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Training To Become a Personal Trainer

Once in a while you meet someone and you just click. You goals are so similar and you are so passionate about the same things that when you are together it’s like you feed on each other’s positive energy. I call this “Motivation Transference.”

Bobby Whisnand Leading the Walk from Obesity at the OAC Inaugural Convention Dallas Texas October 2012

If you are someone who reads my blog and finds themselves motivated by what I share and write, you’ve probably experienced this same sort of thing.

I am the type of person that thrives on order and structure. I’m the type of person that has to look to someone as the paradigm.

In the beginning of this journey that I am on towards becoming a personal trainer, it was my own personal trainer that motivated me. We used to talk about how we’d work together some day, how we’d do big things together, help more people lose weight, what a powerhouse team we would be together. For almost a year, those dreams helped me stay focused on own weight loss journey and helped ensure my own personal accountability – something that is a monumental part of my weight loss journey.

I have a theory about my need for positive role models, good examples, mentors and heroes; I believe it stems from a childhood without a lot of friends and where my main form of socialization was among adults. You compile that on the fact that most of those adults ended up hurting me at some point or another and voila you have the reason that my heroes are people like Chris Powell and Ellen DeGeneres. I’ve been looking up to public figures and role models to learn who I want to be most my life when the examples I had in my life were more what I didn’t want to be.

Since last August when I believed that my last reconstructive plastic surgery would be in November I have been working on the goal of opening my own business as a personal trainer in July of this year. And since October I’d been working on finding a Personal Trainer that would let me sort of apprentice with them. Go to sessions and watch them in action. I was looking for someone to help teach me how to be a good trainer.

I talked to a few Trainers that I’d met thus far. My own Trainer, and another one from the local area that had some experience and was starting to get involved in the WLS Community. Unfortunately neither of them were able  or willing to help me.

Then a thought occurred to me. Bobby Whisnand. I had the pleasure of meeting Bobby at the OAC Convention back in November. In fact, it was his, Merril Littleberry and Julia Karstad’s high praise of the Cooper Institute that lead me to select it as my school for my CPT studies over the ACE, ISSA and NASM.

I had connected so well with Bobby at the event. His views on exercise, on making sure that people are taught how to exercise without hurting themselves, and his understanding that you have to understand the mobility limitations of people who are morbidly obese when working with them were things that Bobby and I could have talked about for hours. When I told Bobby that my goal was to teach people to not need me rather than to expect them to come work out with me 2-3 times a week forever and he agreed, I was elated. As Bobby shared exercises with me that he knew I would find exciting and told me all about his upcoming video I knew this man was someone who was going to be an important person in my life.

Bobby’s upcoming video is something that I am extremely excited about. It promises to be the first of its kind with special attention to bariatric fitness. Bobby is a front-runner in the definition of Bariatric Fitness and Nutrition and the efforts and steps that he is taking to start to mold the shape of Bariatric Fitness is something that I want more than anything to be a part of. Bobby has done some amazing things already in the Fitness industry when it comes to Diabetic Fitness and Nutrition and I can’t wait to see what he does with Bariatric Fitness and what this new video with a focus on movement for all levels of participation in the weight loss world comes out like.

As if that all isn’t enough, Bobby has also stepped up to the plate to help me out where nobody could locally. When I asked Bobby if there was anyway that while I was in Dallas working on my studies I could spend some time with him in a sort of apprenticeship fashion, not only was “Absolutely, yes.” the first words out of his mouth, but he also let me know that not only would he let me observe him in action, but put me through his own fitness program and teach me some things that I might not pick up in the classes at CI. As if that isn’t amazing enough, Bobby is also a Cooper Institute Alumnus, which makes me really confident in knowing that he’ll help me make sure I am well prepared.

I can’t wait to get my hands on Bobby’s new exercise video and he’s told me that I’ll definitely get a sneak peek and get to share my opinion of it with you guys, so we have that to look forward too. I’m so excited to have an entire month in Dallas to do nothing but focus on my CPT education and learning from a Mentor as amazing and fun to work with as Bobby Whisnand and I can’t wait to share that whole experience with you.

Until then, why not click on over to Bobby’s website  Victory of Life and check him out and of course be sure to visit him on Facebook, give him a little WLS high-five and hit the like button and tell him Pandora sent you!  I bet by the time you do that, you’ll be as motivated to go get your fit on as I am this morning.It just so happens that I am in Dallas until the 16th of April now, since I had to fly out here to help my friend deal with the unexpected and sudden passing of her Mother and I got in touch with Bobby today and will be meeting with him sometime next week. I cant wait to share more information with you then. But for now, I need to get some sleep, I have an After the Cut Support Group Meeting to attend in the morning and need to get a little bit of beauty sleep.


How NKOTB Saved my Life – 2013 Tour Announced!


Okay that’s it – I can’t hold back, I have to say it again, I LOVE 2013 so far.

So far this year has been freaking amazing AND it just gets better.

But first, you have to understand why this is so amazing to me.

I had a pretty bad childhood, I’m honest about that, but one thing that I was never lacking was toys. I was spoiled rotten; my parents let me have just about anything my little heart desired.

The first time I remember hearing them on the radio I was in the 6th grade and I had just gotten a big stereo for my bedroom; the kind that had two cassette tapes on the front, a record player on top and played AM/FM stations. CDs weren’t a thing yet. His voice sang out over the radio singing “I’ll be loving you forever.” and from that very moment I was in love. Jordan Knight, New Kids on the Block.

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I was that girl who was so in love with NKOTB that I bought every Teen Beat, Bop or whatever magazine their pictures where in and my entire bedroom walls with no room left at all was wallpapered in their 8×10 Magazine shots and photos. I had the baseball cards, the dolls the buttons, if you could buy it with New Kids on the Block on it, I got it. I went to any and every concert my parents would drive me to. I’d go to the same concert three nights in a row in different areas of California that my parents were willing to drive me to in order to see them.

My cousins and I made a video called “The New Babes on the Block” which was this horrible home video of us pretending we were cool and telling them how much we loved them and pretending to be interviewed by someone like Oprah about how we were their biggest fans. It was amazing. I watched every interview they did, every appearance, I even watched their cartoon. Loving NKOTB is honestly one of the highlights of that time of my life.

It was a horrible time for me. I was the chubby little girl who was just starting to like boys and I was about to embark on a time in my life I call the rejection period. I felt rejected by everyone, boys that didn’t pay attention to me, popular girls that didn’t want to be my friend, my dysfunctional family, the biological mother that didn’t want me.  But obsessing on New Kids on the Block made it all better for me. Nobody else had to love me, I had them. I can honestly say that is the first time I can recall my escapism mechanism kicking into high gear. I spent hours in my bedroom having a relationship with Danny, Donnie, Joe, Jon and Jordan.


Those boys were with me whether they realized it or not through some of the hardest moments of my life. They were there when I found out that my grandmother had knowingly married a child molester, they were there the first time I kissed a boy, they were there when I lost my virginity, and the first time I got my heart broken. They were there when my biological mom came back into my life and wanted me to do drugs and take care of her two new kids. And their anti-drug stance was probably one of the major reasons I didn’t end up following that path. They were there the first time I cut myself on purpose. They were there the first time I tried to kill myself.  Music has always been something that I turn to when I am lost and confused and hurt, I can just listen to a song that I related too and get lost in it. I associate certain songs with certain times of my life. These boys gave me that coping mechanism and never even knew it.

Now fast forward a bit. New Kids on the Block splits, they are gone, life goes on, and I triumph through but now I’m at this point where I weigh over 400 lbs  I’m 32 years old, and suddenly there is an announcement that NKOTB is reuniting and going back on tour. Their new album comes out and Danny Wood, realizing that a lot of their fans are out of shape and fallen into the trap of obesity starts encouraging their fans through his own love for working out.


And when I first started exercising and it sucked, and I weighed 400 lb. and my body wouldn’t let me do much at all. It would take me over 40 minutes to walk a mile on the treadmill they kept me company with their music. I had their new album on repeat over and over it was the only thing I listened to when I exercised for months and months and months. Until I met P!nk and Adele, then I started sharing space on my play list for other favorites.  A year later, after attending their reunion concert in Tacoma Washington, my best friends husband Colin, bought us tickets to their Concord CA concert. I needed to go to CA and I weighed 420lbs. I ended up having to take a train because I couldn’t afford to buy two seats on a plane. I had to sit in the handicap section because of the concern of me not fitting through the stairwell. I never went anywhere anymore, but for those five men I’d still muster up the courage to get to their concert. It was amazing; we were in like the 6th row. My friend and I wore shirts that said “My Freebie List: #1 Jordan Knight” Tora’s said Joey McIntyre of course.  These boys whether they realized it or not, got me out of my depressed 400 lb. shut in phase.

These five men once again, managed to be there with me through some of the most important moments of my life.  I remember listening to their album on the headphones in the hospital the night after my gastric bypass.  I remember listening to them when my marriage was falling apart.  They were there when I could hardly walk a mile, and they were there when I could run one for the first time.

I talk about something I call “Forever Moments” Things that happen in our life that we will never forget, things that happen that are etched into who we are forever. These five men are part of my life and they don’t even know it. Some people touch our lives without ever realizing it and some people save our lives and never know it.

A brand new NKTOB Album is coming out. A new tour! 2013 is SoooOOoooO my year, I’ll have that album the moment it comes out, they will be with me as I train for my first half marathon this year and I’ll be at any concert I can get too! I’d tour the whole damn country with them if I could afford to follow them around like the Blockhead Groupie I am.


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Author: Pandora Williams

Author of Desperately Seeking Slender

This is #MyBariLife

BariLife has decided to send me back to Paris to represent the WLS Community as I attempt to find my love of running again.
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