Welcome to my first FitStyle blog post! Chances are, if you are reading this you have found the blog through my website or social media so you may already know a little about me. If not - here we go!
My name is Patty Lauren and I am the owner of FitStyle, LLC based out of Knoxville, Tennessee. My fitness journey started in January of 2015. I had just turned 30 years which I had always anticipated would a magical year when my life would be together, but instead I found myself overweight, dealing with high anxiety, depression, and panic attacks. I had had a bad run of relationships, working a 9-5 job I didnt't love and generally treating my body badly with a poor diet and little to no exercise. Needless to say, I was miserable.
I will never, ever forget the day I decided to change. I had been somewhat active in the past but never for long and never consistently. I knew being more physically active would help me feel better so I made a promise to myself I would do something active every single day - even if just for 30 minutes! I took my bike outside and started to load it onto my bike rack. Rain strops started slowly falling from the sky as I struggled with secure my bike. I began to grow frustrated as the rain pelted me harder. Looking up into the sky, I yelled at God, "Can something just be easy today?!" I finally got my bike strapped in and I never looked back.
Over the next couple of months, I became even more serious about my health and decided to invest in a personal trainer. Making the decision to get a trainer and start strength training was the best decision I made for myself - it was then I truly began to see my body change. I found strength (mentally and physically) I never knew I had - I was challenged, pushed and I made small, attainable goals along the way.
I completed a half marathon in April of that year and went on to set a pretty steep goal for myself - to compete in a bodybuilding competition (another story for another day). The next several months were consumed with training, eating extremely clean, but more than that I was peeling off each layer of my old self. For the first time in my life, I was truly happy with myself. I had given up old habits, I had become stronger, more confident, and I was surrounding myself with positive, encouraging relationships.
More than fitting into a certain clothing size or reaching a certain weight, I was happy. Along with taking care of my mental health by talking to a counselor, my anxiety had faded away, I no longer had feelings of being depressed or unhappy and I was fully content with my life. Fitness saved my life in a sense because I had the tools to combat the negative feelings of fear, inadequacy, and failure right at my fingertips.
In the summer of 2015, I was encouraged to pursue my personal training certification by Hannah Davis, who I would go on to shadow and work with at Body by Hannah in Cleveland, Tennessee. During my competition prep, through the holidays, and into the beginning of 2016 I studied for my exam and passed on my first try in March of 2016. Almost immediately after, I began toward part-time at Body by Hannah Studio in Cleveland, Tennessee while still working my full-time office job. Within just a few months, I was training clients from 5-7am several days a week, going to my office job at 8am, leaving at 5pm and going back to train clients from 5:30pm-7/8pm at night.
Personal training is a love in a career that I knew existed for some people but wasn't sure would ever be something I would find. It is the most rewarding thing I have ever done. Sure, not all days are great but to help people every day achieve their goals is a humbling, soul fulfilling feeling.
In September of 2016, I was able to turn in my notice to my full-time office job and started working as a full-time trainer at Body by Hannah. The day I turned that letter in was one of the scariest, exciting, chill inducing moments of my life. After what felt like dragging through mud for all of my 20s, I was finally take control of my life and commit myself to something I loved, was passionate about, and what I was meant to do with my life.
Life is ever changing and after over a year and a half of training clients and teaching classes at BBH, I moved my work to Knoxville full-time in July of 2017. It was an incredibly difficult decision, but after moving to Knoxville in April after my wedding the commute got the best of me and I knew I needed to focus my full attention on my Knoxville work and my new marriage. Working alongside Hannah and gaining knowledge from other trainers and sharing experiences is something I miss a lot, but I'll never that time for granted. It made me the trainer I am today as I am still on a path of never ending learning.
Also, just for fun, here are a few non-fitness related things about me!
• I LOVE coffee - Starbucks is my favorite, but a good cup of coffee can't be beat!
• I have a 5 year old Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Grace Kelly, who is my constant companion - I'm pretty obsessed with her (she even has her own Instagram (@gracekellythecavalier)
• My personality type is INTJ #introvertsunite
• Chicago & Nashville are my favorite cities (besides Knox, of course!)
• I'm a complete book worm and have been known to read a book a day
• I'm a die hard Fleetwood Mac fan and cannot wait for their 2018 tour!
So, now you know a little more about me and my background - Knoxville has been so good and welcoming to me. Thank you for joining me on this journey!