Cambridge Personal Training Spotlight Sunday: Colleen Travers



The first day that I met our Spotlight Superstar Colleen, I knew this girl was ready to make a change. She and I chatted for over an hour about all the things she wanted to change and about commitment and lifestyle design. I knew she was going to go onto big things. Since that day in June, Colleen has been one of our hardest working members and I think she’s only missed one or two 7pm workouts since she started. Check out her story here….

I’ve been overweight my whole life. I can’t remember a time where I would actually describe myself as a fit, healthy, strong or slender person.

I was teased as throughout middle school and high school ( then again who wasnt? ). I always hated when people referred to me as the ” funny one” or tell me that I have such a ” pretty face.” I didnt want theses descriptions to define me or limit me. I wanted to be fit and healthy and not embarrassed to be in public for fear of people’s opinion of m or my body.  I never thought I could change it, the ability to become healthy seemed so far away from me.


Growing up, my family life was far from perfect, as most families are.  I’ll describe my family eating habits as light on the leafy greens, heavy on the butter.  It was anything but healthy.   In addition to the bad eating habits my family environment was rather unstable growing up and throughout all of the arguments and stress I found comfort in food.  I remember days of coming home from middle school and high school and eating a huge snack when I got home that was similar to that of a meal, junk food mostly, and this was after I had eaten pizza and  tater tots and cookies in the cafeteria at school.

The food that I ate was the food that was readily avaliable to me, in school, at home, and wherever else I went.  Needless to say, I wasnt taught good eating habits at home, and that stayed with me for a long time.


At the age of 18, I got my first apartment and moved out on my own. I was in state, very close to home but for the first time I felt like I was in a world of difference, a sense of freedom, really. Most freshmen gain the 15, and I lost it. I was in an apartment, away from the cafeteria at school, and struggling to pay rent, therefore eating a minimal diet.

I felt better for the first time in a long time, losing a little weight gave me a glimpse into the life that i really wanted, something i just didnt feel like i knew how to obtain.  Flash forward to the age of 24, i went on Weight Watchers and decided I was going to start exercising. This was such a foreign thing to my body that I lost about 30 lbs and I lost it fast.

I felt great, I was getting in touch with a new side of myself and i was understanding that feeling good is very much a possible thing for me. I got into nursing school at the age of 26 to pursue my second degree, I was in an accelerated program for my bachelors, barely sleeping and just getting by to get everything on my plate accomplished.

It was an incredibly busy time, and I spend a lot of it studying for at least 12 hours a day 6 days a week in local coffee shops, where we know there is nothing but carbs and sugar at our reach.  I gained most of what i had lost back.

Something that opened my eyes though, was the fact that I found out while in nursing school I had very high cholesterol.  It is genentic in my family, but having studied what happens to the inside of ones body while your cholesterol is high just freaked me out.

I felt like i could envision the plaque building up in my arteries.  I also had a clinical rotation at MGH on the vascular surgery floor where i saw many people at the ages of 40 and 50 on their last legs, suffering from heart disease and vascular disease, this jump started the wheels turning.

I didnt want to end up like this, I didnt want to find myself having only lived half of my life then sitting in a hospital bed wasting away from something I may have been able to prevent.

Flash forward two years. Ive been a nurse now for over two years, and i was eager to get off my butt and feel good. I found Durbrow Performance Training! The people have been so supportive, and its been the best enviroment to exercise in.

I have learned a lot about myself and my limits and what I can accomplish. I feel like my attitude towards myself and my body has changed since finding Callie and Emily and their wondrous attitudes about life, fitness and health.  Ive never done workouts that I actually look forward to. And even when I lost weight on Weight Watchers and running on my own, I didnt feel like I do now. I really feel like I am helping my body from the inside out.

By fixing the inside of how my body is working, I am allowing myself the glory of feeling that and showing it on the outside.  So far I have lost 8 lbs of that nasty yellow body fat, and my fat percentage has gone down from 34.5 to 30, and I’ve lost an all around 28.5 inches.

I feel so amazing when I look at those numbers, and I can give all of those thanks to the supportive environment that Durbrow Performance provides. I love working anything that I can feel in my core because now I actually HAVE a core. I remember one of my first classes Emily saying, “tighten your core.” I really thought to myself that this lady is crazy, doesnt she know I dont have a core?

I hate to say it but I love hurting after exercises because I feel like the hurt validates that there is actually muscle there!

I feel like I am finally on a  road to health. I have a long way to go, but I am making better choices everyday about what goes into my body because I do believe that what goes into it in a lot of ways defines the longevity of ones body and systems.

Just the other day I swung through home for a short time and while I was there I noticed all of the junk food lying around, and I was so thankful that I am working on changing my ways because I feel so much better each day that passes.

I think staying away from “bad” food will be an endless struggle for me, as I think in a lot of ways food is my crutch. But I also think that hard work and determination will continue to pay off in my journey to find a healthy me. I have recently started to come off of my anti anxiety medications, and also attribute this to working out at Durbrow Performance Training. It’s amazing what a few days a week of exercise and eating right can do!