Monday - Friday 6:00am - 8:00pm 150 St. John St, Portland, ME
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Monday - Friday 6:00am - 8:00pm 150 St. John St, Portland, ME
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Real Fitness Tips from Real People


This post was completely unplanned but undoubtedly one I am most proud of. I run an online transformation challenge group for any individual who wants to improve their life through fitness/health. We have a private Facebook group where everyone involved can ask questions, share struggles, post victories, find support, GIVE support, share knowledge etc.

Every time someone joins the group, I make sure to welcome them to the group and be sure they know what the purpose of this group is and how they can use it to succeed in their fitness journey. As I was introducing new members this week, I decided to ask my current members if they could share one piece of advice to someone that is just starting out OR getting back into a fitness routine. The responses were so incredible, I felt compelled to share them in a blog post and give credit to all of my amazing Transphormers.

Without further adue, here are 15 pieces of advice to those starting or in the midst of their fitness journey. These tips are from people just like you and I, that have struggles, set backs, confusion and frustration. People that are just trying to find their groove in a healthy lifestyle.

Slow and steady wins the race. It is easy to want instant results but I had to learn that many small changes equal big results long term.

-Danica Rancourt, Age 37

My biggest piece of advice: be patient. Weight loss and reaching your goals will never be linear. You’ll have ups and downs, as everyone does. And don’t forget to drink your water!!

-Brittany Margiotta, Age 28


I’ve found help in picking small attainable goals (nothing overwhelming). For example, take the stairs instead of the elevator, drink an 8oz glass of water when you get up, make a check list or a to do list for the week. Just something that you know you can complete that will give you that accomplished feeling. Maybe it’s something like packing your work lunch the night before. It all depends on your goals and comfort level.

-Kaitlin Callender, Age 25


Use the adherence chart! Saying you’re going to do something everyday is one thing but actually seeing it written down at the end of the week is another. I thought I was getting enough workouts in until I saw all the Xs for days I missed on my chart. It’s a great tool for holding yourself accountable to what you set out to do. Posting it each week adds to that even more.

(click here for adherence chart)

-Karin Hawkins, Age 38

 As already mentioned, focus on the small stepsthroughout this journey they are the ones that will count the most! Don’t be scared to seek advice/tips or speak out about any struggles you may be facing! Amy and this group is an amazing support system through both the good days and any tough days!

-Carla Newborn, Age 29


 My main tip is to plan ahead and make meals and snacks that are ready to go. I sit down on Sundays and log them into My Fitness Pal (food tracking app) so I can see where my macros are and adjust them if needed. Then I can copy them forward to each day to keep me on track.

-Heidi Kirn

My suggestion is really to get in the right mindset to commit that you are a priority and this is a lifestyle. You aren’t “dieting and exercising”. You are making changes to live a healthier life. The word “diet” to me is almost inherently negative and I automatically want to eat “bad” food. Also not restricting yourself for foods you love. It’s about moderation and balance. There are no such things as good and bad foods. Language is so powerful!

 -Cortnie Curran, Age 32

My one piece of advice, for re-starting at a gym anyways, would be to concentrate on form and range of motion. Lower the weight and do it right. You get more out of it if you do it properly. I greatly reduced my bench press but I feel I get more out of it now than I ever did.

 -Chris Collier, Age 38


One piece of advice is to get comfortable with the idea that most of your success may come from nonscale victories…I initially dropped 15lbs the first 2 months, and since, I’ve maintained my weight. What has changed is my muscle composition, my strength (mentally and physically), my confidence, my sense of comradery with this Phamily, and my mindset…keep an open mind and give yourself credit when deserved!

 -Jenna Dickerman, Age 29

 My advice would be to think of workouts as important business meetings with yourself, and bosses never cancel. With this mindset and knowing that the only bad workout is the one you don’t do .. getting to the gym will become a habit just like brushing your teeth! But along with that is balance and listening to your body and knowing when you need to rest!

-Lindsey Sneider, Age 24

 My piece of advice would be to find something that is not just healthy but something you really enjoy. I started obstacle course racing four years ago and I wanted to get better at it. So that in turn pushed me to do work in the gym and also eat healthier foods. That for me put everything in line and it’s like the old saying, ’you never work a day in your life if you love what you do’.

 -Jared Eaton, Age 36


I would have to say my biggest advice is investing the time in meal prep! Working out is actually the easier part, sticking to nutrition I find is much more difficult! But having meals and snacks planned out and ready to grab can really help take away that mental will-power struggle!

 -Brianne Vilder, Age 30


 My advice is going to be don’t beat yourself up. If some less than optimal choices happen, realize that it’s okay. Life does not usually go according to the plan, so roll with it. It is a journey and there will be ups and downs. We’ll be here for your victories and also when you need a little extra encouragement. We are often our own worst critics so don’t forget to pat yourself on the back for all the good things you accomplish.

 -Amanda Jones, Age  32

 I would recommend taking beginning photos of yourself. It sucks and no one wants to do it and you may cringe when you see them, but this is the only way I was really able to see progress. I take photos every 2-4 weeks. You may not see a difference on the scale, but you will definitely see a change in your body composition and strength.

 -Kelly MacVane, Age 33 & Mags ; )

 In addition to all these, I would say don’t try and make too many changes all at once. That can get overwhelming and completely defeating if you can’t keep up with and do all the changes. Implementing small changes that end up becoming every day healthy habits leads to lasting change.

 -Ana Lara, Age 37

 And that my friends is some great advice. Even being someone that has been in the game for a while, reading these was STILL helpful. Whether this is new insight or a reminder, these are great concepts to really let soak in. What I enjoy the most about these tips is that they are general enough to apply them to your own journey. Which leads me to my piece of advice:

 Understand that no two persons fitness journeys are or should be the same. Like Jenna said, be open minded. And like Jared said, find what you love to do! Everyones healthy eating habits and  fitness regimen are going to be different and that’s a GOOD thing. I URGE you to explore different types of both exercise and eating to find what you truly enjoy and what will realistically fit in your lifestyle long term.

 As a coach, reading these pieces of advice from my Transphormers is a feeling I can’t quite describe. Proud mama bear moment if you will. I do what I do because I LOVE watching people change their lives for the better and realize what they are capable of. Everyone has different ‘AHA’ moments and concepts that stick with them. It was so cool to see what each of them were for my people.

 Lastly, if you are someone trying to find your way in fitness and you’d like to be part of our amazing group, here is the link to sign up!

 There are a few subscriptions you can choose from, choose the free one.

 After you make your purchase/subscription, you will get an email confirmation followed by a Transphormation Registration email. This is where you will find the link to the site and your username and password to get started.

 Once you are in you will need to enter all of your info to get your customized program. Then you will have the option to join my Facebook support group and the Transphormation support group, both will be linked on your dashboard.

Then, you will click on the ‘My Transphormation tab on the left of your dashboard and you will have specific instructions on what to do first.

 I am here as your coach through every step of the process so please don’t hesitate to ask any questions as you get set up!

 Looking forward to having some new faces in this amazing group!

 All my best,



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