Clean Slate

A trainer/fitness coach usually gets looked at as a bodybuilder or person who has a very strict diet. This is not always true. I try to keep a work/life balance by eating my cheat meals, but also staying as active as possible with a minimum of 4 times per week of training. Adopting a healthy lifestyle helped me live through the roughest times of my life. There’s no turning back now.

In 2002 I went to prison for a drug offense. Throughout the two-year. pre-trial period my mind wasn’t at it’s best because I began questioning my self-worth. When stress levels are high, it affects everyone differently. I’m the kind of person that can’t sleep, and has no appetite. The only thing that allowed me to maintain my sanity was working out. It allowed me to cope with my stress and helped me regain self-confidence.

I understood a 10 year sentence would be life changing, but I never thought I’d lose family and a lifetime of friends when times got tough. I tried keeping my mind busy throughout that period. I would go through cycles of staying active, and then falling off for months at a time. Finally, my prayers were answered when my request to transfer closer to home came through. 

I took educational courses to be prepared upon my release as well as other fitness related materials. One of the courses was a personal training certification course. The location in which I was transferred had a weight room. This, in comparison to the previous years where I improvised with calisthenics, jailhouse weights like laundry bags filled with books, water bags and a mop stick; it finally felt like a real gym. I began meal planning and working out consistently with a totally different regimen. This shift to focusing on my health and fitness automatically made me feel at home. I realized I didn’t feel my best self when I wasn’t active and I worked harder with a workout partner that held me account.

Upon my release, I stayed active as possible to keep my mind right. I made new friends and signed up for a Half Ironman despite the fact I’d never swam competitively in my life. I tried getting a job in construction but I was  uncomfortable as it reduced the time I wanted to keep myself fit. I then acquired a personal training job, but the corporate sales structure resulted in me quitting and instructing classes outside at a park instead. I had zero money in my pocket, but I knew it was time to really kick my actions into high gear for a true lifestyle change. I was powered by adrenaline and coffee for years. 

Working out allowed my body to stand up against the many obstacles in my path as I worked long hours. I shared gym space during the winter of 2012-13. 2014 was the year where Fit Results started in its own retail space, where the South Loop location calls home. Every 2 years post opening of the first location, the fit family grew and eventually opened a second location. 

Overall, a healthy lifestyle makes all the difference in the world. The chemical balance in the human brain changes and through research based studies it has proven to increase self-confidence. These studies alone should be enough to create an impact of maintaining a healthy lifestyle yet, we as humans love to stay in our comfort zone. 

I made a choice to make a difference for myself while helping others to do the same. I stand as proof today that anything is possible, as long as we want change. It is important to surround yourself with humans who will uplift you. In turn, we can continue to pay this action forward.

The act of giving does not always come in a monetary value, it comes in kindness, motivation and showing love to others in need. 

Because a helping hand was never given to me, I made it my mission to help spread love to make this a better place while making it a home for lifestyle change.

Best of Health,

Luis Centeno

@louthetrainer 

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