FFC Old Town fitness director and master trainer Eric Alexon shares the story of family member Laura, how she got involved with Myzone and FFC (which functioned as a sort of weight loss community) and lost over 70 pounds – while in Mexico, no less, along with his own takeaways on how she found success.

When It Was Time for a Change

Laura: I was my heaviest at 181 pounds about 5 years ago. My heart and the mirror were the two biggest reasons for making a change.

Eric: There is always an ‘it factor’ behind major changes related to fitness goals. The ‘it factor’ can be buried deeply. Identifying the real ‘it factor’ behind wanting to make healthy fitness changes is key. For Laura it was not liking what she saw in the mirror one day. Laura also talked about being sad, overall, with how she was feeling and what she was seeing and in her reflection.

These two ‘it factors’ propelled Laura to make lifestyle changes. Laura joined a gym in Mexico City and got a Myzone heart rate device. She met with a trainer and a nutritionist on a regular basis. These changes gave Laura knowledge and accountability and provided an environment for positive physical changes.

Related: check out FFC group fitness instructor Omar’s first-hand account of what happened when he tried Myzone.

How I Started to Change

Laura: Food was my first change. I started with a nutritionist and walking 30 minutes a day, every day, but that was initially too much, so I had to try for 15 minutes a day. With the help of a nutritionist and my brother Pablo, I started cutting carbs and focusing on portion control.

Eric: Laura turned to experts and people who were inspirational and supportive. The trainer and nutritionist helped educate and guide Laura. In the fitness industry, we say that you are the sum of your 5 closest friends when it comes to your own fitness.

Laura surrounded herself with friends and family that had/have similar healthy lifestyles. Laura’s brother, Pablo, is an amateur bodybuilder and member of FFC Old Town. Pablo introduced Myzone to Laura so he could encourage and support her from thousands of miles away!

Taking It to the Next Level

Laura, 5 years ago

Laura: I received a Myzone belt from Pablo and started going to the gym regularly, Monday through Friday, for one hour. The belt and the colored zones motivated me from the start. Initially, I was only able to achieve gray and blue. Little by little, I was able to achieve green during some workouts. Over time and with consistency, I was able to eventually reach yellow and some red during my toughest workouts.

I liked the social component – it helped encourage me. I set my cardio workouts for the yellow zone, which would give me a definite target so I knew I was getting maximum MEPs (Myzone effort points). I could see Pablo and Eric, and even encouragement from people in Chicago I’d never met, giving my workouts a thumbs up or bicep emoji. This encouragement helped me a lot.

Eric: Myzone is a great tool for accountability for people not only in the same gym, but even as far away as Mexico City. It creates a community (like a weight loss community might) and a sense of belonging. Laura has competed in many M2W competitions and uses the social component to stay connected and feel like she is on the Old Town team!

Maintaining the Results

Laura: Seeing the clothes I can fit into now is a great motivation. Seeing my old pictures helps me not want to gain weight again. I’ve maintained my weight of 136 pounds for about 2 years.

Eric: Consistency is the key. We know that even a ‘safe’ fitness program performed consistently can provide low-level results. When consistency is added to factors such as a trainer and nutritionist, real results can be achieved and maintained. The more support and accountability, the greater the chance of long term, sustainable results.

Keys to Success

Laura: Myzone, my diet and consistency have been the keys to my success. Knowing that people at FFC in Chicago can see my workouts has helped me maintain and encourages me!

July workout results

Eric: The competitions have helped motivate Laura and keep the weight off. Even though she lives in Mexico City, she can see how hard the competition works in Chicago at all the FFC clubs. For example, in July, she worked out 29 out of 31 days during one of the competitions, which makes her feel like she belongs to the Myzone and FFC communities, even though she’s never been to the United States.

Laura with brother Pablo

Future Fitness Goals

Laura: I want to keep going! Balance and definition are the two goals moving forward in 2019.

Eric: I believe that Laura having realistic goals from the beginning was the key to her success. Her initial goal was to get moving. The next was to get moving consistently. After that, it was adding fitness experts (like a trainer and nutritionist) and the Myzone belt for education and accountability. Lastly, Laura added the final appearance and performance goals of definition and balance after achieving the many other sequential goals. Through short, medium and long-term goals from the beginning, she has continued the formula to success, one step at a time.

Post adapted by FFC fitness director and master trainer Eric Alexon.

About Eric

Eric is the fitness director and a master trainer at FFC Old Town and is also NASM-certified. He specializes in TRX, PTR and kettlebell training, among other areas. Want to check out a class? Stop by FFC Old Town for one of his PTC/TRX classes, Mondays and Wednesdays from 6 – 7 AM, or Tuesdays and Thursdays from 12 – 1 PM. Questions? You can also email him at ealexon@ffc.com!