One Client’s Brutally Real and Sometimes Funny Experience
I’ve known and worked with Andree Khalaf for several years
now. It’s a rare person who I meet who
is so passionate about helping others be their best selves. Andree is a
champion for healthy choices and healthy living and it shows in everything she
So when Andree told me that her son, Jonathan Warren, was
partnering up with her to open the only ARX studio in the Gulf South area, I
knew it would be something I had to try.
I don’t even remember exactly what she said but I do remember things
like “each exercise is about 2 minutes,” “zero impact,” and “no risk of injury”
jumping out at me.
I know we don’t know each other at all so let me tell you
that when it comes to weight loss and fitness, I’m like almost everyone else in
this country: give me the magic pill,
give me the overnight results, and if I can wake up in the morning and be a
size 6, I AM IN!
During the summer of 2016, I went in for my first workout.
I’m not a person of petite stature. I’m 5’9” and though I will tell you a few
personal things in this article, I’m not telling you my weight. My mother
doesn’t even know that. 2016 was a tough year for me (no, you don’t need to
know why) and I’d recently dropped about 40 pounds. Suffice it for me to say,
I’ve got quite a bit left to lose. I share this because I consider myself a
physically strong person and my first thought was, “Surely, I can beat these
After my first session:
It is true that the total workout is less than 15
minutes. However, you can expect that
there will be a few minutes of instruction and chit chat so do allow for that.
Jonathan is extremely well-versed in all that the machines can do and he’s great
at pushing you a little further than you had planned to go. He’s very encouraging. He does tend to crack
a joke at the wrong time when you get to know him but to me, that is a
After that first session, I hobbled down the stairs and
walked to my car. I used the speaker phone a lot that day as it was a challenge
to hold the phone up to my ear. For me,
I loved that I did what seemed like hours of work in only a few minutes and I
was very curious to see how this was going to play out.
I started going twice a week and I started seeing results
and not always the typical results. Very
quickly, I lost an inch off of each thigh, I definitely felt stronger, my
numbers on the machines were improving (take that machines!), and I noticed
some definition in my arms. I’ll tell you what else I noticed. I noticed that
when I sat down, my thighs no longer spread out to twice their size. There was
a lot less thigh to spread around because all the muscles were tighter. At this point, I was only a couple of months
Now, remember when I said 2016 was a rough year? I meant ALL of 2016. What happened during that time isn’t relevant
to this story but it is relevant for these reasons: I didn’t always have the best diet and I
didn’t gain a pound and I got through the holidays without gaining a
pound. I didn’t lose as much as I would
have liked but I didn’t gain and to me, that was really important.
Additionally, those machines really helped me get my
frustrations out in a safe way. It is
amazing how much you can kill the leg press when you’re super ticked off. What I also loved was that in a time when
everything else was falling apart, I literally saw myself getting stronger
because those machines record everything.
In many ways, ARX really kept me sane.
“But Melissa, that sounds good but I was hoping for some
But wait, there’s more.
And here’s where we will really bond. I wouldn’t share this with
everyone but I’ll share it with you.
I’ve had to downsize my bra three times since starting ARX. I know I just lost half of you but hear me
out. There was a time in my life that I considered a breast reduction so down
three sizes is big but I can afford it.
Five inches in total are gone from my back and chest. NO MORE BACK FAT! I’ve never been able to do anything to get rid
of the dreaded back fat until now. Not
only am I down three sizes but the girls are lifted. Praise the Lord! Now let me ask you? Would you rather go under the knife OR
complete a few dozen 15-20 minutes workouts?
I can now wear something sleeveless and wave to someone in
front of me without being fearful that my flabby tricep would hit the person
behind me. And if that sleeveless shirt
is a bit snug, there’s no back fat!
Jonathan is a truly dedicated trainer. He will push you out
of your comfort zone and always commend your efforts, even on a day when you
don’t see any green. (When you improve, the numbers on the screen that track
your progress turn to green. I love my green!) If you are a person who prefers
a female trainer, Brittany is available to help. In general, The Pilates and Yoga Loft where
the ARX studio is located is a place of positivity and support. I always feel good when I walk in and I
always feel good when I walk out; walking in because people are genuinely glad
to see me and walking out because I know I’ve worked hard.
Is it always easy? Hell no! However, the positive changes
I’ve seen are worth every bit of effort. So?
What are you waiting for? Don’t
let the back fat win! Schedule your free
demonstration. Go on…you know you want
- Melissa Mitchel Willis