It's Not About Being Perfect, but Finding Balance

Photo by Imagine it Photography

Photo by Imagine it Photography

I realize that I have been coaching for over a year and yet, I have never fully shared how I got to where I am in my fitness journey. I feel that I owe this to you as someone who switched careers to help others feel better about themselves.  So here we go!

(part 1.)

Back in November 2005, I had landed my first “big girl” job.   The one with the benefits and the salary and I even had a car allowance and expensed a lot of my gas.   I was super stoked to have an office job in my hometown of Sarasota, FL.

We moved offices the following spring and that’s when things became hairy. First, I was going out a lot with the ladies from the office for lunch and drinks.   Second, I was getting caught up in a lot of the office politics and drama, something that became very stressful and showed some ugly sides of people. Third, I had started going the gym with a coworker, which was great, but I was still eating crappy at home and ordering take out way too often.

(part 2.)

Right before Halloween in 2006, my aunt passed away. We had her service 2 weeks later and I went back to the office, (mind you after I had to tell our HR woman that aunts and uncles should be added to the bereavement list). My fiancé at the time and I were heading to Bermuda right after Thanksgiving for a work trip he had been given, all expenses paid.

I was called into my supervisor’s office. There was our HR gal and I knew it was over.

So of course, I did what any 24 year old would do-I went to the bar and met a friend. She told me that I would figure things out and to spend some time on myself.   Fortunately, I had never stopped working part time in retail and I would go back to that for the next 2 years.

(part 3.)

Bermuda, 2006

Bermuda, 2006

The trip to Bermuda was fun, but I was a wreck. I felt fat and not worthy of love. I returned to FL and took on more hours in my retail gig. I also vowed to start doing more of the cooking and found recipes in Shape Magazine that to use.

I established more of a routine at the gym. I continued to build a friendship with a friend I met professionally, Amanda, that went to the gym as well, (we are still friends to this day).   We attended classes together and things were going be a-ok.

(part 4.)

By 2008, things were not going so well in my relationship with my fiancé. I ended it and decided to leave FL. Before I did, my kickboxing instructor turned friend Edna gave me a magazine called Clean Eating and told me about their sister magazine Oxygen.

It changed my life and how I look at exercise and diet.

(Flash forward in 2009, I went back to Edna to tell her I wanted to be a trainer, but took me over 8 years to follow through on this dream).

My friend Amanda, my former kickboxing instructor Edna and me at my going away party in 2008.

My friend Amanda, my former kickboxing instructor Edna and me at my going away party in 2008.

I moved to Cleveland and continued my habits of eating well and exercising, even when tragedy struck, (I lost 4 relatives between 2006 and 2008, including my brother). In 2009, I met my now husband and it turns out, he is also an avid gym goer and had lost a lot of weight cooking for himself and working out through tragedy. We bonded and did active things together.

When we moved in with each other in 2011, we became member at Fitworks and I stepped onto the main weight floor for the first time, nervous and scared about what all the “dudes” were going to think and if I am going to drop a barbell on myself. I didn’t, but I did get my finger caught in the hack squat machine because I do not know how to use it. Rookie mistake!

I continued to get better at strength training and cardio. I had fun trying different workout plans, exercises and watching my body go from good to better to awesome. I joined FB groups for different challenges and made friends in Cleveland and across the globe.

Can you find yourself in this story anywhere?

Maybe you’re in part 1 and you love your job, but things can get out of hand with your eating habits and lack of exercise. If so, my handy snack guide on might be helpful for you!

Maybe you’re in part 2 and you’re in a life transition. You know what you need to do to feel better, but you’re not sure what this journey looks like for you. You’re feeling like something new, but you need to connect with someone who’s done it before. You need direction so you don’t waste time and money doing the wrong things.

Maybe you’re in part 3 and you’re not in love with how you look and feel right now, but you’re making baby steps towards healthier habits and goals. I am always happy to answer any questions you might have at or find my group on FB: Thomas Fitness Consulting Peeps.

Maybe you’re in part 4 and you’re going to the gym or working out at home, eating well and balancing life like a boss, but you’re craving something fresh or making some workout friends. Maybe the thought of a small group class sounds fun or having some quiet, one-on-one assessments done so that you know that your basic movement patterns are in good form and that you don’t have to worry about injuries later on in life would be reassuring.

Whatever stage you’re in, I am here for you. Always feel free to let me know how I can help!

Yours in Fitness

Laura Thomas

Laura Thomas