Jill Guidi missed being fit and healthy, so she hired a trainer and lost 25 pounds
Before: 175 pounds
After: 150 pounds
Jill Guidi, 45, is no stranger to diets. As a twentysomething, she followed a liquid diet, which she immediately abandoned after passing out, hitting the bed frame, and waking up with a black eye. (Her face bears the scar.) She tried the South Beach Diet in her 30s but felt deprived and gained back almost all the weight before becoming pregnant with her son. At age 42, she started Weight Watchers online and lost 10 pounds in a year.
Through the decades of dieting, she would get into an exercise groove and stop either because life got in the way or she was frustrated by the lack of results. Then she found a trainer—with a reputation for being “tough”—who helped restore her health and confidence.
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Jill wanted to feel healthy again. A reunion ski trip to Park City, UT, illuminated her frustration when she witnessed her fit and active college girlfriends. While they zipped down difficult trails, she waited at the bottom of the lift, too afraid to ski because of a weak knee. She vowed to stop taking her bone medication and venture back to the gym.
She suffered excruciating pain from a knee fracture caused by osteopenia, or low bone mineral density, a condition that’s similar to but less severe than osteoporosis. She didn’t know how to exercise without hurting. (Video: Tone your arms with this move.)
In April 2010, Jill started meeting twice a week with Charlene Beebe, CPT, at Sparta Athletic Club in Sparta, NJ. A typical session calls for a total-body workout with short cardio routines on the bike or elliptical machine between strength training sets. “Once the weight started coming off, Jill saw how strong she was and how she was not limited by her knee,” Charlene says.
Jill goes to the gym 6 days a week, attending classes for interval training and Spinning, working with Charlene, and doing low-impact cardio on her own. Jill weighs in once a week during her private session.
She continues doing Weight Watchers online and has scaled back her portions. Thanks to her trainer’s advice, she’s learned to rely on the food pyramid to prepare more balanced meals. She begins each day with Chobani yogurt and a banana. She cooks her family meals that are heavy on vegetables, medium on protein, and light on carbs—mostly whole grains. “That’s easy to live with because I don’t feel like I’m giving up any food group,” she says.
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Jill looks at her children, 7-year-old twin daughters and 4-year-old son, and hopes to be a healthy mother who’s around for a long time. “I want to feel like I can keep up with my kids.”
Charlene’s interval training class used to intimidate Jill a year ago. She never thought she’d last. Now, she holds her own—and feels energized when heading out the door.
Get the right trainer. “Find someone who can push you without hurting you and with whom you can be honest about your shortcomings.”
Learn to forgive. “My biggest lesson has been to move on from my mistakes. There is nothing healthy that comes from beating yourself up.”