Updated: Oct 31
About a week ago we had the immense pleasure of speaking with Firefighter/Mom/Hero Angela Cook and her trainer Preston Henman. We went in depth about her challenges and victories on her path to her goal weight, her relationship with food and the struggles of balancing family, fitness and work!
"I ran on the beach in the morning, I haven’t done that in ten years! I ran 2 miles and smoked my teenage son, left him in the dust haha!"
So Angela, how long have you been working with Preston?
ANGELA: Since the middle of August!
Preston, what's the best part of working with Angela?
PRESTON: Her personality, it’s always so fun! We have a lot of things in common: She’s a firefighter, we both have a background with Emergency Medical Services and know what it’s like to care for people in that field. She gives so much and I love that.
ANGELA: *Hugs Preston* He’s my new brother!
What’s the biggest thing you’ve learned about nutrition from Preston?
ANGELA: I think the biggest thing I've learned is that I need fats, proteins and carbs. The fad diets are definitely not for me. Clean eating and consistency is what works and is maintainable!
How has your nutrition been this week?
ANGELA: Not bad! I did go to the beach over the weekend and had a couple higher calorie foods, but overall it was pretty good. I’m always being intentional and that’s the biggest thing, this consistency is slowly training my mind to think about my choices and how they affect me.
Preston how do you feel about the high calorie foods Angela had? Is there grace for that?
PRESTON: There’s a balance to it! What would be the point of life you didn’t get to eat the foods you want now and then? So, you know, minor setback in overall progress but she's living life! Plus we looked over it and it was nowhere near the way most people go off the deep end, it was still very manageable.
Angela, what was your relationship with food like before you met Preston?
ANGELA: It was definitely a comfort, especially with all of the COVID stuff going on. Having two toddlers and a senior this year has been pretty stressful. The only way I could cope was by eating whatever made me feel good. It’s actually now the opposite, I feel better about myself when I’m eating healthier and seeing the results. And I have more energy with the carbs, they’re good!
What are your goals right now?
ANGELA: To maintain that balance and consistency! I am still trying to manage cardio 3-4 times a week, adding that in has been really tough. I work 24 hours and then come home to teach my kids. Basically trying to balance everything out; I’ve got the nutrition down and now I need to hone things in with working out.
What has been the biggest asset to reaching your current level of fitness?
ANGELA: Honestly Preston. He’s a good accountability coach and he’s so knowledgeable. I can text him even when I'm not at the gym and he's so quick to answer. Also getting positive feedback from my family because they’re seeing my results, that’s a huge deal! My kids are actually starting to eat healthier. Lastly, I love the classes here. The times work with my crazy schedule: It can be super early in the morning, late in the evening, or even mid-day. I especially love Jennifer’s class, dance cardio with weights and "Rise and Grind". Basically any of the HIIT stuff!
What are you aiming for?
ANGELA: I’m shooting for fat loss while still maintaining muscle tone for work. I'd like to drop to around 160-165lbs. The new schedule for my kids schooling is definitely challenging me a little bit but it’s so nice that you guys are open 24/7. I can come in at different times!
Angela, what’s your favorite memory with Preston?
ANGELA: The day Preston said “Look at my manager over there, you just lifted more weight than him!” *laughs*
PRESTON: Yeah, definitely the day she leg pressed more than Parker!(NWFITCO's Assistant General Manager?)
ANGELA: That made my day!
Preston is there anything that you’re focusing on specifically as you train Angela, especially with what she does for work?
PRESTON: I would say mostly trying to lock in the accountability factor. I think the struggle the first month was trying to get to a point where diet was consistent. Now that we’ve got the consistency, it’s just a matter of making sure we keep it there. All of the other pieces are falling into place. We’re trying to focus on muscle development for the things that will be applicable to her job: transferring patients, pulling hoses and moving bunker gear. There’s a lot of weight involved!
ANGELA: Which I actually did yesterday. I pulled some hose and some line, I could feel a huge difference there!
Do you have any advice to someone who is afraid/intimidated to come into the gym?
ANGELA: You need to take risks in life and this thing takes work, we’re in a time where motivation is lacking! When you feel unmotivated and you step in here, it’s a laid-back atmosphere. You don't feel like you’re going to get judged by other people if you wear a funky outfit that doesn’t match or you’re in sweats without makeup. Once you get in here and get going, the endorphins kick in and that makes you want to come back!