Today we celebrate our final featured fabulously fit woman over the age of 50, Alisa Isenberg. Alisa is a wife, mother of 3, fur-mom, and farm owner. She works full-time for a consulting company that assists independent pharmacies with HIPAA and Medicare compliance. Alisa lives with her husband on a 102 acre farm where they raise beef cattle, pigs and a variety of crops to feed the critters. Life is very busy for Alisa, but in her free time she loves to spend time with her kids, read, complete Sudoku and crossword puzzles and go for long walks on her farm and local trails with her dog.
In 2010 Alisa shares that she was tired of feeling tired and being overweight. She states, "I spent my life raising my kids and being a wife to my husband but somewhere along the way, I forgot about time. I knew that if I didn't take care of me, I wouldn't be able to take care of my family anymore". Alisa read a book called "The Abs Diet" and it seemed to click with her. Despite not following the guidelines precisely she gained some tips and tricks that worked for her and her situation. And so, it began. Alisa changed her eating habits drastically and began a simple exercise program - walking. Alisa shares, "As I became fit, I added some light weights, some ab workouts and I began to run (at least my version of running!)". Within two years Alisa dropped 55 (yep that's right -- FIFTY FIVE) pounds! She shares that during that time she felt great. Alisa was able to maintain that weight loss for about a year or so. Alisa states, "Then, menopause smacked me around and the weight began to creep back on, and with that also came lack of motivation to exercise or change the way life was going".
In the summer of 2015, Alisa's friend invited her to join one of Haley's clean eating groups which included a few instructors from Uptown Fitness who taught different exercises and shared clean eating habits. Alisa joined and to her surprise found an amazing group of people who shared recipes, tips and tricks along with workouts. Alisa decided to join the next group they offered and ended up winning a free month's membership to Uptown Fitness! Alisa states, "I was nervous, I had never been to a gym before, had never been in a group fitness class and felt the judgement happening already. I tried to talk my husband into going with me but he said no and would not budge. The first class I tried, in February 2016, was Haley's Bootcamp class. She greeted me with a smile and I assumed my position in the back row. Haley kicked my butt that day in a good way, and although I was still nervous, I cam back for the next class and the next, and the next after that. I became more comfortable with the routines, the people, and the rigor of the class and I was hooked. I keep coming back for more of Haley's classes because she understands that this isn't a quick fix. It's a journey and it takes more than a month or six weeks to make it work. She is encouraging, understanding, and willing to give modification options when my old body has had enough. She doesn't judge, she just pushes you to reach beyond what your mind thinks you can do and find what your body is actually capable of.".
Prior to joining these classes, Alisa shares that she felt drained, bored and emotionally spent. Since starting group exercise classes Alisa shares that she feels great. "On class day, I can't wait to get started. I feel energized and ready for a good workout!". As you can imagine, Alisa's day to day schedule is pretty packed. Between working full time and tending to a 102 acre farm Alisa has little downtime. But she pins her health at the top of her priority list. Alisa packs her gym bag in the morning before leaving for work and takes it with her. She works until 4:00 pm and has to make a conscious effort to leave work on time so that she can get to the gym, change and be in class before start time. Alisa states, "Being in these classes means more to me than just fitness, they are stress relief, "me" time, a way to clear my mind and focus only on what's happening in that moment. I leave the baggage at the door for that hour, give my mind a rest, and let my body take over".
When Alisa was asked to share what she loved the most about the atmosphere of Haley's classes this is what she had to say: "I love the intensity, the energy and the camaraderie of the classes. It's an uplifting experience that keeps me coming back for more". Alisa wants to let women who might be intimidated to get started know this: "Uptown has a very welcoming atmosphere with staff who truly care about you and your well-being. The members come in all shapes, sizes and fitness levels and are very supportive of one another. Step out of your comfort zone and give yourself a chance to experience some of the classes offered at Uptown Fitness. I think that you will be pleasantly surprised about what you will find there!". One of Alisa's favorite quotes is: "Strength doesn't come from what you can do, it comes from overcoming the things you once thought you couldn't."