Read Their Stories
My name is Gail Dossey and I am 60 years old. I have been a member at a&b since it officially opened over 2 ½ years ago. I was moved to become stronger when on a very short mission trip I suffered extreme pain in my back and leg when it was clearly the easiest trip I had been on. After returning home it became clear to me that I could not serve the Lord the way I desired if I were not physically in better shape.
Like most, I have “issues” to deal with. My back, neck and most recently (3 years) my knees and hands. I needed to find a way to get stronger and at the same time not hurt my joints. Since joining a&b I have gone from pushing myself too hard in an attempt to keep up with the others thus hurting my joints, to listening to Amber when she tells us to “listen to your body” and am now very comfortable in modifying exercises so as not to injure my joints. When I first started at a&b I had a goal of doing 3 “real” push-ups and I can now do 10 on a good day. It has been, and continues to be a challenge to push myself to the point of muscle exhaustion and back off from the joint pain. Learning the difference and finding the balance of pressing forward and backing off has been tricky for me. I am always encouraged when doing a plank hold and it’s getting toward the end that Amber will say “do not drop” and I do anyway that she does not call me out! I am grateful for that.
I bought myself a “Fitbit” in June and I started utilizing its features. I started eating “clean” and increasing my exercise and tracking both. Although my muscles had been strengthened greatly by this time, my knees were still causing me a lot of pain. I felt that my frame was carrying too much weight for them. Now, 4 months later my pain has been decreased by about 75% due to the pounds off of my frame! And with the decrease of pounds, my strength and endurance has increased. It’s a lovely exchange.
I continue to work out spiritually and physically in order to be ready to serve God daily. My body is the temple of the Holy Spirit and I feel that I need to be a good steward of it. Gail-
My name is Julia Weinberger. Iam 55 years old and have a passion to run.In High School Icompeted in track and that ran a mile or more was crazy. Since my own children have all grown,Istarted running more for exercise and to hinder off middle age weight gain. Ialso found out Ihad both high blood pressure and high cholesterol. This was another wake- up call to change my lifestyle.
In 2005 I ran Crazylegs 8K run in Madison with a group of Randolph teachers. The thrillof finishing at the Camp Randall 50 yard line brought back the competitive drive in me. Over the years Ienjoy added not only more races but longer miles. Inow needed to find ways to improve my running and hopefully become faster. After reading many articles,Iknew Ihad to strengthen my core. Amber started holding Boot Camp at the Randolph Elementary Gym in the early morning Oct. 2012.This worked out great forme because I am the Head Custodian there and could get my work-out in before I started my job.
I was hooked and enjoyed the hard work and feeling the improvement in myself each time I went. Amber does a great job working on different muscle groups with a variety of challenging and fun exercises. When A&B Fitness Concepts opened in April2013, I immediately joined and tried many of :the different classes. With the variety of classes they have, there is something for everyone. My favorite is still Boot Camp and TRX is not far behind. I am one of the older ones in the class but I enjoy pushing myself with keeping up with the younger men and women.
By keeping up with my exercise routine, Iam off cholesterol medication and I am on a low dose blood pressure medication. In the last 2 years Ihave posted personal records in a lOK, and both half and full marathons. It seems as a person ages they should be going on a downhill slope but Ihave defied that theory with a little work and a lot of help from A&B Fitness Concepts.
You are never too old to take care of yourself. Amber's knowledge and encouragement for helping others is greatly appreciated. I want to thank Amber for helping strengthen and reshape not only my physical but my mental well being.
I challenge everyone to find an activity they enjoy doing and get moving! Julie-
Coming to A&B Fitness has been a blessing (in disguise) for me! My initial mission was to lose weight—I was done with that number on the scale that only seemed to be getting higher. My first class was Fat Burn and I thought I was going to die!! I was so sore I could barely move the next two days. But, something in me pushed me back into that studio to do it again. I found that every time I left a class—I left feeling awesome, happy and stress free. I loved it and couldn’t wait for more! My mission soon shifted from purely weight loss to getting stronger and toner. Once I really focused on ME and not the scale, the inches and weight started to fall off and I felt AMAZING!!!! Amber is such an inspiration (as are all the participants!)—she knows what you’re capable of and how to push you so you go beyond your limits. There is no such thing as boredom with any of the classes offered. Amber keeps them “new” each and every time. My favorite class is Kettle Bell Kickboxing Blend—I love that I’m getting a great workout and getting rid of any unneeded aggression at the same time!! I truly believe that with out the help of Amber and the participants of A&B, I would not feel as great as I do today!! THANK YOU!!! April-
I consider myself very lucky to have been friends with Amber my whole life; and what a blessing these past few years have been as she has taught me so much about being healthy! Amber is a great teacher and motivator, friend and encourager. She cares about each individual client, and truly makes exercise FUN! I participate in boot camp, spin, kettlebell/kickboxing, and occasionally yoga. There really is something for everyone, every fitness level, and every goal. Working out at a&b has helped me gain strength, energy, and stamina. Amber is always changing things up (in over a year of classes, we have never done the same boot camp twice), adding new exercises or showing us how to do things differently to challenge ourselves the most. I look forward to my time at a&b, for the opportunity to do something to make myself stronger, faster, healthier, and happier. Thanks Amber! I love you!
I was in sports all through high school. The activity kept my weight from going up too much. After I graduated and lost that accountability, the next years were a constant battle of 1 step forward and 2 steps back. I let the weight creep on and my activity level hit an all-time low. Starting with Amber/A&B has given me the push I needed to stop the self-destruct behavior and get on a much healthier path. I now have been able to drop some of the weight, and I am more physically capable than I have been for many years. I am far from done with this journey, but I am so excited for the progress made so far! Anneke
There I was… looking at myself in the mirror with disgust after not being able to button yet another pair of shorts. Ugh. They were my favorite pair from last summer and now they were unwearable. Hadn’t I sworn to myself that I would lose 10 pounds over the winter? I kept gaining even though I tried every internet-recommended diet I came across and paid for a monthly gym membership.
I knew I needed to do better for myself. Then I had my “light bulb” moment, that moment of realization that the best I had felt over the past couple of years was when I had participated in a 10-day boot camp with Becky in Jan of 2013. The results motivated me for a couple of months but then I reverted back to old slug-like habits for over a year. Mustering up the courage to reconnect with Becky wasn’t easy. I knew once I did I would have to commit to a program and I wasn’t really sure I wanted to put in the hard work. I was out of shape and a little embarrassed that I had gained so much weight since I last saw her.
Reaching out to Becky was the best thing I have done for myself in a very, very long time. From the moment I told Becky my weight loss frustrations and my goals, a burden was lifted from my shoulders. She was interested in my whole story and suddenly I wasn’t alone in my struggles. She introduced me to a weight loss support group that touches on every aspect of my life. It incorporates fitness, diet, accountability and self-care. In the few short months since making the commitment, I have learned to love my body, imperfections and all! I am experiencing results that are beyond my expectations. Not only have I lost weight, but I am doing it in a healthy, realistic way that is sustainable. I feel stronger than I have in years. It’s hard work, and I have a long way to go, but I am determined to continue caring for my body for the rest of my life.
Oh, and those shorts that didn’t fit? Well, I just tried them on and not only can I button them, but they may even be a little baggy… ☺ Lori
My hesitation of being in a before and after picture, had everything to do with the fact that I am my own worst critic. When I look in the mirror I see the lumps, bumps and stretch marks courtesy of my three handsome boys who are 10, 7 and 16 months. Until I was reminded that I am “real person” and not a photo shopped idea of what society has been trying to program me to believe I needed to be. I work full time as an RN and with our busy schedules I have to literally drag myself out of bed to get my workout in before my family even starts their day. I have been diagnosed with high cholesterol and after losing my father 8 months ago to heart disease the statement of “stronger then you think” took on a whole new meaning. I’m proud of my success and most importantly I’m leading by example for my children. Michele
-- My story is pretty simple. I was “the fat kid” my entire life. I was picked on to the point of crying more times that I care to admit and sadly, battled with an eating disorder for a large portion of my life. I still suffer from the fat kid complex and cannot put on an outfit without thinking that my butt looks big or my arms look flabby. Honestly, I’ve lost 100 lbs in 5 years! How is that even possible to think?! Anyway, I digress.
I met Becky for the first time in 2012 through a 10 day boot camp class through Sun Prairie Park and Rec. She was the first fitness professional I’d met who didn’t make me feel bad that I couldn’t do a proper burpee or a pushup without having my butt in the air. She also told me that I had to work through the pain and basically man up when I complained of lower back pain. (I struggled with lower back pain after having children. It was pretty brutal). I’ll always appreciate her for those two moments the most. She’s taught me a lot but those two pieces were key in my transformation.
From that first class I have since tried kettlebell, yoga (still trying to gain a love for that one J) and TRX. Becky has shown me that even as a working mom it’s important to take time for myself, that working out can be enjoyable and fitness instructors are not necessarily drill sergeants. Today, I am happy to report that I am 10 lbs shy of being in the healthy weight category on the BMI charts. 10 lbs! 5 years ago I was considered morbidly obese. I’ve started a Wednesday night kettlebell class with old coworkers in hopes that I can share my love of it with them. I still attend small group classes at A&B Fitness as much as I can and I try to do something active with my children every day. I don’t know that I’ll ever be able to see myself as a not fat person but I do know that I’m healthy and I’m strong. Mandy
I have been working with Amber since January 2012 when she started Tighten, Tone, and Strengthing classes in our church basement. It's amazing the changes I have seen in my body and with handling my stress levels. I also took Amber's classes while I was pregnant with my third child. I have to say, by taking these classes a few times a week and doing some cardio, my pregnancy and delivery were much easier than with my other two children. I was also able to bounce back (and then some) a lot quicker. My daughter is now 5 months old and I've lost all my weight and more inches than I had prior to my pregnancy. Amber is awesome at her job. She shows so much such heart and dedication to all of her participants. She's there to push and encourage you through every step of the way. I am so thankful I took that first step in taking classes with Amber. I'm not only the healthiest I've ever been, but I also feel amazing!!!! Jenny
I met Becky in September of 2011 through a small group training through the city of Sun Prairie.
Fitness has always been important to me, but I knew with 3 kids and a husband that travels a lot, the next step was a personal trainer to hold me accountable and get me through my plateau.
I met Becky in September, 2012, when I took part in a 10-day boot camp class she held through a parks & rec program. At that point I was very out of shape and at my highest weight ever. After the camp, I started personal training twice a week. The workouts were always challenging but do-able and Becky continued to push me, even when I didn't think I could do it. Her encouragement goes beyond our training sessions--it's not uncommon for her to e-mail or text just to check in, suggest something new to try or just say, "Good job--I'm proud of you!"
After giving birth to my 2nd daughter Zoey in November 2012, I developed severe medical issues due to an infection from my c-section and I ballooned to be the heaviest I had ever been in my life. Upon my return to work after maternity leave, I finally made the decision that I had to do something to get myself back into shape and better my life. That is when a good friend told me about this A & B Fitness place she had been taking classes at and suggested I give it a try.
Two years ago I was sitting around feeling sorry for myself. I had put on 60 lbs. after a very stressful time in my life dealing with voice issues. I could have cared less about myself. Friends and Family were noticing I was just not my bubbly, cheery, let’s go get ‘em kind of girl any more. My husband had come home with Becky’s number and he said, “Let’s call her, she can help us.” So we sure did… I have to admit the first year of doing classes with Becky was an up and down struggle. I was there physically but not mentally. Then fall of 2012 I decided we are doing this and the challenge began. Weighing the heaviest I have ever weighed in my life, ‘Game was on!’ I was doing Boot Camp, Kettle Bell and Yoga. Working hard and putting my mind and body into it. The weight sure started dropping off. Some weeks of course were better than others.
I met Becky about six years ago at work; she was very motivated on getting us to take the time to work out. I however, wasn’t ready
My wife and I did a boot camp with Becky in September and knew immediately that we needed to have her as a personal trainer.
I started boot camp twice a week with A&B Fitness in August 2012. Initially I was shocked at how out of shape and how sore I was after each class. Both Amber and the class participants were very encouraging. I started with the intent to lose weight but my goals changed to include getting stronger. It became a personal challenge to increase how many sit ups I could do or how long I could hold a plank. I loved the energy I had and how good I felt about myself. In the spring of 2013 when Amber and Becky opened the studio, we increased boot camp to 3 times a week and I added spin twice a week. Amber is a great coach; cracks the whip, keeps you hopping but does it with humor and a positive attitude. Having a group to support and challenge you is an added benefit.
I have to admit, when I started Boot Camp back in November I did not know what to expect. Turns out that you can have fun at 5:45am and work hard!
The phrase “boot camp” sounds intimidating to someone who rarely exercised. After seeing this picture of myself last year, I knew I had to change something. My girlfriend was going to boot camp with Amber and kept encouraging me to join. So I started last October and I have lost 10 pounds, but have gained muscle and so much confidence. My inspiration has been my two grandchildren. I want to be strong enough to do physical activities with them.
Amber and Becky have motivated me to keep going and re-energize me after each and every class!!!
My body image for all my life has been low and Amber and Becky have really helped me to turn this around, truly!!!
I first met Becky this summer while taking a Boot Camp class that she was teaching through the city. I was really curious as to what the “craze” was all about with Boot Camp, and I was anxious to keep my exercise routine “interesting”. I have always been one to self-motivate myself to incorporate cardiovascular activities in my daily life, including walking, running, and biking. However, I have always struggled with doing the dreaded sit-ups, pushups, and other types of strength training. Well,
I fell in love with Becky's class immediately!
Amber is the strongest person I know. Not only is she strong physically, she is strong mentally, too. Amber is very focused and determined; she has been through her own weight loss journey and because of that, she knows that hard work and a strong mind-set are crucial towards meeting one's goal. When I meet with Amber to exercise, I know that my work out will be challenging and a good use of my time.
Boot camp with Becky, what a great way to start the day!
I look forward to the classes that I take with both Amber and Becky. I have been taking Yogalaties with Becky and I love how I feel when I am done --- all stretched out. Both Amber and Becky work really well with all types of people and they motivate me to do my best. They instruct, encourage and most of all, they get it! They lead through the example of being a well rounded person. At first when Amber convinced me to start doing strength, I thought it was going to be a waste of my time, becuase I always thought cardio,cardio, cardio is how you lose weight. It's been about 6 months since I started doing strength consistantly and went from not being able to do 5 push ups to doing 100. (I wanted to die during that class, but I finnished them!!) One of the other things that I appreciate about Amber is that she is a great resource when it comes to eating healthy and making good food choices. I would encourage anyone who is on the fence about taking one of their classes to go ahead and try it, after every class I take, I think,