Fitness and Healthy Living - Guiding Change

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    Adrienne Parsons, personal trainer and fitness consultant at the
    Fry Family YMCA, found her calling and herself through a
    transformative experience at the Y.
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    I love to help people and show them that if I did it, they can, too.
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    The Parsons family pictured before they exercised healthy living at the
    Fry Family YMCA (left) and after (right).


Y MaxTraining inspires Adrienne to help others transform their lives.

After decades of trying every diet in the book, Adrienne Parsons was still desperately overweight. Her second child, Samuel, came four weeks early because of preeclampsia, which was triggered by high blood pressure and poor nutrition.

While recovering in the hospital with her child in the neonatal intensive care unit, Adrienne made a vow, “If I caused this, then I have to fix it.” Adrienne took action and joined the Fry Family YMCA, which was her first gym membership.

She was surprised when Audrey Jones, health and wellness director at the Fry Family YMCA, recommended Y MaxTraining. “I thought personal training was something only wealthy people could afford.”

After Audrey explained the benefits of Y MaxTraining, Adrienne knew it offered the motivation and consistency she needed. She and Jon met with a trainer every Wednesday for a year, which became their "date night" at the Y.

Adrienne would also workout with her Y MaxTraining notebook every other morning, which outlined a regimen that was effective and attainable. Research shows that it takes at least six months to form the habits of healthy eating and exercise that result in a true lifestyle transformation.

“Audrey was amazing,” says Adrienne. “If we were having a bad week, she’d say, ‘It’s all right. The important thing is to focus on the end game and keep going.’”

A year later, Adrienne and her husband lost a collective 115 pounds. She feels like a new person and is more comfortable in her own skin. “My 3-year-old looks at old pictures of me and asks, ‘Who’s that?’” she laughs.

Adrienne was so impressed with the compassion of her personal trainer and the sense of community at the Y, she decided to become a Y MaxTraining instructor and work alongside Audrey, the woman who inspired her to transform her life.

“It’s so rewarding,” Adrienne says. “I love to help people and show them that if I did it, they can, too.”

Y MaxTraining was developed at the Fry Family YMCA, piloted at the Kroehler Family and Indian Boundary YMCAs and is being rolled out across the YMCA of Metro Chicago Association in 2014.

Learn more about Adrienne's journey and how the Y transformed her life.