Today, I’m featuring my lovely client, Elizabeth! We have been working together for almost seven years (!!!) and she is one of those clients who has become a friend, as well.

Starting off as an in-person client in New York City, Elizabeth (like a few of my other online clients) made the gradual transition from apartment sessions to real-time Zoom sessions, resulting in finally what we are doing now – completely remote coaching.

And this schedule flexibility is key for Elizabeth, who is one of the busiest and most vibrant small business owners I have met. From the very beginning of our working together, I was radically impressed by her dedication to her dog training empire in New York City, Pawsitively Love. From walking to training to boarding, Elizabeth’s passion is enriching the lives of both the dogs and the dog owners in her care. Although she highly values her health and fitness, it’s important that she can squeeze it into her busy schedule and that it doesn’t take over her life.

She reached out to me in her mid-30’s with the desire to get stronger, build muscle, and get a little leaner. Although she employed a team of walkers and trainers, she was still physically active in her business, and she knew that it was important to stay strong. And she was serious! She went from doing yoga several times a week to doing my strength workouts at home, and in all our years together, Elizabeth has rarely missed a workout. She trusts her body well enough to know when to lean in and when to back off, but overall she stays incredibly consistent and continues to push herself to get stronger (and stronger, and stronger).

She was already active and health-conscious when we started working together, but the introduction of strength training (as well as leveling up her vegetarian diet) truly changed her body. She wanted to get “a little leaner,” but she has lost – and kept off – 18 pounds, and I’m blown away any time I see a picture or video of her working out. She looks incredible, moves with strength and ease, and radiates confidence in her body now that she’s in her early 40’s!

Now for the rest of this blog post, I’m going to let Elizabeth take over!

Elizabeth’s Tips

Nutrition tips for busy days:

“I would say the main improvement in my nutrition is a larger variety and also planning even better for when I’m not at home. Prepping things that are easy to make and easy to travel with, and portioned appropriately has become much easier! Like overnight oats (LOVE) with almond milk or coconut basmati rice with chana masala, etc. I have Ziploc containers I use to prep and store and travel with. I always have protein bars around (Barebells, NuGo, Quantum Energy Squares) especially if I’m traveling around town or running errands, so that I always have something healthy in my bag if I get hungry.”

Advice on nutrition consistency:

“I think my best advice for someone who struggles with weight loss or staying consistent would be: reading nutrition labels and planning ahead for prep for a few days, setting clear boundaries with loved ones or people you live with so that they understand your goals and that it’s important to you, and also if you have a day when you get off track, don’t get down about it – just get back on track the next day. I also make sure I save space in my meal planning every single day for chocolate! So I never feel deprived.”

Thoughts on cooking:

“I am horrible! I need things that are pretty quick and easy like healthy frozen meals (cauliflower Mac and Cheese, Purple Carrot spinach artichoke cavatappi, Birdseye penne with cheddar, etc.) and then I add some protein like tuna or a veggie sausage or veggie chicken patty.”

Favorite meals to cook:

  • Breakfasts: overnight oats or English muffin with eggs
  • On-the-go lunch: tuna sandwich
  • Dinner: chickpea pasta with a plant-based veggie sausage, with roasted Brussels sprouts with truffle salt and avocado oil

Her secret to success with exercise:

“Variety!! Always having new things to do so that I don’t become bored, and seeing the benefits of my hard work really make a huge difference. I remind myself how good I will feel after a challenging workout and I take it one chunk at a time rather than looking at it as one huge hurdle. A bunch of small hurdles (like each set) makes it easier to keep going! I look ahead at what workout is planned for that day and eat what I feel I will need for energy too.”

(Christine is one of my private clients who gets a new workout cycle every six weeks or so… if you’re interested in becoming a private client, click here)

Home equipment:

This is just a side note from me, Rachel, in case anyone is curious… Seven years ago, I had Elizabeth buy my typical set of bands and sliders and a few sets of dumbbells, as well as two 25-pound kettlebells. Now, she has an elliptical, three pairs of kettlebells (including 45’s), and dumbbells up to 20 pounds. Her home collection is still pretty minimal, but she is a great example of buying the right things that are effective for muscle gain, fat loss, and fitness.

Now, back to Elizabeth…

On injury:

“I also suffered a serious injury a couple of years ago and Rachel helped to keep me positive (which was no easy task at that time in my life) and modified my exercises so that I had the opportunity get back in shape and feel better about myself throughout the struggle. The situation has actually changed my entire perspective on incorporating exercise into my daily life – and the deep happiness I find in my functional body is hard to describe in words.”

On results:

“My body composition has changed dramatically since we started working together, and so has my level of strength and cardiovascular health. I can lift and move things more easily, I don’t feel out of breath often (unless I’m working out, and that’s the point of the workouts!), and I feel generally healthier and happier from the inside. Truly.”

Sample Workout

Want to try one of Elizabeth’s workouts? This one focuses largely on the glutes, hamstrings, and back.

Warmup – 2 rounds of each, minimal rest

  • Marching glute bridge (12/side)
  • Front plank hip extensions (12/side)

Set 1 – 3 rounds, 60 seconds rest between each

  • Assisted pistol squats (10/side)

Super Set 2 – 3 rounds, 90 seconds rest between each

  • Deficit KB deadlift (12 – FYI she’s doing it with 90 lbs)
  • DB upright row (12)

Super Set 3 – 3 rounds, 90 seconds rest between each

  • DB deficit reverse lunges (12/side)
  • Sliding floor pull-ups (12)

Set 4 – 3 rounds, 60 seconds rest between each

  • Single leg swiss ball glute bridge push up (12/side)

Stretches – she has chosen 10 stretches from yoga that she uses to end every strength training session

  • “They address all my major muscle groups and areas where I can become tight if not stretched regularly.”
  • These stretches include: child’s pose, pigeon, deep squat, camel pose, hamstring stretches, shoulder stretches, and more

And her final pro tip (which I 100% endorse)…?

“And if anyone needs motivation for workouts – it’s when I watch my TV shows! When I do my cardio, after strength training. Helps me to truly look forward to my workouts!”

She is incredibly strong and a great example that home workouts really work. She also demonstrates how easy it can be to make high-protein, healthy choices on a meatless diet. Great job, Elizabeth!!

If you want to work out exclusively at home and see the kind of results that Elizabeth did, you can click here to set up a free consultation with me to talk about which kind of coaching plan would be right for you and your goals.

Rachel Trotta

I am a Certified Personal Trainer, Fitness Nutrition Specialist, Physique and Bodybuilding Specialist, and Women's Fitness Specialist. I live in New Jersey in the NYC metro area, and I coach clients online all over the world. As a trainer and health writer, my mission is to make healthy living sustainable for the average person. I’m also a wife, mom, nature lover, runner, avid cook, weightlifting aficionado, history nerd, travel addict, and obsessive podcast listener. Get in touch!

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