55 by 55, Part 2: Losing Weight and Moving Forward at the Gym

Lauren Metheny working me out at Lifetime Fitness in October

When you're overweight, there is very little as intimidating as a gym. You feel as if everyone is watching you and wondering why you're there--it's obvious from your size that you haven't been hanging out at the gym much before now. Finding someone to help you find your way toward being in shape is very helpful, but it needs to be just the right person.

Enter Lauren Metheny. Lauren's bright, effervescent personality, and encouraging words were just what I needed. Lauren and I first met through a free one-hour training session that turned into several weeks of one-on-one training that helped me move forward in my wellness journey.

Lauren is a Kansas girl who attended Kansas State and then worked for the Kansas State football team. Her mom was a personal trainer and taught group fitness classes while Lauren was growing up, so being a personal trainer was always a thought of hers. Lauren, however, loved collegiate athletics and wanted to work in that field. Once she had gotten her dream job at Kansas State, she met an assistant coach, Ross Metheny, and the rest was history. Meeting and marrying Ross changed the trajectory of her career. When the couple moved to Alpharetta, Georgia, Lauren had to find a new career for which she had a passion.

Lauren's desire to work with and help people is what led her to follow her mother's example and become a personal trainer. It was her drive to help others that made her the perfect personal trainer for me. Lauren understood where I was in my journey, met me where I was, and helped me move forward, which is what made her a great trainer.

"Everyone has a story and I love learning and helping people grow throughout their journey. It also inspires me!" says Lauren.

For trainers, there is a great deal that goes into helping someone. Lauren explains, "Training is obviously a huge part of our job but I also try to focus on building relationships and continuing to meet new faces. A huge part of personal training that not everyone sees is the program design and detail of each workout/routine. All together, we work around 40 hours a week to continue to grow clientele, train and design. 

For those who want to get in shape, Lauren has some advice, "Start small. Set SMART goals (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, time-bound). Write your overall goal on a sticky and put it in a spot you look daily. Then set a goal for the week and don't become overwhelmed by your larger goal, but see your small goal as a stepping stone to continue to chase after the larger one."

If someone wants to become a personal trainer, she says, "Don't worry about the little things because, at the end of the day, people just want you to care and help them grow. Communication is key and allowing someone to feel good about the skin they are in is the "why" I do what I do. In the fitness industry things are always changing, a new study comes out, a new method or diet becomes a hot topic, but staying true to your style is what will go the farthest, from my experience."

As Lauren establishes herself at Lifetime Fitness, she hopes to continue to build up her clientele and grow as a trainer, "I see myself in personal training for the rest of my life. I feel it is what I have been called and led to do, and I hope to have the platform to continue for many more years to come!"

Working out with Lauren was a very important part of my journey because it gave me confidence. Yes, I toned up some and got stronger, but the benefits went beyond that. She cheered me on and gave me tools to move forward. If you're considering working with a trainer, choose wisely--maybe you'll fine one like Lauren Metheny.

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