Penny Cayer, Fitness Turnaround

From Pandemic Weight Gain to Fitness Turnaround

Penny Cayer, 45, watched her weight creep up during the pandemic–working with a personal trainer set off a healthy journey

fitness turnaroundAlthough the Sudbury, Ont. native, found herself tipping the scales at 200 pounds when she was pregnant at the age of 22, she lost most of the weight she had put on through her 30s. Besides her pregnancy, she attributes her weight gain due to working a desk job. Living in the country didn’t help in her case either; she found that she exercised rarely and instead watched a lot of TV.


The Start of Penny’s Wellness Journey

Realizing she’d gained weight, Penny began walking regularly and watching her diet. “I started making better choices and began seeing a difference within the first month,” she says, and she worked her way down to 120 pounds. Motivated by feeling healthy, she decided to get a membership to a gym to help with her mental health and to tone up and the lifestyle was working well for her.

Overcoming COVID-19 Setbacks

Then, COVID-19 happened and gyms were closed due to lockdown restrictions. Penny

found herself craving comfort food. Her weakness is candy. It’s what made her happy. And before she knew it, she gained weight

and found herself at 180 pounds. “And I did not have the stamina needed to live a comfortable happy life,” she says.

Penny pushed herself to get healthy again. ‘I reached out to a group and hired a personal trainer and life coach and the results have been amazing,” says Penny. ‘I cut sugar and sweets out of my diet, and ate more whole foods.” Now, she’s at 129.4 pounds.

Penny’s Fitness and Nutrition Strategy

Penny credits her trainer for helping her gain confidence and helping her take control of her life. “They helped me learn what foods are healthy choices. I now build my meals around protein, and while I started my journey with mostly cardio, I’ve learned weight training this past year.” Also, keeping her accountable? A fitness app from my trainer, which she uses to track everything including taking photos to view her progress.

Taking part in milestones helps her mark her journey along the way also. She’s participated in the Run to Remember in support of military personnel and first responders with PTSD for three years in a row, for one. “I am always working on being the best version of myself,” she says. These milestones also act as a reward for the work she has put in as well. “I booked a photo shoot with a local photographer in a geodome and it was so much fun,” says Penny.

And while she notes she’s experienced setbacks in her journey, they haven’t gotten her down. “I have been letting discipline carry me when my motivation won’t,” she says. While the beginning of her journey was tough, her progress motivated her to keep going and now making healthy choices is a habit.

Today, Penny no longer goes to the gym so she can eat junk food. “I used to say I go to the gym so I can eat whatever I want!” Armed with the knowledge of how beneficial a healthy diet is and well-versed in what it takes to feel healthy inside and out, she’s forging ahead and not turning back.

Penny’s Faves

Healthy Snack Grenade Bars

Splurge food Tacos

Go-to easy recipe Epicure Honey Garlic Meatballs

Cardio The Octane Fitness machine at Goodlife

Fitness Idols Team Strong Girls

Mantra Let discipline carry you when motivation won’t

What she eats in a typical day Yogurt, oatmeal and fruit for breakfast; Fitness Mix nuts and dried fruit for a snack; chicken and veggies for lunch; meat and cottage cheese for afternoon snack; honey garlic meatballs and rice for dinner; fruit, nuts or raisins for an evening snack.



Photos by @arsenikstudios


Related Posts


Welcome Back!

Login to your account below

Retrieve your password

Please enter your username or email address to reset your password.

Coming Soon
Coming Soon
You are about to leave the website

You will be redirected to our digital edition subscription page.