Over the summer I decided to make some major changes to my lifestyle. As a college athlete, I wanted to be just as in shape as the other girls on my team (because I was a lot heavier than all of them). But what my trainer taught me was so much more than just simple lifting tips or squatting form—she enhanced my lifestyle for the better.

Here are 5 things she taught me that absolutely changed my life for the better:

1. Nutrition always comes first.

My trainer Jackie always told me, "You're paying all of this money to see me, don't you want to see results quickly?" Of course, I wanted to see results immediately. I planned on working out super hard every day. However, changing the way I ate was absolutely imperative to see my hard work pay off as fast as it could.

If you aren't eating the right food, it will take twice as long for you to lose weight and see changes in your body. My trainer was not just there to help me exercise—she had so much knowledge about how to change my eating habits too, and she presented them in a way that didn't bash my current lifestyle at the time. They were just little changes that I could incorporate daily.

2. Consistency is key.

If I wasn't five minutes early to the gym I would receive a text from Jackie asking me where I was and if I was coming. She didn't feel bad about guilt tripping me if I was tempted to skip a day for a stupid reason. My trainer would call me out when I wasn't taking training seriously or if I didn't have my priorities straight. I needed someone who was stable and able to push me in areas I didn't know I needed growing in.

3. Cheating isn’t an option.

I worked in the restaurant industry during my three months of personal training. The desserts sometimes looked so tasty I just couldn't resist because I'm only human. I'd be lying if I said I never gave into the scrumptious temptations. However, my trainer would ask me what I ate for dinner last night or what I ate for breakfast before I came. Our relationship was strong enough to the point where she could totally tell if I was lying. I learned from her as well as from my past mistakes that if I gave into cheating on my lifestyle, I was setting myself up for failure in the future to create bad habits.

4. There is really no rush.

There are certain exercises that I was able to do at the end of my training that I wasn't able to do at the beginning just because of my strength level. My trainer taught me that it is okay to start slow and work my way up. I don't need to rush into doing an exercise that is too advanced for me, because one way or another, I am going to get there anyways!

5. Your starting point isn’t what’s important.

My trainer would constantly remind me that it's where I ended that was important. She didn't care that I didn't run fast when I started, but she sure cared when I ended. She didn't care that my weight wasn't where I wanted it to be where I started, but she held me accountable throughout the process because she wanted to see the end results just as bad as I did.


Someone who I thought was just going to help me run faster and jump higher ended up giving me a completely new outlook on life.

I've used these five points in more than just in nutrition and exercise—now I live by what Jackie taught me. I am so thankful for her, and the life lessons she has given me.