Blog Post

how strength training changed my body (and my life)

Hi  Recently, someone asked how I got into strength training. I haven’t shared this story with you before (…or at least that I can remember…”mom brain” is such a real thing) so I’m going to tell you about it today. 

I’ve been working in the health and fitness field for almost 12 years, and believe me when I say, I’ve seen and tried it all. I was never athletic as a kid; I dreaded the mile run in P.E. I hated playing sports. I truly despised anything physically active and preferred to lay on the couch and watch TV (…okay, some things haven’t changed. I still love a good Netflix binge session on the couch in my stretchy pants). When I was a teenager, my family joined the new YMCA in our town. I can still remember going in the fitness center for the first time with my mom; we had an orientation together with one of the gym attendants. We both learned how to use the equipment and were given a plan to follow based on the equipment we were shown how to use.

I can also remember thinking to myself “uhh I am never going to do any of this. It’s lame. It’s boring” – Sadie Simpson at 15. Sadie Simpson at 33 still feels the same way about a workout plan consisting of 30 minutes on the elliptical + a few strength machines. 

But during that same gym orientation, we also received a tour around the facility. It was then that I found, what I thought at the time was the holy grail of fitness: Cardio Kickboxing. I immediately joined the class because I was drawn to the concept of punching, kicking and hitting things. What 15 year old girl wouldn’t want to do that?!

Also in that moment, I immediately fell in love with group fitness classes. For the first time in my life, I found a form of physical activity that I actually enjoyed. 

Over the years, I took ALL THE CLASSES. Step. Cycle. Yoga. Strength. Water Fitness. Dance. and more. You name it, I took it. 

After college, I became certified to each ALL THE CLASSES and began instructing at the very YMCA where I was first introduced to group fitness. You name it, I taught it.

And after 5 years of teaching 8-15 cardio fitness classes a week, you would think that I’d be the fittest woman on earth, but I was the exact opposite. Instead of being that stereotypical peppy, strong, fit exercise instructor, I was weak. 
I was exhausted.
I was moody. 
I was hungry.

And if we’re being really honest here, I was never truly satisfied with how my body looked. I was frustrated that although I was exercising for literal hours every week, I never saw any changes in my physique. One day while browsing Amazon, I came across a weight lifting book for women and I was immediately intrigued. The idea of “man exercises” in the “scary weights area” of the gym was something I’d never done before. I was looking for something completely different to do and this seemed like a great fit.
 
To make a long story short, that one Amazon purchase completely changed the trajectory of my life in fitness. Over the course of a year (that’s about how long the program was in the book), I learned what it meant to exercise efficiently. I learned how to truly challenge my body – and mind – in ways that I had never been pushed before. I learned how freeing it felt to stop measuring my success by the number on the scale and to instead focus on how much weight I could add to the barbell with each workout. 

It was during that year that transformed from self-conscious, dissatisfied, physically exhausted cardio-queen to a weight-lifting badass who, for the first time, felt confident, comfortable and extremely empowered in her body. 

I came to realize there was something magical about picking up a barbell or a set of dumbbells and challenging your body to lift something heavy.

That there was something empowering in realizing you’re a lot stronger than you give yourself credit for.

Something special in building confidence in the weight room because that same confidence carries over in to so many other areas of life: in your work, in your relationships, and more.

Isn’t it pretty darn awesome how one small, seemingly mundane purchase from the internet could make such a huge impact on one’s life?  That’s exactly why I’m so excited to share Strength Made Simple with you. I’ve taken years of weight-lifting education, experience and practice and compiled it into one easy-to-follow 9-week training program designed to produce results.

It’s an amazing privilege for me to share all that I have learned over the years to help other women just like you transform from frustrated and exhausted to empowered and strong.

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