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Dawn Bradshaw

My name is Dawn Bradshaw.

I am 43 years old and I am a mother of two, wife and full time Testing Specialist for Virginia Beach City Public Schools. At my highest weight I topped the scales at 223 pounds. When I started my journey at Onelife, I weighed 203 pounds.

There were many reasons I decided to inquire about programs at Onelife, but the most pivotal reason was to provide a positive example for my children. Little did I know at that point that my life would change in so many incredible ways for me as well as my children.

I joined the FIT360 class in August of 2014. I truly believe that my success was built on the foundation of remarkable trainers who took the initiative in learning about my goals and providing a structured, safe, friendly, positive, engaging, encouraging and high expectation environment to learn in.

I use the word “learn” because that is what I did. Through their guidance, I learned how to properly exercise, run, lift, and use a variety of equipment with specific focus on function and form.

In the beginning, I worked out three days a week and gradually worked myself up to six days a week. I no longer have high blood pressure, thus I no longer have to take medication.

I have so much more energy, I am happy, healthy and only one pound away from reaching my final goal weight of 140 pounds.

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Wilma

I have been working out for over 20 years, going to the gym faithfully. That didn’t stop me from reaching my highest weight of 219 pounds. Working out was not enough. I had to finally realize that until I changed my eating habits, my physical body was going to remain the same.  So on December 29, 2012 I began my journey by joining Weight Watchers to help me shed the weight.  Some ask why I chose WW and I tell them because I had seen what it did for one of my co-workers, and decided to give it a try.

Over the next 6 months I counted points for everything I ate, I worked out several times a day, and  by the time May of 2013 rolled around  I had  dropped 60 pounds, I was now the smallest I had been in a very long time. On top of that I even started RUNNING at the young age of 55!  I know I say these things like they were as easy as tying my shoe, but believe me they were not.  There were days I wanted to eat what I wanted, & did not care about how many points something contained. But I knew falling back into old habits, would produce the same results and going back wasn’t something I was willing to do.

Being overweight is not just a physical disability, it cripples you mentally as well, and if losing weight was going to free me of the body that had been holding me hostage, I was not about to do anything to jeopardize my progress.  I wanted this for ME not for my husband or my daughters, but for ME so that meant I was the one who was going to have to put in the work to get to where I wanted to be and just accept the fact that along the way sacrifices would have to be made.

Today I am happier and healthier then I have ever been in my life. I continue to work out 5-6 times a week and by taking one of my favorite classes at One-Life DAT-FITNESS & DAT-FITNESS H20. I love taking these classes because Ronnie, Eunia and Shameka are continually challenging me with every workout during their classes and that’s what I need to become a better version of the person I use to be.

What I want people to know is that, this journey is no one else’s but YOURS; you are responsible for your victories, as well as your failures. You can’t blame anyone when you’re not successful, only you. The journey only gives you what you put into it and nothing more. If you don’t put in a 1,000 percent, you won’t get a 1,000 percent back! Finally, don’t worry about where someone else is on their journey, worry about yourself, and what you’re doing. Don’t ever compare, because that will only deter you from moving forward.  I am proof that when you make up your mind, and you’re tired of being overweight and uncomfortable, change is possible it’s NEVER TOO LATE!
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Edmund Montiel

Onelife Fitness Kansas City

I was always the chubby kid in my family and when I got into high school it got worse. I would try to work out but I would continue to fail. Eating food would make me feel comfortable. It became a habit. Got up to 410. Breakups didn't help either. I ended signing up at another club in Cali, I went for two months and then failed. Then 2 months later I moved to Kansas City for a new change with Onelife Fitness (worth it)

What got me started was one night I started getting really bad stomach ulcers and I didn't let me sleep at all. I got rushed to the ER and man it was a long night. Doctors told me my stomach started to get weak because I was too overweight. Then it hit me that I needed to get better. Having joint pain didn't help either. I started being more consistent with the gym and actually trying. I would put on my headphones and leave my ego at the door and lose myself on the gym floor. Two years later I'm down to 209 pounds and feeling healthier than ever.

What motivates me to keep going is progress pictures, life, spending time with the family and most importantly lifting heavier weight.

My favorite obstacles that I have overcome would be doing pushups without struggling, fitting in a size large (on shirts) and being stronger. I would always struggle with pushups. Also being able to do workouts and stay at the gym for about two hours.

My goal is to get down to 175 and bulk up. Also help others in need of fitness help. Nutrition is key!!!! If you eat badly your body will look bad. One saying that stuck with me was "you are what you eat" I also have learned that patience is key! It takes time to look good. Don't rush it. I definitely want to get certified and potentially become a personal trainer. 

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Sandi Staiti

Sandi is a mom of 3 and an active tennis player. She has lost 61lbs, is down 4 pants sizes, has improved her tennis game and increased her cardiovascular endurance.

Before even meeting her trainer Chris she left word that she “Wanted to be killed” Sandi commitment to her 5am workouts and showed incredible drive in our Group Exclusive classes. According to her trainer Chris she has is extremely disciplined, goal oriented, strong-willed and has a great attitude! Congrats Sandi on exceeding your fitness goals!
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Barbara McCormack

 I am coming up on 2 years of taking Fit360 from Stephen Johnson and doing personal training with him twice a week. I continue to use his services because he brings out in me what I can't seem to bring out myself. He motivates me, teaches and challenges me. He was helped me not only with my nutrition (I didn't even realize this was an area of real weakness until I started talking to Stephen about my diet) but helped me achieve my goals.

At 53 years old, I need a trainer that knows how to train me and motivate me but also has the sense and knowledge NOT to hurt me. I have had a hip replacement and not far from another one. Steven knows how to modify my workouts so that on days I'm having pain, we still get a good workout in.

My husband has also been working out with Steven for about a year, and my 17 year old son started about 4 months ago. Steven seems very capable of adapting to our different needs and personalities. 

I appreciate you taking time to let me share my thoughts with you. As I mentioned, I feel often times feedback on an employee is only given when there is a problem. There are MANY people that take Fit360 with me and do personal training with Steven that believe he is one of the biggest reasons we come to OneLife.

Aubrey Webb

I grew up overweight and was obese by the time I got into high school. When I started out in June of 2009, I weighed 250 pounds. By October 2010 and I weighed 145 and have maintained that weight since. I lost over 100 pounds in 2010 alone, and in 2011 I became a certified personal trainer at Onelife Princess Anne. I ran a full marathon in March 2012 and competed in my first powerlifting meet in October of 2012 after realizing I hated running but loved lifting, and that it was a much more effective way to keep my weight off. In August 2014 I squatted 314.2 pounds for a VA state record and became a raw elite powerlifter and qualified for the World Championships in October of 2014.

I now train women and men to become strong in body and mind to achieve their fitness goals. My specialties are weight loss and building strength, and especially powerlifting (squat, bench, deadlift). Many of the women I train have competed in the sport of powerlifting and hold several VA state records. The biggest concern for me as a trainer is helping my clients create a lifestyle that is centered around their fitness and health. My wish for any client I work with is that they always strive to be stronger, more capable and healthier, for life.

Michelle Knice

About six months ago I took my daughter to a water park for her 12th birthday. She was so excited and couldn't wait to ride down the biggest, tallest slide in the park. She asked me to go with her. After climbing all of those stairs to the top of the tower, I was so out of breath and suddenly realized just how out of shape I was. Although, I muddled through the day with a smile on my face the thought of being so out of breath continued to haunt me. A couple of weeks later, I woke up one morning and suddenly realized I was overweight...surely all of the excess pounds accumulated overnight in some dream I had had! I began to reflect on many facets of my life and it was all beginning to become depressingly clear. I now had the answer as to why I was in a constant state of tiredness, feeling short of breath with any exertion, and an overall self feeling of "average." As a mother of four and a full time Registered Nurse of a busy Emergency Room, working 12 hour night shifts, I made every excuse in the book as to why I had no time to focus on me and a healthier lifestyle. But, with turning 40 looming on the horizon and my health in jeopardy, I knew it was time to make a change.

The morning of January 13, 2010, I woke up, looked at my husband and said, "Let's go check out some gyms." Our first and final stop was Onelife Fitness in Chesapeake. We were barely through the door when we were greeted with warm smiles and big friendly hellos. In the time it took us to fill out a short questionnaire, Will McOrmond was at our side waiting anxiously to show us everything the facility had to offer. Over an hour later (and not one moment did we feel rushed) all of our questions were answered expertly and we were fully fledged members.

The following day I met with a personal trainer, Shannon, who was ready and eager to show me the ropes. Although I believe she was a little taken back by my announcement to embark on a quest to lose 100 pounds, she never discouraged me and never led me to false hope. We began "official" sessions the following day. She encourages me, pushes me to my limit, and then says "Come on Michelle, give me one more." She is incredibly knowledgeable in her work, keeps my workouts interesting by changing up routines, and takes all of the guesswork out of my workouts. I get to work out and not have to think about how to do an exercise, how much weight should I be lifting, and I never have to weight train alone. My training sessions are highlights of my week. I look forward to a great workout and sharing tid bits of our personal lives. To this day, Shannon is still my personal trainer and now a good friend, too.

When I first started exercising, I was struggling to finish 8 minutes on an elliptical and barely getting a 300 calorie burn. I can proudly say I now I burn roughly 2000-2500 calories a day and stay on the elliptical for 70 minutes. I have built up my strength, stamina, endurance, and confidence. I now go to the gym 7 days a week and sometimes twice a day. I have learned that it is possible to fit this lifestyle into any schedule. I have inspired my family, coworkers, and patients to get involved with a healthier lifestyle albeit diet, exercise, or both. I am inspiring others by living the example. Four short months later, I have lost 55 pounds and still going strong. I feel and look amazing, and a lot of the Onelife staff now know me by name. The staff is truly amazing! When life gets tough, I go to the gym and I always remind myself that chocolate doesn't taste nearly as good as skinny feels!

Tyler Vanderiet

I am Tyler Vanderiet and I would like to share my story of how I came to join Onelife Fitness and how it has changed my life forever. I was born with cerebral-palsy and my doctor always used to tell me that I needed to stay active so that my legs could remain strong. Well, let's just say I was never one to listen to the doctor's advice and that I was not an active person. I would sit at home all day watching tv, playing xbox, and eating. It became really tough for me to walk. I would get tired very easily and I would have to rest for long periods of time.

Well one day I got sick of feeling like that and I decided that I wanted to become more active and was thinking of how to do this. I was thinking and I remembered that I worked right next door to a Onelife Fitness center, so I walked in one day to talk to someone about joining. I walked in the door, was greeted warmly and I was directed to a manager there. He was very nice and kind and he made me feel like a friend instead of a customer. He allowed me to work out for 2 weeks for free to see how I liked it and I loved it so I decided to join right away.

When I began working out I was 210 lbs and working out 4 days a week and dieting. I got down to 185 lbs in 2 months. I began to get stronger and I felt better inside. I got to where I love to work out I don't know what I would do without it. I am now working out 3-5 days a week and I now weigh 167lbs in a matter of 8 months. I feel the best that I have ever felt. My legs are stronger than ever and I can walk farther than ever. I have gotten to where I can walk 2 miles and not get tired or winded. I am in the best shape of my life and I've built muscle and leaned down. I FEEL GREAT!!!!!!

The reason I wanted to share my story is that I want people with disabilities to realize that just because we have challenges doesn't mean that we can't overcome them to become healthier and happier. I give credit for my current condition to Onelife Fitness and the people that work there. They motivate you to work harder and become better people. Thank you for the opportunity to share my story and hopefully inspire others to do the same.

Gloria Jean Mack-Phillips

Hello! My name is Gloria Jean Mack-Phillips. I am, to date, 63 years old. When I started this journey in August, 2009 with Cassie I weighed 221 Ibs. My body age was 71 years. I now weigh 214 and body age 62. I have lost, overall, 20 inches. Not only have I lost weight and improved my body tone, I feel very good about myself. I look forward, everyday to exercising at Onelife.

When I started with Cassie, I used to cry when personal issues plagued me that morning. The exercises were quite a challenge (which didn't help matters, at all). She caused me to move parts of my body that seemed intrusive and foreboding. Parts of my body got into the act that caused me to ask her if she had lost her mind. After all, I am a 63 year old woman,not 23 or 33 or even 43! I kept asking her to "get real"! Even though I was doing the exercises, I kept asking her if "she" was ready! After a while, I got to the point that those exercises became a challenge and I resolved to conquer them (and Cassie). The personal issues weren't (and still aren't) that important anymore. Cassie has a way of leading us into enjoying life as we reach our goals while exercising. I always thought of exercising as drudgery. Now, thanks to Cassie, it has become as necessary as breathing. Thank you, Cassie, for helping me to like myself for who I am and not for what I perceive myself to be in the eyes of others.

A shout out goes out to Amy for getting me started when Onelife was in The Chesapeake Square Mall. Everyone at Onelife is a "hoot"! They all have a way of making us feel privileged to work out with their assistance.

Wayne Lyon

When I joined in September I weighed in at 383 lbs. At that time I was at the last hole in my belt and considering buying a new belt. Instead I made up my mind to join a gym and lose some weight. My doctor has only told me for the past several years that I needed to exercise. Instead I would diet, lose a few pounds but later I would quit and gain it back plus some. My final answer was not to diet anymore, so then I just keep going up.

This week I weighed in at 300 lbs. and that belt that I was out growing is now to big and I had to make another hole in it to make it fit. It is at this time that I realize that I have actually lost weight. This journey was not easy, there were times that I was sore from working and and wondering if it was worth it. Some days I even felt that I didn't want to go but I went anyway. Is it getting any easier? No, not if Denis has anything to do with it.

At this point I have a few people I wish to thank.

First I want to thank Joey, he started me on this course. I realize that he had a vision for himself and I hope he finds success at it where ever he is. Next, I want to thank Denis for picking up were Joey left off. He pushes me every time we work out. I know I don't show a whole lot of emotion. I've never been the look at me type but know that I do appreciate all that you have done so far. I will probably pay for the next line but I do look forward to our future workouts even if I don't say it. I'm glad I could make your week but I meant it when I said you make my life. Thank you!

And finally to everyone who has walked up and said I was doing a great job I say thank you very much. I probably should have acknowledged them but as I said earlier I have never been one to show emotion. I promise that I will try to do better. Also, I would like to thank the crew for the card and gift, made me smile. My goal is to weigh 200 lbs. This is what I'm working to, I have 100 pounds to go. So my final words are to say THANKS to the crew and my trainer, good luck to all of us on the next 100 pounds.

Sissi Hron

I decided to join this gym, now Onelife Fitness, in September 2007 after my 46 year old sister-in-law died suddenly from a heart attack. She was in poor health and overweight. I weighed close to 200 pounds and knew I needed to lose weight and start exercising and realized this was my wake up call. After joining the gym and doing orientation with a trainer I tried exercising on my own, but did not have a lot of success. I committed myself to doing Team Training 4 to 5 times a week. Team Training introduced me to exercising in a group setting which I found very motivating. Also, with a lot of help and encouragement from the Fitness Director, Alan Van Zandt, I started eating right. My consistency paid off and at the end of the 6 months I had lost 30 pounds. Next, I decided to join Sunrise Boot Camp to increase my cardio workouts. While doing Boot Camp I was introduced to running. At 51 years old I had never run a mile, but since then I have completed 3 half marathons! Now, 18 months later I have lost close to 70 pounds, and gone from a size 16 to size 4. I am in excellent health, and have never felt better, stronger, or more confident. I know I could not have achieved my weight loss goal without the help I received.

Right after school I married and started my own family. We left Virginia and moved to Texas where I was soon divorced and raising a child on my own. I remarried and spent 31 years there before my mother became ill and soon passed away. Not wanting my father to be alone, we put our home up for sale and quit our jobs and returned to Virginia. Arriving in December 2004. I was my father’s care giver until he passed away in October 2006. The attached picture of me was taken on Christmas day 2006, and I began to see things clearer than I ever had before. My weight was 275 pounds in that picture, and I knew I needed to do something or I would end up like my parents with heart issues, type 2 diabetes, lung problems, etc. I did not want my daughter or grand-daughters to watch me die a long and slow death. So I made a new plan. I knew it would be hard work, but I needed a gym. In 2007 I came to your gym and met with Ryan. He made me feel very comfortable. He showed me all around the gym, I felt a new excitement come over me. It may have been a rocky start for me, but I hung in there and prayed asking for an angel to come and show me my way. I never thought the words “LOVE TO WORK OUT” would ever come out of my mouth. But I LOVE IT!!! I no longer take high blood pressure pills. I now weigh 148 pounds. I come to class 6 days a week. I am still learning how to have a healthy body each and every day but I have never felt so good about myself. My only regret is I did not start my journey at Onelife, sooner. I tell everyone now about this wonderful place and people. It does not matter what your size or weight, the people care and will help you 110%.

Molly Brown

The Virginia Beach Onelife Gym has become a part of my life. When I joined 5 years ago I walked in head down and very intimidated. If you would have told me the transformation that was to occur, I can’t say that I would have believed it was possible. I was raised on meat, potatoes, Cheetos and Dr. Pepper and had always been a big girl. I tried numerous diets, never losing a pound. When my younger brother was diagnosed with brain cancer, I decided it was my time to battle my weight issues as he battled and overcame his cancer. I realized life is a gift and I needed to take better care of myself. I lost 90 pounds and went from a size 20 to 4! When I’m at the gym and load two 45 pound plates onto a machine, I think that was the extra weight I carried every day. I always thought that would make a good picture!

Well, this is where the gym came in. I quickly realized it was just as hard to keep the weight off. This was a lifestyle change. So my personal trainer got me started and I just kept coming back. As time passed, my confidence and self-esteem increased. People who hadn’t seen me in awhile didn’t even recognize me. I decided to try a bench press competition. I broke the state record in my age and weight class being able to bench press 140 pounds. I tried a second one and came in second place pressing 145. On a good day, I can get 155 pounds! I’ve also challenged myself by completing marathons and 150 mile bike rides but I’ve calmed down and my latest challenge is the speed bag. As a single mom, there never seems to be enough time and some days I run in for just 30 minutes. Still, it relieves my daily stress. People ask me what motivates me. My 7 and 8 year old sons are active and adventurous and they need an active, adventurous mom. We often ride our bikes to the gym and they love the Kids Club. The staff takes very good care of them and they have fun.

My life is very different now and I’m so happy. It’s so worth it! Funny how life comes around full circle, I now teach nutrition classes in elementary schools. Here is a link to a recent segment that ran on WAVY TV 10. I’m also an instructor for a 10 week course that works with children who have been diagnosed as obese and their families.I was honored when my gym copied my success story from the Virginian Pilot newspaper and placed it on “the wall.” It helped motivate me and I think many others. I always speak very highly of Onelife and would love to make it back to the wall.

I thank you for your time. Your staff at Virginia Beach is awesome!!

Erren Lee

I am a member of Onelife Fitness Newport News and have been a client of Heather's for a year. I just wanted to share with all of you my experiences thus far. A recent accomplishment of mine is that I won the biggest loser at work thanks to Heather!!!

Last April, I was almost 300 pounds and I was confused. I was always an active person, I always wanted to lose weight, but I would resort to "impossible" diets that would lead me to failure and more weight gain. I was beyond the point in my life where I knew I had to make a change, I just did not know how. I finally said, "I have to make a change, it is time to take control of my life back!" So I set up an appointment and joined Onelife. While there, I was amazed at how many people were "investing" in their lives, and I knew I had to do the same, so I was introduced to Heather! Heather took me in and has changed my life! She has taught me how my body works, proper nutrition, different methods of burning fat, building lean body mass, in addition to learning about life. She has turned out to be more than a personal trainer, she is a friend and cares about my well-being. Heather has a way of inspiring and motivating me that enhances my own internal motivation. Words cannot express my gratitude to Heather for what she has done and continues to do for me. Today, I am motivated, full of energy, driven towards a healthier lifestyle, and 50 pounds lighter! Heather has allowed me to take my life back!