell you! Not an easy feat). I’ve found a lot of success in keeping up with my work outs and have even started to push myself. Already, only 2 weeks in, I am noticing more flexibility from the yoga, and strength in places I’ve never felt (I can do push-ups!). I’ve lost 4 pounds and my jeans are starting to feel loose, and I think we can all agree that is one of the nest feelings in the world.

I have more energy and more ambition to work out than I ever did before. I no longer dread the gym and even find myself hopping on a treadmill after I complete my circuit. I already have my next few appointments booked with Mike and am so happy to have found a system that works for me. “My goal is to tailor my program to your life, your goals and your needs right now.” I love being able to see results in a program that I’m finally excited to do, that no longer feels like a chore.

To book your first appointment with Mike, call: (718)669-1704 or visit http://progressnotperfectionhealthsystems.com/

A special for Mother’s Day, just for Beauty News readers! As a new mother, it’s near impossible to get out the door and get to a gym with baby in tow. Mike will come to you and tailor you program around the demanding schedule of a newborn (or 5 year old and everything in between and above!). As a Beauty News reader, Mike is offering a buy three get the fourth free discount. I highly recommend working with him for a few sessions to see the best results!

Originally published May 2012
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