This time, you will not fail.

They say the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.

When I started with Encompass, as a Kickstart participant, I had no desire to change anything about my lifestyle, but definitely wanted (and needed) to lose weight. I reluctantly agreed to join the Kickstart with my friend, but said, in no uncertain terms, that there was no way I was going to be going to any exercise classes.

Fast forward 18 months.

Not only do I attend classes 5 times a week, but I also walk and jog 5 – 6 days a week, and actually miss it when I can’t get it in.

Looking back, I try to put myself in the mindset I had then, and the reason why.


My pride was in the way. I am a smart person, I can do this on my own. I don’t need help.

What if I do the program and I fail?
EVERYONE would know I was trying to lose weight and failed...

What if I go to exercise classes and I can’t do it? EVERYONE will be looking at me and know I can’t do it...

Rather than be humiliated by failure, best not to try, right?


I can say, without any doubt, there is no judgement at Encompass. EVERYONE wants you to be the best you can be. The staff celebrate your successes and help you navigate the bumps (and there are bumps, darn it). The members encourage each other, and are so proud of others’ accomplishments.

I have no time or energy to look at others’ in class and make judgements, I’m focussed on getting through the workouts. But on occasion, you do take note of others... and I can tell you this:

 Not once have I looked at a member in class and thought, ugh, look at her/him…can’t do this, can’t do that….
 I HAVE looked at a member in class, especially at the beginning and thought, I remember struggling and looking at all these “fit” people, and wishing I could be just like them.
 I HAVE looked at a member in class and thought, look at her/him go ….that’s amazing, he/she has made so much progress.
 I HAVE looked at a member in class and thought, wow, he/she looks fantastic. Sometimes, I even catch that person after class and tell them, because it sure is nice to hear. I remember people pulling me aside and telling me the same kinds of things, and it really means a lot.

My advice to you would be:
If you want a change, Encompass is a safe place to start making those very scary lifestyle changes.

There is no judgement, only encouragement.

What are you waiting for?

Vanessa Marcotte, 
Encompass Member

A message to you.

January 2017

My lifestyle had become sedentary, one where exercise (other than walking to get from point A to point B) didn’t exist.  I was tired most of the time not wanting to move once I had settled down to my spot on the couch each evening; a routine that was contributing to my feeling miserable.  Daily activities became more of a chore to do. My hips started to ache when standing at my kitchen island preparing meals, to the point where I would have to sit down and give them a rest.  I hadn’t been to the doctor for a medical in 2 years because I was scared to hear words that I didn’t want to hear. I knew that I was heading deeper into an unhealthy lifestyle, one that could eventually seriously impact my life.   

March 2017 - A month and a half later

Unsure, anxious, insecure, curious, intimidated... all feelings that I felt on my way to attending my first fitness class at Encompass.  What if I can’t make it through the class? What if I injure myself? What if the movements are too difficult for me to do? What if I set the class behind? What if everyone’s eyes were on me watching; an outsider to the fitness world?

These fears were quickly put to rest.

I was warmly welcomed by the coaches and members.  The coaches took the time to assist me making sure I was doing the exercise correctly, provided me with alternatives to the more advanced moves allowing me to keep up and stay involved with the whole class.  Members were happy to assist me, answering questions I had and giving me a hand with the exercises as well.

During that first week I was encouraged, cheered on, high-fived, and complimented on my progress by the Encompass coaches and members.  I felt like I belonged here. Feeling more confident that I could do this, at the end of my one week trial, I decided to invest in myself and I became a member at Encompass.

May 2018 - Just over a year later...

Confident, energized, happy, excited, motivated... all words describing how I feel now as a person who is committed to a healthy lifestyle.   I have gained mobility, strength, energy, knowledge and friendships. Being a part of the fitness program at Encompass and having taken part in the Spring 2017 Kick Start have provided me with the tools I needed to succeed in the lifestyle that I have come to love! The Balanced Habits Kick Start program has taught me how to fuel my body with great tasting foods in carbohydrate, fat, and protein unit portions that are right for me.  I enjoy cooking and eating foods that I had never tried before and I don't at all feel deprived.

I know that it can be a scary commitment. But some advice or words of encouragement that I would give:

  • Don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone, you may surprise yourself!

  • Ask for help, I still do, that’s how you get it right!

  • Know your limits, push yourself only as far as you are comfortable.

  • Believe in yourself.

  • Know you are not alone in your feelings.  Change can be scary but there are so many people at Encompass who are more than happy to listen to you and help you in any way they can.  They are your “Fit Fam”!

  • Be patient and don’t expect immediate change; this is a work in progress.

  • Have fun!  Enjoy Life!

You can do this,

Michelle Wilbraham

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