Michelle Pallozzi, Owner/Personal Trainer
My journey to fitness and where I am currently was never a straight- forward path. I started out following Weight Watchers after each of my 5 babies were born and as many on the program, found that I could bring myself back to my pre-pregnancy condition. Looking back, it was not the best way to achieve my goals.
Fitness was not always on my priority list. Let me rephrase that: Fitness was never even a concern in my days of toddlers, homeschooling and staying at home with my kids. I used to be a very unhealthy and unfit individual. In 2007, I found myself in the middle of a very stressful divorce, along with a move across the country. I suddenly found myself a busy single mother of four young children in a new city. I was working full time days and going to school full time at night. I was constantly under stress. I got caught in the trap of unhealthy eating, lack of self–care and continually stretching myself thin, which in turn made me feel sluggish, sick and depressed.
April 2009, I found myself looking at my massage school graduation picture and being totally and utterly shocked. One day after I realized how awful I felt and looked, I decided I needed to change my lifestyle before things got more out of control that they already were. I had put on nearly 60 pounds.
I started once again with my Weight Watchers. I counted my points and planned my days around them. I quickly realized that even though I was losing weight, I wasn't getting the fit and healthy look I desired. I picked up a copy of Oxygen magazine and was so impressed by the women in there, I was hooked!
In October 2009, I joined my first gym and learned all the exercises I did from reading those fitness magazines. I loved the feeling of lifting weights and soon started feeling stronger. I started seeing small changes and I wanted to work out harder. I filled my fridge and cupboards with healthy foods and started to eat smaller portions every few hours. It was also the little changes that made a difference like oatmeal instead of sugary cereal, and eating more fruits and vegetables. I felt like a new person, but then hit a wall in the beginning of 2011. I felt as if I was working so hard, but not seeing as many results.
I sought out a personal trainer and he gave me the tools and helped me to build the self confidence to make more changes in my body. I soon started to look leaner and I started to put on some muscle mass which made my body look fitter and smaller. At the beginning of my weight loss journey, I married a wonderful man who has supported me in every aspect and I realized that support was critical to my progress. I continued working with my trainer until I had reached the goals I had set for myself. Once I got to that point, I ran out of things to aim for, so he convinced me to compete in a figure show. So, I agreed and competed in my first figure competition just 5 days after my 41st birthday! I won 3rd place in the Open Category and 4th place in the Masters (over 35) Category. I entered my second show on May 5th the following year. The competition was tougher but I came in 4th place in my category. I love pushing myself and seeing how far I can take my dedication and discipline. I am definitely hooked on competing. I have since entered two more shows and will continue to do them as long as the interest continues.
I believe in actual fitness, rather than the appearance of fitness. Actual fitness is the only outcome worthy of the intense training one commits to and endures, and it is the only path to better health of mind, body and spirit.
When I started down my path, I never imagined I would ultimately be able to share what I have learned with others. I strive to be a role model and mentor to others who have been where I have been, as well as those whose stories I have not lived but can understand. I decided to pursue a career in the fitness industry because of my true desire to enable others to take control and know that they are able to change their minds and their bodies.
I am currently a National Gym Association Certified Personal Trainer, a Certified Group Flip Fitness Instructor, Mad Dogg Certified Spinning Instructor, AAAI Certified Group Fitness Instructor, Certified Massage Therapist and Independent Nutrition Counselor. I recently opened my own studio in the Kensington area as well as in the homes of many of my clients.
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