Cal Fit Success Story: Elk Grove Member, Gaylene H.


At 5 feet tall and 208 pounds, walking or being on my feet for more than an hour was challenging. I became out of breath when walking, the insteps of my feet ached,and I frequently experienced swollen ankles.

blogpost_300x452_gayleneI knew that I was at a cross roads with myself. I had begun a weight loss program in November of 2011. It was now March of 2012 and so far, I had lost 20 pounds. Should I or shouldn’t I also begin an exercise program? I wanted to look good for my daughter’s wedding in September of 2012. Although I didn’t think that my busy schedule really allowed time for exercise, I knew that including exercise in my weight loss journey could only benefit me.

I went to my local California Family Fitness gym – the one my daughters used before they went off to college. It was the same gym that all of my “fit” friends went to; the gym where I thought you should already be thin before you walked in. Yes, these were all of the things that were keeping me from checking the gym out, but I found that inner-strength and walked in and asked to speak with a sales consultant to purchase a membership.

I had just joined Cal Fit; the membership card has my name on it, not my daughter’s name. This was another HUGE step for me. Upon joining, I was also presented the opportunity to purchase ten, thirty-minute personal training sessions to acclimate myself to the facility and equipment. Now what do I do? Gym clothes were first on my list! I at least need to “look” like maybe, just maybe I could belong to a gym.

Once I was decked out in my new gym clothes, when was a good time to go? I am a night owl, so I thought evenings would be best to workout, until I realized just how busy I was in the evenings with volunteer meetings and church activities. I made the decision that if I really wanted to make this work, I needed to come in at 7am for my training sessions. UGH!

Never in a million years did I think that I would be “one of those people” that had a Personal Trainer, but for me, it works. To know that someone is waiting for me three times a week at 7am pulls me out of bed. My trainer, Gina Cargile never has the same workout for me, so all parts of my body are given a chance to hurt. LOL! After my 30 minute sessions, I do some cardio – 1.2 miles on my friend, the elliptical. Since my time in the morning is limited, I increase my levels and my speed. I started at level 1 and I am now at level 10. You are probably thinking “over achiever”, but I am so not! I hadn’t exercised on any regular basis for 20+ years! This was something I knew I needed to do to be a healthier me. You know, at 51, gravity is so not your friend and everything internally has to work that much harder.

Going back to my feet, ankles and breathing issues - these are all issues that I USED to have prior to my 68 pound weight loss. Yes, that’s right, 68 pounds and counting. My goal is 70 pounds. I never thought in my lifetime that “skinny” and “Gaylene” would be used in the same sentence, and now they are. I have dropped 9 sizes. I started at a size 22 and I am now sporting a 6. I went from a 2X t-shirt to a small. Gone is the 1x women’s blouse, it’s a small now, baby! As for jewelry, I’m down 2 ring sizes and I had to have an inch taken off of one of my necklaces. Who would have thought?

Not a day goes by that someone doesn’t comment on the new me. Those that haven’t seen me in quite some time don’t even recognize me. That goes for my own mother! Family, friends and even strangers are stunned when I show them my before and after pictures. Inspiring so many other people is a gift I didn’t even expect from this journey. It’s very rewarding to know that my personal lifestyle changes have inspired others to improve their own.

My experience with California Family Fitness can be described as positive, friendly and professional. Gina Cargile is da’ bomb! She is always ready and eager to start our training. There has never been a time I have not seen a smile on her face. She really gets great joy out of seeing my results. Gabriel Arriola, the Fitness Manager has also been very supportive of watching me achieve my goals. The facility is always clean and I love the fact that they are always adding new equipment and making aesthetic improvements.

I am now 140 pounds, a size 6 and showing off my more sculpted and toned body frame! I now look forward to wearing dresses, sleeveless tops, having my picture taken and of course shopping! I just walked a 5k this April. I walked a 5k in 2009 too, and oh, what a difference! I was so struggling back in 2009 and this April, I could have walked probably another 10k without any difficulty. Now, I feel healthy, more confident and fabulous!

Before I started working out with a Personal Trainer at California Family Fitness, I had such a biased opinion that they were so not necessary. However, I can honestly say I was SO wrong. Personal Trainers give you a tailored workout program that fits your body type, weight and current health. They work very hard to bring you to the next level when they think you are ready. They push you to do your personal best, encourage you during the process and congratulate you when you achieve your fitness goals. For me, knowing that I have someone that thinks I am important enough to be there with me at 7am makes me value their time and it holds me accountable to be committed to my goals.

To be successful at anything, you can’t just dip your toes in the water, you need to dive in and be committed on whatever you do! California Family Fitness, my Personal Trainer, Gina Cargile and my weight loss program helped me get to this happy place; however, as I’ve been told by many it was ME that made the commitment and made it happen!

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