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In today's society, it’s not easy keeping up with the best eating habits, but practicing better eating habits, in time becomes instinctive. About 7 years ago, while I was studying in college, I noticed my waistline kept growing each year. I didn't eat large quantities, in fact, I didn't really eat much at all, maybe 1-2 meals a day. Watching my waistline grow, I knew I had to do something.
That year, I started weight training. I saw gradual progress, but nothing significant. It wasn't until 6 years later, with school almost finished, that I decided it was time to take care of myself. I started eating clean and training hard in January 2011. In the short period of 3 weeks, I saw results. My clothes fit looser, and friends and family started to notice too. Not only was I able to see my body change, and look the best it ever has, I was able to learn how to eat clean and learn what my body likes and dislikes.
Every body is different, and experimenting I learned, is important. These small changes, soon became exponential. I learned, that as I took better care of myself, the quality of my life improved. I've grown tremendously in this short time, physically, mentally, and spiritually and I’m excited to continue this journey. I was only given one body, and I must take care of it!
Debbie has been my personal trainer for about 1 year now, and the experience has been life changing for me.
Last year, and every year prior, I worked out every day, thought that I was eating right, but wasn't getting results that I wanted. I hired Debbie after noticing how effective she was with other clients.
Debbie not only provided routines that took each individual to their personal limit, she gave nutritional advice, and a constant stream of encouragement. After training with Debbie, I've altered my diet, my workouts, and cardio. I haven’t lost any weight, but my family and coworkers keep asking me if I have. My husband has also noticed a difference in my body and tells me that I’m shapely.
The most significant change was one that I didn't anticipate… My weekly migraines have ceased. I could count on the headache starting Thursday afternoon, get progressively worse on Friday, and keep me on the couch with the shades pulled on Saturday. I’d start to recover on Sunday, only to repeat the process next week. To put this in perspective, that equates to approximately 156 days of headache. However, the headaches are now gone and I’m certain that it is a result of a diet that is right for me, coupled with the intense workouts. I can enjoy Saturdays with my husband (Phil) again, and give my best at work during the week. As I mentioned before – it’s life changing. I can’t thank Debbie enough for providing expertise, motivation and encouragement every week!
My experience at Powerhouse Gym and working with Debbie has been exceptionally fulfilling and motivating. As a competitive gymnast throughout my childhood, I have always been driven and competitive. However, I struggled to find a sport I could compete in successfully at this age and stage in my life.
Debbie introduced me to the sport of body building and figure competitions, and she has played a crucial role in helping me to achieve my nutritional and fitness goals, culminating in competing in my first body building competition at age 43! I am now as fit and lean as I was in my twenties. Through her help, I’ve lost 10 pounds, developed much better lean muscle mass and definition, and comfortably fit into my size 2 clothing! In addition, I have greater energy and less fatigue.
As a former vegetarian, I would never have dreamed that I would look and feel better while consuming a diet much higher in protein, but she has changed my mind and helped me to adopt a new lifestyle.
Her positive energy, zest for life and passion for her work kept me going at times when it would have been easier to quit. I now look forward to achieving a level of fitness that I wouldn't have thought possible five years ago. My next short-term goal is to win a body building competition, and long-term to remain the same size and weight at age 50 as I currently am today. I am confident that I will not only achieve this, but through Debbie’s help I will set and achieve new goals that I never would have had the courage to attempt.
“It was almost four years ago that I first stepped into Powerhouse Gym. A friend had recommended I visit and see if it was right for me.
I planned on competing in a pageant which included my first ever swimsuit competition. Knowing this, I realized that I had to get into the best shape of my life. I began working out twice a week with a Powerhouse Gym personal trainer and signed on to receive nutritional counseling, too. Needless to say, with the hard work, dedication, and inspiration of the Powerhouse Gym staff, my trainer, and nutritionist, I began to look and feel the best I ever had in my life.
After the first year of training, I was hooked. I continued competing and continued my training for the next three years. I've learned how to eat and work out and I've gained confidence that I truly believe comes from taking pride in a healthy body and mind. There’s no better feeling than being able to crank out a set of push-ups with the best of them or keep up right alongside the boys in the gym. Working with my personal trainer and nutritionist has changed my life and helped me to become the confident and proud woman I am today. It is, without a doubt, the best decision I've ever made.”
On my journey to my first figure competition I had to learn to eat clean. This required a lot of pre-planning at first, because I couldn’t just pick up fast food whenever I felt hungry, or buy pre-packaged meals. Once clean eating became a habit, it was a lot easier to maintain than I expected. Now I have a shopping list when I go to the store and spend less because I’m not tempted to buy things I know my body won’t utilize. I can see myself continuing to eat this way for the rest of my life, because I want to be at my best physically, and I need to be healthy to do all the things I want to do.
My new eating habits have started to trickle over into other areas of my life. I've begun to maximize my full potential by re-examining the big picture, getting my priorities in line with my dreams and goals. A photograph shows how I changed my outward appearance but the real change was inner. Anyone can do this. All it takes is a decision to get started!!
For almost as long as I can remember, I have all sorts of digestive issues. I spent years of my adolescence getting test, after scan, without a “real” diagnosis, being told time after time, that it was all in my head, that my problems were stress-related and was given a new medicine to try- and sent on my way, always to no prevail. I sort of sloughed it off, feeling like- this is just the way I am- and will always be.
I am a very active person- spending most of my free time running or in the gym and a very healthy eater. I have always been careful about what I eat- following all the “typical” rules, (even having a food allergy/ sensitivity tests done) and yet- I just wasn't feeling good. I was tired- fatigued- exhausted even- diagnosed with “Adrenal Fatigue”, my digestive issues seemed to never improve, my memory was suffering, and I could not lose a pound to save my life. Things just seemed to be getting worse and I finally decided to make an appointment with Debbie. After speaking with Debbie, I went home with a new plan in hand. She not only gave me a nutrition plan- but she spelled it out for me, recipe by recipe and made it easy to follow. Within the first week- I felt significant improvement. I even remember asking myself why I hadn't done this sooner!!!
I am a 36 year old mother of two beautiful girls. I grew up very athletic, playing softball, soccer and dancing. After having my second child at 35 years old, I found myself unmotivated and left with a bunch of baby weight that wasn't coming off very easily. I worked out on my own for a couple of months, dropped some weight, but was still searching for more.
That’s when I decided it’s now or never…if I want to fulfill my dream of competing, there is no time like the present! I can still remember my consult session with Deb...She identified all of my imbalances and flexibility issues and gave me simple corrective exercises to do on a daily basis as well as a foam roller program. One of my major issues was rounded shoulders, and I seriously thought I had excellent posture. However, within 6 weeks, no more rounded shoulders for me and I appeared an inch taller and no longer had neck tension. I still do these today!
The first training session… I thought I would die!! It was legs...I had never sweat so much in my life! I literally thought I needed help walking to my car and then I had to go home where my bedroom is on the second level, which was sure fun!
Over a six month period I worked with Debbie and Roger. They completely transformed me…I felt great and never had been in that kind of shape! I went from an out of shape mom to a Figure competitor, who had no excuses! Complete strangers would approach me at the gym and want to know how they can change.
I complete my first competition in July 2011 and finished first in two categories. I was ecstatic! I have Debbie Portell to thank emensly for helping me to achieve a lifelong dream!!
I am a 36 year old mother of 5 beautiful healthy children!! And feel I am in The best shape of my life!!
I started working out about 9 years ago. My youngest wasn’t quite a year but I remember feeling just absolutely... Blah! I had no energy,completely exhausted daily and found myself laying on the couch watching my kids play rather than playing “with” them. I hated that!
Too tired for the hair, makeup and regular clothes and even friends. It was sweats and a baggy t-shirt everywhere I went. It was when one my children asked me if we could go to the park to play and I sadly answered “Oh sweetie,Mommy’s too tired right now. Maybe later.” I will always remember the look on his face and the feeling in the pit of my stomach,thinking...this is not the kind of Mother I wanted to be! I thought, somethings wrong. So, I made an appointment with my Dr. After blood work etc. and nothing came back abnormal, he looked at me and said “You are a Mom of 5,you should be tired” I thought. No I just simply wasn't going to accept that.
Well,I joined a gym. Four years ago a lady from out of town came in to the gym one night and was just stacked with muscle!! I wanted that! I got up the nerve to ask her what she does.She said she use to meet with a Nutritionist In MO, his name is Roger. I got the number, called him the next day and well,like they say the rest is history! I never saw her again actually. Weird but amazing how people come into your life.
This man is one of the most knowledgeable men I know. I learned how to eat, the first key to success in your weight loss goals. After working with Roger for about a year, I started working out with Debbie Portell and set a goal to compete!! Yes, a Mom of 5 competing!! On stage in that little bikini!! How grateful and truly blessed I am to have Debbie and Roger in my life.I wouldn't be where I am today if it wasn’t for those two! They have come into my life and shown me how to live a healthy and active lifestyle.
After having 5 kids I am truly in the best shape in my life! And most importantly I have the energy to play with my kids!! And to me, that is everything! I now look forward to going to the gym 6x a week and sharing that passion with others! I am a certified personal trainer and a Zumba Instructor. I also am looking forward to competing in my 3rd figure competition in June. If I can do it, you can do it! I can’t tell you it’s easy, I can only tell you it’s worth it! Where there’s a will there’s a way! And trust me,we can come up with an excuse pretty easily to not make it into the gym. Laundry,meals to make,grocery shopping,bathrooms,more laundry,bathing kidos,homework,driving kids to and from sports or dance and the list goes on...but I truly believe, we are ALL STRONGER than excuses!!
My experience with nutrition and training is a never ending process, as I am always open to new ideas and willing to listen to those who teach. I had very limited knowledge when I joined Powerhouse Gym.
As an 85-lb anorexic girl, I thought I knew all there was to know about dieting. After all, I read every fitness magazine on the shelf, spent countless hours researching various approaches to dieting, and looked up just about every reduced calorie recipe on the planet. But, when I finally realized I was unhealthy, I couldn't seem to budge the scale past the 90lb mark. I did not understand why I wasn't seeing progress. After all, I was consuming more calories than before!
After faltering somewhere between the 90 and 95lb mark, I decided it was time to take matters out of my own hands. A friend advised me to talk to Roger, the owner of Powerhouse Gym, as he is very well renowned in the fitness industry and incredibly knowledgeable. I sent Roger an e-mail, and he responded immediately, offering me a free orientation. Nervous, I entered his office, anxious to hear his advice and apprehensive at the thought of what he would recommend. Admittedly, I was intimidated, but Roger was very professional. He outlined every single meal in precise detail and explained the purpose of each nutrient at the specific times of day. I could not have asked for more. Being an anorexic, I was accustomed to having every detail of my meals planned.
Afterwards, Roger introduced me to Debbie, initially just to copy down her meatloaf recipe. However, after
discovering I was interested in competing in a figure competition, Debbie and Roger led me through a fitness
orientation. Flabbergasted, I could not believe I had so many muscular imbalances and was not maximizing my workouts to their full potential! It was simply unbelievable. I immediately began training with Debbie twice weekly from that moment on.
Workouts with Debbie were challenging, to say the least. After each session, not only was I exhausted, but I was astounded at how much weight I was able to lift or how hard I was able to push myself. My second workout with her was a leg day; I literally thought I was going to die. I made it out alive, albeit barely, and experienced difficulty walking and/or sitting for the next week. Workouts definitely progressed as my body adapted to the intense workload. Even more amazing than the fact she was able to push me through seemingly insurmountable workouts, was her incessant and vast knowledge of training and nutrition. Reasons for each exercise, explanations of the specific order of exercises, descriptions on how each movement operates within the body, depictions of exact proper alignment during each movement (down to the toe position), and clarifications on how each exercise would affect my muscular imbalances streamed endless from Debbie’s lips, as I listened each and every session, hoping to absorb a fraction of her knowledge. I left each session feeling exhausted, enlightened, and uplifted.
Despite all of my struggles through school, work, life, and training, Debbie always maintained a positive attitude for me and all of her clients. She lifts my spirits whenever I am depressed and always has faith in me. I cannot conceive of a more perfect trainer. Admirable, kind, generous, honest, intelligent, and faithful are only a few of the adjectives to describe her personality. Her unique approach to training and everlasting positivity astound me. She truly is a one-of-a-kind, role model.
With Roger’s vast knowledge of nutrition and Debbie’s unprecedented knowledge of training, I watched my body transform from skin and bone to lean muscle in no time. Just three short months later, I weighed 125lbs and was about 14% body fat. I absolutely love my physique and was simply speechless. I continued to work with Debbie and Roger as they guided me through my first figure competition, where I placed 5th. This was quite an accomplishment, as my path to health and fitness was quite different from others; not to mention, I was the youngest competitor on stage and had only been seriously lifting for approximately ten months.
The two worked seamlessly in tandem, one complementing the other. The intricate workings of both Debbie and Roger had synergistic effects that propelled my physique in an un-paralleled fashion. Each one knew how to make minor adjustments and worked cooperatively to achieve the best results. It was a truly wonderful experience and I could not have hoped for more.
Throughout my diet and training for my competition, as well as for a significant period afterward, Roger worked endlessly to attempt to fix my gastrointestinal issues. I met with him nearly daily to update him on how my body responded to certain foods, and he would adjust as needed. He recommended doctors and explained the exact details of each regimen. Most importantly, Roger and Debbie both cared for my overall health. No matter how bizarre a certain food regimen seemed, Roger would explicate the scientific and physiological basis for each. When all else failed, he continued to research and implement new dietary regimens.
My health improved daily, as did my knowledge and appreciation for the nutritional value of food. Debbie never ceased caring for me. Not only did she continue to supplement Roger’s dietary knowledge, she expanded my training knowledge past what I thought was possible. Never once did I feel as if a workout was sub-par. We rarely performed the same exercises twice. She always listened to my requests and incorporated them into future workouts. Each workout with Debbie was the highlight of my day. I genuinely looked forward to getting to spend those sacred 52 minutes with her, even if most of them were spent breathless and in pain.
Words of encouragement and never defeat were always emitted from Debbie’s mouth. Not once did I hear her complain, gossip, or utter a single word of negativity. She remains, to this day, the light at the end of a dark tunnel for me. I trust that I can always seek her advice and never fear judgment, ridicule, or chastisement. Both Debbie and Roger showed me extraordinary care and passion. My training and nutrition experience with the two of them was absolutely incredible. To this day, I hope to be half of the beautiful person that Debbie is and retain half of Roger’s knowledge. I am truly honored to have experienced such a wonderfully unique, compassionate, dedicated, and knowledgeable program such as that formulated by Roger and Debbie. The changes they have instilled in me will remain with me forever, as will their caring generosity and loving kindness.