• Tone Up
  • Train for Competition
  • Healthy Life Change
  • Improve Appearance


  • Lost 7% of my body fat, lost 30 pounds and dropped four sizes 
  • I have more energy
  • I have less stress
  • I made new friends
  • I’m healthier and happier

how bally helped:

how i did it:

  • Schedule "play time" into your day, something many adults forget to do
  • Count calories
  • Pay attention to the proportion of protein to complex carbohydrates, as well as the amount of fat in your diet
  • Set a goal to do an event, like a 5k walk or run, or even a triathlon!

Name: Halima

Age: 42

Home: Towson, Maryland

Occupation: Entrepreneur

Crossing the finish line of the Dewey Beach Triathlon, my first, was an exhilarating and rewarding experience. It was a real accomplishment, but I realize now that my training for the even was just as rewarding as the event itself. I spent a full year working hard with my personal trainer at Bally.

I've been a Bally member since I moved to Towson, Maryland 15 years ago. I had always worked out—though inconsistently—since high school. But it always felt like I was working hard at it and struggling with my diet. Despite my efforts, as I grew older, my clothing sizes increased (I guess as my body size increased). I found myself getting tired more quickly and being stressed out too.

I just didn't enjoy the way I looked or felt in my own skin. One day, as I was clothes shopping for an adventure trip to Peru, I had to buy a size bigger than I had ever imagined buying. That’s when it hit me. I needed to do something…and I needed some help to do it.

Advisor, Coach and Educator
In order to turn things around, I needed the help of someone who knew more than I did. I was in the process of a new entrepreneurial venture, so I had seen the value of hiring expert help. I had thought about hiring a personal trainer for a while, but I had the impression that all it would be is someone standing over me, telling me what to do. And I thought it would cost too much. I was wrong on both counts.

Once I saw how affordable a Personal Trainer at Bally could be, I took the jump and hired Vern Hammen. The first thing Vern helped me to do was structure my personal fitness goals. Then he inspired me to do my best, pushing me as far as I could go in a gentle and encouraging way as I progressed with weights and cardio. Vern also liked to read about nutrition and fitness, and when I asked for a book, he gave me one that inspired him. I actually started to look forward to my workout rather than dread it!

I gradually learned more about Vern through the process. He had made tremendous changes in his own life, so his personal experience strongly influenced my respect for him. He went above and beyond the expectations I had for training, and I could tell that he genuinely cared about my progress. This had a huge effect on me, driving me to make changes in my strength, body fat, overall fitness and tone that I had never achieved even when I was younger.

My Self-Improvement Journey Continues
The progress that I made cross-training at Bally gave me the confidence to set my sights on finishing a sprint distance triathlon consisting of an 800 meter swim, 20k bike and 5k run. I knew that I could do it if I committed to a schedule, ate right and kept thinking positively. I started working out at Bally five days a week. Outside I would run four miles and ride my bike 14-25 miles three times per week. I also took competitive swimming classes three times a week. All of that might seem excessive for someone starting out, but I was inspired by my new-found love of fitness. Plus I really enjoyed the process, making new friends along the way.

In the last six months I finished two triathlons and ran a 5K to raise money for breast cancer. And in the past year, I lost 7% of my body fat, which translated into dropping 30 pounds and four sizes. Best of all, I have more energy and feel strong and capable. I feel totally great about myself. I can’t remember the last time I felt that way.

Because Bally is affordable, I was able to get a trainer to help me reach and exceed my goals. And because Vern was so supportive and knowledgeable, I stuck with the plan and never got bored. There are fancier gyms out there but Bally Total Fitness was just what I needed to succeed.

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