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I am writing this special post that is sure to fill you with inspiration and cause you to reflect and pause, for you are  about  to read about a lovely person and client named Lisa Thompson. Lisa, who has so bravely and willingly allowed me to  share with you her personal life challenges; begins with a special and unique triumph unlike any that I’ve encountered in my 13 years as a personal trainer. So thank you very much Lisa.


Often my job as a personal trainer and healthy lifestyle specialist is to help people define their goals and get very, very specific. That’s part of the journey for many and a time of self discovery. Most people I train would like to shed a little weight, maybe train for a SUP race, or marathon or simply reenter fitness after years of a stressful job, or they’ve just had a baby and need help losing those last 10 pounds.  Some want to feel energized and simply improve their overall life and body strength.

This story is different and has so much more meaning. Not to say those goals mentioned above aren’t life changing. But Lisa came to me for a different purpose and goal; one of several that I thought was so extra special. I’d like to refer to them really as “life” goals, because if you can clarify your life goals your body goals will simply follow.  One of those special goals was she wanted to slim down enough to fit into her mother’s vintage dress. But as I’ve learned it really goes far and above beyond that.

Like many of us in our lives losing a loved one is a devastating event.  Lisa has recently experienced the loss of a loved one, her companion and boyfriend of 8 years. In addition to that she had a terrible case of viral meningitis which can be fatal and had very painful, debilitating symptoms that can last for some time. This you can imagine was a real blow to her body and spirit.

So now that you have a peek into the life of Lisa, I will now share with you her own words that I’m sure will have you cheering and smiling, but also maybe cause you to reflect on what is important in your life, right now. That is her desire for you.

Lisa writes, “Fitting into my mom’s dress was really sparked because of the loss of Ed and my bout with viral meningitis and the realization that you never know when your last day on earth might be.  I’ve been wanting for years to slim down to get into this dress but what good would it be if I couldn’t share it with my mom.  She is 82. I’m of the mindset now that you can’t put things off for a better day.  That better day may never come and if you want to do something there is not time like the present.  I’ve spent a lot of life either living in the past or in the future and the key I think to happiness is just being present in your today.”

Lisa Again, thank you Lisa for opening your heart and sharing your deepest truths.

The minute I met Lisa I knew that she had an inner drive and a certain level of determination that once she wrote down a goal ( which I always suggest ), she’s the kind of person who would absolutely do it.  To say she is a perfectionist I think she wouldn’t mind, but to say that she raises her own bar very high, I think she would agree. I love that.

I was also very keen to observe it would not take long for her to achieve her goals because I could tell with her professional background being of one that is incredibly demanding with no room for error; that would serve the mental part of our training program, and allow her for a built in level of discipline which is the hardest part for most.

Lisa began her training with me July 8, 2013 and in just a short 9 weeks she accomplished her goal! I was so impressed and thrilled for her that I begged her for a photo of her in her mother’s dress.  And here we are. She was never afraid to be uncomfortable while we were training.  As a matter of fact, I needed to encourage her to have just a little more fun and not be too serious during our sessions so she could enjoy the journey.

Her program was directed at a higher level of cardio more often during her work week. I designed a program to include weight training with many different variables so that we could get the desired “cut” and “lean out” results we wanted.  She was not needing to shed much weight at all, in fact her weight did not change much, but what DID change was her measurements and very noticeably.

She was very mindful of sugar as she loves popcycles. On her salt side she’s a chip and salsa fan, but who isn’t. She learned that life and food in moderation, making time for herself was and is a very important factor.

One of her other goals was to learn to stand up paddle or SUP and participate in the annual OluKai Ho’olaule’a in May of 2014, which is an open ocean downwind paddle of 3 miles! I know she can do it with her new strength and energy, for sure! I can’t wait to see her do this. She will be a force out there.


I know you’re curious to know her measurements so here they are:  From July 8. 2013 – August 30th, 2013 a total of 2 inches were lost:

Waist  26 inches to 25 inches
Measurement @ belly button: 28.5 to 27 inches
Upper Thigh: 20 to 19.5 inches

Congratulations Lisa!

As a matter of fact, tonight as I write this, I just got an email from Lisa with a new major accomplishment… she ran 2.5 miles last night without stopping. This was the first time in 8 years!

Lisa is still training with me so she can keep this momentum going and keep things fresh. I would love for you to write a comment and cheer her on. It helps so much.

Keep in mind everyone is different as to where and how fast they start toning down. When you trade fat for lean muscle this is the most long lasting result and preferred.

We all know that our health is our wealth and sometimes we just need a little push in the right direction and someone to hold us accountable and most of all, make it fun!  You don’t have to be a big wave surfer to train with me or want to be one, I enjoy helping everyone.

Your goals may be different from Lisa’s but let her journey help you instill the notion that you CAN achieve your goals.

Trainer Tip: Before you begin your workout ask yourself, “what is my goal for this next hour or 30 minutes?”  Be very specific. For example, add 5-10 more reps on the final set of every different exercise. Or attempt to keep your laser focus sharp on each and every muscle you are training. For instance, if you’re doing bicep curls, give all your attention to that muscle and nothing else.

Thank you for stopping by our Suzie Trains Maui Blog. I hope you enjoyed the article and got inspired. Please feel free to share with someone you know who may need that little extra encouragement or boost of confidence.

If you are not living on Maui, I can still help you via SKYPE as I train and help people from around the globe. You can contact me through this website for more information.

Walk tall and envision a stronger, healthier you. I am so thankful for what I do and Lisa, I’m so very thankful to have the pleasure of knowing you.


Suzie Cooney, CPT

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