Becoming physically and mentally stronger one day at a time
Gone are the days when people go to gyms for mundane workouts. Today, owners of gyms throughout the Rio Grande Valley have come up with innovative methods and fitness philosophies to keep their customers interested and motivate them to improve their lives, one day at a time.
FitSity, owned and operated by Heather George, is one such fitness training facility offering a myriad of training options and nutritional education. Their goal is to help you become stronger mentally and physically.
According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Heart Disease, two-thirds of adults and nearly one-third of children struggle with being overweight and obesity. If these rates stay consistent, by 2030, 51 percent of the population will be categorized as obese.
“Obesity is the biggest issue that people struggle with,” said George, who was born and raised in Harlingen, Texas. “An even bigger issue is people not understanding what they need to be eating nutrition-wise, because it leads to health problems later in your life and by that time it’s too late.”
In Cameron County alone, where the majority of FitSity clients come from, the overall obesity rate is 32 percent and one in 10 are diabetic.
FitSity is an all-women facility. George has an affinity for reaching out to moms because, as a mother herself, she can relate. Her vision of an ideal gym is something that is not only going to make people stronger physically, but also mentally; especially for women who struggle so much after having a baby.
“I let go of working out and exercising once I got pregnant with my son,” said George, who suddenly found that her schedule and life has been flipped upside down. “Naturally, as a new mother, I lost focus on myself.”
As much as George loved being at home with her newborn son, she felt very unhappy with her weight gain and it started to affect her self-esteem. When her son was 1 year old, she stopped fitting into most of her clothes.
“I was in the dressing room, trying clothes on and it was the biggest size I had ever been,” George said. “I remember not buying anything that day and realizing that I’m not going do this anymore, I’m not happy.” She got a gym membership and started working out regularly. Her eating changed and she immediately started to feel better about herself.
That experience led George to establish her own fitness philosophy that focuses on self-esteem and judgment control. Sometimes people don’t see results right away and begin to lose motivation and purpose. Humans tend to want immediate gratification, and it can be irritating when we don’t see it in one of those many mirrors on the wall.
“My clients can get a little bit discouraged and they fall off the wagon,” said George, who now competes National Physique Committee bodybuilding competitions. “That’s why we text them or send them a motivational picture. We are constantly trying to keep these girls on track, not just on days that they go to our gym.”
Indeed, there are a plethora of gyms and fitness centers to join or YouTube videos one can look up, but FitSity and its team of dedicated fitness trainers push, motivate, and inspire. From its inception, FitSity was created to make fitness accessible to everyday women and provide sustainable health solutions for those who have desperately tried and failed at dieting.
It takes a huge amount of courage for someone to step into the world of exercise; the same is true for starting a business.
“Venturing and going off on your own is a huge risk that you take, so it was very scary. That’s why a lot people don’t do it,” said George, who earned her college education at The University of Texas at San Antonio, where she received a bachelor of business administration in marketing. “I went full force with it, did all my own marketing, did my own workout videos — anything and everything to market my business.”
FitSity also offers Youth Summer Camp throughout the month of June. The goal of the camp, which is available to kids ages 11 through 17, is to demonstrate workouts, educate on nutrition, create the meals together, and help them track meals on a chart they can take home. “We also have a motivational speaker, like former NFL players, local artists and the Harlingen police departments,” George said. “The camp inspires kids to set goals and to hear stories about people who have struggled to accomplish a goal.”
George also has a mobile app as part of her online training business. It offers customized workouts, video footage of George demonstrating workouts and meal tracking. She also plans to release a meal prep e-book.
After working with hundreds of clients, and consistently helping them improve their lives, FitSity has stayed true to its goal: to help women become the best version of themselves.
“I am so blessed to have the opportunity to motivate and help others achieve their own goals and improve their life,” George said. “I deeply believe every single one of us has the inner potential and strength to accomplish anything our mind sets itself to doing, one day at a time.”