After making the big decision to improve your personal health and fitness, it’s only natural to hope for quick results. But experienced coaches, like Renee Tibbs, know that the key to big changes and weight loss goals is understanding the importance of slow but steady progress.
“The first thing I do when I meet with a new client is ask questions and listen carefully,” said Tibbs, a certified personal trainer at Anytime Fitness in Franklin, LA. “It’s not a cookie cutter, one-size-fits-all kind of thing. I have to find out what works for each individual person so that we can work together on achieving their goals, tweaking things as we go and letting them know that they are not on this journey alone.”
Small Improvements Lead to Bigger Ones
“I NEVER pass up the opportunity to say ‘remember when,’” Tibbs said. “Remember when you couldn’t even do a push-up on your knees and now you do burpee pushups! Celebrating small victories motivates people to try new things and proves that nothing is impossible. I often say, ‘If you quit, you are just going have to start all over again. So, do yourself a favor and keep going!’”
Raven Landry sought help from Tibbs primarily because she wanted to lose weight.
“I had turned 26 years old and I was overweight and very unhappy—drinking all the time and eating bad foods,” said Landry. “I weighed 198 pounds, the heaviest I had ever been in my life. I reached out to Renee in July of 2014 and told her I was desperate and willing to do ANYTHING at that point. She was so willing to help. I signed up for a year of personal training, and from that moment, everything changed for the better. I got outside my comfort zone and great things happened. She helped me get my life back. She inspires me to train harder. Her voice is always in my head: ‘One more, five more minutes, push through the pain.’ I am working on a body that I love.”
Nine years ago Janis Boudreaux weighed 270 pounds and decided to have bariatric surgery.
“In the next year, I dropped 80 pounds, but I reached a point where I could no longer lose weight,” said Boudreaux. “I started gaining weight again and was frustrated. Luckily for me, an Anytime Fitness opened up in Franklin. I met with Renee for a fitness consultation. I was not hesitant to work with a trainer, but having no experience, I started with two days a week. I was amazed at what Renee was able to get out of me. I could see, and more importantly feel, the difference. I am now training five days a week and the difference in my body is amazing. She has taught me so much about not living around a scale, but concentrating on the way I feel. That being said, I now weigh about 175 and do not feel like a 61 year old! I am now stronger and more agile than I have been in a very long while. Renee has motivated me to persevere. I have had health issues in the past five years, but Renee has never let that be an excuse for me to quit. I’ve had issues with dizzy spells and when I had a broken collar bone, Renee came to my house to instruct me on lower body exercises. She has worked with me on core exercises and I no longer suffer with dizziness. She has been grocery shopping with me. And she has been in my pantry and refrigerator to see what was going on in there. Renee has become one of my dearest friends and I will forever be grateful for all she has done. Not only physically, but emotionally and spiritually. She is one in a million!”
More Wisdom From Personal Trainer Renee Tibbs
“Communication between a client and trainer is key,” says Tibbs. “It doesn’t matter how small or trivial you think your concerns may be. I need to know what you’re thinking in order to help you. We both need to think of your fitness journey as a work in progress. We may change things up from time to time, tweaking things as we go based on what works best and what each individual client feels comfortable doing.”
The Importance of Celebrating “Small Victories”
“When discouragement sets in, then we go back and see the progress made and how far they have come since they first started and celebrate the small victories,” says Tibbs. “And I always tell them, ‘It’s not about the scale. It’s how your clothes fit and how you feel when you are exercising and eating right. It’s getting rid of bad habits and replacing them with good ones for a lifetime.’ The most important thing I ask each of my clients to remember, no matter what temporary set-backs they may encounter, is that you are not on this journey alone. We’re in this thing together.”