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TODAY news for Thursday, February 25, 2008

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Drayson Center personal trainer uses ‘wholistic’ approach

Shonna works with Janet to strengthen her triceps, using some of the equipment in the private training room at Loma Linda University Drayson Center.
Shonna works with Janet to strengthen her triceps, using some of the equipment in the private training room at Loma Linda University Drayson Center.
Janet Ellerman lives in Crestline, California, about a half hour drive from Loma Linda University Drayson Center.

Near the beginning of 2007, she made an important decision that would dramatically impact her life—she began to work with one of Drayson Center’s personal trainers.

Shonna Steppe is certified by the National Academy of Sports Medicine as a personal trainer. She also has a bachelor’s degree in theology from Newbold College, in England.

In addition, Shonna has been particularly interested in nutrition for about 12 years, and plans to join the Loma Linda University nutrition and dietetics program in September.

“When I first met Janet, she was overweight and suffering from a degenerative disc problem,” Shonna remembers. “She had difficulty lifting things and had been working with a physical therapist.”

Shonna believes in taking a “wholistic” approach to personal training, working with her clients to improve not only their fitness, but their nutrition as well as their general outlook on life.

“In the beginning, Shonna went with me to my physical therapy session,” Janet recalls. “My physical therapist recommended that I strengthen my back muscles to avoid future injury.”

Shonna adds, “We wanted her to be able to function—to transition into a normal daily routine without pain.”

A secondary goal was to help Janet lose some weight and maintain her weight through exercise and nutrition. Janet had already joined a weight loss group and started keeping a food journal.

“Many weight loss programs concentrate on calorie-counting alone,” Shonna explains, “but the
By using an exercise ball while lifting weights, Shonna increases the benefits of this exercise for Janet, strengthening her back and core muscles in the process.
By using an exercise ball while lifting weights, Shonna increases the benefits of this exercise for Janet, strengthening her back and core muscles in the process.
quality of food is more important than relying solely on a numbers game.”

Shonna had one client who managed to eat all of her calories without including any vegetables.  “You need to give your body the nutrition it needs,” she emphasizes. “But it’s also really important that you enjoy what you eat.”

Shonna worked with Janet to create a personalized food journal. Janet found that she was eating one or two irregular meals per day, with lots of junk food and not many fruits and vegetables.

The two have been meeting three times a week for personal training sessions. In addition, they have gotten together to try new healthy and tasty recipes, a favorite pastime for Shonna. They’ve even watched together the television show “The Biggest Loser” on occasion.

“I love to eat,” Shonna admits. “However, I can’t just eat anything I want, even though I work out a lot.”

Janet attributes her success to a team effort. She and Shonna are equally committed to her progress. “Shonna was just as excited as I was when I recently was comfortable enough to wear a bathing suit for the first time in 20 years,” Janet recounts. “Now I love to work out—I never thought I would say that.”

Shonna’s intent is for Janet to make fitness and nutrition a permanent part her lifestyle.

“You can’t compartmentalize nutrition and fitness,” Shonna points out. “The principles of self-control, patience, and commitment to eat well and be fit cannot be practiced without spilling over into one’s mental and spiritual growth.”

Shonna takes the mission of Loma Linda University to heart.

“I wholeheartedly believe that the philosophy, ‘to make man whole,’ is divinely in­spired,” she offers.

She feels it is her mission to work with health care professionals at Loma Linda University and Loma Linda University Medical Center.

“As Loma Linda health care professionals, we need to live out the mission,” she suggests. “I believe our actions will speak loudly in the workplace, inspiring those we serve.”

How is Janet doing? As of October of 2007, she had lost 36 pounds. Her weight loss has continued into the new year.

“I’m eating very healthy,” Janet says. “I eat three to four meals a day, at about 1,200 calories, with five to ten servings of fruits and vegetables.”

Her fitness has improved dramatically. “I can lift heavy things and feel very strong,” she describes. “I walk 20 to 35 miles a week at a 15-minute pace and am training for the 2008 Los Angeles Marathon.”

Drayson Center has a number of personal trainers on hand to work with a variety of clients. A private training room is available for one-on-one sessions, as well as well-equipped cardio and weight rooms. For information or to schedule an appointment, call (909) 558-8690.

By Larry Kidder, MA
Janet Ellerman�s �before� photo was taken in February of 2007.
Janet Ellerman’s “before” photo was taken in February of 2007.
Janet�s �after� picture was taken at her eight month review in October of 2007.
Janet’s “after” picture was taken at her eight month review in October of 2007.

TODAY news for Thursday, February 25, 2008