BY HOPE HARRINGTON OAKES
Abby Solomon Malmstrom is changing lives, one person at a time. Malmstrom is the owner of Live For It All, a Fitness, Wellness, Nutrition, and Health business in the Golden Triangle. Malmstrom, an Exercise Physiologist, founded her business in 2009 while living in Sacramento. A personal trainer with an M.S. in Exercise Science, Malmstrom customizes her workshops to fit each individual’s health and fitness goals. She offers women’s functional fitness, outdoor fitness boot camps, private and group training, marathon training, wellness travel, nutrition and weight loss programs, While working at a local gym in Sacramento, she began instruction in the correct way to run by offering personalized running clinics. Eventually, she decided to start her own fitness instruction business. Malmstrom said she did whatever she could to ensure success in her new business including free classes and hanging flyers around Sacramento. The moves paid off for Malmstrom as people started coming to her running clinics and her marathon training programs.
As fate would have it, once the business became successful, Malmstrom and her husband, Justin, had to move to the Golden Triangle area as he was offered a position as Instructor Pilot at Columbus Air Force Base. Malmstrom said she devised a way to keep her business going, even though she was living in another area of the country away from her clients. The result is “The Trainer in Your Back Pocket,” an online program that keeps fitness levels on track for those who live elsewhere, but still desire Malmstrom’s guidance and motivational challenges.
Malmstrom uses her own past struggles with weight as an example of how unbalanced one’s fitness and diet can become.
“Ive always been into fitness,” Malmstrom said. “As a child, I was a fat kid. I was very athletic. I grew up as a swimmer, but I was just fat. You know, I look back on it now, and I wasn’t eating what I know should be the correct way to eat. But I was very active all the way through high school, and in college I was a Division 1 rower on the crew team. I played sports, I started running marathons, I was a personal trainer and I was teaching fitness classes throughout grad school, as part of my degree. I called myself ‘The Fat Trainer’. When you think of a fitness trainer, you think of the stereotypical thin, tan very fit trainer. It was a trade-off. My fatness had nothing to do with my fitness. I was in the obese range of the BMI index, but according to my fitness tests I was in the excellent range in them.”
Having lost 50 pounds, Malmstrom lives her mantra of “work smarter, not harder”. She has posted before-and-after pictures of herself on her website, www.LIVEFORITALL.com.
“Most people don’t believe me,” Malmstrom said. “They look at me now and they think I don’t understand what they’re going through because I don’t look like they do at this moment, not knowing I used to look like them. I had the same issues. Once they’ve seen the pictures, they realize ‘oh, she does know what it’s like.’”
Malmstrom said the hardest part about losing weight is figuring out what works. She said there are hundreds of ways to lose weight, with every person having different issues
“So if your wellness is a puzzle, then you have to figure out what puzzle pieces are yours that aren’t in place,” Malmstrom said. “Like I said, it’s fitness, not fatness, in terms of weight, the weight is a symptom, like diabetes is a symptom of a physical problem, heart disease is a symptom, not the cause. It’s not the problem, just the symptom showing up from a root cause. It’s the same thing with weight. Weight is the symptom. So you figure out what your puzzle pieces are to fix that symptom. Sure, everyone has some of the same puzzle pieces like exercise and watching what they eat, but some people have the puzzle pieces of stress and sleep and mental blocks. One of my puzzle pieces was the fact that I called myself ‘The Fat Trainer’. I believe that when you call yourself something you become that.”
Malmstrom said exercising and eating properly are important to everyone. Malmstrom has worked in cardiac rehabilitation and wanted to get to people before their health reached that point. She said believes in “pre-hab”, not rehab.
Malmstrom said she is currently working with Paige, a Columbus resident who was diagnosed with diabetes. Malmstrom is working with her on a six-month program to improve her health to the point she can manage the condition with diet and exercise. Paige is keeping an online blogging journal of her progress. She is determined to get through this and is thankful that there is someone in the Golden Triangle she can turn to for help.
As for Malmstrom, she believes that she has one of the best jobs in the world. She loves helping people reach their goals for a healthier life.
“This is what I do, and I love it,” Malmstrom said.0