This was something that I was meaning to write last year but, didn’t get the chance to do so; now its going to happen because this is one of two fitness centers that changed my life forever,  I did not enjoy being overweight and, I refuse to let myself get that big again if I have the power to make that possible.

My life is better after the dedication of what these kind people here offered and, I am 137.5 lbs and losing.   I trying to keep between 128 to 144.7 lbs.  I refuse to engage in relationships with those that ridicule me about my weight but, I am having an even harder time trying to find that man I dreamed for whom is a bodybuilder.

The familiar scenes take place hundreds of times each day throughout the Piedmont Triad— crowds of women lined up to participate in exercise classes 45 minutes before start time, hoping to grab a coveted spot in a “First Come, First Served” policy , or else go home empty-handed, with no workout for the day—steamy, big-box exercise gyms filled with members patiently waiting for treadmills or elliptical machines, many forced to alter their daily routines due to lack of available equipment—and group classes in which fitness levels may range from novice to advanced, and participants’ health conditions may include hypertension, diabetes, or osteoporosis, yet an all-encompassing general approach is taught by instructors without adequate training or certification.

Established in July 2007, Fitness Together has provided a unique alternative to group classes and crowded gyms. By offering exceptional training for nearly five years, Fitness Together has employed knowledgeable and experienced trainers who work with individuals to help them change their lives and live better. The results speak for themselves.

“I came to Fitness Together as the first part-time trainer,” recalls Manager Blair Meadows.

“I have stayed because our approach truly makes a difference. Our clients are individuals with unique fitness levels, needs and health histories. We formulate specialized plans with specific goals in mind. It takes dedication and commitment for our approach to exercise.”

Blair demonstrates a true passion for health and fitness. Though well-toned and energetic now, she knows firsthand what it is like to be healthy—and what it is like to be unhealthy. Spending the majority of her teenage years considerably overweight, she had to overcome her lack of fitness by herself, without a support system, professional instruction, or constant encouragement. After achieving her goals on her own, she changed her academic focus and her life’s purpose. She vowed to help others like herself who need an established plan and committed professionals to make an overall commitment to change.

“I have sympathy and empathy for our clients, many of whom come in here with a variety of chronic health conditions. Most of our clients, before they became clients, were disgusted at what they saw in the mirror, were sick and tired of being sick and tired; they were afraid of what their doctor was going to say to them, and they dreaded the thought of exercise. They now enjoy the exercise and the health benefits as a result of our program. I have been that person. I have experienced those feelings.”

Blair is joined in her efforts by four additional trainers and owners Wilda and David Young, who are also paying clients of Fitness Together.

The Youngs saw a need in the Piedmont Triad for a physical fitness facility that offered a high degree of specialized attention, in a private environment, in order to improve overall health and fitness. They found that “doing it on their own” through jogging, health clubs, and home gyms simply did not work. They needed the commitment and accountability offered by a professional Personal Trainer, and preferred the environment offered at a private studio.

“The medical profession can address specific medical conditions, but is not able to provide the ongoing attention necessary for making significant lifestyle changes,” accords Wilda, a physical therapist specializing in women’s health and urological issues. “A physician can write a prescription, but he can’t make sure you exercise, eat correctly, or get enough sleep. Our Personal Trainers address those issues, and help our clients achieve their fitness goals.”

David, a seasoned international business traveler, suffered many of the health challenges faced by business executives these days: lack of energy, unwanted weight gain, and high blood pressure. He became a client of Fitness Together and dramatically changed his life.

“The fitness industry sometimes has a sketchy reputation. At Fitness Together, all of our sessions are by appointment only. This saves valuable time. There is no waiting for equipment, no long-term contracts, and no parading around in front of a gym full of people.

“We’re not ‘The Biggest Loser’. We offer motivation and encouragement rather than intimidation and fear. We focus on providing outcomes, on setting and obtaining goals. No screaming, no crying, no drama,” says David.

A new client to Fitness Together receives a basic assessment upon first visiting the studio which includes cardio health, body composition, basic measurements, underlying chronic conditions, and health history, as well as general nutrition. Goals are also determined, and from this evaluation, an individual program is designed.

According to Blair, “Our clients have made three commitments. One is a commitment to change their life. Second is a time commitment. They realize they need to set aside time to improve their health which benefits them and their loved ones. Third, they make a financial commitment. They realize that they get what they pay for. The time commitment includes sessions of 3-4 visits a week, each lasting from 45-60 minutes. We have found that scheduling appointments in advance helps with accountability. We also perform follow-up assessments every 4-6 weeks.”

“We consider healthy living through Fitness Together to be an investment. By paying for health and fitness on the front end, you can hopefully avoid the costs associated with long-term chronic conditions and the resulting medications and hospitalizations that occur. Our clients receive the experience of a highly-trained trainer, in an upscale environment, with that personal attention that gets results,” David said.

According to David, however, the most important commitment is commitment to change. “We want our philosophy to become a part of your lifestyle, not for a 4-6 week period of time, but for a lifetime. When you leave Fitness Together after a session, we want you to carry your commitment to healthy living to your home, on the job, or as you travel.”

“Our personal trainers also have a commitment,” says Blair. “We have a commitment to constantly be acquiring knowledge in our field, as well as a commitment to our job and our clients. We have a responsibility to always be honest and direct and to ensure that our own lifestyles reflect what we teach others. We practice what we preach.”

In addition to specific workouts and customized cardiovascular plans, Fitness Together also offers nutrition advice. Since proper nutrition is a key to achieving and maintaining a healthy lifestyle, Fitness Together trainers spend time teaching clients how to read product labels while grocery shopping and will conduct refrigerator/cupboard evaluations upon request. Clients are encouraged to track what they eat and then assess their choices.

Blair Meadows also stakes claim to being Greensboro’s only female with the Titleist Performance Institute distinction. As a Certified Golf Fitness Instructor, she can customize a workout to improve areas specific to each individual golfer, no matter the skill level. She helps golfers improve not only their strength and endurance, but also their posture and flexibility, resulting in an improved swing and game, as well as a great feeling of overall well-being.

As Fitness Together approaches its fifth anniversary of serving the Piedmont Triad, the owners and staff remain committed to their clients, despite a challenging and uncertain economic environment. They are currently expanding their facility by one-third, allowing the trainers to provide small-group sessions to as many as four people. The sessions will be scaled to meet the individual needs within the group.

“We take pride in offering a proactive rather than reactive approach to healthy living and fitness,” says Blair. Citing a recent study from the journal Health Issues, it shows that if people aged 61-64 would commit to walking regularly, several billion dollars in Medicare costs could be saved in a lifetime. She believes that a focus on wellness is a priority worth keeping.

“People are going to have to assume more and more responsibility for their own health in the future. Working with the staff at Fitness Together is not a luxury, it’s an investment—an investment in a happier, healthier you and an improved quality of life. We all get to choose— we can choose to invest in health or invest in illness.”

Ram Fitness

If anyone of you guys followed me from the beginning you would know that I had serious weight issues as a child but, now I am over it for almost seven long years but, there are still trials that I have to overcome because you still have idiots to deal with as the result of major weight loss.   When I discovered RAM Fitness its was a blessing because it was a place to work out along with Fitness together.

There was no way to understand true bodybuilding and the different types of bodybuilding until I started working out.  Here is Rae Anne Mullins on RAM  Fitness for those struggling with weight issues.

When Rae Anne Mullins opened RAM Fitness in November 2009, she fulfilled a lifelong personal and professional dream of providing a way for all women to live their healthiest and happiest lives.

Ever since I was 15, I’ve wanted to operate my own gym and create an environment for real women juggling real life commitments of work, home, and family.

From our class schedules to special events, RAM fitness is designed for busy women.”

Well-known in the Piedmont Triad as a personal trainer and fitness veteran, Rae Anne is a busy mother of two. She began her career at the age of 18 as an aerobic instructor while pursuing a degree in business administration from Roanoke College. Though she worked in the financial services industry for five years, her passion for fitness remained strong.

Realizing a need, and successfully starting a fitness program for employees in her workplace, Rae Anne soon realized that she was meant to work with people on their “bottoms” and not with their bottom lines. She returned to the fitness arena and hasn’t looked back.

“Taking care of yourself is very important and can be challenging.

I understand the conflicts and struggles that women have in trying to get healthy and stay healthy. I also relate to the setbacks.”

Rae Anne herself has lost more than 60 pounds and has kept the weight off for nearly four years. She ran her first marathon in 2007 and brings a plethora of credentials to RAM Fitness including Group Exercise Instructor from the Aerobics and Fitness Association of America, Personal Trainer from the American Council on Exercise, Spin certification from MAD DOGG Athletics, PiYo and Turbokick certifications from Powder Blue Productions, and CPR certification from the American Heart Association.

The result is RAM Fitness being able to offer a wide range of affordable classes taught in a small group setting without the inconvenience of contracts or joining fees. Personal training is also available, using an individualized approach to jump start a fitness program.

According to Rae Anne, reaching individual goals is the top priority. All the programs of RAM Fitness seek to decrease body fat, tone or build muscle, improve balance, increase coordination, and improve flexibility.

“We are committed to providing women of all ages and backgrounds an extraordinary fitness experience by giving exceptional service, respect, motivation, and compassion.

RAM Fitness provides a clean, safe, and friendly environment with a wide variety of classes led by qualified instructors and one-on-one fitness training by certified trainers.”

Rae Anne also regularly schedules special fitness camps and workshops for her students including evening fit camp, outdoor boot camp, 5k training camp, and an 8-week weight loss camp, Special events include hiking excursions, Friday night yoga sessions, and group participation in local 5ks. The web site features popular recipes for eating healthy as well.

“Fitness is not exercise. It is a total way of life. It involves taking your life and your circumstances and finding a way to live healthier.”

The most rewarding part of my job is seeing women make real changes in their lives–making fitness a priority and sticking with it. Not all changes are physical either; many are mental and emotional. It’s exciting to support women on their journeys to develop greater self-esteem and confidence.”

Rae Anne is particularly proud of her work with Sanctuary House, a non-profit organization located in downtown Greensboro. Bringing fitness to those men and women who face difficult challenges both emotionally and mentally has made a difference in their lives–and her own.

As RAM Fitness approaches its first full year of business in the Piedmont Triad, Rae Anne is more committed than ever to sharing her enthusiasm and unique approach to fitness with women of all ages and all fitness levels.

“It’s possible to achieve a healthy and balanced life without starving yourself or killing yourself in the gym.

Everyday presents a new opportunity to live better.”

Top Excuses Women Do Not Exercise

Too busy/no time.

Schedule your workout just like any other important meeting or appointment. It really is that important! Put it in your daily calendar. We all seem to find time to watch our favorite show, so there has to be time to exercise.

RAM Fitness has classes at 5:30am before the kids are up, before work starts. There are also classes in the evening too!

Too out of shape/embarrassed to start/too old.

That’s exactly WHY you should get exercising, to get in shape. It is NEVER too late to start exercising. No one is expected to be in shape right away. The great thing about RAM Fitness is that it is a very safe environment where all fitness levels are welcome. NO need to feel embarrassed or worried about your fitness level. Hiring a trainer to help you set realistic and attainable goals is one way to ensure your success.

Don’t know how to exercise or where to start.

It’s okay. That’s why it’s a great idea to get involved with group fitness or find a partner. Hiring a personal trainer is a great way to get an exercise program to follow. Also, the trainer can show you how to do the exercises correctly and safely. Group fitness is great because you have a trainer with you every single time and other participants to help encourage and push you through the workout.

Exercise is boring.

Exercise doesn’t have to be boring. If you don’t like to run, don’t run! You can dance, jump, cycle or twist your way fit! There are lots of options when it comes to fitness, you just have to find something you enjoy and stick with it. RAM Fitness has lots of classes and they are a lot of fun!

Not only will the workout be fun, but it’s a great way to meet new friends.

I don’t see any changes when I exercise.

Maybe you aren’t seeing the scale change drastically, but there are many benefits to starting and sticking with an exercise program. Your scale may not change much, but your waist and thighs may shrink. Changing your body composition is very important, be sure to get measured and have your body fat percentage checked when starting your program so that you have more than just the scale. It doesn’t show the whole story. Also, you are helping your organs, your bones and your brain. Some of the many benefits of exercise are not noticeable from the outside.

Your Body Through the Decades

In Your 20s – Bodies can take a lot – Need to focus on strengthening your body to help prevent premature aging.

20s bodies can take a lot of abuse and usually does in the form of staying up too late, eating the wrong foods and crash dieting. Cardio and strength training are very important now to lay the foundation for a strong body and mind as women begin to age. Also, this is the age to learn to accept yourself for who you are and learn to love your body no matter what shape you have.

In Your 30s – The 30s are a busy time. Kids and careers often take over a woman’s life. This is the time a woman’s body can really start to age due to a slowing metabolism and decrease in lean muscle mass. By strength training to build lean muscle and eating a healthy diet and doing plenty of cardio, you can prevent early aging. Strength training is very important for keeping our bones strong too. By 30, a woman has reached her peak bone mass, so keeping what we have is very important. Circuit training is a great option for busy 30- somethings. It includes cardio and strength training. This is a great way to get in a fun workout in a fast and effective way.

RAM 40/60 is an example.

In Your 40s – An even slower metabolism, hormone changes and life changes all lead to more stress, more anxiety. It’s important to continue or start a very serious weight training program to build lean muscle. Focus on posture and balance as well. Exercising not only helps prevent unwanted body fat, but it will also help ease an anxious mind.

In Your 50s and Beyond – At this point the metabolism is crawling and weight gain in the mid-section, back of arms and bra area is normal. Adding as much activity to your life as possible is very important. Strength training is still very important, but the pounds lifted may need to be lower, especially if there are any joint problems. Balance is another area to work on.

Whole Wheat Pizza Crust


• 1 teaspoon white sugar

• 1-1/2 cups warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)

• 1 tablespoon active dry yeast

• 1 tablespoon olive oil

• 1 teaspoon salt

• 2 cups whole wheat flour

• 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour Directions:

1. In a large bowl, dissolve sugar in warm water. Sprinkle yeast over the top, and let stand for about 10 minutes, until foamy.

2. Stir the olive oil and salt into the yeast mixture, then mix in the whole wheat flour and 1 cup of the all-purpose flour until dough starts to come together. Tip dough out onto a surface floured with the remaining all-purpose flour, and knead until all of the flour has been absorbed, and the ball of dough becomes smooth, about 10 minutes.

Place dough in an oiled bowl, and turn to coat the surface. Cover loosely with a towel, and let stand in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour.

3. When the dough is doubled, tip the dough out onto a lightly floured surface, and divide into 2 pieces for 2 thin crust, or leave whole to make one thick crust. Form into a tight ball. Let rise for about 45 minutes, until doubled.

4. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C). Roll a ball of dough with a rolling pin until it will not stretch any further. Then, drape it over both of your fists, and gently pull the edges outward, while rotating the crust.

When the circle has reached the desired size, place on a well oiled pizza pan. Top pizza with your favorite toppings, such as sauce, cheese, meats, or vegetables.

5. Bake for 16 to 20 minutes (depending on thickness) in the preheated oven, until the crust is crisp and golden at the edges, and cheese is melted on the top.

Easy Vegetarian Chili Ingredients:

• 1 tablespoon vegetable oil

• 1 cup chopped onions

• 3/4 cup chopped carrots

• 3 cloves garlic, minced

• 1 cup chopped green bell pepper

• 1 cup chopped red bell pepper

• 3/4 cup chopped celery

• 1 tablespoon chili powder

• 1-1/2 cups chopped fresh mushrooms

• 1 (28 ounce) can whole peeled tomatoes with liquid, chopped

• 1 (19 ounce) can kidney beans with liquid

• 1 (11 ounce) can whole kernel corn, undrained

• 1 tablespoon ground cumin

• 1-1/2 teaspoons dried oregano

• 1-1/2 teaspoons dried basil Directions:

1. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Saute onions, carrots, and garlic until tender. Stir in green pepper, red pepper, celery, and chili powder. Cook until vegetables are tender, about 6 minutes.

2. Stir in mushrooms, and cook 4 minutes. Stir in toma-

Eating healthy does not have to be boring or bland. Try these tasty recipes from Rae Anne.

Toes, kidney beans, and corn. Season with cumin, oregano, and basil. Bring to a boil, and reduce heat to medium. Cover, and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Baked Crab Cups (12 Servings) Ingredients:

• 1 can (6 oz.) White crabmeat, drained, flaked

• 4 oz. (1/2 of 8-oz. Pkg.) Light Crean Cheese or Neufchatel Cheese, softened

• 2 green onions, thinly sliced

• 1/4 cup Reduced Fat Mayonnaise

• 12 won ton wrappers Directions: Heat oven to 350°F. Mix first 4 ingredients. Place 1 won ton wrapper in each of 12 muffin cups sprayed with cooking spray, extending edges of wrappers over sides of cups. Fill with crab mixture.

Bake 18 to 20 min. or until edges of cups are golden brown and filling is heated through.

Directions for dough: Mix flour, yeast and salt in a bowl. Gradually add 1/2 cup warm (110 degrees) water until a soft dough forms. Divide dough into 4 portions. Using hands, roll dough into balls, coat with cooking spray, cover with plastic wrap and set aside to rise 30 to 45 minutes.

When ready to cook, place each ball of dough on a piece of wax paper and flatten into a 4-inch circle. Coat grill with cooking spray and heat on high. Gently lift dough onto grill and cook until dough puffs and underside stiffens (about 30 seconds); flip and reduce heat to low.

Directions for topping: Mix topping ingredients, then divide among crusts; cover grill.

Grill until cheese melts, 5 to 6 minutes more. Slice and serve.

Directions: Heat oven to 350°. Heat oil on high in a 6-inch cast-iron skillet for 2 minutes. Add butter; when it foams, add mushrooms. Season with salt and pepper and saute 5 minutes. Reduce heat to low and add onions and thyme; sauté 2 or 3 minutes. Stir in egg whites with a heatproof rubber spatula until eggs start to set. Transfer skillet to oven and bake 5 minutes, until golden. Sprinkle with remaining herbs and lemon juice. Cut into wedges and serve.

Directions: Coat a large skillet with cooking spray. Heat oil over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms, onion and garlic, stirring, until onion is tender, 2 to 3 minutes. Combine 1/4 cup water with wine, basil, bouillon, cornstarch and oregano in a bowl. Add tomatoes and shrimp to skillet. Cook until shrimp begins to turn pink, 1 to 2 minutes. Reduce heat to low. Stir in wine mixture. Cover; simmer until shrimp is cooked through, 2 to 3 minutes more. Stir in parsley, cheese and pasta. Divide among 4 plates; serve immediately.

Baked Oatmeal Squares (Serves 4) Ingredients:

• 1 egg slightly beaten

• 1-1/2 cups rolled oats

• 1/4 cup honey

• 1/4 cup brown sugar

• 1/2 cup milk

• 1/4 canola oil

• 1/4 cup chopped nuts

• 1/4 cup dried cranberries or raisins

• 1 teaspoon baking soda

• pinch of salt

• 1 teaspoon cinnamon Directions: Combine all ingredients, spread into 8 inch baking dish. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Cut into squares.

Note: They tend to crumble, but taste delicious! I make it into granola when it crumbles too much.

Beef and Rice Stuffed Peppers (Serves 6) Ingredients:

• 6 medium bell peppers, tops removed and reserved, and seeds removed

• 1 tablespoon Olive Oil

• 1 yellow onion, diced

• 1 large carrot, diced

• 1 stalk celery, diced

• 2 cloves garlic, minced

• 16 oz. Lean (93 – 96% lean) beef (or lean turkey burger)

• 1 teaspoon salt

• 1 teaspoon pepper

• 1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes

• 1 cup cooked brown rice

• 1 cup of 2% grated cheese (your choice) Directions: Preheat oven to 375 F. Bring a large pot of water to a boil, add peppers and tops and cook until tender 5 – 6 minutes.

Remove peppers and drain fully.

Make filling: warm olive oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until clear. Add carrot, celery and garlic and continue cooking until vegetables are just softened. Add beef, salt and pepper and cook, breaking up large chunks, until meat is no longer pink. Add tomatoes and rice and cook 5 minutes longer, stirring. Stir in 3/4 cup of cheese.

Fill peppers with meat mixture, dividing evenly. Sprinkle mixture with remaining cheese. Bake until cheese is melted and peppers are heated through, about 5 minutes. Serve hot