Erin started as a personal training client last fall. For several months, she stopped by Bellum on her way home from work in the evenings. She worked hard in her twice-weekly sessions and started losing weight and feeling stronger. 

In the middle of March of this year, Erin’s company directed her to begin working remotely. Without a moment’s hesitation, she and Coach Jen decided to keep her sessions going over Zoom. Now, going on month 5 of remote sessions, she and Coach Jen have camera angles down to a science, and have gotten really creative in keeping workouts tough with limited equipment.

Throughout quarantine, when it would be easy to succumb to the ease of ordering in, or the temptation of constant snacking with the kitchen so close, Erin has religiously stuck with her Sunday meal prep routine, and credits her love of simple, easy recipes and consistency in maintaining this routine to her success!

Erin’s not afraid to suffer (case in point, her favorite workout is Death by Burpees!), and enjoys every workout Coach Jen programs for her. As a former college athlete, she knows the importance of good form and consistent practice, so she isn’t afraid to practice movements during her everyday life. Yes, she’s the crazy lady in the front yard Power Clean-ing bags of mulch, Push Press-ing them over head, and carrying those bags of mulch from her driveway to the flower beds.

Erin, thank you for making every personal training session a bright point in my day. Your attention to detail as we count reps is always impeccable (even if mine isn’t), and your comebacks and comments on the workouts always fuel my desire to make every session hit hard. Your dedication to your health journey is impressive and inspiring, and I am proud to be a small part of your success! Your future is very bright – keep up the good, HARD work!

What workouts did you perform before coming to Bellum?: Walking

Why were you looking for a new style of workout?: I wasn’t necessarily looking for a new style but was looking for something to jump-start my fitness routine and be a healthier me.

What was the hardest part of getting started in changing your diet to work towards your weight loss goals, and what advice do you have for someone who may be nervous or intimidated to start a similar journey?: Take small steps.  Change one thing and then work on the next.  It takes time to learn and practice to form new habits.

When I first joined there was a food challenge in progress. I was a beginner so my success with the challenge was minuscule (literally!).  But I took away from it the importance of food prep and changed my lunch habits.  No more takeout.

Initially, the food prep seemed like it took a lot of time to prep, cook, and portion out my lunches. It really doesn’t once it became part of my routine.  Sunday is the day I prep but it doesn’t have to be done on Sunday.  Any day that it works in your schedule can be the day to do meal prep.   Now that I am more efficient with the process I also prep my dinners.   It’s a path to success.

Throughout quarantine, you’ve not only stayed consistent with your personal training sessions, but you’ve also been able to keep your weight loss and body composition changes trending in the right direction. What’s your secret?: I’m not without plateaus.  I just have to remind myself all these changes are for a healthier me, that helps to keep focus. I like the variety CrossFit offers, even if I am not physically at the gym.  Coach Jen’s creativity keeps me motivated-  she likes to mix up the “torture” (only kidding!).

What is your favorite CrossFit workout or routine?: Death by Burpees (Death by Burpees is a soul crushing, Every-minute-on-the-minute, ascending ladder workout. Minute 1, complete 1 burpee, minute 2, complete 2 burpees, until you tap out or can’t finish your burpees in the 60 second time. For the record, Erin’s personal best is 16 minutes, totaling an impressive 136 burpees completed!)

For the last 5 months, you have continued your personal training sessions remotely over Zoom! What are some reasons that you find Zoom training sessions to be convenient?: Our office continues to work remotely and I am not local.  I can actually work sessions in a little earlier than if I was at the office.  Bellum pivoted quickly and didn’t miss a beat to provide the opportunity for remote training.  I am thankful that while the gym is open for outdoor sessions, I can continue remotely until I return.  After 5 months I finally know where all the good camera angles are in my basement!  (And I can make Jen Zoom! sick moving her around trying to find the best angles!)

What are some of your favorite, go-to meal prep recipes?: Fortunately, simple food and prep works for me. I have been using more citrus In my cooking. I slice lemons or oranges and then place the salmon/chicken on top of the slices,  squeeze a little of the juice on top and roast.  1 sheet pan,  limited cleanup.  Finish it off with a little zest. I prefer my veggies roasted –  Brussels sprouts, acorn squash, carrots, butternut squash, yellow beets. I also have a good turkey meatloaf recipe that uses mushrooms to help add flavor and moisture.

What is your biggest accomplishment since starting at Bellum?: I make better food choices. While home, I continue to meal prep my lunches as if I were going to work, measuring out my veggies and protein. If I get off track (because the kitchen is really close when you are working from home)  I look at it as a, “What’s done is done. I just need to clean up my act and go back to small and conscious changes to get back in line.” It’s a work in progress but I have shifted to healthier habits.

This may not be the biggest accomplishment, but I also appreciate the strategy of CrossFit.  Coach Jen gives great guidance especially about the strategy of workouts. In the beginning, I heard her but didn’t listen very well. We’d start and after a few reps as I struggled to catch my breath, I’d say “I think I went out too fast!”. Silently, Jen probably thought “I tried to tell you”,  but out loud she encouraged. 

I am starting to understand there is strategy and movement efficiency in CrossFit workouts. You can be successful if you just break it down and have a plan.

What is your favorite out of the gym activity?: I am always up for a little “beach therapy.” Rain or shine, it’s good for the soul.

What’s your next big goal (in or out of the gym)?: Work on push-ups and building cardio.

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