June 16 2008 12:00 AM

As a pudgy high schooler in the 70s, fitness was not very important to me. We didn't really consider anyone "heavy" or "skinny" back then. Upon starting college, weight became more of an issue. The gym and I became more familiar as I watched the pounds drop off and suddenly began to notice a better figure and a healthier state of mind. I enjoyed race walking and using the Nautilus machines while in school. Not a day went by without fitting in a workout session!
After college, I continued with a fitness regime of walking everywhere possible. I was living in New York City, so that was easy to do! Years later, after my first child and becoming tired of walking and taking step aerobic classes, I hired a personal trainer to help me develop that muscular body I wasn't getting from my cardio routine. I was transformed — and hooked!Becoming certified in personal training was the next step to helping others transform their bodies and learn that there is more to exercise than cardio. Going on 12 years now, I have my own home business, training only women because I feel I relate better to women and their needs. I am showing women in their 30s, 40s and 50s that training with weights is the only way to increase bone density, boost metabolism and create those "cut" arms we all are trying to achieve. I stress that women should not be afraid of "getting too big!" For each of my clients' bodies, I design a custom strength training program, and those who have been with me all these years have never done the same workout program twice. I have also incorporated nutritional products and exercise clothing into my business. My clients are all on a vitamin supplement program tailored to their dietary needs.
Just recently, I acquired my 200-hour RYT license and am now teaching yoga. Yoga, like strength training, has helped developed my mind and body in a different way. Someday, I hope to open my own yoga/fitness studio where I can sell the retail products I believe in and continue my training and yoga in one facility!
The best advice I can give for those looking to succeed in the fitness biz is market yourself, be your best advertisement, and always know that health and fitness are here to stay. We all have different goals, dreams, desires and wants but only one universal desire: to be healthy. I can't wait to continue training and teaching yoga while I am in my 50s, 60s, 70s and 80s!