Out Of Place, Yet In The Place I Needed Most. 250 Pounds Over Weight - Mark

Many years ago I was 250 pounds overweight. Yes, you read it right. There was a gym close to my work and one day I decided to check it out. Of course the salesmen saw me walk in and dollar signs went off the top of his head! It was not a comfortable experience. Out of place I was, yet in the place I needed most. On the tour of this facility, Shelley passed by with that big smile, if you know her you know what I am talking about.


She said “Hey! Hope your day is a good one” (in that Reba McEntire voice) as if she had said it to me a million times before. After the tour the salesman was trying to lock me in a 3 year contract. Now that is commitment to my bank account for sure but who is gonna make me show up. That is when Shelley walked in the door, smiled and said I am gonna wait by the door everyday and make you do it.


And that she did. Without her, those salesmen never would have my contract. And without her I never would have lost 250 pounds. She is a committed person to helping, encouraging, and building lifelong standards to achieve and maintain better health. She is an amazing person. If you have the opportunity to use her as your personal trainer or take her classes, do it. You will never regret and never look back. Step4ward is the perfect name for her business because that is her call to you…Step4ward

The Grocery Store Meeting I Will Never Forget - ``Shy Gina``

Shelley mentioned these testimonies were to be about us and how changing our lifestyle to a healthy side has changed our life for the better. She said this was not to be a bragging of SHELLEY. So, I thought long and hard on what to say without talking about her. It is hard when that is how my story began. I never would be where I am today if SHE had not encouraged me to come to the gym, stick to it, be the strong and healthy woman God has intended for me to be.

I met Shelley at an Albertson’s grocery store about 10 years ago. It was the middle of the afternoon on a work day. That is when I like to go because NO ONE is supposed to be there at that time. I was on the snack isle (of all places to be) That is when a voice broke my concentration on which snack I was going to open before I even left the store. She said, “Too many choices, no wonder we have such a hard time with food.” As I stared at the box in my hand, wondering why someone had to speak to me, she speaks again saying, “These are pretty good, have you ever tried them?” And she throws several boxes into her cart. I looked up at who this very vocal person could be. She smiled at me as if we were old college roommates.

The strangest feeling came over me and I spoke to her. For those of you who do not know me, at least 10 years ago, I was not one to speak to anyone especially a stranger. I walk with my face to the floor, avoid all eye contact so I will NOT be spoken too.

We talked for 30 minutes. She invited me to the gym where she worked and even gave me a few other gym locations to try. She said just tell them at the desk you are my guest. I left the grocery store that day and did not open any snacks. That was a miracle.

The next day I went to her gym, I would have driven across Dallas to be at her gym. I was scared to death to say I was Shelley’s guest, in fears they may laugh in my face. Before I even had to say a word. She was upstairs looking down as if she knew I was coming and yelled, “She is with me” I never had to say a word.

As the story goes, I lost 50 pounds, I still go to the gym. Shelley is long gone from my gym but she stays in touch and keeps me motivated. When I go to the grocery I always smile as I walk down the snack isle remembering that day changed my life.

64 Year Old Man And Disgusted With Myself - Jimmy

Weighing 235 at 5’ 7-1/2” I was disgusted with myself. All my life I had been physically active, until I had a kidney removed because of cancer. Luckily it had been caught early so no radiation or chemo was necessary. I joined the local gym. I plunged in all the way, signing up for the nutrition/and personal training 6-week program.

Some stats: April 4, 1999. Weight 235, body fat 34%, waist 43”, and taking high blood pressure medication daily.

After finishing the first 6 weeks introduction, I was so happy with my progress that I signed up with my personal trainer Shelley Glasson for another 18 sessions.

My stats: September, 1999. Weight 205, body fat 30.3%, waist 39”. Still on high blood pressure medication.

I have continually used Shelley, as I found my progress not only noticeable, but also rapid. I lifted weights, or engaged in some form of aerobic conditioning all of my adult life. I don’t ever recall having such a noticeable change in my body.

My stats: December, 1999. Weight 185, body fat 21.1%, waist 34.5”.

On January 1, 2000. My trainer is, and continues to be Shelley Glasson. She is well trained and a very professional personal trainer. In the past I have had two other trainers from other gyms who “knew the moves” but didn’t keep me motivated and kept me in touch with goals. I am at a point now that when I miss a session, I not only feel guilt, but more importantly feel I am missing out on something that is very essential to me. Shelley has set out goals for me, she checks and tests me every 4 weeks to measure my progress against my goals. She keeps the exercise routines “un-routine”, keeping them fresh and something I really look forward to. So far my goals have been met, and I am looking forward to meeting my upcoming goals.

My stats: May, 2000, Weight 170.5, body fat 17.4%, waist 32.25”. I was taken off of high blood pressure medication.

My doctor says my blood tests and physicals show a marked improvement in my physical being. (I think he understated it!) My experience has been no “stroll through the park”. I have worked hard at obtaining my goals, not only the exercise, but just as importantly (if not more), proper nutrition. There has been some sweat, but this has been more than offset by the gratification of seeing really rapid and solid progress.
By the way, I’m 67 years old, and have never felt better in my life.

Grave's Thyroid, Asthma And Weight Gain....UUUG! - Doris

I was working out at the gym and I struck up a conversation with one of the Personal Trainers, Shelley Glasson, and her client. The lady being trained had achieved “Most Improved Member” and her photograph was framed and hanging out on the lobby wall. Shelley told me that I could see those kinds of results. If not for her client standing there looking amazing I would have laughed.

I immediately signed up for my first training sessions with Shelley, having no idea then how totally dedicated and committed I would become to living a healthier and thus happier lifestyle. I would still be training with Shelley if she had not moved to Oklahoma!

At the time I joined the gym, I was experiencing difficulties with my health. By merely walking up a couple of flights of stairs I would get asthma. I had been gradually gaining weight after radiation for Grave’s Thyroid Disease. I was in a great deal of pain from intestinal blockages, my feet would go numb when walking, and my job as an analyst contributed to neck and shoulder problems. My nutritional belief was that if I ate less, I would gain less, and I did not think I would be successful with weight training and vigorous exercise because of my health problems.

By making fitness a definite priority in my life and weight training 2-3 times a week and doing cardio 3-4 times a week, I have seen my dress size go down from size 14 to size 6, I am no longer dependent on steroid asthma inhalers, my percentage of body fat has gone down from 36% to 23%, I no longer have intestinal problems, and my health has improved tremendously. I feel a great sense of pride in all that I have accomplished so far. I will continue working out, paying attention to nutrition because I know that is what I need to do to stay in good health.

I would like to give special thanks to my personal trainer, and good friend, Shelley, who taught me that the only limitations I face are the ones in my mind. She has been instrumental in motivating and encouraging me, she knew when to push me, and when my body had enough. She has helped me to accomplish my goals and I am a much happier person today because of it.

My Mind Is 25 But My Body Is 50! - Bill & Linda

In my mind I still feel 25 years old, but like so many middle age people I had neglected regular exercise and proper diet the last 15 years. I had played 3 varsity sports in high school and a year of college football and I’d run 3-6 miles daily. I was fit, trim and could eat just about anything… I was a calorie-consuming machine! Now I am 50!

Things changed as work and family commitments (5 little girls) took most of my time. I still tried to run and in fact in the past have run probably (25) 10K and 8 mini-marathons. At age 40 I had a gallbladder surgery that had complications to the point that I ended up with a bothersome stomach hernia. I found that running distance aggravated it and lifting weights made me weak and very sore. In retrospect I was probably overdoing it, but instead of tapering-off… I gradually just gave up.

The end result has been fatigue, becoming 40 pounds overweight and elevated blood pressure. In addition to my condition my pretty wife Linda had put on the extra pounds and was depressed by her appearance. She would come home from her job as a financial secretary at a local middle school, eat dinner and want to go to bed at 8:30. I give this background, because there are thousands of baby-boomers caught up in this same type of lifestyle. We made a pact to try and change so that we can hopefully enjoy the next 50 years. We signed up. In addition, we also signed on for a Personal Training program.

We were assigned to personal trainer,  Shelley, an athletic young lady with a great personality and smile that makes you want to smile back. She took our measurements and started us on a weekly workout program. She said “Congratulations on one of the best but toughest decisions you could make.” Boy was she right. I knew my wife would struggle with this new regime, I just didn’t realize how hard it would be for me. After the second workout we were both depressed and Linda said to me, “Is this really worth it”? I replied, “Let’s see how we’re feeling in a month.” We realize that we had a long way to go to get back to our optimum fitness. It was a struggle, but we tried and with Shelley’s encouragement and determination when we lacked it, we got there.

Shortly after we had the thoughts of “quitting”, I was working out. I was dripping sweat and sore. Those same stupid thoughts crept into my mind…”This is just silly, you’re trying too hard. Why are you pushing yourself?” As I walked to the stairs to go home I glanced over to a young man in his twenties in a wheelchair. He was bent over in his wheelchair with the cable handle in his left hand and his right arm folded in his stomach. This kid was pulling with every fiber of his being…. trying to pull that handle down. It was not a lot of weight, but as soon as he would get it down, he would slowly release it back up and go again. I didn’t want to stare, but I watched him for at least two minutes. I wanted to go over and encourage him, but I also thought that I might start to get emotional, so I just left.

I am not going to feel sorry for myself anymore. This young man taught me again what a blessing it is to have your health and that to really enjoy life you have to struggle. It is not enough to try hard. I must start to feel appreciative about trying hard. I must be grateful for the opportunity to workout… it is a gift. Life is a celebration.

Back Surgery And I Can't Dance - Karen

I had an accident at work. Four operations later, I was at the end of my rope. I decided to seek a personal trainer. My doctor sent a prescription and my Workers’ Comp Insurance authorized 16 visits. I had a total left knee replacement. I had a lot of setback that year. I had physical therapy through another health club. Unfortunately, my success with walking was minimal. I was using crutches for nearly 10 months. I am forever grateful to my personal trainer, Shelley Glasson, for working with me and giving me her undivided attention. Her perseverance and hard work has paid off with me because she has got me back on the dance floor dancing Salsa and cambia’s. I have had tears in my eyes for almost 2 years because of the pain and feeble use of my legs. Since my personal trainer, my life has changed considerably. No more tears and if I cry it is because I am so happy. Shelley working with me has shown how dedicated she is to her job. She is an incredible example of a dedicated trainer and you should recognize her talents. I thank Shelley and the gym for giving me back my life. I still have a long way to go, but I am confident that I will attain my goals.

Mid Life Crisis And DEPRESSED - Margarett

I am the mother of five. At 40 I had a war zone of my own: I fought cancer as it metastasized into other areas of my body. My oldest son was going out with the gatekeeper of Hades. My daughter was experimenting with alcohol and angry with me because I had divorced her adulterous father. My third son was my lifeline, and son #4 was experimenting with drugs and hanging around with people who practiced alternative lifestyles and worshipped the Devil.

My youngest son, frustrated with the whole mess, ran away from home for a year.This explosion took place in a home of well-adjusted, responsible, middle class kids, who were loved and encouraged. These were successful kids who had made me explode with pride in their accomplishments…athletes, scholars and gold medals for achievement. Their dad and I had centered our lives on them and were confident they would never give us a sleepless moment. At the height of all the chaos, my husband’s company filed bankruptcy. He went to work in another city working 14 hours a day with a 4-hour commute. His reaction to all the stress was to distance himself from the kids and me.

Through the stress and strain of all of the above, I went from size 3 to a size 16 in 6 months. This added to the strain on our marriage. My husband was giving 150% to his job, 25% to his personal fitness schedule, and 25% to the kids.

Devastated by my failing marriage, disillusioned with my children, imprisoned in a body with a non-existent immune system, my self-esteem was in the toilet. My weight climbed to 220 pounds on my tiny 5’3″ frame. I was wearing a size 22. Just when I thought things couldn’t get worse, they did. All of it – the kids, my health, the marriage, it all kept spiraling out of control like a huge tornado destroying all that we had spent a lifetime building.

At first, I cried. Next, I withdrew into my bed, angry with God. The only thing holding my marriage together was our vows. Finally, I realized that I was going to have to save my own life: no one was going to rescue me from the pain. I realized that there are people with bigger problems than I had. It’s relative.I needed to pull myself together.

I had become so angry and bitter over the events in my life. I was mean and depressed. I finally decided enough is enough. I got up one morning and decided to go to the gym for one last desperate attempt to lose weight and strengthen my immune system. I started with weights. I would come in and work down the line of circuit machines. I didn’t know anyone, and I felt isolated, but kept going.

Then one day, one of the personal trainers walked past me and smiled a very warm and caring smile and said “hang in there.” For some small reason I felt we connected and with that I continued the next week. As I was straining and wondering if there was any hope, that trainer with the big warm smile approached me, her name was Shelley Glasson. She offered support and her caring attitude was so comforting.

The next week went by and before long it was one month and I was making friends at the gym. Shelley was there everyday without a doubt I could depend on her stopping by to say a few words of encouragement. The exercise somehow affected my eating. Food had been my tranquilizer, now I just worked out my anger. After the first month, I lost ten pounds. Shelley persuaded me to let her check my body fat and measurements. I dreaded her pinching my fat but that smile pulled me in and I did it. Of course the news was not the greatest but Shelley gave me the low down on where I needed to be and she said she would be there to help in any way I needed. Not once did she ask me for money, I felt as if she was my guardian angel. How did she know I needed an angel?

I then began working out five days a week. The second month, Shelley checked my body fat again, I lost another 10 pounds and had made a few more friends .The third month, Shelley measured my body fat and talked me into participating in a low impact aerobics class twice a week. I lost another 10 pounds and another dress size. The fourth month, I added another class of aerobics. I did Shelley’s group cycling class. She had a replica of a pound of fat, which burns 4 calories an hour, and a pound of muscle that burns 45 calories per hour. I realized how important it was to transform one pound into muscle.

I never went on any special diet. My appetite just came into submission to my new goals.The fifth month, I decided to hire Shelley as my personal trainer. For months she had proven to care for my well being and offered so much support I began to wonder what the possibilities would be if I trained with her for an hour twice a week. I made so many friends, and they encouraged me as the weight began to disappear. Not only did Shelley work the daylights out of my thighs and rear end, she also was a witness to me of what it is like to live in the light of the Lord Jesus Christ.

The sixth month, I was into a size 12 and was in good enough shape to wear a bathing suit and started tanning. During that six month, everything started falling into place. My children have settled into their niches and are all doing well. We began attending church. I attended a conference with my husband and got wolf whistles and compliments a plenty. The gym replaced the refrigerator. My trainer, aerobics instructor and friends took the place of counseling. I remember in group cycling class Shelley giving us a pep talk about not quitting on a morning when I was contemplating it. She told us that fitness was a lifestyle and made the class so much fun, that I looked forward to going. Her class is a challenge but it gives me confidence and strength.
What a place to be.

Basketball Scholarship! - Katrina

If you ever have the chance to train with Shelley, DO IT! I started training with her when I was 16 years old. Lucky me! I was going for a college basketball scholarship. Love Basketball and was in great shape, simply from being 16 and playing hard core high school basketball in Dallas, TX. My mother trained with Shelley and would say my trainer has me in great shape let’s race! I would laugh, yea right MOM. Then one day she said come to the gym I would like you to meet my trainer. And she added, remember my trainer is YOUR mom’s age!

When I saw Shelley for the first time my jaw hit the floor. If you have ever seen her body you will understand. She is strong, powerful, and energetic. She was just loading her bike from a 70 mile ride. She was hot, thirsty, and yet still ready to go. She shook my hand and smiled let’s do this! She immediately took us to the track to do a workout. I never laughed at my mom again.

I did get my scholarship and I have remained in touch with Shelley over the years. If she were still here in Dallas I would still utilize her training skills. You have her now Oklahoma – USE HER!