Blog: I’ve been down this path once or twice before…

Blog: I’ve been down this path once or twice before…

Loralie and Melissa, two busy work-at-home moms, are partnering with Advocate Condell Centre Club to take steps towards better health. Today, Melissa updates us on how she’s doing.

I’ve been on this path once or twice before. You know the “I’m going to eat better, exercise and lose all the weight.”

I have also worked in health care, so I know what I’m supposed to do and how I’m supposed to do it. But knowing and doing are two very different things.

Generally, my path has looked like this…

Eagerly declare new diet/exercise plan THE ONE and commit to it like nothing I have ever done before.

Join new gym or start new class or video program. Go 150 percent from the get go-hardest level, heaviest weights. Work out every single day no fail. Post sweaty selfies about how I’m dying from the workout.

Two weeks or less in, burn out, get bored, get derailed because of a sick kid or get injured. Throw in the towel and declare this plan a total failure and not for me.

But this time, it’s been different, and not because I’m older and wiser-that is for sure! The benefit of being at the Advocate Condell Centre Club for this journey, a medically-based facility, as opposed to other general fitness centers, is that the trainers and staff are all looking out for me and my health. They are not concerned with making an up-sell, with trying to get me to sign up for additional classes or food. Their core mission and combined goals are to make sure everyone is working out in a safe and healthy manner.

That is why all facilities and classes are included in membership. Unless it’s taught by an outside instructor or has limited space (TRX, Pilates Reformer) all the classes are available to any member at any time. It’s also why every single new member gets a one-on-one training session with a Centre Club trainer before they start working out. The trainer will talk with them about their goals and their history, go over all the equipment and how to use it properly and help develop a routine to get you off to a good start.

I have been using the workout from my first training session for over 80 days. I have upped weights, lengthened cardio time and chosen the cardio method I liked the most on any given day. I recently added one more “circuit” to the workout, as I have built strength and stamina. I can tell you that this guidance and help to start slow is exactly why I have been successful this time. Steve, a trainer, sees me in the gym several times a week and has stopped to ask how I am doing, has helped me master certain machines and worked on my form when I was struggling. Most importantly, he is like my own personal cheerleader.

I recently scheduled a one-on-one with a new trainer, something available to all members. I wanted to change up my routine and work in some exercises that would help me reach specific goals. While I was feeling stronger and had more energy, I wanted more. I wanted to be able to do a pull-up again, and I wanted to work on my core strength to help me run longer distances. Tim talked to me about my goals, which parts of my routine I liked and which I didn’t while I warmed up. He also made sure to catch up on my history and what kind of exercises and equipment I liked. Would I be willing to use free weights or did I want to stick to the machines? After a five-minute bike ride, he had a great new routine for me. He spent the next hour walking me through each step to make sure I had proper form and did it right. It was tough, and I was exhausted when I got home, but after two weeks, I’m feeling even better and stronger.

That’s the difference with having Centre Club’s medically based trainers as opposed to a trainer at a fitness shop who is trying to sell the next class, method or bar. My health and best interests are what they are concerned with, not with filling a class or meeting a quota of food sales. It’s about creating a routine and a workout that I can do and will stick with for long-term health and results.

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  1. This story sounds familiar in my life. Same story about starting out great and falling off after a couple of weeks. I would love to make a full lifestyle change.
    It would be wonderful if Advocate had something like this on the south side of Chicago/ . All of these programs seem to be centered around the north side and its not convenient for the rest of us that live elsewhere.
    If there is already something like this in place for the south region please let me know I would love to utilize it in my transition to better health.

    • Diane Meader Schenk June 23, 2016 at 12:35 pm · Reply

      Cathy, I’m the Coordinator of the Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation Department at Advocate South Suburban Hospital in Hazel Crest. Our department is not a gym, but a rehab program for those recovering from various heart and lung events, procedures or surgeries. We have an option for a medical fitness plan for people who fall out of those categories, but want a more guided program for themselves. . Please reply back to my email address above and I’ll be happy to talk to you about it. Thank you for your inquiry into Advocate programs!!

About the Author

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Melissa Haak

Melissa Haak is mom to four. She used to live in heels and dream of traveling the world; now she lives in her minivan and dreams of a clean kitchen. She writes about all the sticky bits of motherhood at Peanut Butter in my Hair and is the creator and editor of Little Lake County. She can be found on most social media sites as @PBinmyHair.