Tips From A Trainer
Her own fitness journey began with being inspired by a woman named CeCe and hearing her describe her, I can’t help but notice how alike they are. She describes her mentor as a woman who always pushed people in their fitness while still embracing where they are in the now and if you spend more than ten minutes with Mary, you’d say the same. As the owner of West Arkansas Fit Club and a mother of two, she understands the struggles we all face as woman: learning to love our bodies after having children, busy schedules, and making time for ourselves in the midst of everyday demands. Her gym has become a sort of haven for me and over the last four years, I’ve not only grown in my fitness level, but I’ve gained a pretty great friend in the process. Mary is the type of woman you want in your corner. She makes a living out of getting results in the gym, she’s a saavy entrepreneur and a woman who sincerely wants to see other women succeed. As I sat down with her on the gym floor after a great workout, she shares her tips on everything from lessons in business, diet, and, of course, working out.
BC: Tell me about your journey in your fitness and health.
MP: In the beginning, I got into working out for stress relief. That was before kids and thank God I did because being fit during my pregnancy went a long way in helping me during my childbirth. I gained fifty pounds with both of my kids so afterward, fitness had a whole new meaning because it was a lot harder after that. But I got right back into it and I found out it was a lot harder for it to come off. I tried everything: Zumba, aerobics, weights. I was like most women though and I gave up because most gyms are created for men, not women.
BC: How did that develop into you deciding to open up West Arkansas Fit Club?
MP: When I trained in other gyms, I realized I wanted to do more than the gym would let me do. At first, I tip-toed into it and then I realized that this was for me and I was going to go ahead and do it.
BC: That’s awesome. What’s your biggest lesson that you’ve learned in opening up your own business?
MP: I think the biggest lesson for in me, in the last four years, is simply just trusting the process. We get all up in our heads and we get scared and we get afraid it’ not going to work out. We give up way too soon. Learning to be okay with the ebbs and flows. Be flexible and not so rigid in your goals. If it’s not working, you just have to try something different and always being focused on why I do what I do. That’s number one.
BC: What advice would you give other woman who dream of being a business owner?
MP: Have A LOT of faith, remember why they are doing what they’re doing and it’s not going to make sense all the time. It’s not a straight line- sometimes it’s a little mirky.
BC: In your experience with women in their fitness, what holds them back the most?
MP: Themselves. What they can or cannot do. We get in our own way and at the time the excuses we make for ourselves make sense to us, we give up too soon.
BC: I agree. So, what advice would you give to someone just starting to work out?
MP: It’s a process and to enjoy the journey. It’s about the long term goal and it really comes back to not giving up too soon.
BC: How long do you think it takes to start seeing results?
MP: I think women should give it three to six months, but most people want it overnight. When they don’t get it overnight, they give up.
BC: What advice would you give someone who has been working out and has begun to plateau? What tips would you give them?
MP: I think a rest is okay sometimes. Reset. Refocus.
BC: So, I don’t need to be here Friday?
MP: [Laughter] You weren’t here this morning! No, I’m a big fan of switching things up. You don’t have to not doing anything. Maybe it’s a week of yoga, but just let your body recover.
BC: Best food to incorporate into your diet?
MP: It’s hard for me to just say one, but if I had to choose just one I would say foods high in potassium because we just don’t get enough potassium. It can be hard to get enough. Sweet potatoes, kale, carrots are all great examples. Avocados are another great example.
BC: Favorite workout move?
MP: I can’t just say one. My favorites are deadlift and burpees and if you can do both, do both!
BC: Of course you’d say that! What’s the worst thing you see women do in their health and fitness lifestyle?
MP: They don’t eat enough. We do fad diets and diet pills because we want the fastest fix so we always think we have to cut calories. When we limit our nutrition, you limit your micronutrient…you’re vitamins which wrecks our metabolisms and has the opposite effect in the end. They may lose the weight short term, but if they gain the weight back it won’t come back off again. It takes time to heal a wrecked metabolism and you’re really creating more work.
BC: So, here’s the real stuff. Big booty’s. Here to stay or go away?
MP: [Giggle] They should stay. We don’t want to lose that.
MP: That’s conflicting. If you’re healthy and not having issues in your body, you don’t need to juice. But for people who are struggling because of a slow metabolism or not getting enough nutrients, juicing will get you those nutrients to you faster and plus, it’s really hard to get that much vegetables into your diet.
BC: Skinny Jeans. Here to stay or go away?
MP: I hope they stay and with the tunics!
Interested in working with Mary? If you’re in the Fort Smith area, check her gym out and snag you’re first class FREE. You can find her at www.westarkansasfitclub/facebook.com and connect.