Shemikia, you are working full time and are in school, how do you stay on top of your workouts?
It has been a challenge. However, I make sure I fit my workouts in by making myself daily reminders on my phone. I have used one of UAMS’ personal trainers, Angela Johnson, as one of my motivators to ensure I incorporate a one-hour weekly session of fitness. She has motivated and instilled discipline in me to take better care of my health. I also have some amazing cubicle buddies who remind me I need to get up and get moving and eat properly. My friend, Patrice, and I joined the gym together and she has motivated me. Having some accountability helps me a lot to stay on my workouts.
Does working out help your stress levels?
Working out has helped my stress levels tremendously. There have been numerous times I have been stressed with school and I would work out by either walking around the hospital or going to the gym to help. It always seemed to calm my stress levels down.
You have been working really hard, what is your favorite thing to do in the gym?
Thank you. My favorite thing in the gym is the aerobic classes that UAMS offers to its employees. I also like to use the weight equipment for squats and lifting weights.
Do you have any hobbies?
Yes, my hobbies include cooking and shopping.
Do you have a favorite activity you do with your friends and family?
Yes, my favorite activities are going to blues and R&B concerts, especially Keith Sweat concerts. I also enjoy comedy shows because I have a knack for laughter. If I am not laughing, it’s not me. I have found a new activity of getting out in my neighborhood for a walk with my children to enjoy the wonderful outdoors while my daughter picks up every flower she sees and asks me what type of flower it is. These moments you just can’t forget or take back.
What would you say to someone in your situation who is on the fence about adding in exercise with all your other responsibilities?
I would say set aside some time for yourself to better your health. Take care of yourself first!
Angela, please tell us about working with Shemikia.
Shemikia is a full-time UAMS employee, parent and wife finishing up a degree at UAMS in May. So, she was extremely busy before taking on the goal to improve her health and fitness in January. I started training Shemikia in January one day a week, in addition to her attending my Cardio Sculpt classes weekly. Shemikia has worked extremely hard in classes and her training sessions, I have been so impressed with her ability to juggle all her responsibilities and still make her health a priority. Shemikia has also worked to consistently log her intake of food and drink into the myfitnesspal app weekly and has started learning about macros and tracking “calories in versus calories out.” Her overall fitness goal is to increase muscular strength and endurance and lose weight.
When she first began to train with me she could barely do eight full-body push-ups and plank holds and had questionable form. After three months of consistent training, Shemikia is doing 12 full-body push-ups and 90-second planks with “beautiful form.” I have enjoyed watching her not only gain muscular strength and endurance, and amazing form, but increased confidence and a “glow” of self-esteem and overall personal achievement. Her fitness achievements are leading her to set more fitness goals, which is leading to more success. I can’t wait to see where she goes with her fitness goals and achievements.
What changes have you seen in Shemikia since she first started working with you?
Shemikia, as of May 2, has lost 5.8 pounds, 8.5 inches, decreased BMI by 0.9, improved her core strength by holding 90 second planks, improved muscular strength and endurance by holding 80 second wall sits, and completed 35 amended sit-ups and 12 strong, perfect form, full, push-ups in one minute.
I believe this best summarizes Shemikia’s fitness journey over the last five months with me. One Saturday morning I sent a text to all my clients encouraging them to get out and walk.
Shemikia sent back the following response:
“Thanks Angela for the motivation. Completed an hour walk and I took my daughter with me and we jogged a little. She said, ”I didn’t know you could run faster than me.”
Shemikia has embraced improving her health and this is evident to others in her life.
She’s been such an inspiration to work with!