We couldn't be more thrilled to shine the spotlight on Jen Donovan, our esteemed February Athlete of the Month.
It's evident that Jen's perseverance is paying off, as she proudly declares herself to be in better shape now than she was in her 20s—an achievement that speaks volumes about her dedication and the effectiveness of her training regimen.
We are delighted to celebrate Kathy Willette as our first Athlete of the Month in the new year!
On a more immediate level, Kathy recognized the importance of regaining her core strength and stability, weakened by two pregnancies. Initially feeling daunted by this goal, she later discovered that she possesses more strength and confidence than she thought possible. Conquering a proper pushup, an exercise that once felt impossible, is now a testament to her hard work. Free of shoulder pain that once plagued her, she embraces the challenge with proper form and technique. Kathy has also built confidence using the sledgehammer in the gym, leading to learning how to chop wood with her family while wielding her very own ax.
As a busy mom, Kathy initially had concerns about fitting regular gym sessions into her jam-packed day of family commitments and responsibilities. However, she quickly realized that her time in the gym positively shaped the rest of her day. Starting her day at the gym provided the right dose of morning energy, community connection, and camaraderie that allowed her to perform at her best while having a ton of fun. Kathy not only enjoys her time in the gym but acknowledges that it shapes the rest of her day, giving her the best energy, focus, and mood.
Making a commitment to getting to the gym isn't easy, but a recurring theme we hear from people every day is that going to the gym always makes their day better. We work hard to provide a schedule that accommodates even the busiest of schedules. Coupled with our amazing community, we create an incredibly supportive and encouraging vibe, making it easy to make health and fitness a regular part of one's lifestyle.
Kathy encapsulates this sentiment: "I can honestly say that no matter what kind of day I'm having, no matter how tired I am when I get there, I always feel better—both mentally and physically—after a workout."
If you're searching for your new gym community, ready to set new goals for the year ahead and commit to a training program that can impact your life in meaningful ways, we are here for you!
Explore our 2-week trial program at
to see how our training programs can fit into your schedule and benefit your life in ways that matter most to you.
Elizabeth’s journey began with a fear of the unknown and a reluctance to step out of her comfort zone. The idea of jumping, once paralyzing, symbolized broader fears—fear of failure, fear of looking foolish, fear of taking risks. However, with each hurdle, Elizabeth learned that true growth lies just beyond those fears.
The physical changes were undeniable—a 27-pound weight loss, increased energy levels, and a significant improvement in cholesterol levels. However, the true transformation transcended numbers. Elizabeth not only discovered a newfound strength, but also an ability to connect with her body, and an understanding of the intricate relationship between muscles and movement.
Learning to hold a plank wasn't merely a physical achievement; it was a testament to the mental fortitude gained. Each exercise, from ball slams to skater hops, became a celebration of evolving strength and capability.
One of the most profound shifts occurred within Elizabeth as she shed the fear of looking foolish and embraced the notion that taking risks was an integral part of the journey. The once-dreaded ropes became a symbol of conquering least favorite exercises, proving that every challenge met head-on brings one closer to their goals.
In the midst of this transformative journey, Elizabeth gave the Morning Mojo, a recipe found in our healthful living guidebook a try. This simple routine that not only jump started her day but also cured her GERD.
This unexpected discovery highlighted the powerful impact of small habits on overall well-being, reinforcing the idea that committing to health is a holistic and multifaceted endeavor.
Looking toward the next six months, Elizabeth recognizes that the road to maintenance poses its own set of challenges. However, the habits cultivated and the community at WILCOX instill confidence that she is equipped to navigate this phase of the journey.
Coaches Bree and Trevor have been more than personal trainers to Elizabeth —they've been motivators, supporters, and a source of genuine celebration. Their diverse coaching styles, humor, and belief in Elizabeth’s potential have transformed a gym into a sanctuary of encouragement.
Committing to health and fitness was once an admirable choice; now, it is an absolute necessity. This shift in perspective came not just from the physical changes but from a deeper understanding of the vital role self-care plays in the journey of a caregiver.
To those contemplating their own health and fitness journey, Elizabeth’s advice is simple: start where you are. Understand that 70% of success is tied to what you eat, and don't underestimate the power of hydration. Small, consistent efforts lead to massive impact.
Elizabeth’s journey with WILCOX has been nothing short of life-altering. From conquering fears to embracing self-care, the experience has not only reshaped her body but has also redefined her approach to life.
We are so proud of all that Elizabeth has achieved and
can’t wait to see what lies ahead for her.
She joined our community through our Trial Program, alongside a few of her gym buddies, after their local gym had closed its doors. It's not uncommon for change to feel a bit daunting, and Jean had her reservations about approaching exercise in a new way, pushing herself out of her comfort zone. However, Jean's determination to adapt to her new gym environment was unwavering, and having the unwavering support of her gym tribe certainly made all the difference.
In just six short months, Jean's commitment to our community went above and beyond. When we called for volunteers to assist with our hiring process, she generously stepped forward.
During this process, trainer candidates coached a group of our clients, giving us insight into their coaching abilities. Jean's invaluable participation played a pivotal role in the selection of our new team member, Trevor!
Throughout the past year, Jean has remained dedicated to attending three training sessions every week. She's shown up, even on the most challenging days, emphasizing the importance of consistency and persistence in her pursuit of long-term fitness and wellness.
What motivates Jean is the tangible improvement in her functional fitness, particularly the development of leg and core strength, along with improved blood pressure and lab results. Her desire to lead an active and fulfilling lifestyle as she ages is a testament to her unwavering determination.
In every training session, Jean brings with her a positive attitude, fostering a sense of belonging and self-assurance within our community. She cherishes the connections she's made and the friendships she's forged with everyone in her sessions.
Jean's family has played a crucial role in supporting her fitness journey. Her husband, in particular, has been a pillar of support, even braving the winter roads to drive her to training sessions. Her personal physician has also provided guidance, fostering confidence in her abilities.
We are immensely proud of all that Jean has achieved, and we eagerly anticipate her future accomplishments.
While Jean may not have seen herself as an athlete in her younger years, there's no doubt in the minds of our trainer team that she's become a true athlete in her own life.
We are delighted that Laura found her way to our gym, and her journey has been nothing short of inspiring. Every session she participates in is a testament to her unwavering commitment, and the results are undeniably evident. This past summer, Laura took on the Tough Mountain Challenge as part of "Team Wilcox," conquering obstacles with incredible confidence. During the race, she shared how her training program had profoundly impacted her life.
Laura could now sit on the floor, pain-free, to play with her daughter, endure long hours at her desk in her demanding career as a real estate agent, and relished the increasing challenges of her training sessions as she gained a deeper understanding of her body's capabilities.
As a devoted mother with a busy schedule, Laura draws inspiration from the incredible women who manage to prioritize fitness amidst their daily responsibilities. Even on the most chaotic days, she looks to these women for motivation.
She also finds inspiration within the training sessions themselves, recognizing the dedication our trainers invest to ensure each session is nothing short of exceptional. Like many working moms, Laura's life is a constant juggle. Balancing a career, personal life, parenting, and her other passions can make finding time for the gym a true challenge. Yet, Laura understands the importance of balance and lives by the 80/20 rule.
On those exceptionally busy weeks, she grants herself a little grace, knowing that she can still focus on 80% of what's most important. When things ease up, she can pick up where she left off.
After nearly two years in our training program, Laura exudes strength and vitality. She has not only rekindled her inner gymnast but also rediscovered herself. The ability to pursue anything in life without limitations is what we stand for at Wilcox Wellness & Fitness. Witnessing Laura's unwavering dedication and how it enhances her life fills us with joy and excitement. Her success is a testament to the exceptional training experience we strive to provide to all our clients.
A significant source of inspiration for Michael is his father, Bob, who has been a constant beacon of physical activity throughout Michael's life. Bob's enduring passion for adventure, whether it was water skiing, snow skiing, or engaging in various sports with Michael and his 3 brothers throughout their childhood, left a lasting impression on Michael. Now at the age of 93, Bob's continued vitality serves as a constant reminder of the value of staying active during one's younger years.
When Michael initially embarked on his training program, he encountered challenges that might have discouraged others. His coordination was lacking, balance was an issue, but he recognized the importance of this step in his long-term health and fitness journey. Undeterred by the initial difficulties, Michael persevered through every session, unwavering in his commitment to consistency.
Through practice and determination, he has made astounding progress. If you were to witness him in the gym today, you would hardly believe how far he has come. Individuals like Michael serve as a profound source of inspiration for our training team, as we relish witnessing our clients push through their barriers, step out of their comfort zones, and embrace the journey of progress.
Since commencing his fitness journey, Michael has witnessed a significant improvement in his coordination, core strength, and muscle mass. Moreover, he has honed his self-awareness in movement, enhanced his posture, and gained a newfound confidence in his physical abilities, both within and outside the gym.
Michael has discovered that he doesn't need to accept the effects of aging as an inevitable reality. His motivation stems from the tangible changes in his body, the enhanced mobility he experiences, and the satisfaction of fitting into clothes that had remained untouched for too long.
Michael's progress fills us with immense pride, and we can’t wait to witness all the successes that the future holds for him as he continues his journey with the same commitment and dedication.
Your accomplishments serve as a testament to the power of determination and the transformative potential of a positive mindset.
There are several reasons why eating enough protein is important.
- Reduces hunger and supports weight loss: Eating a high protein diet helps to reduce hunger resulting in eating fewer calories, and increases the function of the weight regulating hormone peptide YY, which makes you feel full. Studies have also shown that increasing protein during the day helps to reduce late night cravings.
- Helps to increase muscle mass: muscle is made up primarily of protein, and the protein building blocks amino acids are critical for building muscle. Additionally, protein in our diet helps us recover after injury more quickly.
- Helps us as we age: Protein helps us reduce muscle degradation as we age, maintaining a healthy muscle mass, and some studies show that protein helps reduce risk factors for heart disease.
- It’s good for your bones: Studies show that people who eat a high protein diet are at lower risk of developing osteoporosis.
- It helps us maintain a healthy metabolism: another weight loss benefit, since when our metabolism is functioning efficiently we will burn more calories throughout the day.
If you have a weight loss goal, adding more protein to your daily meals could put you over the top in terms of overall calorie intake, so we sometimes need to reassess what we’re leaning towards at mealtime, particularly those on the go meals and snacks. Having a few options to get us on the right track can help us hit the ground running, so here are a couple of ways to increase your protein intake without blowing out your calorie intake:
Make sure to start your day with a protein packed breakfast. Breakfast is one of those meals that can be low on protein particularly if you start your day with a bowl of fruit or a smoothie, plus we often want breakfast to be easy and on the go. Getting more protein at breakfast time is super easy if you put your mind to it. Here are some ideas:
You can find this egg muffin recipe, my favorite savory oatmeal recipe and delicious smoothie recipes among other quick and easy breakfast ideas in our healthy breakfast recipe guide - download it for free here:
Enjoy protein rich salads for lunch or dinner. I love salads for lunch, but sometimes they’re just not filling enough to keep me going all day, and that’s because they don’t contain enough protein. Salads are also a great option for dinner especially on those hectic nights where you get home late or are short on time. Here’s a quick and easy way to spruce up your salad options without it consuming too much time and being sure to pack on the protein.
- Start with a leafy green base. Leafy greens are super healthy, contain lots of important micronutrients including vitamins A, B, C, E and K as well as carotenoids, the antioxidant that helps to protect the cells and reduce the risk of cancers. Plus, greens are super low calorie, so don’t skimp on this base!
- Add color to your salad: Have fun adding colorful fruits and veggies to your salad such as bell peppers, carrots, cherry tomatoes, strawberries, blueberries, grapes or apple slices. The more diversity that we can build into our meals the more nutritional micronutrients we access!
- Add some lean protein: leftover chicken breast from dinner is an easy go to protein source. Also consider tuna fish, hard boiled eggs, beans or lower fat cheeses such as feta, goat or mozzarella cheese.
- Add some tasty extras: Keep your taste buds interested with extras such as olives, nuts or seeds, or avocado. Steer clear of less nutrient rich additions like croutons or fried wonton strips.
- Use a flavorful dressing: Using a dressing with an olive oil base and vinegar or citrus like lemon juice will really make the flavors pop. Avoid creamy dressings which tend to be higher in calories and saturated fats.
If you’re looking for some fun ideas for dressings (which also second as marinades or sauces) check out our Sauces, Marinades and Dressings Recipe Guide.
Download it for free here: https://wilcoxwellnessfitness.lpages.co/sauce/
Make sure your snacks are packed with protein. Eating consistently throughout the day is one of our Habits for Massive Impact. Planning for a nutrient dense snack in between our main meals will help us avoid the hunger zone that can lead to feelings of desperation at meal time, resulting in eating what’s convenient, snacking while preparing dinner, or shoveling it in so fast that we eat past the point of feeling full. It also provides another opportunity throughout the day to get some extra protein into our diet. Here are a few of my favorite high protein / low calorie go-to snacks that are balanced with energy packed carbohydrates:
- Hard or soft boiled egg with a cup of sugar snap peas
- Beef Jerky (look for one with no sugar) and carrot sticks
- 1 cup of Cottage Cheese with ⅓ c of blueberries
- Cheese Stick and apple - I also like to wrap a piece of prosciutto around the cheese for an added treat.
- Handful of almonds with banana - this really hits my salty-sweet taste buds in just the right way!
- Turkey Roll Ups - roll in lettuce, cucumbers, bell peppers, etc.
- Tuna and cucumbers
- Hummus and veggies
- Watermelon chunks with goat cheese crumbles
- Apple with nut butter
So how much protein should I be eating anyway? A good rule of thumb is to get 1g of protein for each pound of body weight. If you’re currently overweight this may result in an inflated protein target, so you may want to consider your protein intake relative to your calorie intake instead. Last month I included a TDEE (Total Daily Energy Expenditure) calculator so that you can use it to figure out how many calories you should be eating to maintain a healthy weight and metabolism. If you’re using calories as your guide you want to eat 30-40% of your calories in the form of protein. Here’s some simple math to help you figure it out. If you are consuming 1600 calories per day, then 30% of 1600 is 480 calories from protein. Each gram of protein contains 4 calories, so that means that your protein target is 120g of protein (480 calories / 4).
As you’ve learned in this blog, getting enough protein into your diet will help boost your metabolism, increase your energy levels, help you recover after exercise, and provide more flavor and fun to your meals. I hope that these ideas help to inspire you to add more protein to your diet and feel your very best!
Do you feel like you could use some extra support with your health & fitness journey? We’re here to help! Our next KickStart program kicks off on Saturday, September 9th and we’d love to have you join us!
- 1:1 zoom based coaching session to help you identify your goals and make a plan to reach them.
- Kickoff Training Session that is exclusive to KickStart participants, allowing you to build confidence in the gym and get to know the trainer team.
- Weekly Zoom based check in calls with your KickStart peers and coaching team. This provides a space to celebrate your wins, ask questions, get advice for overcoming obstacles, and so much more!
- 12 Group Personal Training Sessions with over 50 sessions per week to choose from!
- 4-week Complete Whole Foods based nutrition plan with weekly nutritional journal review to help you implement small adjustments so that you can reach your goals without feeling overwhelmed or deprived.
- 1:1 Zoom based Momentum Session during week 4 where we’ll review your progress in the program and make a plan to help you maintain the momentum that you started.
Learn more & register at www.wilcoxwellnessfitness.com/kickstart
Don’t wait! Space is limited.
Diane embarked on her fitness journey with us in May 2022 through our Trial Program, driven by the desire to increase her energy, build strength, and revel in an active lifestyle that encompasses all her passions. It was crucial for Diane to prioritize self-care, maintain good health, and have the vitality to fully engage in activities she loves.
Over the past 14 months, Diane's progress has been inspiring to the trainer team and those who have the opportunity to train with her. Not only has she successfully elevated her energy levels and developed strength and stamina, but she has also managed to alleviate knee pain caused by arthritis. Her achievements can be attributed to her focused approach towards body movement and building supportive muscles.
Diane remains dedicated to her goals and has gained a deeper awareness of how her posture and balance contribute to her overall mobility, setting her sights on continued growth.
We admire Diane's positive attitude and unwavering determination. With an infectious enthusiasm, she approaches each session with eagerness and fearlessness, embracing every exercise as an opportunity to improve and progress.
Her mindset serves as an inspiration, as she understands the importance of consistency and discipline in maintaining her health and fitness journey, even on days when motivation may waver.
Beyond her physical achievements, Diane's efforts to shift her mindset away from comparison and focus on her own progress demonstrate her commitment to personal growth and well-being. We believe that mindset is a fundamental aspect of health and fitness, and Diane's dedication to intentional practice sets a shining example.
At Wilcox Wellness & Fitness, we strive to create a supportive environment that caters to individuals' unique wellness journeys, and Diane has been an invaluable contributor to this culture. Her positive influence on the community is truly appreciated, and we are immensely grateful for what she brings to our fitness family.
Congratulations once again, Diane! Your accomplishments are truly commendable, and we eagerly await the exciting journey that lies ahead in the coming year. Your determination and spirit continue to inspire us all!
These strategies tend to backfire as they are simply not sustainable, becoming overwhelming and ineffective in producing desired results. Why is that? Well, our bodies require food as fuel, and when we deprive ourselves, we often experience a decline in energy levels, mental fog, feelings of sluggishness, and even a decline in our ability to perform optimally during training sessions. It's crucial to provide our bodies with the necessary fuel to thrive and achieve our best potential.
With all of this in mind, I want to talk about Metabolism! Metabolism is the chemical reactions in the body's cells that change food into energy. Our bodies need this energy to do everything from moving to thinking to growing, and the better we can understand our metabolism the faster we can create a winning strategy that will lead to the results that we’re after. The ill fated strategies that I mention above are metabolism killers and are not only ineffective, but also setting us back.
Unfortunately, there are plenty of sneaky ways we slow our metabolism down — here are 7 of the most common metabolism saboteurs:
1. You don’t eat enough
Your body is smart! When you regularly eat less fuel than you burn, your body can make itself even more efficient by lowering how many calories it needs.
This can happen if 1) you exercise a lot and don’t ramp up your food intake to match it; 2) you undereat every day, or 3) you go on a lot of diets.
2. You skip meals
Research shows that eating regular meals throughout the day is linked with a greater “thermic effect of food” – i.e., more calories burned after eating.
Plus, eating on a regular schedule helps your body manage its blood sugar levels, which is a biggie when it comes to your health.
3. You don’t lift weights
Strength training helps boost your metabolism in a couple of different ways.
Over the long run, it helps build muscle, and muscle tissue burns more calories at rest than fat tissue.
But it also has an immediate benefit: it raises your metabolism for hours after your workout is finished.
4. You don’t prioritize your sleep
Not getting enough sleep is like a triple whammy on your metabolism.
- When you’re tired you’re not as active, which means a lower daily calorie burn
- You tend to eat more when you’re sleep-deprived because it messes up your hunger hormones and makes you crave high-calorie foods
- Your body has a harder time managing blood sugar levels when you’re low on sleep, which can make you store fat
5. You sit all day
Being sedentary – i.e., not getting up to move around every half-hour or so — is linked with a slower metabolism. Time for that standing desk!
6. You don’t eat enough protein
Not only does protein keep you feeling full after you eat it, but it also helps you build metabolism-boosting muscle.
Plus, digesting it burns more calories than digesting carbs or fat.
A healthy guideline to follow for protein consumption is to aim to eat between 0.8 -1 gram of protein for every pound of your body weight. So, if you weigh 150lbs you should be eating between 120 - 150g of protein each day.
7. You get stressed out a lot
It’s true! Stress can LOWER your metabolism.
An Ohio State University study found that women burned fewer calories after they ate a high-fat meal when they were stressed.
Just another reason it’s so important to have a plan to regularly blow off stress, like working out, meditating, or relaxing hobbies.
Focusing on improving these 7 areas can really be a game changer in reaching your goals. However, you may also be asking yourself how on earth do I lose weight if I need to be eating enough calories to support my metabolism, but also in a calorie deficit in order to lose weight? That’s a great question and I have a pretty simple answer for you! Before you start counting macros or worrying about how many calories you’re eating you need to figure out one important number - your estimated TDEE – aka your Total Daily Energy Expenditure.
In everyday language, it’s how many calories you burn every day just living your life.
I’ve got a calculator you can use to figure out yours right now.
Here’s the link: https://mynutritioncalculator.com/mifflin-st-jeor-calculator
A little tip for using the calculator: A lot of us overestimate our activity level. Read the choices carefully and think about how active you are on most days of the week. :)
No matter what your goals are, knowing this number can help you fine-tune your nutrition — and be more intentional with your choices.
Don’t forget, nutrition isn’t the only key to supporting a healthy metabolism. Building healthy muscle mass will also boost your metabolism because, as we discussed above, muscle burns more calories at rest than fat does. Having a regular strength building routine is super important and becomes more important as we age since we tend to lose muscle mass with hormone changes. At Wilcox Wellness & Fitness we can help you create a healthy & sustainable approach to your health & fitness, allowing you to reach all of your goals! Want to learn more? Schedule a no obligation phone call with us to see how we can help you.
Go to www.wilcoxwellnessfitness.com/getstartedbrunswick to start the conversation!
Marilyse began training with us in August 2022 and has made remarkable progress in reaching her goals.
When she joined our trial program, her main focus was on gaining energy, improving her well-being, and building confidence so that she could show up as her best self and have the energy to do everything she loves. After nearly a year, she has lost an incredible 40 pounds, reduced pain in her body, increased her energy levels, and improved her overall strength. Marilyse, that's an amazing feat to be proud of!
As a mother to a 9-year-old son, Marilyse's commitment to her health and fitness also serves as a significant motivator. Maintaining motivation isn't always easy, but Marilyse highlights the importance of finding balance in life and believing in oneself. Perfection isn't the goal; what truly matters is getting back on track even after falling out of routine. Regardless of how many times one needs to regroup, the effort is always worth it.
The WILCOX Trainer Team has been thoroughly impressed with Marilyse's consistency and dedication. She adheres to a regular training schedule and works hard to manage competing priorities, ensuring she makes time for what's important to her. Marilyse approaches each training session with a strong work ethic, focusing on areas of improvement and constantly striving to enhance her movement. It is this unwavering commitment that has allowed her to achieve such incredible results.
When asked for her advice on committing to health and fitness, Marilyse wisely stated,
"If you don't sacrifice for what you want, then what you want becomes the sacrifice."
These words serve as a valuable reminder when we struggle to take the necessary steps toward our overall health, wellness, and ultimately, happiness.
Marilyse, we are incredibly proud of you and look forward to supporting you throughout your health and fitness journey. Keep up the fantastic work!
Hi! My name is Allison Hopkins and I am the owner of Wilcox Wellness & Fitness in Brunswick, ME. I am excited to bring WILCOX to Brunswick and share in my passion for living a great life through health and fitness.
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