Success Stories

Tirzah’s Story

I remember actively trying to lose weight ever since I was 12 years old. That was about the time my mother said to me, “wow, your butt’s really gotten big”. At that time, I wasn’t overweight; there was probably 125 pounds making up 5’5″ me. But the thought stuck with me.
As I began gaining weight during my teenage years, I tried all sorts of ways to get skinny. My best friend and I would have competitions to see who could drink the most water, eat the least amount of food and exercise the most in a day. Because of the unrealistic nature of that kind of weight loss, the little weight I would lose always came back with more.
The year I met my husband, 2004, was a year of family drama causing my weight to go from 150 to 170. By the time we married in May of 2005 I hit my top weight of 180 and was a size 16. When I realized that I could actually shop at a plus size store, I figured it was time to do something about it.
For the next three years, I halfheartedly tried to lose weight. I would lose 15 pounds or so, but then old habits would creep back in bringing the weight with them.
Finally, in 2008, I began to make some headway. I lost 20 pounds the first few months of the year and kept 15 of them off. We bought a weight resistance machine in November of 2008 and actively used that or our treadmill on rainy days, of which there are quite a few in Oregon.
In February of 2009, I started an online diet tracking program at 164 pounds. That was about the time my husband and I discovered how much we really enjoyed running. Our nutrition and activity really hit a good stride and by the end of the year I was down to 140 pounds.
Now, in the beginning of 2010, I am a consistent 135, bringing my total weight loss to 45 pounds. In March of 2010, I bought my first bikini ever which I will wear extensively on my 5 year anniversary trip to Mexico.
I still have significant goals for my body this year. I want to lose 10 more pounds. The pounds leave much slower now that I am so close to my goal. I also am actively working on decreasing my body fat percentage. I honestly enjoying working out (most days), and look forward to running my first race ever, a half marathon, this year with my husband. His weight loss makes mine seem small in comparison; he has lost 80 pounds.

And now I’m ready for the challenge of helping you achieve your goals.

Daniel’s Story

Most of my life I believed that fat people were always fat and skinny people were always skinny. Period. I never liked the way I looked in the mirror, but never believed that it could change. I couldn’t run even a half mile without stopping to walk or catch my breath, I had a hard time finding pants that fit and looked good, I wore shirts that were too big in order to cover up my ever expanding waist.
I tried all the weight loss programs I could that were affordable. None worked. I couldn’t stick to it and I didn’t have the knowledge of fitness that could help with my weight loss. When I met Tirzah I found someone that loved me no matter what I looked like and what I could do physically. We struggled together with weight loss for most of the first 5 years of our marriage. Finally we decided we had enough. A gym felt intimidating and scary and so we struck out on our journey with no knowledge of fitness science. We tried many different workouts, bought a treadmill, Bowflex, and weights. Spent months trying different things, some with no success and some with great success. The most important thing about our journey, we had each other to push and encourage. Through trial and error we lost over a 150 pounds combined. My waist went from 46-inch waist to 34-inch waist. I found success finally.

Daniel Now

Through our journey a deep desire to help others succeed started to develop. We both have been certified to be personal trainers through the National Academy of Sports Medicine (one of the most respected personal training certifications). We chose not to train for a big gym because we once were intimidated by the idea of a public gym type setting. We chose to train privately so that our clients would have the personal attention they all deserve in a safe and private environment. Not only are our clients getting a private trainer, but they also are getting a support system. Our desire is not only to train you for 50 minutes, but to see you get the results you have desired for so long.

Jennifer M.’s Review of Where to Start

I am so pleased with my transformation…Daniel is an excellent motivator and holds me accountable for my workouts. In three months, I have lost almost 5% body fat and over 15 lbs of pure FAT…I lost over 7″ in my waist alone! I regained energy I had lost due to bad eating habits, and I now have a much better self-awareness of what it takes to stay healthy. The group classes are a lot of fun…Daniel and Tirzah make each visitor/client feel welcome. Without reservation, I recommend them to anyone looking for a well-rounded, manageable, work-out program at a VERY reasonable price. I look forward to continuing to exercise at Where to Start Fitness to maintain my healthy habits!!!

Cami C.’s Review of Where to Start

Training with Tirzah Hawkins from Where To Start was an amazing experience for me. We began my personal training about 5 weeks before our family vacation to Hawaii. Tirzah challenged me physically and mentally by getting my body and mind to push themselves for the best results. The work-out plan she designed for me was specific to my needs and capabilities, and by the end of those 5 weeks I felt energized, on the right track, and had actually lost one full pant size!

Letter From Sharon K.

Dear Tirzah and Daniel,

I don’t know how to thank you for your encouragement and motivation. Let me start by explaining my old mind set to you. I’ve had a couple of years to settle in and just accept being in my fifties. What that meant in my mind was that I couldn’t do the things that I was doing in my forties, at work, home or at play. Every year I got a little weaker, and one by one I began to accept that there are just some things that I can’t’ do anymore.

Well, it wasn’t long before you changed my mind about all of that. My circumstances were true enough, but I came to a realization that there really was something that I could about it, I began to see and feel real tangible change, which led to more than a hope to be as strong and healthy has I had been in years past, but perhaps even more so, since I took my body for granted in my youth, and had very poor, OK . . very bad eating habits. Even though I can’t go back for a redo, I still have the present, and enthusiastically welcome your instruction to show me how to be in the best physical shape of my life.

Where to Start fitness is the perfect name for you studio, I came in and felt welcome, even though I was in such bad shape, I didn’t at all feel like I had to be in good shape to start. And the very best part is that you’ve opened up possibilities that expanded far beyond what I ever considered could be possible for me, even when I was young. I really don’t know how to thank you . . . for my new healthy lifestyle, and my stronger healthier body.


51+ years young

2 Responses to Success Stories

  1. Davena Blair says:

    I am a mother of two small children and my husband was deployed last month. I want him to come home to a new me!! I need support from a trainer to get me to a healthy weight. I was researching trainers in my area when I came across a posting online. Where to start fitness giving a discount to a few people, in return they would get word of mouth marketing from the trainee. I would love to be one of those people. I am ready for a drastic change in my health and appearance!! Financially I cant afford a trainer at the full price but I do have the desire to be healthy. I am looking forward to your response.

  2. Carol Lundberg says:

    Here’s my testimonial that you wanted. I’ll try to get pictures together soon.

    When I made the decision to come to Where To Start in November, 2011, I was at an all-time low not just physically but emotionally. I had always been taught to take care of my family members. I took care of my kids and my husband. I took care of my grandmother. I was a caregiver to my mother when she had cancer. taking care of myself seemed selfish. Slender during my earlier years, my weight steadily increased in the past 20 years until it went critical in the 200-range. And although my height balanced my proportions somewhat, I could feel it weighing me down physically and mentally. Going up stairs was an effort. Even doing mundane chores around our farm left me gasping for air. My sedentary job didn’t help matters. And our home business in addition to our regular jobs left little time to focus on diets or programs and added to my already peaking stress level.
    Then, in the summer of 2011 my husband’s health started to decline. My stress level increased to the breaking point. On a visit to my doctor, he gave me some alarming news: If I didn’t start taking care of myself I wouldn’t be here to take care of anyone else. I had heard about Where To Start through work and decided to make an appointment to see about a personal training program.
    The first couple of months were hard, and particularly frustrating because I didn’t see much happening. I felt like quitting but my doctor’s diagnosis kept haunting me. I started tracking my food and calorie intake and made small changes in how and what I prepared for meals. Drinking enough water was harder still—I’m not a big water consumer. But I worked on it. In late spring Daniel found out that I used to run when I was younger, but that I didn’t know how to start doing it again. He took me out and got me started and I began running 2 to 3 times a week up to 3 miles at a time and even entered a couple of 3K runs. Little by little, the weight started to come off. Better still, my emotional well-being improved. I began to rebuild my support network that I had abandoned, and between them and my workouts, I got stronger physically and spiritually.
    I’ve been going to Daniel and Tirzah for over a year now. I’ve lost about 35 pounds and have increased my muscle tone, but better than that is how I feel about life. I feel less like a victim of circumstance and more like a participant in life. I’ve begun running and hiking again and am looking forward to going back to some old hobbies, like cross-country skiing. My lifestyle changes will always be a part of me now—I can’t afford to go back—but I don’t really miss the old habits all that much. I’ve replaced them with healthier habits! And now I understand that taking care of myself isn’t selfish, it’s essential.
    Thank you, Daniel and Tirzah, for changing my life! I would never have gotten here without you!

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