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My Journey from Morbidly Obese to Certified Trainer

My Journey from Morbidly Obese to Certified Trainer

By Laurie Gouley

At 38, Laurie Gouley had high blood pressure, cholesterol, glucose levels, anxiety, and depression. She made a decision to change her life and begin living. She joined a health coaching center, started her journey, and found ISSA- the certification that took her health to another level.

My Breaking Point

It all started with my annual physician visit. I was dreading it because I was 148 at 5’2”, which isn’t healthy at 38 years old. My blood pressure, cholesterol,  and glucose levels agreed. I took medications for these and also had anxiety and depression. I wasn’t headed down a good path.

I was worried now and the fear was real. A co-worker recommended I visit a trainer, Rocco Boulay, at Integrity Health. I went, even though I didn’t want to because it was like admitting I needed help.

But, I was sick and tired of being sick and tired, so after a month of thinking about it, I went.

As I walked in, I thought "I shouldn’t be here. I'm not fat." Then I laughed to myself and thought, “Yes, I am and I should be here." I was nervous.

One of my fitness professionals, Rocco, made me feel instantly at ease. He just wanted to help me get healthy. He was so patient as he listened to everything I wanted.

I wanted to be sexy, confident, healthy, and medication free

He said, "All you have to do is follow the plan and know it will work." So I said, "Ok, sign me up!" I met with my health coach, Donna Robinson.

My body fat was at 42.6% (morbidly obese), things were worse than I thought. But I was grateful to be there.

And then I broke down into tears. I felt like it was too late for me and I had done too much damage. But Donna reassured me these things could be reversed with nutrition and exercise. I decided I was important enough to love myself enough and make the commitment to get well.

So my journey began with an evaluation, workout program, advice, training, education, and meal planning from the coaches. 

I was starting to love myself enough to know I had to do this for myself, my husband, and my kids. I didn't want to become so sick that I would become a burden to my family. 

It wasn’t easy, but totally worth the end reward

In 8 weeks, my weight was down to 135 and my body fat was 32%. Only working out every other day, I had dramatic improvements! The numbers were in. I saw results!

Also, I was completely off all of my medications! And a couple months later, all my blood work came back in the normal ranges. My children and husband even started eating better.

Where am I now?

I'm 45, Weight 114, Body Fat 19.2%. I feel incredible! I'm more energetic and I can complete tasks in less time. I look refreshed and 10 years younger. I feel sexy and confident!

I could not have done it without the support I received from the coaches at Integrity. In the end though I had to make a choice. Did I want to live a healthy, quality-filled life? Or did I want to be always tired and a slave to medications?

I made the right choice in taking charge of my own health. I chose a different life. I chose not to be a victim. I chose to educate my children to live the best possible life. I chose healthy!

My choices changed my life so much that I have become an ISSA Certified Personal Trainer and health coach advocate so I can help other people feel as fantastic as I do!

The ISSA course was very easy to use and understand and I was able to do it from the comfort of my own home. I was even able to go at my own pace. Everything is online, even the testing! I highly recommend ISSA to anyone that has a busy life but wants to pursue a career as a personal trainer or health coach.  Thank you, the ISSA for providing me with the opportunity to make every day a choice to be alive and to help others do the same.


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Certified Personal Trainer

The Certified Fitness Trainer program is designed to equip graduates with the practical day-to-day skills necessary, as well as the theoretical knowledge needed to excel as a personal trainer serving the general public. Along with the necessary exercise science foundation, the distance education program covers client assessment, program design, basic nutrition, and sports medicine along with business and marketing skills.

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