Personal Fitness Trainer, Educator and Painter-Sandie Brown

Baby Boomer Bustin Loose, Sandi Brown was kind enough to allow me to interview her via email.

So read this interview with an energetic, empowering and encouraging baby boomer.


ROSIE As baby boomers each of us have a history of expertise and experience. I CALL THAT MOTIVATIONAL FOR ANY BOOMER LISTENING.

What is your expertise history?

SANDIE: Primarily, I am a language teacher- I have spent the last 15 or so years teaching Non-English Speaking Background (NESB) students from all around the World. So I am an English teacher. A lot of that is all about empowering people to take responsibility for their own learning, giving them the skills to improve their English ability and providing all the necessary support when the going gets tough.

These days I train others to teach – now that is truly rewarding!

The key words are: motivation, empowering, support. and encouragement. That’s something we can all do for people in our circle of influence.

On a more personal level, I have battled and won the fight with weight management, having gained a lot of weight when my first child was born. I got really good at dumping excess weight for the next 3 decades- you know yo-yo weight loss, weight gain. A couple of years ago, I decided this was enough! There has to be a long term solution to this, so I went to the New Zealand College of Fitness and trained to be a Personal Trainer (at the tender “young” age of 56!) I’ve never been a sportsperson and only started weight training- lifting weights 8 years ago, so this was a true indication that you can start ANYTHING at ANY age!

The combination of good nutrition to suit my body type, sensible cardio-vascular exercise and great weight training has given me the power to stay trim and healthy! Now I share that with others. These days, I do a bit of running as well as my regular cardio of bike (indoor trainer), step-up and skip. This is not ‘long slow gentle stuff- it is real ‘huffy-puffy’ stuff.

ROSIE: What inspires you to do what you do now?

SANDIE: Success! “If I can do it so can you”

I love to see people empowered! On the teacher training side of my life, it is so wonderful to teach young people how to teach and then see them putting these teaching techniques into practice. The best thing is that the people I teach are mostly from Non-English-Speaking backgrounds and it is a real joy to see them teaching English.

On the Personal Training side: it’s the same really- empowering people to be successful in their fitness and weight management goals.

ROSIE: Name a barrier you recently faced and how did you or are you overcoming it?

SANDIE: TIME and “JUST LIFE” – This is when life – my job etc squeezes my ‘personal’ time out- time for my own exercise and personal development.

How to Overcome? The key thing is time management and planning. If I plan for ‘my’ time- I am more likely to achieve what I want.

This is really true with nutrition! If I don’t have the right food in the house- well good nutrition just goes out the window! I used to plan a week’s meals in advance –write menus even. These days I am not so strict but I do plan more ‘loosely’ and make sure that the freezer has the right kind of meat and that the vegetable bin is full of fresh goodies. I just have to remember to take meat out of the freezer in the morning as I really prefer NOT to use a microwave to thaw anything. If I have a day or so of ‘not so good nutrition” ( come on – we ALL have those!), then I go back to writing a food diary – everything gets written  down and that turns me back on track very very quickly!

A good support network is essential- for me it is the regular appointment in the gym (with my husband) we work out twice a week for strength training, and we keep each other ‘honest’ with the cardio workouts. Best advice-: get a support network and be accountable to someone.

SANDIE: How do you share your expertise today in terms of products, services,  and gifts?

I have 7 Personal Training Clients who come to my gym once a week. Some come in pairs to share the cost. Of course I train family members too

ROSIE: What are some of your goals for 2009?

Many of my goals are lifestyle rather than ‘product’ type goals. By that I mean things I want to do. It’s like when you make a “weight-loss goal” You can say “I want to lose 5 kilograms” or you can say “I do “X” amount of exercise everyday and I eat only clean (low-saturated fat, Low GI)  natural food – not processed stuff” The by-product of that is going to be that ‘weight-loss’ or more likely fat burning, and you’ve focused on fitness and healthy eating rather than getting to a particular figure on the scale. You are more likely to be long-term successful with that kind of goal. So my goals?

1.    Build up to running  5K twice a week by  September 1st (our Spring-time) Currently I run 2.5K

2.    Increase the reps and weight of my Bench-press –at the moment the goal is 10 reps of 40KG –nearly there! (5 reps at the moment)

Do 50 full press ups (in groups of 5) give me 3 months to achieve that.

3.    Paint at least ONE day/evening a week. I wanted to do daily painting but that was unrealistic with work life at present.

ROSIE: I understand you paint. Tell me about that.

SANDIE: Oh yes- I have always as long as I remember loved art. I remember when I was 12 I had a book on portrait drawing. I used to spend hours trying to ‘get it right’! I started painting landscapes  with acrylics and oils in my mid teens, but was never encouraged to take it seriously. I think my parents thought that there was no money in art! Anyway- over the years I painted on and off – more off than on actually until about 5 years ago.

I started portrait painting in earnest with a great teacher ( from the U.K)  in adult classes as the Continuing Education Centre of Canterbury University. At the same time, I did a lot of Life Drawing classes with another great teacher (from N.Z ). I also did a number of classes with an American Artist-teacher who has made NZ her home.

These days I work in pastel and oil- more recently mostly oil.  Painting is a passion and such a great learning experience. I am not sure where it will end up, but I do know I will always do it- whether or not I sell any!  I sold a pastel still life last year which gave me huge encouragement? but that is not the reason I paint- I paint because I enjoy it and it is a way of expressing the God-given creativity we all have.

ROSIE: Thank You Sandie!

Take time to visit Sandie’s site:

Transformed Fitness

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