Today we’d like to introduce you to Theresa Wells.
Theresa, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
Around 9 or so years ago, I was extremely obese. At the time, it never dawned on me how big I was. Several factors contributed to this. Such as being in the company of obese and overweight friends and family. Nobody is going to tell you you’re obese and they are in the same unhealthy predicament. Also, people don’t want to hurt your feelings. I believe it was the later. Then there were the culturally related beliefs about weight and size. That it’s okay to be big, “thick” as the men would put it. This is seen to be a compliment in some cultures. When it fact it glorifies being unhealthy and is an excuse not to do something about your weight. I’m sure there will be a lot of people upset with my comment. However, I’m not the type of person who lives my life by how many people like me. I rather be honest and educate and motivate.
I didn’t see how big I had become. Not even in pictures I took. When I look back I think I wish somebody would have said something. It took me going to the doctor for a routine checkup. While at the doctor I had talked about some problems I was having. Without saying it, the doctor told me I wouldn’t have the problems I was having if I lost weight. She was so round about it, that I didn’t realize what she was saying until after I had gotten back to work. I thought to myself, Self, “Did she call me fat?” That still didn’t make me take action.
Maybe another year or so went by before I got off my ass and did something about my weight and lifestyle. It took changing one to change the other. It took a couple more “aha” moments before I began my healthy lifestyle journey.
First aha moment: On a date at a state beach, we were walking up some steps and my knees began to hurt. Never happened before. Just thought I was a little sore from all the walking and climbing. Second Aha moment: I walked up some stairs at work and my knees hurt like hell, I was out of breath and had to slow down to finish walking up the stairs. It took a couple trips going up and down stairs before I realized I was fat, (what I told myself). I had difficulty breathing and at some point, began leaning backwards when I walked.
I decided to start tracking what I ate. I created a food calendar. I wrote down everything I ate for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Snacks if I had any and how much food from every serving. After doing this for a month, I saw why I was in the poor health I was in. I hardly ate during the day. But when I did it was huge portions of food. When I snacked, it was rarely anything healthy. I was starving my body and overeating at lunch and dinner; having no breakfast. Essentially, my body was storing fat. I wasn’t drinking water at all.
One day while watching TV, without thinking about it, at least consciously, I got up off the couch, grabbed my jump rope, went outside to the back yard and began jumping rope and doing jumping jacks. A few days later I started going back to 24 hour fitness. I had the unused membership for so long. I was in my early twenties when I joined. I would joke and say I should own stock in that place for having a membership with them that long.
At first, I would walk on the treadmill or ride the bike. Then I slowly started using the circuit machines. One night I went to the gym and heard loud music and a lot of hollering. I looked up and saw the Group X room full of excited sweaty men and women enjoying a Turbo Kickboxing class, (TKB). I went to go try it out. I was winded when it was over but I liked it. My competitive nature wouldn’t let me stop.
Eventually I became a TKB instructor. I didn’t ever use my certification. I was afraid I would be awful at teaching it and never auditioned for the TKB instructor position at 24 hour fitness. I kept taking the class for my own enjoyment and I liked that I began to lose weight. I also took Body Pump, Hot Hula and a few others. Then this thing called Zumba appeared. I talked myself into trying it out. Hated it! The Instructor was ok. Fair I guess. The class was so packed I couldn’t see; even in the front row. I didn’t go back to that class. A few weeks later I decided to give it a second chance. Different instructor. The class wasn’t as packed. A couple of minutes went by and I realized I had seen this instructor before. I used to take the Hot Hula classes with her. After I realized who she was, I knew this Zumba class was going to be a good time if she’s teaching it. It Was! I had a blast! I kept going. I became addicted. 3 months later, I became a Zumba instructor. YES! I started teaching Zumba and still do.
I decided since I was always in the gym taking classes, why not start my own fitness business. Why Not? I love working out. I love helping others. The career field I’m already in, would actually make me a better group fitness instructor and personal trainer. I know how to build programs around the individual. I understand what a whole person approach is and how to implement it. So in 2009 I began building my business; Tone At Home Fitness- a mobile fitness concierge service. I made myself stand out by taking the workouts and trainings to my clients.
I made a lot of mistakes along the way. I have no regrets about the mistakes because they all were learning experiences that helped me grow into a better trainer, run a better business, learn how to brand myself and what my niche really is. There is no limit to educating yourself. The more I know, the more current I am, the safer and more knowledgeable my clients and students are in my care.
Has it been a smooth road?
Never a smooth road. If anybody ever says starting and growing a business is easy, they’re lying. My struggles were finding a web host. Not knowing how to read files in order to build my website; then there was how do I chose a web hosting site? let me not forget the cost of hiring someone to do everything for you and being referred to people that were scammers or just didn’t know what they were doing.
I was just trying to do too much at once and it turned into working in my business instead of working on my business. Trying to be the owner, manager, customer service, web builder, graphic designer, advertiser/marketing and sales; was overkill. When was I going to actually run my boot camps? Instruct group fitness classes and return calls or work on client meal plans and workout charts? I was throwing money away doing a lot of things; I wish I had a mentor to tell me NO!
I eventually read Tim Ferris’ book, The 4 – Hour Work Week. I applied some of the things from his book. I still stumbled quite a bit. It was follow through that killed me. I did apply some of what I learned to my business and, my clock in career. Like not checking email until later in the day so I don’t waste my entire day reading and returning email. I also learned that I could work remotely from home. I learned how to work on my business while at the office. Not once did it interfere with the office gig. Only because I took notes and re-read some sections of the 4-Hour Work Week that taught me to get things done faster and with focus and still being able to complete highly skillful work.
I blew $1000 on ideas that didn’t work; not making a profit. I have learned from those costly mistakes.
So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Tone At Home Fitness story. Tell us more about the business.
Tone At Home Fitness is a San Diego based, mobile fitness solution for weight reduction. I provide my clients with the convenience of working out in their own home or business or neighborhood park. I offer results based programs for all fitness levels. I believe in a holistic approach. I don’t believe in one size fits all training and nutrition programs. All my programs cater to the individual’s fitness and nutritional needs. I work with athletes, youth and those just starting out.
A few years back, I created a youth fitness program called TeenFit. I ran my program in a middle school and a high school. Teen Fit is focused on teaching our young ones how important it is to eat healthy and exercise. How the two work together in order to rid and prevent against disease and illness. Youth also learn that exercise helps with increased brain function and improved scholarship and boosts their self-esteem.
I’ve trained busy moms, military men and women, other business owners with no time to stand in lines waiting to take classes at the gym and I am currently making connections to bring my fitness concierge services to a local neighborhood block of residents. I also provide nutrition coaching without upselling. My clients have a choice of various fitness packages and nutrition coaching.
I believe what sets me apart from others the most is that I offer nutrition assistance based fitness programs. I do this whether the clients pay for it or not. I inform and let them decide. I also started my own online school called Fit For Life. I’m pushing to get Fit For Life launched by December 2017 if not before. Currently, I have a course in beta testing. I have a current student beta testing the content as I write it. My student has been great with giving feedback. As of now, fit-for-life-toneathomefitness.com is open for free sign up. No charge to sign up for Fit for Life. As I begin to release information about the launch date and cool freebies, those who signed up for my online school will get first dibs at the gifts, launch date and class registration.
I’m also an athlete. I run marathons and have a background in track & field. My specialties are outdoor boot camp and nutrition coaching. I created an outdoor boot camp class called Backyard Boot Camp. Yes, I used to teach it from my backyard.
I plan to retire early from my current career and run Tone At Home Fitness full time. Bring on an administrative assistant and two other trainers to serve more clients. I plan on remaining a mobile fitness concierge service and providing a lot of my programs online. As well as creating new courses around health and wellness; for my online school Fit For Life. Which by the way, now has an app for iPhone, and iPad. Thanks to the online school platform I am using. Go to the App store and find Teachable. From there follow the instructions.
YES! I will still teach Zumba and am waiting for Zumba, LLC to have a Strong by Zumba instructors course here in San Diego. So I can earn a second license and teach a class. I’m always adding what my clients and students want to my business base.
How do you think the industry will change over the next decade?
I see the fitness industry blooming. Reality is, fitness and the medical fields have begun to merge together more so now than in the past. Doctors are prescribing exercise to their patients and referring them to personal trainers, rehab specialist, myofascial and yoga instructors. Fitness fields: personal training, group fitness, nutrition coaching, meditation, and many branded programs will be around and thriving for years. Each year, more instructors and more trainers are becoming certified in other niches.
- $190 for 6 sessions. For new clients and current clients who haven’t trained in the last 3 months.
- Website: www.toneathomefitness.com
- Phone: 619.567.9140
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: @sportyspice wells
- Facebook: FB/TWELLS1913
- Other: www.linkedin.com/in/toneathomefitness