Danielle, 40, is a mother to a 4-year-old, a paralegal, and a multiple businesses owner. When she was young, health was not just a thing in the household. No one was working out in the family except for her, who ran track during middle school and high school.
She went to a gym and had a personal trainer back when she didn’t have a baby yet. She successfully lost weight but gained again after having a baby and all the IVF treatments. Since she was diagnosed with scoliosis in middle school, weightlifting was something she never expected to pursue in the future.
Finally, walking into the Bent On Better gym entirely transformed her perspective on nutrition and fitness. Working out had immensely helped her with her back, taking all the pain away, and the heavier she lifted, the better she felt in general. She made a few changes to her diet and she was able to lift huge weights yet never appeared like a muscular person.
Anne has been a stay-at-home mother for nearly a decade. Although she participated in sports and ran track in high school, Danielle’s family did not place a great value on physical fitness or leading a healthy lifestyle. She also recalled how their school had a weight facility, but no one used it. It would have been a game-changer for her if she had learned about weightlifting, what it does to the body, and what kind of nutrition to support it.
Thyroid Issues and Some Dietary Changes
Over the past ten years, she’s made significant changes to her diet and lifestyle after discovering that her blood test results showed high levels of triglyceride levels. She went to a nutritionist who advised her to eat more healthfully, and her weight returned to normal. However, it slowed down throughout the time of having children and overeating and the gradual development of a thyroid condition.
Although Anne’s TSH (thyroid-stimulating hormone) levels were not optimum, they were within the usual range, according to her dietician. As a result of these data, she was gaining weight, her hair was thinning, and she was generally unwell. She was advised to try a gluten-free, dairy-free diet. But after a year of not making any significant dietary changes, her TSH levels had risen to the point where she would need medication if they weren’t regulated.
Dreading medication, Anne met with an endocrinologist who suggested the same gluten-free and dairy-free diet. And after six months of following a gluten-free diet, her TSH levels were back to normal.
On being Bent On Better’s Dynamic Duo:
Anne and Danielle had similar goals when they signed up with Bent On Better gym. They want to address their individual weight issues to be healthier, fitter, and stronger. But, like any other women, they want to work out and perhaps push themselves to their limits, but they also want to keep a slim physique and avoid appearing bulky. Lifting weights will not make you bulky, according to Matt April, owner of Bent On Better Personal Training in West Chester, PA.
“Muscle mass requires more energy to sustain versus body fat so if you have more muscle mass or more lean body mass, you require more calories at rest to sustain that. It means you get to eat more. The more muscle you develop or maintain, the more you get to eat. The more you’re trying to lose weight, you eat less, whereas you have to eat more if you want more muscle mass.” – Matt April
Aside from sharing similar objectives, Anne and Danielle hit it off from the get-go. Danielle started six months after Anne, and from then on, they had been supporting each other’s fitness journey. They would partner up significantly during the workouts, pushing and cheering each other up, showing up to help other members in the gym, and eventually forging a friendship that extends beyond their usual gym hours. Their successes were a combination of their individual efforts and a supportive community always cheering on and encouraging each other.
“My husband started with Bent On Better seven months ago and he was completely blown away by the support of the community and trainers. He’s had a few health things going on and everyone was just touching base with him and trying to help him. You’re not alone here. Hands down, there’s nothing like this.” – Anne
“There have been several times when I’ve been on the verge of tears just from the support of people – people cheering on people, it’s just the coolest thing. The community is unparalleled, you just can’t beat it.” – Danielle
Like any other type of community, a gym like Bent On Better is where we build friendships and forge bonds with people. The camaraderie is built around a shared experience, in which we all feel as if we are embarking a new path together – whether it be losing weight, getting fit, or being healthy. Finding your tribe can also help you push your limits beyond what you thought you could do.
If you’re someone who’s thinking about lifting weights or on the fence, all I can say is 100% go for it. Don’t be scared; I definitely was scared walking in here the first time, but just do it, don’t be scared especially if you have a good trainer whether it’s here or wherever it might be, the trainers are so important. The trainers were huge for me because anytime anything is a little bit off, I’m stopped, I’m told how to fix it and once I fix it, it feels so much better, it works so much better I can go heavier with the weights… Go for it, don’t hesitate, it will change your life, it will change your confidence level not just in the gym but in life 100%. Go for it, don’t hold back.” – Danielle
“I’ve been to different gyms and I’ve never been to anything like this. It’s the trainers and the community. You [Bent On Better team] are teaching us how to do all the movements right and safe, and you’re pushing us because you know we can do more. You have the people, not just the trainers but the community, literally cheering you on…. If it’s not this place you’re thinking about because you don’t live near here, find a place where there are trainers who will teach you; you need someone to do these kinds of movements and to do them right, and finding people who are going to cheer you on…” –Anne