At the Y, we know a healthy lifestyle goes beyond toning muscles. Improving your emotional health and well-being can be just as important. For Morris resident Jonelle Carter, working with a personal trainer at the YMCA not only helped her lose weight, but also find peace of mind.
“A lot of people who know me know I struggled with worry and anxiety. It’s been nice to use exercise as a tool,” Jonelle said. “I would say my journey has been 80 percent mental and 20 percent physical. For me, the body changing was a plus.”
Jonelle’s wellness journey started back in February on a trip to Key West with her husband, Terry. As musicians, Jonelle and Terry regularly take trips around the country to scout potential show locations. These trips are supposed to be a fun part of the job. But on this occasion, things weren’t quite right.
“I had an anxiety attack while we were away. I knew I wasn’t in the place I wanted to be,” Jonelle said. “My media team was sending me pictures and I didn’t like how I looked. More than that, how I felt started to change in a negative way.”
When they returned from their trip, Jonelle made it a point to rekindle her relationship with the Y. A self-described ‘on-again, off-again’’ member since 2015, she started conversations with Y trainer Ro Petersen to begin a new training regiment. The first steps forward weren’t easy.
“During my first session with Ro I felt like I was going to pass out. It wasn’t even physical, my anxiety was through the roof. She was so gracious to talk me through my first day. That’s what we did for an hour, we talked,” Jonelle said.
But Jonelle stuck with her commitment and eventually started making improvements. She described her mind and body as hitting what was, in essence, a reset button.
“My big thing was that when my heart was beating fast, it was like telling my brain something is wrong. That never felt good, and I avoided it at all costs. It wasn’t until two months in that I was able to change the way my brain thinks, not just my body. I was finally able to have that feeling that people talk about where you love when your heart is beating fast and you’re building up a good sweat,” Carter said.
Jonelle has lost 21 pounds since starting her personal training sessions. But she feels that the day-to-day goals have had a bigger impact on her confidence level.
“The things that make me excited are the little personal goals. They might be little, but I’m doing things I never thought I would be able to do. I couldn’t even run for 30 seconds when I started. Then I could only run for three minutes. Now I can run a mile,” she said.
And Jonelle credits much of her success to her relationship with her personal trainer.
“Without a trainer you sometimes get lost in your own head,” she said. “I don’t think I ever would have come back if I didn’t have Ro. I didn’t want to let her down. Now, I don’t want to let either of us down.”
Whether you’re just starting a fitness routine or looking to add a little variety to your exercise program, a YMCA personal trainer can help you to achieve your wellness goals. One-on-one or small group coaching enables our certified personal trainers to interact with members in creating a fitness program that meets their needs and offers direction, education, motivation and support every step of the way.
The Y’s personal training sale runs through September 30. If you buy four sessions, you will get one free. For more information about the sale, please click here or stop by your local branch.