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Debbie France – a tale of two ankles

Welcome to another Abercrombie and FITness success story.  My boastful heart is exploding with pride and excitement to share a unique come back story of sorts.

So without further ado, meet my amazing, spry, intelligent, zany friend, Debbie France.

There aren’t enough delightful adjectives to describe this very special lady who entered my studio gym approximately 9 months ago.  Debbie hired me (as her personal trainer) in a tender but determined state.  She had been subject to the couch while recovering from double achilles tendon surgery.  But Debbie had a flaming hot fire in her eyes and was “Debbie determined” to change.  She was ready for transformation and I’ll tell you why.


Debbie had a grand baby on the way.  This special delivery announcement was the motivation and time she needed to get her mind and body back on track.  What you must know about Debbie is that she has a built-in enthusiastic personality.   She’s bubblie and funny even on a bad day, she can’t help it.

With this precious positive attitude, Debbie looked me right in the eye and said,  “I can’t be a fat, frumpy old lady grand ma, I have to do something NOW!”  So we went to work.  She opted for group training fully knowing she may not be able to do all the things.  With her ankles still sore she was timid.  At first she was a bit unstable so I made modifications so she could gradually get stronger.

In January, Debbie had a bright idea and encouraged me and all of the workout warriors to pick a word for the new year. Debbie’s word for 2018 was NOW!!!!

So NOW, in her own words:

Debbie last Summer before the injury

A Tale of Two Ankles

A nasty cut required some serious antibiotics. I took the five-day dose and thought all’s well that ends. But disaster hit my next trip to the gym. During the warm up of a Pilates class, I felt a sharp pain in the back of both of my ankles. Fine print on the meds revealed  that one of the side effects of this serious antibiotic is its power to degrade  tendons. I had shredded the Achilles tendon in both ankles.

I spent the summer of 2017 sitting on the couch with both feet in bondage.  Pinky promise, I was a good girl on the couch! My biggest sin was sweet tea and an occasional M&M. But I was completely immobile  it was too difficult to walk.

After my stint in solitaire, I went back to my regular doc for a checkup. Things went from bad to worse. My blood sugar was out of sight, my blood pressure too too high and my cholesterol rang all the bells. And months in baggy shorts and sweatpants helped me ignore a significant weight gain. I think it was a perfect storm, inactivity, mediocre eating habits and an age measured in 6 decades and some change. I left the doc with a bag of medicine and sharp things to poke my fingers.

I cried for two days.

It was like one of those horror movies where the good guys kill all the monsters than another one jumps out of the closet. Then I found out I was going to be a grandmother and  I did not want to be a granny on the bench.

I went gym shopping but quickly realized that I need a trainer; I couldn’t jump back into activity without some guidance to protect what was broken.  I needed someone to help me get my health back in shape without re-injuring the ankles. But I didn’t need anyone to follow me around, counting each rep and trying to sell me stuff.

That’s when someone recommended Angi on a Facebook post and I called. After the first workout, I knew I was home.  She makes sure I get a solid workout without stressing the ankles. I had to start slow, but once I noticed the increase in my mobility and strength.

I was hooked. I’ve worked muscles I didn’t even know I had. It wasn’t long before I was up and down stairs at work with no pain. She encouraged me to start a food journal. I wrote down everything that passed my lips. She slogged through the journal and recommended fruits, veggies, more protein, nuts and diary. But no crazy carbs and sugar was the enemy. She also had some great ideas on how to manage those out of control work days when I went hours without eating then devoured anything in sight.

I really look forward to my time in the gym. The classes usually contain different fitness levels and age groups, but Angi keeps the atmosphere friendly and fun. We chat and visit and the time flies. She coaches and directs but is never negative or judgemental.

When you have the Triple Crown of health risks you get to see your doc every six months so back I go. My blood pressure was fine, my blood sugar not even worth discussion and cholesterol well within limits. No more meds! My goal was to decrease the meds, not even

I believed I could do all that in six months.

It had to be the combination of exercise and diet. I’m still in the gym, no plans to quit. I’d still like to lose some pounds. But I”M OFF ALL OF THE MEDS and bench pressing grandbabies!

With gusto, Debbie brings every ounce of energy and drive she’s got into the gym two afternoons a week. This isn’t easy after a long day of herding unruly high school students but she does it anyway.   Because, her time is NOW because her baby grand son has arrived.

Debbie never misses a scheduled workout session and that’s exactly why she is reaping amazing results.

Recently she came into the gym bragging about her straight A doctor visit.  Thanks to all of her sweat efforts in the gym she’s getting a raise which means more dough to blow on that handsome grandson.  No more medication for this girl.  Her blood work is perfect and she’s down several pounds.

It’s only been 3 weeks without the meds and Debbie is changing.  I believe that with more energy and two days of 30 min walks, Debbie is going to reach her weight loss goal.  I JUST KNOW!

She’s now taking the stairs at the school without stopping and heavy breathing.  It’s true,   she’s healthy and happy and ready to chase that baby boy on the play ground. Yet another form of cardio!

What’s your story?  Are you ready to make a change?  

Get off the meds and take your health and money back?  I can help you! 



All access to monthy recorded total body workouts. 3-4 a week instructor led instructional workouts for all FITness levels. Includes a meal plan.


Love, lift and be FIT!


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