No one’s born with six-pack abs and boulder shoulders. Being fit takes work—it doesn’t matter if you’re hiring a personal trainer or you are one.
“Fitness is a long game and the fairest game in town,” Lacey Stone, a Flywheel instructor, creator of the fitness program “8 Weeks to Change,” and a trainer on Khloe Kardashian’s show Revenge Body, tells Women’s Health. “The more you give, the more you get.”
Want proof—and a healthy shot of motivation?
Take a look at these before-and-after photos presenting the weight-loss transformations of seven personal trainers.
Yep, Lacey Stone speaks from experience: Changing your body requires changing how you live your life. “You need to look at it as a lifestyle change if you want to have lasting change,” she says. “Find a workout you love, give yourself time to change your bad eating habits to good, and find a supportive community of people who keep you inspired on your journey.”
Instagram star Anna Victoria, a personal trainer and the creator of The 12-Week Fit Body Guides and the Body Love app, has accumulated over a million followers thanks to her refreshingly honest posts—and isn’t afraid to use her personal experience to relate to her fans. But “your self-worth should never be linked to your size or a number on the scale,” she says. “We are always changing and growing and experiencing ups and downs, and you deserve to be happy and love your body through it all. Our ‘transformation’ never really completes and we should always be aiming to improve ourselves in whichever way we see fit. It’s not a bad thing to want to look better, but it is when it’s done at the expense of your mental and emotional health.”
Dyan Tsiumis, the head instructor and director of training at SWERVE Fitness in New York City, has kept off 85 pounds for years now, but she still frequently shares her “transformation” photos with her followers. “My journey will never be ‘done’ because I will have a body as long as I’m alive,” she says. “It’s not as if one day I’ll wake up and say, ‘OK, I’m done!’ Moving and eating are part of life, so how you do it every single day matters. Some days that looks amazing and others, not so much, but I always give my best. I constantly remind myself to appreciate where my body is in the moment.”
Dell Farrell became a trainer after gaining 20-plus pounds in college. Through lots of trial and error, she ended up losing all that weight, and then some. “The most important thing I learned during my journey was that consistency comes from building key habits that help you stick to the plan automatically,” she says. “When you make being consistent the easiest option, you will get sustainable fat loss. The bottom line is, you aren’t always going to feel motivated—so build a system that makes you keep going especially when you don’t feel like it.”
After having bariatric surgery, Strong Coffey Personal Training owner Kelly Coffee initially lost more than 160 pounds in just under a year. But then, she gained back more than 60. What ultimately stopped the regain, and helped her continue to lose, was throwing out the scale and focusing on self-care. “I have no idea what I weigh, and I hope never to know,” she says. “Knowing what I weigh, and regularly checking in with the scale, are behaviors I associate strongly with dieting, and so it has no place in my care-based life. Screw the number—all that matters is how I feel in my own skin.” In addition to training, she speaks around the country about body-positivity and offers free online workshops like “Why We Sabotage Ourselves.”
After 15 years yo-yo dieting, Kimberly Mills lost 60 pounds in eight months, and has kept the weight off for seven years now. “It was all about mindset,” she says. “Rather than focusing on the outcome (my goal weight), I gradually discovered that focusing on the process and mini goals, such as running my first 5K, was what helped me in being successful in achieving and maintaining my goals for the long term.” In addition to “focusing on small, sustainable changes,” she started working with a personal trainer. Now, she is one—and the proud owner of Fitpossibilities gym in Missouri.
A personal trainer and the owner of EricaFitLove Studio, Erica Lugo found that carrying a ton of extra weight not only made it hard for her to physically do things, but to be mentally engaged, as well. “Through losing weight, I learned that getting healthy is so much more than walking through the gym doors or cooking vegetables over pasta,” she says. “It’s about changing your mindset to become mentally healthier: how you feel about yourself, how you learn to accept every curve, dimple, and mark is the biggest shift. Sure, I have a healthy body now, but I also have a mind that’s free of comparison, negative self-talk, and limits!”