From television to magazine ads, we are bombarded with weight loss secrets and quick fixes for shedding those excess pounds, but rarely are we given ways to make lifestyle changes that promote healthy living.
Sharon Gayle — owner of Fit4Life, New York’s premiere health, wellness and fitness organization — provides New York residents with a life-changing alternative through her company. No stranger to the world of fitness, Sharon transitioned her Master’s Degree in design and her time spent as a personal trainer to buck the multitude of weight loss trends.
Living in America, the most obese country in the world, promoting health and wellness does not go without challenge. Couple that with fitness having to compete with the dollar menu, Fit4Life is still a boutique experience. Taking on the endeavor of lifestyle change, Sharon Gayle spoke with BallerStatus.com about Fit4Life and her advocacy for wellness.
Ballerstatus.com: What is Fit4Life all about?
Sharon Gayle: Fit4Life Consulting is a very unique health [wellness] and fitness organization. Unlike the typical neighborhood gym or health-club — where the focus is selling memberships and meeting personal training quotas — Fit4Life goes far and beyond by providing one-on-one services with emphasis on encouraging lifestyle change. Fit4Lifes’ Consultation & Assessments, Motivational Counseling, Nutrition and Fitness Programs are brought together in such a way that we are able to find the root of our clients concerns and habits, and create personalized programs to help them achieve their wellness goals.
Our focus is not “personal training,” but rather to encourage each client to believe that they can attain their goals with the right care, attention and direction. In fact, we do not encourage personal training on a long-term basis. Personal training is offered in a “Foundation-3-Pak” only. For continued support and to allow Fit4Life to chart their progress and update their programs when necessary, we offer consistency enhance programs and the F4LC pnline-personal Training. We want our clients to become independent and confident in their new-found knowledge and abilities. In doing so, they are able to maximize their current gym memberships and become more productive and efficient in every area of their lif, including workplace performance.
My/our unique approach and dedication to working with clients both motivate and invigorate them to achieve, and more often, exceed their own expectations! And when clients realize that I am an INBF and NPC “Top-5” physique competitor, they realize that the sky’s the limit to what you can do when you are fit and healthy. From running a marathon, to playing volleyball, to hiking in the country, the possibilities are endless when you live fit for life!
I receive emails regularly from clients indicating that their workouts are no longer a chore and that, albeit a challenge. It’s often fun! Feedback such as this makes me smile because I know I’ve made a positive difference in this person’s life.
Ballerstatus.com: What was your reason for starting Fit4Life, do you struggle with your weight?
Sharon Gayle: I’m often asked that question. I wish I could tell you that I struggled with my weight, but in actuality, I have always maintained a good weight and am considered slim by most people’s standards. Actually over the years, I’ve gained weight, but it’s all muscle. Fit4Life was originally conceived out of recognizing the unmet needs of individuals with gym memberships, who though paying exorbitant amounts of money for gym memberships, received little information or guidance from the gym personnel. Many such members felt that their individual fitness needs were not being attended to. Unfortunately, even those members who paid for personal training at their gyms often felt that the trainers lacked comprehensive knowledge in the area of diet and nutrition and specialized programs such as pre/post-natal fitness, post-surgical rehabilitation and sport-specific training. Sadly, to work with a trainer that might have the knowledge and/or experience, members typically have to pay more. But this on top of an already hefty gym membership is not possible for most.
Essentially, these members were lost at the gyms/health-clubs, and simply needed someone to pay a little attention to them so that they could be sure they were on the right track to meeting their goals. Significant research shows that this very negative experience, is why so many members lose faith and leave their gyms. I felt compelled to make a difference; if only on a small scale.
Ballerstatus.com: Have you always aspired to an entrepreneur?
Sharon Gayle: (Laughing) Always! I think I popped out of my mother’s belly screaming “I want to have my own business!” But even in my teens, I did not realize that I would become so impassioned with the desire to be healthy, live healthy and help others do the same.
Ballerstatus.com: Are your services open to the general public or are your services exclusive to the stars or person with wealth?
Sharon Gayle: Fit4Life serves the general public. However, the “stars” and “people with wealth” are most welcome. I don’t turn anyone away (laughing). All services are provided by appointment only in a comfortable, non-intimidating environment.
Ballerstatus.com: With the Fit4Life program, do you specialize in those quick fixes for a vanity ten pounds or do you provide plans and meals like a weight watchers?
Sharon Gayle: No quick fixes here. The Fit4Life focus is to encourage a lifestyle change for a lifetime, thus the name Fit4Life. Change takes time; however, when it’s done for the right reasons, it should be thought out and methodical. It won’t happen overnight, but it will happen. Thus, for the woman who comes to me asking for my help to get into a pair of jeans that she wore 10-years ago when she was 30 lbs. lighter, and/or the man that has a larger-than-desired midsection and doesn’t understand how it got that way, (but mentions that he’s hanging with his drinking buddies tonight), I ask that they take a seat and talk to me. I believe the immediate need is to find out how they got this current point and whether they believe they can and want to make the necessary lifestyle changes.
Yes, Fit4Life offers nutrition programs and meal plans. However, we do not sell packaged meals. We plan daily and weekly meal plans, which include personalized summaries, grocery lists, calorie content information, etc.
Ballerstatus.com: Where do you plan on taking the concept for Fit4Life?
Sharon Gayle: My clients are always telling me that I should be presenting on a larger scale (i.e. a fitness video, a TV fitness program, a fitness motivation book, speaking engagements.) Perhaps one day, the opportunity will reveal itself for me to do one or all of these things. I would also like to expand the Fit4Life Consulting services by opening satellite offices in Atlanta, GA. and Chicago, Ill.
For more info on Sharon Gayle and Fit4Life:
Address: 19 West 34th Street, PH. New York, NY 10001