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How Sophie Lester Found Physical and Mental Confidence at FFC

In August of 2021, Sophie Lester was experiencing something that many of us adults have also experienced: burnout. She needed a way to take time for herself and relieve stress. Seeking a way to build physical and mental confidence outside of her job as a Chicago preschool teacher, she felt motivated to join a fitness club. She was curious about options such as working with a personal trainer or a nutritionist. Although Sophie had dabbled in gym memberships and group classes before, she had never found something that she resonated with enough to stick with. However, from the moment she stepped into FFC Lincoln Park, Sophie felt an immediate sense of belonging, the first step in her journey to physical and mental confidence.

Overcoming Skepticism

Struggling with weight fluctuations throughout her adult life, Sophie was a bit skeptical in her early days as an FFC member. I’m sure most of us can relate to trials and errors in exercise. Maybe you tried a new workout, loved it for a few months, then realized it wasn’t a “fix-all,” so you quit. Sophie was the same way. Sophie’s determination to make lasting life changes convinced her to fight off her skepticism and work with a personal trainer at FFC, Michael. 

Similar to exercise routines she’d tried before, working with Michael wasn’t a “fix-all.” Instead, Michael led her to an approach unlike any fad diet or exercise she had done in her past.

“I knew right away that this was the approach I should have been taking all along.”

Sophie living a fulfilled life while working with a personal trainer and nutritionist at FFC in Chicago.

The Impact of a Personal Trainer

Michael met Sophie right where she was at. He talked through her goals, corrected her form, and helped her build strategic workouts targeting the right muscles, to work toward those goals. In addition to the fitness side of things, Sophie couldn’t say enough positive things about Michael’s encouragement. Have you ever felt intimidated by the gym? So had Sophie. Michael made her feel comfortable, and made the program he was working on with her personal and attainable. 

The shift in perspective in working with a trainer was profound for Sophie. What once felt like a chore is now one of the best parts of her day. Michael’s support has helped her gain confidence in her physical abilities more than ever before. Starting with modifications and gradually working her way up, Sophie is finding herself achieving milestones she once thought were beyond her reach; she is even working toward a powerlifting competition!

“I’ve been able to prove to myself that I am capable of anything I set my mind to, no matter the size of my body.”

Discovering a Holistic Approach to Nutrition

In addition to exercise fads, have you also tried fad diets? Maybe the diets that influencers rave about? You try these diets, and realize that it is not a long-term solution. Sophie had been down that path as well. Seeing the incredible results she experienced with a trainer, Sophie was motivated to work with a nutritionist at FFC in 2022. Sophie’s nutritionist, Griselda, worked with her to take a holistic approach to wellness. Shifting her focus from the restrictive diets she once explored, Sophie now focuses on nourishing her body. In the same way that Michael met Sophie where she was at, Griselda helped Sophie develop a balanced approach to eating that prioritizes stability. And guess what? This is something that she can stick to long-term and actually enjoy it!

Managing Mental Health Through Fitness and Proper Nutrition

The transformations Sophie has experienced extended far beyond the physical benefits. For Sophie, FFC has become a safe space for her. She uses FFC as a tool to manage anxiety and depression. Before a stressful morning meeting, or after a long day of working with young children, Sophie uses FFC to relieve stress and cope with the ups and downs of life. The mental clarity and confidence are what keep Sophie motivated to continue. 

Sophie living a fulfilled life while working with a personal trainer and nutritionist at FFC in Chicago.

Fitness as a Community and a Lifestyle

What sets FFC apart for Sophie is not just the facilities or the expertise of the trainers, but the genuine care and support extended to every member. From personalized workout programs to nutritional guidance, Sophie has found that FFC goes above and beyond to ensure that each client feels seen, heard, and empowered on their journey to wellness. And, her FFC community have become friends of hers as well!

As Sophie reflects on her transformation, she is beyond grateful for the role FFC has played in her life. What began as a search for physical fitness has evolved into a journey of mental and physical confidence. She can no longer see a life without a focus on fitness and wellness. With each workout she completes, Sophie takes one step closer to her goals, knowing that she carries the lessons learned and the strength gained at FFC Lincoln Park in every other aspect of her daily life.

Post Written by FFC Marketing Manager Sydney Meyer.