FitWit: How to make a Personalized Wellness Plan

Last updated: February 1, 2024, at 4:23 p.m. PT

Originally published: June 26, 2018, at 9:32 a.m. PT

At first, I thought a personalized wellness plan meeting at the Y would be like a fitness confessional. At other gyms that's how's it worked for me, they'd make me list every food and exercise indiscretion I've ever made then I'd be weighed and measured and the trainer would come up with a plan that would help me manage weight, but nothing really sustainable. But not at the Y. At the Y, the personalized wellness plan is:

1. FREE (well, a part of your membership) and 2. Totally collaborative between you and the Y trainer.

When I first met my trainer, David, he bounced into the room. In the past, I'd find his eagerness exhausting, but these days, David has the exact energy I need to stay excited. He was so excited to help me map out what I wanted out of my experience at the Y, rather than telling me what I needed to do. David started our meeting by asking me questions about what I was interested in, what I wasn't interested in, and how I felt about the gym. Answering those questions were easier than I thought.

"I am not focused on weight loss, but I expect to see that as a result," I said. I also told David that I was hoping to try a new approach, something that kept me interested in exercise, but didn't burn me out. I've come to understand my body and my mind in a new way. That new way of seeing helps me to identify my natural downfalls clearly.

I listed every way I was bad at going to the gym. How I failed, what I didn't like about my body. David listened to me politely and then said that I was normal. NORMAL. At first, I laughed that everyone struggled like I do, that it couldn't be possible because so many people look so confident at the gym and also have very cool leggings which I am jealous of. Turns out, you can work with supportive staff at the Y to help you look just as confident (and safe) at the gym, unfortunately I am on my own leggings-wise.

So, here's the plan we came up with together: Get real exercise three times a week and try to eat better. And on days when I'm not in the gym, try to walk as much as possible. Simple as that. David will be around to help guide and support me.

It's been two weeks since my meeting with David. In that time, I have increased my daily steps as well as been to the gym on average twice a week. Which is not hitting my goal but is closer than not.

I started this process a month ago at 196 lbs and I am now down to 190. Most importantly I feel really energetic and my body getting stronger.

Learn more about personalized wellness plans, a free benefit of Y membership.