Sharan Tash, a 2017 PFP Trainer of the Month award winner, is the owner of TASH Fitness based in Skokie, Illinois and exemplifies using her personal experience to have a profound impact on her clients and her community. Here is how Sharan is raising the bar in our industry.

Certifications/qualifications: NASM CPT, NASM Senior Fitness, NASM Women’s Fitness, TRX Certified TEAM Training Camp, Exercise ETC Fitness Coaching Specialist, Boot Camp Gold Specialist, Brains & Balance Past 60 Specialist, Am I Hungry?® Mindful Eating Program Facilitator

Studio/Business Name: TASH Fitness (T-imeless A-geless S-izeless H-ealth)

Website: www.TASHFitness.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/TASHFitnessForWomen

LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/sharantash

Twitter: www.twitter.com/TASHFitness

Year started in business: Originally as a trainer in 1990

List any PR/recognition/awards received: What’s Your Story Award 2015 for Solopreneurs

What inspired you to start your business?

As a chubby child, then an obese adult, and now a healthy senior, I went from 357 pounds down to 180 pounds from 1991 until now. I am still a size 10, and considered large (obese on the BMI), but I am in great shape for being 64 and a size 10. I wanted a place for women where there would be no judgement; they would be comfortable sharing their stories with me (because I have been through it myself); and there would be a support system of like-minded women.

What is one hard lesson you’ve learned in business you believe has been most valuable?

Be sure to do your projections and have at least one years’ worth of savings available before opening the doors or starting a build-out. There will always be surprises.

What are some of the things that your clients have said about TASH Fitness that keep them so loyal?

“For me, just getting started was the hardest. The thought of walking into a fitness facility filled with “fit” people was completely overwhelming. Having to train with a trainer that was thin and young, was NOT what I wanted as a 60-year-old female that needed to lose over 100 lbs.”

“TASH felt safe to me – a place where I could take care of myself without feeling judged or looked down upon. Women only made it more comfortable for me as well and the fact that Sharan has lost all that weight AND has kept it off is an added bonus. She gets it!”

“I joined to get exercise and improve my health. I wasn’t looking for a community – I’m not sure I would have said I even wanted that when I first joined. What I unexpectedly found in terms of community and support has been incredible. Having now had that community, I can say that for me, it makes a huge difference!”

“TASH Fitness is so much more than a fitness facility. It’s regular workout classes, its nutrition. TASH Fitness is a community of women who do not judge. It’s a community of women who support each other. There are classes offered and optional outings. We are friends who care about each other. I’ve joined other health clubs but never one as powerful as TASH. It’s me time and home away from home. TASH is truly unique.”

Name a few ways you are trying to raise the bar in the industry.

1. You do NOT have to be a size 0 to be in good health and be an inspiration to women.

2. Everyone is trying to reach my market (women that do not work out and have a substantial amount of weight to lose), but often do not know what it takes to motivate these women and to find a solution that is for a lifetime.

3. Maintaining weight loss is more than just exercise more and eat less. It is about dealing with the mindset of nutrition and exercise, changing behaviors, dealing with sleep, having accountability, nutrition that works for them and exercise. Not one program works for everyone.

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