The Sentence That Changed my Life
By Janet Bertrand ACE
If there is one thing I have learned over the last 10 years, it’s that when an opportunity presents itself in your life, you have to step up and act on it. Every opportunity has a shelf life, and if you wait, it will pass you by! Having been a personal trainer at Fitness Quest 10 since 2003, my passion and love for fitness and health is something that that I am known for. Something that many people may not know about me is that fitness and health came about completely by chance. And when presented with an opportunity, I was brave enough to make a change. That change came about in a very small, but forever life-changing way.
When I was 15 years old, we went to visit some family in another town. My cousin who was my age asked if I wanted to hang out with her and her friends. When we were all hanging out, I overheard her ask one of her guy friends if I was cute. This is what he said:
“She is pretty, but she is kinda fat.”
Imagine what happens to a young girl when she hears this being said about her. I knew my pants were getting tighter and I was very self-conscious of my body already. I had started to notice a shift in my weight, but the word “fat” had never been associated with me and I was in shock when I heard it. I can tell you that from what I remember, it was unbelievably crushing and made me want to run far away and hide. Needless to say, I was totally embarrassed, felt unworthy and wanted something different for my life. This is where my fitness journey begins.
It was very hard for me to face this about myself. For one thing I didn’t even know why I had gained weight. I didn’t know how I could eat the same things as my friends, yet I wear a larger size than them while they stayed the same. This feeling of being overweight was probably one of the worst feelings I remember from my youth. It was an important feeling though, because it drove me to change.
When I was 16, I asked my parents for a stair stepper and I put it in the middle of my bedroom. I used it every day for an hour. That was my plan, in addition to cutting out all fast food, snack foods and desserts. This plan was something my mom helped me put together, and she did the same. We both had come to the understanding that even though other people might be able to eat hamburgers and ice cream without gaining weight, my mother and I had to watch every calorie we consumed if we wanted to be healthy. We had to make healthy choices about 90% of the time if we wanted to change our situation!
Together we started to lose weight and it was so empowering. With every pound I lost, I felt not only more confident, but incredibly hungry. Not for food, but for results!
The next few years I continued to work out and maintained a very slim and healthy weight. I loved working out and made it a priority in my life. It was as much a part of my life as taking a shower or brushing my teeth. I would not go a day without some form of exercise!
In my early 20’s I got married and had my children. I wanted to step up my fitness level after I had my son, so I decided to join a gym for the first time. I learned how to use weights and cardio equipment from an old school trainer. He gave a program on a card, and basically wished me luck; I was on my own. Within a few weeks of following the program I saw results and wanted more. I started reading every fitness and muscle magazine I could get my hands on. I remember going over to the free weights for the first time and having a female body builder show me how to do some basic moves. It was empowering and humbling at the same time. I was hooked!
It was around this time that a good friend told me that I should look into personal training. I was always talking about it and sharing what I knew with everyone and any one that would listen. It had become an obsession! I even got accused of training people at the gym I worked out at because people were always asking me what I was doing and if I could help them.
In the spring o f 2003, I started my internship at Fitness Quest 10. I was as new of a trainer as they get! But my passion and drive for my own personal transformation and helping others to do the same was the driving force behind my dedication. There is never a day that goes by that I do not draw from that passion. It is ingrained in every part of who I am!
Sometimes I think about that time when I was 15 and wish my cousin’s friend could see me now. But even more than that, I am so glad that he made the comment that he did because, as a result, I have had the opportunity to not only turn my own life around, but also inspire and help others every single day.
Janet Bertrand, a personal fitness trainer, started her love of fitness while still in high school. After starting her family and increasing her own personal knowledge of health and fitness, a passion to help other people became a natural next step toward a career. While attending San Diego State University for their personal trainer course, she met instructors familiar with Fitness Quest 10 and their phenomenal reputation. She began her internship at FQ10 in 2003, after receiving her Personal Fitness Trainer Certificate from SDSU and PFT Certification from American Council of Exercise (ACE).
Janet started training with a passion to share her enthusiasm about exercise. She feels inspired by working with people who are interested in making fitness and clean living an integral part of their lives.
In her spare time, she enjoys running, spinning, lifting and being a Mom to her four kids. Since 2004, Janet has worked with a diverse array of clients at FQ10 and feels truly blessed to be a part of such an amazing team of fitness professionals. Janet understands the demands of today’s busy schedules but thrives on encouraging people to reach their fitness goals in ways that work with their own individual schedules and goals.
Janet can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or at (858) 271 – 1171.