Nancy S. is the ultimate team player. Anyone who works out with her will tell you, she brings incredible energy and intensity to everything she does. Each training session with Nancy involves even more laughs, more jokes, and more solid high fives than our usual classes. But Nancy’s light wasn’t shinning as brightly when she first came to the gym. As a former college athlete and runner, she was used to pushing through the pain and injuries to keep competing. But the wear and tear had taken its toll. She’d been suffering for years with chronic pain, and having lost her mobility to injury and weakness, she was in a difficult place and very close to getting a hip replacement.
As she puts it, she was in no-man’s land. She had always prided herself on staying fit and had tried everything to maintain some semblance of the active life she’d loved. Nancy had tried other gyms in Stamford but didn’t find the right fit for her needs. She’d go to the gym and do things on her own or go spinning with a friend, she even tried cross fit for a month but found it was beyond what she could do at this point in her life.
“I wanted to be active, I needed to stay fit, and I was struggling to figure out ways to do that in my 50’s. My body had gotten weak and I needed a way to get back my core strength.”
She came into the gym not sure what to expect. At first she worked one-on-one with Carrie our head personal trainer and focused on getting as strong as she could before needing surgery.
“When I came to the gym I was having trouble just getting off the floor. And for somebody like me, that was humiliating, to say the least. I was incredibly frustrated.”
Nancy was dealing not only with chronic pain, but the emotional impact it was having on her daily life. She was used to going on long runs, hiking on the weekends, and going on active vacations with friends and family. But she couldn’t do those things anymore. She would get nervous just walking down the stairs because she never knew when her hip would go out.
At first coming to the gym and adapting to a new approach to fitness was challenging for Nancy since she was used to pushing through the pain. But she soon realized she could continue to get stronger by working around her injury not through it, “One thing that I’ve learned is that there are alternatives, there’s always something you can do.”
Post hip replacement surgery and Nancy is getting her life back. “I feel like my old self again. I’d forgotten who that was.” It wasn’t easy but Nancy was back in the gym in no time. She credits her success to being able to get some strength back before her surgery and her determination in rehab. “Carrie was very sensitive and understanding but also very professional in the way she addressed my particular needs relative to my limitations.“
Now Nancy is the hit of the party- every training session here is like a party- and people who have never trained with her before always comment afterward how much they enjoyed her presence and positivity. I asked Nancy where she sees her work in the gym paying off the most in other parts of her life:
“I feel like I’m getting my strength back, which makes me feel more vibrant and more alive. I have more energy and self- satisfaction. Overall, I’m happier with myself and where I am with my life. I absolutely feel that the gym helped ground me, at a time when I was unable to do that for myself. That was an unbelievable gift.”
I asked her about our community and what she likes about coming to train with us, “I love showing up and instantly feeling a sense of support and camaraderie among my workout friends. It’s a safe environment where I can be myself, and it lifts me up. ”
Nancy also shared about something that struck a chord with her from one of our training sessions, “You said it one day and sometimes I play it back to myself when I’m trying to wake up for the early morning workout and I’m exhausted from the week, or work, or being out with clients or just life; it’s ‘just get your feet on the floor.’ And I’m always so happy I did.”
And that’s the power of a positive community. Where everyone inspires everyone else and no one is left behind. It’s something we take seriously at Organic Fitness because there’s enough negativity and competition out there, we want to be a place where people come to get motivated and be a part of something bigger. And Nancy embodies that message every day.
Erin isn’t your typical librarian. She’s tall, energetic and outgoing. She has a magnetic personality that people just want to be around and she doesn’t shy away from laughing loudly… even in the library. She once told me that people shush her all the time before they realize she’s the boss! That’s Erin, quick with a hearty laugh that you can’t help but love and a passion for all things relating to books, learning and community. But when it came to fitness she found she was on her own.
As she puts it, she’d “go to the gym and run on the treadmill and maybe do some crunches but that was it.” She didn’t see the gym as part of her community and didn’t stick with anything for more than a few months. One day she saw a friend’s facebook post about our 8 Week transformation program… she came in for a strategy session and the rest is history.
Because of work, life, and a new relationship Erin hadn’t been exercising regularly for over a year. She noticed her dresses were tighter and she didn’t want to have to buy new clothes. She was listening to her fear and negative self-talk, “In the beginning I was worried that I wasn’t losing weight fast enough and I thought- I’m going to be that one person that isn’t going to lose weight.”
It’s a fear a lot of people face when they’re first starting out. And like most women, Erin was use to crash dieting in the past to lose weight, “Crash diets worked for me, I lost 15lbs but then I gained it all back and more when I stopped. It’s not sustainable.”
All of our students have access to our online nutrition coaching program and Erin credits this coaching with helping her change her relationship to food.
“One of my favorite things about the gym is that you’re never on a diet. When your not always thinking about your diet or restricting yourself you don’t feel like you need to binge because you ate good Monday- Thursday.”
Even though she’s dropped dress sizes it’s not just about the weight anymore, her goals have shifted to living a healthier lifestyle in general. She has less stress around food and feels more in control.
This new approach to eating and being consistent about her workouts means Erin has made some significant changes in her life. She has more energy, she’s more active in her everyday life, and she found an unexpected love.
“I love lifting weights, I love it so much; it makes me feel strong and powerful. There’s often heavy things to carry at work and some of my male colleagues very politely will offer to carry things for me, and I’m like ‘nope that’s ok I work out’. So that’s always cool.”
Erin says she never lifted weights before working with us because weight rooms were too intimidating and she was afraid of getting hurt. She also got a lot of fitness advice from magazines so she thought lifting weights would make her bigger, “when you’re a woman you’re always told if you lift weights you’ll be bulky but that’s such a myth, it’s crazy. Lifting heavy weights actually makes you slim, it doesn’t make you bulk up.”
I asked her if she was afraid of lifting when she started with us, this is what she said: “I didn’t have fear because of the small group atmosphere. I knew there’d be someone who was an expert in this watching me do it all. And I liked that I wasn’t scared anymore.”
Erin is really interested in community building and she’s always out and about in Stamford learning new things and connecting with people. So I was pleasantly surprised when she started talking about Organic Fitness as her third place.
“I think of the gym as a third place. Humans have their home and their job or school maybe, but to have a third place where you feel like you have a community…it’s so important to have something of my own. I feel like you guys really care about my success, and my success is your success and I’ve always felt that way.”
I was so happy to hear how Erin felt because creating a supportive community is really important to us, and I know Erin takes that work seriously too. So I asked Erin what she’ d say to people who were on the fence about joining or feeling fearful about working out in front of other people.
“This is the perfect gym for someone like that because it doesn’t matter what level you come in at and there are modifications for everything. You’re so closely supervised because you’re in a small group that it doesn’t matter if you don’t know how to do anything. We’re all at different levels and I’ve never felt like someone is putting me down for not being as good as them or like someone is being competitive or showing off. I feel like people are just trying to improve themselves in a really supportive environment.”
In the past year Erin has transformed her body, gotten stronger, and changed her relationship to food. She’s invited friends to come workout with her and she’s even started an instagram page to document her fitness journey. For someone who has become so dedicated I asked her what keeps her on track.
“You guys. You make me feel accountable, I love that if I signed up and didn’t show up Carrie will text me like- what’s up where were you. That helps me show up. I would pay you guys more money to be a part of the gym because it’s the only thing I’ve stuck with for a year and I know will continue to stick with. And that’s worth so much to me.”
It’s been a pretty amazing year for Erin and I asked her what would have helped quiet her fears about losing weight when she first started:
“If I had seen what my body was going to look like in a year it would have calmed me down a lot. I couldn’t believe seeing my intake photos. I was like holy shit.”
When new students come to our studio and workout with Sherri, there’s always one thing they talk about…wow she’s strong. And she is! It’s impressive. Sherri is one of the strongest ladies in the gym both mentally and physically, and people are drawn to her because of it.
But if you ask Sherri how she felt when she started with us, she’ll tell you a different story. Sherri has high expectations for herself and others, but she was struggling with her weight and really beating herself up about it. It was affecting everything else in her life.
“The day I walked in for the initial meeting I guess I would say I was nervous but excited. I think what got me was that I said I’d gained more weight than I even wanted to talk about, after being on Jenny Craig and nothing was working, and they didn’t judge me for my habits, they wanted to help and were so positive.”
Sherri jumped into her new fitness routine and found it very different than what she’d experienced at gyms in the past. Not sure of what to do to get the results she wanted, she would do random things and often jump on the treadmill, even though she hated it! To add to her gym misery Sherri said she felt self-conscious working out in front of 20yr. olds who looked like they were in shape already. The gym wasn’t a positive experience for her and as a result she didn’t go after a while.
“You have to put on workout clothes and get up in front of people and do things…and I just didn’t like it, I didn’t feel like I fit in.”
That’s one of the things Sherri says she really appreciates about Organic Fitness, “The clientele here is very different. They are my age or older, there are a few people who are younger but the majority of people are my age.”
Having coached Sherri for a while I’ve seen her become more confident and now she’s a great gym buddy for new students who really relate to her. So I asked her how she’d feel going into a big box gym in front of that same crowd now, “I don’t think I would care anymore. Today now my mindset is that physically I can do more than them! I can hang with the 20-yr olds.”
As a result of her new found confidence and strength, Sherri’s taken control over the habits that use to upset her. She’ll tell you that she use to be so hard on herself that it was hard to feel good. When I asked her about the biggest changes she sees in her life as a result of making time for herself to train, this is what she said.
“I’m able to handle situations better, I don’t freak out like I used to. The negative self-talk has been significantly reduced..if it starts popping up its like shut up! But when I tell you I use to only say bad things about myself. That has almost gone away, and not having that has taken a load off big time. “
Sherri talked about the way her physical training helped her achieve a major professional goal as well, “ I don’t know if I would have been able to become a principal if I wasn’t here. I think the things that I’ve learned have carried over into other parts of my life. I can see what I do here physically and how that impacts me being a principal or a teacher or a parent and they are interrelated.”
Not only is Sherri more successful in her professional life and more loving in her relationship to herself (which lets face it is really hard to do) she’s also much healthier and stronger. After years of dealing with a thyroid issue she’s off her medication and learning how to provide a healthy environment for herself and her family.
“If you told me a year ago that I would be able to dead lift 205lbs I never would have believed it. My legs would get tired after climbing stairs. My youngest son loves for me to make a muscle so he can feel it.”
I asked her what advice she’d give to someone who’s afraid of coming to the gym because of their past failures, this is what she said:
“Here you will feel supported, it’s mind, body and soul. It’s not just coming in and doing a workout and leaving, you guys text, you call, you push but you encourage, it’s a gentle nudge. Carrie and Meghan had the ability to see something in me before I could recognize it myself.
It’s different than what you know so you have to put aside everything you know about gyms, nutrition and working out and be willing to walk through that door. There’s no reason why you can’t. You can feel good and you can move without pain and you can get off the floor.
The day you can get off the floor is a huge accomplishment. You you’ll be able to do jumping jacks and you’ll be able to lift weight that you never thought possible. But you have to be willing to do it for yourself.”
“I’ve had a history of medical illness and thyroid conditions that I’d become very disillusioned with the thought that I could lose weight effectively and in a healthy way. “
When Mike started with us he had a lot working against him. He’d never had the experience of being successful losing weight and as a result he was nervous try again. His whole life he’d been overweight and someone who stayed on the sidelines not wanting to be uncomfortable. And he can tell you now, that it was something that really held him back.
“I had this mindset that victory was something that other people felt, this sense of mediocrity and low expectations for myself.”
Mike will be the first one to tell you that he really didn’t want to try another gym. It was after recovering from thyroid cancer that he felt like he had no choice but to make a lifestyle change and get healthy. However like most people, he was certain it was going to be uncomfortable and he was going to hate it… but it’s been a little over 5 months and Mike not only looks like a different person, he thinks like one too.
“Seeing the gym as some place you enjoy yourself it changes, the prospect of losing weight becomes like a good side effect not this big boogy man in the corner. ”
Mike isn’t held back by negative beliefs about himself anymore. He’s constantly seeking new ways to improve both in the gym and the rest of his life. He credits the small challenges that he works through in training with giving that sense of victory and achievement that he never felt before, and it keeps him motivated to keep going.
“When I hop in the car after the gym and I’m sweaty I know I have that victory in my pocket. Once you have that one little victory you can ride that to the next victory and before you know it your winning all day.”
Mike’s attitude has changed and he’s seeing the benefits of letting go of fear and past frustration with his weight. He’s invested in the process of getting healthy and he sees that at his #1 goal, everything else is just a by-product.
I asked him how his experience at Organic Fitness was different than what he’d done in the past to try and lose weight.
Here’s what he said:
“When I first came in I said running doesn’t really work for me. I was waiting to be told something like tough love.. ‘well you’ve got to run if you want to lose weight’ but I’ve lost 27lbs and I haven’t run 4 feet! Accommodation was the key. I never felt like I was being pushed to do something I couldn’t do.”
He’s always been a nice guy and very interested in others, but now he has this motivation and work ethic that he didn’t have when he started.
I asked him what changed.
“I was measuring myself to these unrealistic random metrics like thigh gaps. Now it’s a general sense of wellness, hopping out of bed instead of rolling out of bed. I’ve eliminated those metrics from my mental health and it’s liberating.”
Mike has gained a whole new outlook on life, but he’s lost a lot too! In 5 months he’s lost over 27lbs and is down multiple pants sizes. That’s what happens when you lose 18 inches from all over your body. But Mike would probably say he’s most proud of what he’s able to do outside the gym as a result of his training.
“I don’t think I would have gotten this lifestyle change anywhere else. Not for a second. I would have been in one week and out in two weeks. “
His mindset has changed, and slowly his lifestyle has changed. He told me a fun story about surprising himself with his new strength and physical stamina.
“I’d sprinted through my entire campus and I was huffing and puffing a little but I was smiling. I wasn’t hands on knees swearing to myself, I was smiling. And I do not like running, at least I thought I didn’t, and it snuck up on me. That was enjoyable, I felt like I could do something, not that I couldn’t do since I was younger…that I’ve never been able to do before in my entire life.”
“I tell Meghan and Carrie all the time that it’s their fault I have to buy belts now. “
I asked Mike what he would say to someone interested in joining Organic Fitness,
“You are just as likely as anyone else to succeed and if you put the work in you will. And that’s not a hopeful thing that’s and inevitable thing. If I could have just told myself that a lot of the apprehension would have gone away a lot earlier, but luckily the coaches here helped that transition happen just as fast.”
I cannot say enough good things about this facility and the management. I had driven by several times and am so happy I finally took the plunge and called.
Carrie and Meghan are charming, professional, and beyond knowledgeable.
Being in the weight loss and fitness industry myself, I can attest to their knowledge and this is the fastest results I have ever seen. There are no egos, and no pressure involved. Extremely Happy!!!!! – Monica L.
Organic Fitness is the best place I have ever trained. Carrie and Meghan are always routing me on, and doing more than they need to.
For more years than I can remember, I have always had a trainer come to my house for the obligatory training. It is worth my drive from North Stamford EVERY weekday morning to Shippan to work out at 5:45 AM.
Carrie doesn’t care where you are at when you start. You are not competing against anyone, but rather trying to do your Personal Best. Training is fun and different every day.
A camaraderie is encouraged that we each cheer everyone on. – Ricky A.
“Love Organic Fitness! Always feels like you are getting a private session in each class. Carrie and Meghan are always so attentive and very dedicated to each client. I have learned so much from them!!”– Mary C.
Carrie and Meghan are 2 of the best trainers I have ever had. I usually join a gym or get a personal trainer and then get bored of doing the same thing after a few months but at Organic Fitness it is totally different.
Everyday is something different and every month has a new focus.
They are completely involved in helping you reach your goals and showing you proper form for all exercises. They even help you with your nutrition planning. There is no better place to join than this one! – Kelly L.
Organic Fitness is not your traditional gym. Carrie and Meghan are top notch trainers! They not only stress the importance of proper form while lifting weights, but also work individually with their clients to develop unique nutrition plans.
They are dedicated to helping each one of us reach our fullest potential. They take the time to get to know me, check in on how I’m feeling and always are willing to make changes to my program.
They are amazing! The day you walk through the door to Organic Fitness will be a life-changing event!! – Sherri P.
I joined Organic Fitness 6 months ago and my life has changed in so many positive ways.
I have always been a gym rat since my early 20’s and an avid runner. I have tried all work out trends from intensive aerobics to Cross Fit. I had been a Crossfitter for about 3 years and although my workouts were highly intense, I was seeing no improvements – in fact I started to gain weight and my body was physically a mess.
Carrie and Meg will take their time in evaluating your situation and assisting you with positive changes slowly to enhance your health, both mind and body. This is about a “holistic approach” to fitness- not just about going to a class and burning calories or not eating carbs.
Everyone has a different path and they take the time to learn you and the path you need to be on to become your true best.
I feel amazing and started to lose weight within the first 30 days. I am sleeping well and just have a new sense of confidence.
They provide consistent support while challenging you to become your best. The group also supports you- its a treat to go to class!
It’s hard not to gush when talking about organic fitness and the trainers there. They have literally changed my life.
Carrie is brilliant at teaching good form for weight lifting and providing moral and nutritional support. She and Meghan helped me make small consistent changes in my life that have helped me lose weight, gain muscle, and gain so much strength.
Their program is tailored to each person who walks in, they are personable and get to know you, and they push you to always do your best and feel your best. Can’t say enough about them and the gym! – Leyla J.
I am one of those people who will spend two months going to the gym religiously, lose some weight, and then completely devolve into my old habits and put it all back on and more. NOT SO at Organic Fitness. Carrie and Meghan are not just personal trainers – they are nutrition coaches and life coaches as well.
In fact, I don’t even call them trainers. I call them my coaches! They will never, ever tell you to stop eating the things you love. They will just help you approach eating in a more mindful way and help you develop healthy habits for life. If you are worried about the cost, just try them for a few weeks. You’ll end up wanting to give them all of your money. – Erin Shea
When I first started the Training for Warriors program with Organic Fitness I was in a bit of a hopeless place. I’d been dealing with chronic back pain for years from an old injury and it just seemed like every time I started to work out again my back would go out and I’d be sidelined. I have struggled with my weight all of my life even though I was an athlete in high school and college, I just could never maintain the fitness that I wanted, it was all or nothing.
I started with stability bands first; because my back was so weak I needed to rehabilitate it, and then began the training for warriors workouts. The results were dramatic! Doing TFW has literally changed my life; the positive messages and prehab warm-ups gave me confidence to continue to build on my fitness and my understanding of my body. I’ve lost over 20lbs, most of my clothes are too big for me now, and more importantly I have virtually no back pain! I was actually starting to get a hunch back from years of bad posture and not having good technique in the gym, now that’s completely reversed itself. I can also do multiple pull ups and push ups which I was never able to do before; my knees don’t hurt when I walk up the stairs, and I don’t feel exhausted after work. The workouts are so rewarding because I feel like I’m on a team again and the nutrition coaching and monthly exercise challenges keep me focused on my goals.
Being a part of Training For Warriors Stamford has made such an impact on my life that I actually became a personal trainer because I want to help others achieve the quality of life they deserve! And it seems like everyone I know has a similar story about trying to get fit and not seeing the results. I would recommend Organic Fitness to anyone who wants to get healthy, lose fat, and see serious results, even if they’ve never worked out before. This place is more than just a gym; it gave me my life back.
Who would have ever thought I would be doing a perfect pull up and push up at my age. Carrie brought me back from a serious back injury that left me without full use off legs because of nerve damage. Six years ago walking was a struggle and now I do sprints, dead lifts and I can dream of some day soon doing a one arm pull up.
“Carrie is, hands down, the best personal trainer I have ever come across. After years of suffering from lower back and hip pain, I finally got connected with her and was pain free within a matter of months. I continue to train with Carrie and my fitness level has never been higher. The truth, though, is that she is much more than my personal trainer…she has proven to be a fantastic life coach. She is so knowledgeable about the body, be it nutrition, fitness, general health or clean living, that I am constantly looking to her for advice. I feel so lucky to have her in my corner.”
Carrie changed my life. Literally! When I first started work with her I was recovering from back surgery and in physical pain every single day. Today I am fitter than I ever imagined, back to my College weight and have even taken up a new sport – boxing (at 47!).
Carrie has transformed my middle aged body which has strength, tone, and balance exceeding my youth. She carefully targets weaknesses in my body created by physical limitations to make them strong again which has dramatically reduced pain in my hip. Highly recommended!
Carrie has been my trainer for over 4 years. I feel she is personally invested in my fitness goals and designed my fitness plan specifically to meet them. I have lost over 30 lbs. and have significantly reduced the issues I had with my back.
“What I like most about Carrie’s program is her holistic approach to training, encompassing all aspects of fitness and health. Carrie has great knowledge in training and has helped me in gaining flexibility and strength in my weaker areas, which is important as a professional athlete. I like that the program uses interval methods to gain the maximum output out of every workout without compromising form. I would definitely recommend Carrie as she can get the most out of anyone looking to better themselves, regardless of their age, fitness level and goals.”
Carrie is all about fitness… learning and growing all the time. Perfecting her approach. It is in her passion and that translates into results for you.
If you have a goal and are prepared to work… Carrie will develop the plan and lead you to success.
I guarantee you this – you will get stronger and increase your flexibility in 30 days.