I am really excited to introduce you to a relatively new IFAST client, Elyse Petruzzi. Elyse is a super strong girl (check out the video below of her crushing 155 lbs) and I am pretty sure she would attempt any exercise or weight I told her to, which is why I love working with her:) She has a pretty stressful job, but always walks into the gym smiling and ready to work hard. I cannot say enough good things about Elyse – she is awesome! So without further ado, here is Elyse…
Elyse, can you start out by telling us a little about yourself?
I am a 25 year old behavioral therapist from Carmel, Indiana. I work for Cummins Behavioral Health and am returning to school in January to receive my masters in social work. When I am finished (in three years), I will be a licensed mental health therapist and my dream is to open a private practice for children someday. I graduated from DePauw University where I had a short career of playing softball. I am a huge football fan, love to cook, read, and spend time with my three younger siblings, my old sorority sisters, and best friends from childhood!
What brought you to IFAST?
In February of last year I became extremely frustrated with my inability to lose weight despite my constant efforts to change my diet and to work out. I was running constantly and seeing a local nutritionist but I was not seeing any results. In fact I was continuing to gain weight. My frustration with how I was feeling connected me with a long time supporter of IFAST out of San Francisco. He coached me on my eating habits and I was quickly losing weight, but still was not feeling great. He always would mention IFAST and how he thought it would be an incredible way for me to continue to contribute to my health and lower my insulin (I was diagnosed as Insulin Resistant in November of last year). I thought I would give it a try for a month and see what I thought! I signed up in May and here I am now writing how amazing my experience has been!
How has your experience been so far?
My experience at IFAST has really been incredible. It’s one of the first things I tell people when they ask what I am doing for myself to contribute to my happiness, health, and changed physical appearance. I have learned things that I honestly never thought I would ever do in my life, like the dead lift! I feel so much better physically and emotionally and cannot be more thankful for Zach and all of the interns who have helped me to feel so much better. Not only have I received support in my training routine on days that I am not signed up to have a semi-private session, but I get constant advice on ways to improve my nutrition habits.
What makes IFAST different from other gyms you have been to?
I used to habitually go to my previous gym, walk up the stairs to where all the women were, and leave the gym with only have done a cardio routine. I was absolutely terrified to walk downstairs to where the weight lifting section was for two reasons: I was intimidated and I had no idea how to lift a weight. The gym that I was previously going to was extremely crowded at the time that I needed to go (after work) and I hated having to feel uncomfortable every time I went to the gym. I am always excited about my workouts at IFAST and never dread walking into my workout. People in the gym are supportive, will cheer you on when you break a personal record, and are extremely non-judgmental. When I tried getting a personal trainer at my previous gym, I still was so uncomfortable doing the things that were asked of me and I did not feel like the trainer took my needs into consideration when coaching me through the workout. IFAST’s personalized workouts and constant coaching of how to correctly complete the exercise has been such a relief and great experience for me.
Finally, what do you feel like has been your biggest accomplishment thus far?
My biggest accomplishment is the confidence that I have gained in trying something new and trying this something new alone. I never thought weight lifting would do anything for me and that I would just look bulky and gain more weight from weight lifting. For so long, I thought running a ton of miles a week would be the only way that my body would change. Instead, I was gaining weight, had knee pain, and still was not feeling great. My knee pain is gone most days of the week, my body feels way way more toned, and my insulin has gone down from a level of 74 to 3!! I am continuing to break my personal records on the bench press, squats, and the dead lift almost everyday I attend a workout. Finding success in something that I never thought I could do or wanted to do has given me a sense of confidence that I don’t think I had ever felt before. I am continuing to try new things, like joining the weight lifting competition at IFAST in January!
Thanks so much for the interview, Elyse! You are the best!
Have a great week everyone.