Transformation Story: Zeyna Tabbara

Zeyna’s OAC Fitness Journey


Happy New Year and Welcome to 2020!  This year all of our personal trainers will have the opportunity to share some great fitness stories with you!  So join us every 1st Tuesday of the month for Transformation story here at the OAC!

For the month of January, Personal Trainer Joanne M. Licari has chosen to feature her client Zeyna Tabbara.

Zeyna: What was your life like before you began your fitness journey at the OAC?

I wasn’t too interested in fitness before I joined the OAC.  What I mean is that I was interested in achieving results, I just hadn’t found a path I could commit to in order to receive those results. I had joined other gyms, signed up for fitness programs, purchased home gym equipment and even hired personal trainers, but I never saw results.   Although I yearned for results these programs often touted, the more I invested, the more tedious the whole process became.

Zeyna: What goals did you want to achieve once you decided to try personal training with Jo?

I definitely wanted to become stronger. Not just for myself, but for my children. Although my children are signed up for numerous sports and activities, I also wanted to lead by example. I wanted fitness to not only be an individual goal, but a family one. I also wanted results. Which is why I decided to go ahead with personal training instead of attempting this journey on my own.

Jo: What do you feel helped Zeyna achieve these/this goal?

First and foremost, I give her most of the credit for getting to where she is.  I can give her all the training/tips/ advice in the world but if she herself doesn’t do it…. then we are no further ahead.

Secondly, I feel the environment at the OAC was a warm welcoming one and that helped her feel comfortable to begging her journey.

After our first conversation, I knew that a structured schedule combined with a program which showed her improvements would be the perfect thing to get Zeyna on the right track to success! I could tell she was discouraged from previous experiences and was determined to show her she could succeed!  I would say it’s a team effort!

Zeyna: What is the best advice Jo gave you?

The absolute best advice Jo gave me was to not worry about my weight. It’s so easy to be consumed with the notion of weight loss, especially in this day and age when that’s all you hear. But Jo advised me not to worry about the pounds lost but to instead focus on the muscle gained. She explained that often times people may not lose weight while strength training as muscle weighs more the fat. I know I’m headed in the right direction as I am losing inches and I am much stronger now than before I stared training with Jo. Exercise has become a source of general well being and strength, not just a means of losing weight.

Jo: Describe Zeyna in 3 words

Determined….. she never gives up and has put so much trust in me that she does exactly as I ask….. which also include off training days!

Strong…. She is really, really, strong.  I could see that right from the beginning even if she didn’t.  She constantly surprises me when I give her a new program, a new goal or increase her weights ….. she’s everything you want in a client when it comes to working hard and mastering not only the form, but the tempo and technique as well.

Inspirational. The woman I met that first day is not the woman you see today.  We can all see the incredible changes on the outside… but I also see the ones on the inside.  She has a quiet confidence about her that comes from within.  She walks taller and she always has a big smile each and every time I see her.  She’s an inspiration to her four children and has even recently challenged her husband on the leg press… just for the record my money is on her!  I call her my Rock Star and she has definitely earned that title!

Zeyna: Describe Jo in 3 words

I wouldn’t be able to describe Jo in 3 words! Three words wouldn’t do her justice. But for the sake of the question I’d have to say first, she’s very caring. She cares about everyone and everything. She would celebrate alongside me every time I hit a new milestone as if it were her own and would provide me with encouragement when I needed the extra push.  She truly cares and loves helping others. She doesn’t treat me as her client, but as a friend and a sister.  Secondly, she’s energetic. As a matter of fact, her energy and enthusiasm is what I credit for my new found love for fitness.  She has such a cheerful demeanor that one can’t help but enjoy even the most gruelling workout. (Well, at times its hard to enjoy numerous lunges while carrying 35 lb kettlebells in each hand but it definitely helps that she keeps me laughing!)   Lastly, she’s sincere. She never sugar coats anything (which I appreciate!)  She is always honest with her advice to me. I look forward to my sessions with Jo because she pours her heart into everything she does and is an asset to the fitness world.

Zeyna: What advice would you give someone who is thinking about starting their own fitness journey at the OAC?

The best time to start is now! Not tomorrow. The moment you postpone it to “tomorrow”, it turns into a never ending cycle and tomorrow never comes. Also, don’t go at it alone. Grab a friend, or a family member, gather the neighbors and get moving. It doesn’t have to be something fancy and having a companion makes it so much more enjoyable. The OAC is a great place to start! There are so many great classes, wonderful trainers and such friendly members that you will truly feel at home. You gain a community at the OAC!

Jo: What advice would you give someone who is thinking about starting their own fitness journey at the OAC?

Don’t give yourself the option.  Just get yourself into the club and you’ve already achieved the most difficult step.   They say every journey starts with the first step…and Zeyna is a perfect example of what can be accomplished if you simply try.