GGS Spotlight Melissa Butler
How did you find out about Girls Gone Strong?
While trying to figure out what kind of program to follow, I began to read community posts in My Fitness Pal, where I found several groups specifically for women who lift. Several threads mentioned Girls Gone Strong, and I began to check out the GGS website periodically and follow the group on Facebook.
I continued to stumble around for a while longer, until, fortunately for me, I saw a post about the 5-Day Get Results Jumpstart program. I decided this was the perfect opportunity to try out GGS and see if it was what I was looking for.
What does being a part of the Girl Gone Strong community mean to you?
GGS offers everything that I was missing in my strength training practice. From the very beginning, I loved that the workouts incorporated all kinds of movement and offered substitutions and adjustments for my ability level. The video library has proven invaluable, and the group and the coaches are always available to recommend a piece of equipment, suggest a substitution, or help improve form.
The GGS Community has been the very best part of the program — I love being part of a group that is geared toward women, encourages body positivity, and welcomes everyone, regardless of experience, fitness, size, shape, gender, race, or ability. It is truly empowering.
What do you do?
I’m a Quality Assurance Analyst and Technical Writer. (I test software and write user manuals).
What else do you do?
I love outdoor activities — hiking, kayaking, snorkeling, skiing; the forest and the beach are my happy places. I love to travel, and I’m definitely a Disney and Harry Potter fanatic.
How were you introduced to strength training, and how long have you been training?
In 2010, I started going to the YMCA every day at lunch. I was very focused on weight loss and cardio and spent an hour or more each day on the elliptical or motion trainer. Although I really enjoyed the workouts, I knew strength training was important for overall health and weight loss and decided to add it to my fitness routine.
I completed a 3-session introduction to the wellness floor and started machine-based strength training a few times a week. Although I loved the feeling of getting stronger, I struggled with my inability to do as much cardio as I wanted and still fit in the strength training during the workday. I set up a home gym, starting with dumbbells and a bench and eventually adding a barbell.
My training was very haphazard, though — I had no instruction or guidance and was piecing together my workouts from programs I found online, and although I wanted to be able to lift heavier weights, my focus was still very much on weight loss. I also became frustrated with doing the same movements each week and with my ignorance about how to proceed.
Kettlebell swings are fun, and I love the deadlift — lifting something heavy makes me feel like such a badass. Medicine ball slams are my go-to when I need to blow off some steam.
Top 3 things you must have with you at the gym or in your gym bag:
Good shoes, good music, and good deodorant. (And a good bra ranks right up there!)
Do you prefer to train alone or with others? Why?
I prefer to train alone. Working out is my “me time,” and I really enjoy the mindfulness, whether I’m strength training, running, or practicing yoga. I do enjoy spending time outside with my family, though, whether it’s a hike in the woods, shooting some baskets, or taking the dogs to the park.
Best compliment you’ve received lately:
My supervisor let me know that everyone involved in a recent project, from management down, was impressed with my performance and glad to have me on the team. I’m currently doing contract work, so I really appreciated the feedback. Plus, she gave me the afternoon off!
Most recent compliment you gave someone else:
I complimented a mom-friend about how she was handling Fortnite and household responsibilities with her son. I tried the same approach with mine the next day, and it was very successful. It’s reassuring to know that other parents are going through the same things with their kids; I valued her perspective and let her know.
Favorite way to treat yourself:
I love getting my nails done. It’s a little confidence boost to look down and see polished nails, and it sort of says, “Hey – you deserve to feel pretty!”
“To have a right to do a thing is not at all the same as to be right in doing it.” — G.K. Chesterton
Three words that best describe you:
Strong. Introspective. Dorky.
Skinny Legs and All, by Tom Robbins; Middlemarch, by George Eliot; Hug, by Jez Alborough; and the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling.
What inspires and motivates you?
My family motivates me every day — I particularly want to set a good example for my son.
I am inspired by strong women in all fields and activities, and especially by my mother, my sister, and my grandmothers.
Describe a typical day in your life, from waking up to bedtime:
My days are pretty ordinary — wake up, express gratitude and goals in my journal, shower and dress, commute, work, commute, workout, help with homework, dinner, TV or reading, and bed.
On weekends we try to get out of the house more, especially when the weather is nice; in the winter we hunker down with movies, hockey, and house cleaning. I would really like to exercise before work in the morning, but I’ve never been able to pry myself out of the warm bed consistently.
When did you join Get Results Coaching? Why did you decide to join and what helped you make the decision to join?
Immediately after completing the 5-day jumpstart program, I purchased the Get Results bundle. I knew that I needed more than just a set of exercises to follow, though, so I jumped at the chance to add the Get Results Coaching. It’s like having a personal trainer work with you every day, but also includes guidance about nutrition, mindful eating, and self-care practices. I would sign up for another six months in a heartbeat.
What has been your biggest challenge in the Get Results Coaching program?
I have a history with bulimia and binge eating disorder; food is how I self-soothe, and it is very difficult for me to eat mindfully for hunger rather than appetite. The coaching program is no substitute for medical care, of course, but I am gaining valuable insight and tools to work on these issues.
What has been your biggest success in the Get Results Coaching program?
I am just two weeks away from completing my first Get Results program (Get Lean). I’ve worked hard to stay consistent and keep moving forward, and I’m excited to be nearing completion. I also completed my first 5K, which was a huge accomplishment for me.
What do you like best about the Get Results Coaching community?
I love checking in daily with the group. It’s so helpful to see what the other members are doing, what questions they have, and how they’re progressing.
Our paths are unique, but we have so much inspiration, knowledge, and encouragement to offer each other.
What is your “BIG” goal you’d like to achieve by the end of Get Results Coaching?
I would like to complete a single, standard push-up. I have been working on band-assisted and incline push-ups but completing a standard push-up with good form has eluded me. I am confident I will be able to do at least one by program’s end.
What is the habit you’re currently working on most?
In addition to a history of bulimia, I also struggle with anxiety and depression. I tend to binge, particularly in the evening, instead of sitting with my emotions. I’m focusing on several nutrition habits, including meal planning and mindfulness, to reconnect with my hunger instead of my appetite.
It is a complete turn-around for me to care more about how much weight I can lift than how much weight I can lose, and I am stronger, more confident, and empowered because of it.
What would you tell women who are nervous about joining Get Results Coaching?
Go for it. It is without a doubt the best thing I’ve done for myself in a really long time.
Tired of not getting the health and fitness results you’re looking for?
We can help!
Our small group Get Results Coaching program gives you everything you need to accomplish your goals – with GGS co-founder and head coach Jen Comas right by your side.
Enrollment opens twice a year – get on our free, no-obligation pre-sale list now to learn more and get an opportunity to enroll early.