Lauren Lapolla

This is my lifestyle now.

That’s what I tell people who have commented that I look healthier, who congratulate me on the weight I have lost, or who mention that something has changed. It has, thanks to the incredible team at 212, I am now aware that I can. I Can. I can be extremely healthy, I can be strong, and I can achieve goals.

Corny, right? [Cue eyeroll]

Ten months, forty pounds, and four dresses sizes ago I would have agreed with you.  Last summer I found myself at a bit of a confusing standstill. I understood the general concept of being a healthy human: exercise and eat right. Simple enough, no? No. Apart from being a competitive swimmer in high school, my versions of exercise were very French in nature: long walks, occasional trendy fitness classes, dancing, aggressive shopping, etc. My version of a diet was very French also: baguettes, olive oil, cheese, wine and chocolate were daily staples. So why in the world was I finding my late twenties self less and less resembling la femme chic Parisien that I was envisioning? I was discovering, at the ripe age of twenty-seven, that you cannot will yourself thin or healthy. Twenty-minute workout videos, and tossing an apple into my purse were not going to cut it. I finally realized that, as with every other aspect of life, I have to seriously work for what I wanted.

Recognizing that standard gyms were just not my jam, I decided to apply my research and creeper skills with a newfound determination to find a program that works. I had gone to high school with Alicia Capellan, and thanks to social media, had witnessed her amazing transformation into an incredibly healthy person who had a passion for fitness. I sent her a message and asked how I could go about training with her. Alicia sent me the website for 212 Health & Performance, and scheduled me for an Orientation. I was skeptical, nervous, and absolutely intimidated by all of the really intense things that I could see in the videos on the website. Yet a common thread I also saw encouraged me: enthusiasm. Everyone – from the folks I could see in those videos, the pictures on the Facebook page, the stories in the member descriptions, and the trainers – everyone seemed really enthusiastic about this gym.  And after the Orientation, and a few weeks there, I could absolutely understand why.

That enthusiasm has now permeated many aspects of my life. That one-hour at 212 is the time when I feel the stress of the day vanish, when what else is happening or not happening in my life disappears. The compassion of the trainers couples with their passion to push clients to do all that we can: Kerry, Alicia, Sean, Colin, Kim, and Steve, they are all genuinely kind people who also happen to be inspiring athletes and leaders. [Shout out to Heather, Eric, Meredith and Julie too, because these guys provide the support that keeps everything on track. And they let me buy water. I like water.]

 I now make time to be here five to six days a week, because I CAN. I can flip truck tires like it’s no big deal. Push-ups? Deadlifts?  Swings? Snatches? I can do that, NBD. Okay… pull-ups are still a BFD, but we are working on it.  Nutrition isn’t a dirty word to me anymore. Thanks to the thoughtful, intelligent, hard working people here, I understand what fuel my body needs to do what I want it to do. I understand that proper balance of sugars and proteins and healthy fats. And what is even better is that since I started learning and understanding what nutrition is with the team here, I have never once felt deprived.  Très chic, indeed.

This is my lifestyle. I feel stronger. All around, stronger. And strong is really, really good.