ONE WOMAN’S JOURNEY TO… Michelle Obama Arms

Editor’s note: The author is a West Akron resident who requested to remain anonymous.

“I want Michelle Obama arms,” I told Jeff at our first meeting.

First, let me explain that I am not an athlete. I can’t play tennis or golf or even jog. In fact, I am so uncoordinated that when I do try to run, those around me ask, “What is she doing? Is that some kind of dance?”

Until recently, this lack of confidence in my athleticism meant that I watched my figure exclusively by dieting, rather than through exercise. But no matter how much I starved myself, my butt refused to shrink, my abs hid shyly behind a thin layer of belly fat, and my dream of having arms like Michelle Obama remained hopelessly out of reach.

Meanwhile, over the past three years, I watched my husband lose more than 50 pounds and train for his first half-marathon. I am so proud of his journey, and, because of him, I was inspired to pick up the phone when I saw a Mimi article about Jeff Cook, the personal trainer.

“I want Michelle Obama arms.” I told Jeff at our first meeting.

“Why settle for her arms?” he replied. “You can do better.” He had me at hello. I now work out with Jeff three days a week. It’s just Jeff and me with absolutely no judgment from anyone else.

In the few months I’ve been with Jeff, I’ve learned that feeling skinny and feeling healthy are two entirely different things. Last weekend, on a flight back from Florida, the healthy me reached over my head and gracefully retrieved my large (and heavy) carry-on suitcase from the overhead compartment without hesitation. That’s right – no asking the gentleman behind me for help or worrying who I would hit in the head if I tried to get it myself.

I feel empowered, motivated, and for the first time in my adult life ready to show my abs in a two-piece bathing suit. If I can do it, so can you. Just tell Jeff that you want Michelle Obama arms. I think you’ll like his answer.