How I Found my Personal Level of Fitness

by: Alexandra Craig

DSCN0074When I was 17 years old I began lifting weights in a small gym in Northwest Ohio, my hometown. My primary focus was to lose weight, gain strength, and get definition. As I continued working out over the years, I found that I not only enjoyed it, but it became a passion! I really liked the way my body was looking and feeling, strong and toned. It gave me the confidence I lacked and made me feel good about doing something to take away the frustrations I had about my body and the tough emotions I was dealing with on a regular basis.

So, when I attended The Ohio State University in 1994, I decided to take Exercise Science as a major. It was a perfect fit for me because I could help others feel great about themselves, mentally, physically, and emotionally. Along with Exercise Science as a major, I also attained a minor degree in Nutrition. Because nutrition is 80% of results it was important to have that educational background as well. Once I graduated from school I immediately took the ACSM Heath Fitness Specialist Personal Training Certification.

My last quarter of school was an internship at the World Gym, where I started my personal training career. I was hired to stay on permanently and grew a large client base. I loved meeting new people and training those who were looking to be healthy and happy. I really liked helping them with their nutrition and teaching them all the healthy ways that one could lose weight and keep it off. I noticed that the emotional eating piece for people was a big part of why people gained weight. I actually went through emotional eating issues myself and found out how hard it was to break that cycle. But, once I found that the choice was mine and food was not in control, I was able to really progress and change my body even more! The personal experience of emotional eating and having to watch what I eat to maintain my weight gave me much insight into how people look and think about their bodies and food.

After a few years of the big gym experience, I started feeling like it was not the best way to help clients sustain solid results. As much as I wanted to, I couldn’t spend enough time with them 1 on 1. I usually had to train groups of 2-4 people. I started to get discouraged because there was some negativity with the lack of personalized nutrition and exercise because everything was too random and hard to plan with such a big, busy, noisy facility.

So in 2004, I decided it was time to start my own business and bought a franchise specializing in personal private training. After a few years in, the franchise was bought by a large investment company and started focusing on group training and group nutrition classes. The focus became about the bottom line and not about the client. This is when I decided it was time to break away from the franchise and start my own studio, Personal Level Fitness, where the focus is on you and your goals! A place where you can truly have private coaching sessions about weight training, nutrition, cardiovascular endurance, or just talk about your day. At Personal Level Fitness we will stick to what we do best and that is – the individual client.