Wins And Wisdom

Gayle Nowak

When I went to my doctor and got weighed in December 2015 I nearly cried when I saw that I had gained 25 pounds in 7 years.

When I weighed myself again in September 2016 and was still 25 pounds heavier than I wanted to be, I decided it was time to get help.

What you need to understand is that I’ve been what I consider “fitness” conscious for a long time. Over 20 years I have shifted my nutrition slowly and I have an active lifestyle already. I am healthy, and I know some people who would call me silly for even worrying about my weight because I have the fortune of good health. I get that. I’m grateful.

But it was heartbreaking to realize that I could no longer just skate by on the idea that I could rely on the foundation I started building in my teens and 20s. Afterall, my body is not 20 anymore. The reality is that I can no longer mindlessly eat (even the good stuff), go run a mile & not worry about the inches and pounds creeping on. Nope, those days are clearly OVER.

The truth is, I was saying I was committed to my health but not acting like it. MY HEAD was no longer in the game and I had allowed a whole slew of excuses and bad habits become my new norm.

And doesn’t that happen to us all? Kids, jobs, injuries, illnesses, accidents, vacations, careers, businesses . . . LIFE.

Life will ALWAYS get in the way . . . if you let it.

Well, I was sick of my BS excuses. I was sick of feeling gross. My husband will tell you he was just as attracted to me then as he was when we first met . . .and I know that wasn’t just lip service. But I didn’t feel attractive at all, and that feeling started to grow into an unspoken, invisible wall between us.

And then there was my business. This was all happening at a time where I was going to be presenting to audiences. People would take pictures of me on stage and I couldn’t believe my eyes. Over and over I asked myself “Do I really look like that? Because that’s not what I see in the mirror.”

Now, I’ve hired personal trainers over the years — who were all great. I have joined gyms. I’ve done group classes. I have a fairly extensive fitness video library and equipment at home (including an elliptical and weights). I have all the tools I need . . . and STILL I wasn’t getting results on my own.

So, with no progress on my own, several more speaking gigs on the horizon and some straight talk with myself (that I don’t know it all and I do need help), I hired Sherry VanAntwerp in September 2016.

Here’s why I hired her:

  • The woman knows her shit, especially when it comes to the games hormones play on women over 40 (oh, I guess I really don’t know everything!)
  • She’s a former competitive athlete, without all the stupid lughead baggage you might think would come with being a competitive athlete.
  • She listened to me when I said I needed a solution that worked for me by tailoring a nutrition and fitness program for MY lifestyle. This was not some BS on size fits all program.
  • I’m utterly shocked actually of how simple it has all been. Not effortless — oh no, consistent work is involved here — but it’s so NOT complicated.

    Has this taken time? Yes. Commitment? Yes. Consistency? Yes. Focus? Yes. Guidance & support? Yes.

    All that stuff, btw, is the stuff that is missing from most “diet & exercise” regimens out there. It’s the MENTAL TRAINING that brings the results, not just the “no carbs, no fat, no sugar” bologna the media and ads feed us all day and night.

    Sherry has made it easy for me to stay committed when life happens. She’s made it easy for me to stay on track (we’ve done this all virtually btw). She’s proven to me that my deep-seeded belief that it’s NOT all down hill when you turn 40 is actually on point. You CAN work with your body (and brain) when you know what the hell is going on with it.

    I’m proud of the work I’ve been quietly doing for the last several months but I’m not phishing for praise here. I’m sharing this because if you’re a women in your 40s, 50s or more and you’re heartbroken like I was that you’ve gained weight and feel like it’s a lost cause just because of your age, I want you to know that it’s not true. You have the power to make real change.

    If you’ve recently hit a “it’s all down hill from here” milestone, don’t buy into that false narrative. On the flip side, don’t buy into the hype and magic solutions either. It’s not just exercise. It’s not just food. It’s not a shake or a pill or a meal in a box. It’s understanding and working with YOUR body, mind and reality.

    Sherry is the ONLY person I know who has provided me with the whole fitness package — mind & body.

    Thank you Sherry for helping me undo in 8 months most of what I put on over the last 8 years. YOU ROCK MY WORLD SISTA!

    -Gayle Nowak

Jeannie Spiro

One of my biggest challenges with working from home has been finding the time to work out and eat better.

When we returned from our trip to Europe this March I waited a few weeks to weigh myself and when I did I was completely appalled that I was the exact same weight I was when I gave birth to my daughter, who is now 21.

The truth was…I’d stopped working out, wasn’t eating well and was more confused than ever about how to lose weight and get fit over 50.

It was in that moment I made a decision to stop putting my health secondary to everything else and hired Sherry, who isn’t just a fitness expert but an expert in working with women over 40.

In the last few months I’ve dropped two clothing sizes and 14 lbs. I’m not focused on achieving my thinnest weight but becoming my fittest and healthiest self. As a result, everything is just coming together.

I still have a way to go but I’m making progress and it feels good to have energy, muscle definition and a waistline again.

We’ve done all of this virtually and I’m not spending hours at the gym. It’s kind of a no brainer if you ask me.

I just wanted to post this because I know there are others who may be in a similar place as to what I was in a few months back. I’m very grateful to have her customized workouts and to know specifically how to handle my metabolism and hormones at this stage of life. Thank you Sherry for helping me get back in touch with myself!

-Jeannie Spiro

Susan Shelby

In just six months Sherry has helped me shift my thinking about food, exercise and the scale. I had been struggling to lose the same 20 pounds for 10 years, and needed someone to give me a reality check. Enter Sherry! She helped me understand that I couldn’t do the same things at 51 to lose weight as I did at a younger age. I’ve added three days of strength training and have already lost at least 2.5% body fat. I spend a lot of time on the road and struggle to eat healthy and every three to four hours (as she recommends). Sherry is helping me map out what to pack before I leave to avoid missteps. Best of all, she is available via email in-between our phone sessions to answer questions or to give a quick pep talk when I am frustrated or discouraged. I highly recommend working with Sherry to achieve your personal goals.

-Susan Shelby

Ramona Remesat, Calgary, Alberta, Canada

I recently completed Sherry’s 10 for 10 challenge and I have to say….IT WAS SO MUCH FUN!!!
(And trust me, I never thought I would put “mountain climbers and fun” in the same sentence).
I have been working out regularly for several years but this workout really challenged me in so many ways – namely my mindset!

Until the challenge, I never realized how many “mind stories” I had around my workouts. I was telling myself things like I had to set aside at least 30 minutes in order to complete an effective workout. How wrong I was! In just 10 minutes for 10 days, I built strength and had a blast in the process. I also realized how easy it is to fit in a few moves even when I’m on the go, like at my son’s basketball games.

Sherry makes fitness fun, motivating, accessible AND she genuinely wants to see you succeed – something that can be rare in the fitness and wellness industry today.
I found myself eager to get up and get to my 10 for 10 workout each day and it was a great tool to get me moving on days that I wasn’t quite as peppy. I figured, “I can do anything for just 10 minutes” and found myself often continuing with a longer workout once the 10 minutes were up.
Thank you Sherry for everything you do. What you offer is truly unique and much needed in the world today.

-Ramona Remesat, Calgary, Alberta, Canada