Every fitness journey starts with a simple step

Client Stories

The time is NOW for a change

To start I am twenty years old and before I met Gail I clung to any "ultimate workout" tape I had access to. Those worked for a couple of weeks until I lost the enthusiasm to keep up with them. I got to the point where I had to look at myself and really think, this body image should make me feel as confident as I know I am, but it didn't. I then immediately grabbed my laptop and went searching for a personal trainer and stumbled upon Gail.

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I was very interested because she was the only personal trainer who offered so many opportunities for women and men in her community to get in shape and have fun while doing it. From that moment I sent her an email, we met and she was able to work with my school schedule to start my workouts.

The first workout was extremely hard but Gail was there to push me forward in my goals of losing weight and getting in shape. Throughout the three months the workouts got harder but I have gained more strength than I would have achieved on my own in such a short period of time.  Many people asked why I have a personal trainer and it was because I needed a positive motivator, someone who had the goal of helping me as much as I wanted to help myself, and also the experience; this was not a trainer in the gym where they tell you what to do, sit there and watch you. Gail is a trainer, teacher and friend all in one, she makes you feel comfortable asking questions and making sure everything works for YOU.

In the end, I have lost my first 21.2 lbs and 15 inches in 3 months working with Gail and still want to lose another 30 by the end of the summer! Gail, I greatly appreciate everything you have taught me about myself as a person and as someone who wants to continue a healthy lifestyle. Thank you for everything!


Oh, its All You Can Eat Pancakes Day you say?

Me: "Umm...yes, I would like to order the triple stack of pancakes, 3 eggs, and 3 pieces of bacon...oh its All You Can Eat Pancakes Day you say?!Well, feel free to bring another stack out with the first. Please and thank you."

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Yes,my friends, that was my typical eating out fare on any given day of the week. Those of you that know me well, know that I love food. Hands down. And lots of it. However, prior to the New Year, I began to seriously reevaluate my health and my diet. I have always worked out, but mainly stuck to cardio and avoided weight lifting like the plague. To make matters worse,my diet has always been pretty suspect; mainly encompassing a little bit of vegetables and a whole lot of cookies!

So during my evaluation process, I figured I would seek out a trainer to work one on one with me. I wanted someone who would not only listen to my fitness goals, but more importantly, push me to work towards them.

After hearing/reading about Simply Fitness, I met with Gail Givens-Williams (owner/trainer) and began training with her immediately after. Thus far, I have definitely seen results in a relatively short span of time, as my body is beginning to build more muscle tone. In addition, I have made a conscious effort to incorporate healthier foods( lots of veggies, fruits, and whole grains) into my everyday diet, while still making room for the occasional cookie....or two, to satisfy my sweet tooth.

Gail is extremely knowledgeable regarding fitness/nutrition and gently,but firmly challenges me to push myself further than I ever expected. My journey is not over yet..... It is clear that Gail cares about her clients and helps them to achieve their fitness/nutritional goals. I strongly encourage anyone who is focused, looking to adopt a healthier lifestyle (and work their butt off in the process!) to seek out Simply Fitness!

On a personal note, I just want to say how extremely thankful I am that you are my trainer! In the past few months, you have helped me to transform myself not just on a physical level, but also mentally. As a child who did not grow up with the strongest sense of self esteem, it took me a very long time to gain a stronger sense of self.

Because of you, I now walk and dress with more confidence, feeling more secure with the "skin I'm in". To me, that's more than I could ever ask for in this life.

I can truly see that you take your role as a trainer seriously and I hope you realize that you have the ability to change people on levels beyond physical transformation.


Up! Up in age, up in weight, up half the night! Blood pressure up, cholesterol up, stress levels up!

I was FED UP! So, I decided to do something about it. I was done with my unhealthy status that seemed to come with entering my 40's, and began my journey to a healthier me starting with my consultation with Gail.

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Gail wanted to know what my fitness goals were. I wanted to lose weight, gain strength, sleep through the night, and just plain feel healthier. She put me right to work! Now, I want to be honest, although I'm a teacher, I may not be the best student. I complained most of the time throughout my sessions, attempted the sad puppy dog face and had plenty of set backs. Fortunately, what's great about working out with Gail is that she won't give up on you and won't let you give up on yourself.

Throughout my journey to a healthier me, I'd gone through plenty of ups and downs. After several months, I started to see progress. I'd lost weight, gained strength and was making healthier decisions when it came to my eating habits (not going to say the four-letter "D" word - "diet"). Then, I suffered a blow medically that not only wiped out most of my hard work, but actually made my situation much worse. I gained more weight than I'd ever been - even more than any of my three pregnancies, my strength began to deteriorate, and let's not even talk about my mood. However, my prior success with Gail helped me to stay motivated, and I refused to give up. Gail worked with me and around all the challenges that came with my medical condition. And once my doctor pulled me through the "dark times", Gail was right there to help me climb back on the wagon.

I'm happy to say that I'm back on track and making my way back to a healthier me. Now let's not confused, I don't complain any less and I still have work to do, but I'm glad to know Gail will be there to keep me going in the right direction.


My fitness journey started with weekly 30 minute strength training sessions

Gail and I met in January of 2008 through an ad she had in the Ewing Observer newspaper. My fitness journey started with weekly 30 minute strength training sessions that progressed to an hour. That hour was half strength training and half mat Pilates.

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As a result of the strength and balance gained, I can proudly say that I can now do a full side plank among many other things. After two years, I added another 30 minute session of strength training to achieve more results. After menopause, I found weight training became very important to my body and I encourage all of my friends to incorporate it into their fitness regimen.

Recently I retired, and while working I would leave and go straight to my training session with Gail so that nothing could interfere with my workouts. When I am not with her, I walk two miles and do strength training on my own at home. I take what I have learned from my sessions to keep my routine going.

Now I am consistent with exercise 5-6 days per week. When I am consistent, working out is easier for me. If there is a gym when I am on vacation, I jump on the treadmill, use their weights or just go walking. I vacation in LBI annually where I take my bike to ride as an added option.

At this time in my life, I feel my BEST physically since starting my fitness training. My main improvements have been increased strength and stamina. Consequently, my weight stays in a respectable range that I like. I also feel that maintaining exercise has helped my immune system because I rarely get sick. Finally, the most important tips I have gained from Gail is to keep an exercise routine consistent for the rest of my life along with always seeking to improve my eating habits. She is a great, sincere person and friend.


I felt like a Princess on my Wedding Day!

I began seeing Gail in 2011 as I began my fitness journey. She has worked with me through virtual training or Skype for the past three years. Gail has worked me hard from the beginning. She was always a constant energizer to help me keep my weight on track. I have always struggled with my weight since I was 11 years old, but Gail encouraged me to continue my healthy lifestyle even through stressful moments in my life.

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Once I got engaged in 2013, I was very worried about how I would look in my wedding dress. The stress of my wedding began to take a toll on my body and I had gained some weight in the process.  It showed when I went for my first dress fitting because they could not zip up the dress.  I decided to increase my sessions with Gail in order to look the best I could on my wedding day.  Gail pushed me hard and always challenged me to do more than I could ever think was possible. Her workouts helped me not only to be stronger but gain more confidence in my body. After increasing my workouts from one day a week to two days a week for a only a month prior to the wedding, I went for another dress fitting. I was in tears of joy because not only did the dress fit again, it had to be taken in! I finally had a waist and could not believe it!

At my final fitting, the seamstress commented on how good I looked in my wedding dress. She said I should be proud on how much weight I lost. I told her that this was not just for the wedding, but for me.  On my wedding day, July 19th, 2014, I was so nervous on how I would look but everyone was in awe. Everyone commented on how beautiful I looked and I finally truly felt amazing about myself. Gail helped me not only achieve my goals but made me feel like a princess on my wedding day.


Mother & Daughter Team

Jean: I first met Gail in the fall of 2009 when she gave some body sculpting classes at Artworks in Mill Hill of Trenton, NJ.  In the spring of 2010, I got to the point where I knew I had to commit to do something to try and lose some weight and work on weight-bearing exercises for bone strength.

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I signed up with Gail to do weekly one-on-one sessions that have continued to this date. Thanks to Gail's dedication and encouragement in the face of my grumbling, my strength has improved significantly.  Sometimes, Gail and I would do yoga together and in 2011, I started doing a separate yoga class with Gail every week to work on flexibility and balance.  My weight was still a problem, though.

Lately, I have been going to Gail's Zumba class and really trying to improve my diet and get a lot more cardio exercise by biking and walking up the stairs. I've lost 20 lbs from my highest weight and want to lose another 10 to 15 lbs.  If you get to the point where you want to change, Gail is a great resource to help you reach your goals.

Janet: At age 86, I have had back trouble since 1964, when the treatment was morphine in hospital and muscle relaxants and bed rest afterwards.  As the years went by, I began to notice that exercise really helped more than rest.  I was told to stretch the leg muscles that kept me awake at night.  Jean thought that Gail's program of yoga and weight training might be just the thing.  And indeed it has been.

With her program precisely targeted to my specific needs and abilities, I have stopped a series of spinal injections of steroids and nightly doses of tylenol and codeine.  I am now sleeping through the night and walking through the day thanks to weekly sessions with Gail and the daily routines she has taught me.


I hit a plateau and became frustrated...

I have been working out on my own for about two years now, but it wasn’t until Gail that I have seen significant results. Even though I had some basic knowledge, she has managed to bridge the gap between what I thought I knew and what I actually needed in order to achieve my fitness goals.

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Prior to working with Gail, I was at the gym anywhere between 5 to 6 days a week.  I hit a plateau and became frustrated because I wasn’t seeing the results of what I was actually aiming for. I found myself sitting on machines looking for songs on my iPod to listen to rather than actually doing the exercises! And that’s when I realized that I needed an extra push. Gail has given me that extra push and more.

When I first met with her, she took the time to sit with me and ask me exactly what my fitness goals were and what it was that I hoped to achieve. I was physically fit, but I could not get that definition and cut that I was looking for. I felt like all of my weight lifting made me look “bulky.” From there, Gail set up a personalized routine for me. She gave me the extra push and encouragement that I was lacking on my own. My workouts with Gail are most definitely challenging, but always rewarding. I am very pleased with the results that I have seen over the past few months working with her and look forward to additional sessions.  

Thank you for EVERYTHING! 

I could not have found anyone better than Gail.

After a serious illness that confined me to bed for over six months I set out to find a personal trainer that could rebuild my strength working within my medical limitations. I wanted to combine it with someone that was knowledgeable about nutrition since that aspect of my life also needed to change.

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I could not have found anyone better than Gail. She continues to tailor my workout to my ever-changing body. She watches carefully for any signs that changes may be necessary in the routines due to my health. Gail provided a workout routine for me to follow at home that allows me to carefully continue to rebuild my strength on the off days without risk of injury.

She established a diet that fit within guidelines set by my physician after working with me on my likes and dislikes. Gail introduced me to foods that I had never eaten before in my life and now I love them, and they are good for me!

When I started with Gail I would have to rely on someone else to open my water bottles for me since I did not have the strength. Now, not only can I open the water bottles on my own, but also I can carry my groceries and lift a case of water. These may sound like simple things, but to someone that has had to rely on someone to take care of them they are big accomplishments!

Each session makes me a stronger individual and I am excited to what the future holds.

Everyday I receive complements from friends, family, and co-workers on the change in my appearance. I contribute it all to Gail!


My weight loss journey...

During a difficult time in my life, I turned to food for comfort. I was eating very unhealthy  meals three times a day and snacked often on tasty cakes and sour cream and onion potato chips. My weight  was spiraling out of control.

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In December 2010, I weighed 206 and wore a size 16. This was the heaviest I have been in my life. I felt horrible and hated looking at myself in the mirror.  So on top of being depressed and super stressed, I was fat!!! I know I needed to do something....I needed help. 

I called Gail Williams of Simply Fitness. I worked with Gail in 2005-2006 to help me lose weight and get fit for my wedding.  I was very happy with the results. I knew Gail would be the one to put me back on track.

Before my first session with Gail in January, we spoke at length of my goals and what I wanted to accomplish from working with her. I wanted to increase my fitness level, get to my personal idea weight of 150 but most importantly I wanted to be healthy again. It seemed impossible but I was determined to change. After getting the measurements and other things out of the way, we got started.

I was very surprised of my fitness level, it sucked!!! I was so out out shape. Gail did not give me a break, she poured it on. I hated her for that hour but I could not wait for the next workout.

As the weeks wore on my body started to change. The weight was coming off!!! After a month, I was down 15 pounds. I changed my diet and began to do lots of cardio during the week. Gail's workouts became super intense as well.  Gail  pushed me  beyond what I thought I could do, while being very encouraging.

In the past, I relied solely on my workouts with Gail. Now I know that it takes more than that. Gail will tell you that you must put in the work. I am doing just that. I do about 5-6 hours of cardio a week, along with some strength training and working with Gail.  Most importantly, I watch what I eat, and it is paying off.

Since January 5, 2011, I lost 19.75 inches overall, dropped over 9 percent body fat, and I am down over 30 pounds. Now I am wearing a comfortable size 12 at the end of May 2011.

I am better then half way through my journey and I am pleased with my progress. I am even considering dropping my previous goal of 150 to 140, because I have the confidence I can do it and I have Gail. People are making positive comments ( even my son's elderly school bus driver) on my weight loss and it feels great. But most of all, I am feeling better about myself. 


Changing my mind changed my life and Gail was a part of that

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That moment while looking at a photo of myself after returning home from vacation was the moment I had a enough of me.

Why it took until that particular photo to make a change, I have no idea. What I do know is, at then 225 pounds, I needed to be healthier, I needed to lose weight, and I needed help from someone who would hold me accountable.

Soon after that declaration to myself I ran into a former work colleague. He introduced me to the philosophy of a fitness consultant. As he explained it to me a fitness consultant views each client as an unique individual. Each client has different needs and different capabilities. I knew that is the type of person I needed in my life.

That is when I did a Google search for “fitness consultant in New Jersey.” At the top of the search results was Simply Fitness. After reading Gail’s bio, the services she offered, and the testimonials, I emailed her asking her to help me be better and happier.

Her response was quick. We set up a time to talk over the phone to have a consult. After sharing with Gail my history with weight issues and my goals she set a date for our sessions to begin. It was a Wednesday in July of 2014.

Gail was prepared for each session. When necessary, she would text me before hand to let me know how to be prepared for the session. Our sessions were twice a week. To help keep me accountable on those days without her I was to email her what I did.

On rare occasions when I was not feeling well or had an issue with a body part such as my knee, back, or foot, Gail modified the workout in such a way that I could still have a workout. I always found it genesis when she would modify a workout on the fly. That happened a couple of times when my knee was not acting right.

To this day I do not know how she knew it, but she seemed to always know exactly when I was strong enough to move onto a more difficult exercise in spite of me not believing that I could. She was always right.

She pushed and challenged me. Not in a mean spirited way. Gail is not a yeller. She encourages as she pushes you to be stronger, faster, and more fit.

After a year with Gail as my personal trainer I lost 75 pounds, gained some swag and my confidence back. I also became healthier.

Here is something important to mention. We accomplished that with my workouts being done over Skype.

As of the time of this writing it is two years later. I am still working out with Gail twice a week and I she is still pushing and challenging me. I can do push-ups now. I could barely do one on my knees when we started. My core is strong. I have had near stumbles on runs and on icy days, but I attribute my strong core as to why I do not fall. I hated burpees. I can do them now, no sweat.

What I am I saying? Gail is an amazing personal trainer. If you do what she says you will have amazing results.


I don’t look my age and I definitely don’t “feel” like my age.

Hi my name is Sharon and I’m 46 years young! While most women don’t share their age, I am proud to disclose mine because since my weight loss of 119lbs. (and counting) many people say, I don’t look my age and I definitely don’t “feel” like my age. The cool thing is that for me, just three years ago weighing in at 287lbs., my highest weight ever, that was not necessarily the case.

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Back in 2010, when I was unhappily obese (clinically speaking) unbeknownst to me I was living in denial that my constant weight gain and sedentary lifestyle was at the route of all of my problems: high blood pressure since the age of 27; chronic migraines, mood swings (probably spawned by unaddressed depression), sleep apnea, overweight children and a failing marriage which ultimately ended in 2012…just to name a few of my problems.

The happy ending to my story is that I made a conscious decision on 8/19/10 after having a heart -to- heart with my primary physician (whose concern for me really saved my life) to lose weight and live long. With this personal mission I joined Weight Watchers in September of 2010 and met with great success losing 55lbs., in one year-I was well on my way to realizing a healthier version of myself, but after my first year on Weight Watchers, I hit a plateau and was no longer losing my average 1lb., per/week.

A friend of mine told me about Gail Williams’ Zumba class and I went to my very first class in November of 2011, and to my pleasant surprise, the first class was free. After my first Zumba experience, I was hooked! After 45 minutes, I left Gail’s class feeling alive again, recharged and in control of my body. Don’t get me wrong, after that first class, I was exhausted and in pain because I was working out muscles I didn’t even know I had. The muscle pain soon subsided and it’s been all enjoyment and positive results ever since. In two years of being consistent with it, Zumba has done for me what Weight Watchers and moderate exercise alone could not do. My body needed to move more.

Zumba gave me the increased physical activity I needed to ultimately reach my weight loss goal, not to mention it’s fun!! Since doing Zumba, consistently, coupled with Weight Watchers, I’ve lost an additional 64lbs.! When I’m not “shaking it and working it out on the Zumba floor,” I walk: typically 5 miles daily. In my personal opinion, the keys to my fitness success have been: acknowledgement, healthy eating and consistent exercise. Since November, of 2011 Zumba has become, a staple in my life. I guess you could say I’ve crossed over, no longer a food junky, now I’m a Zumba junky and proud of it! I hope this snapshot of my weight loss journey has served as some source of inspiration because, as a busy mother of three and special education teacher, if I can do it so can you!


My life transformed when I made a decision to change my choices.

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My journey to fitness started in March of 2015. My mother passed away in March of 2013 of cancer. To her and my family’s surprise she was diagnosed with stage four cancer in 2011. This was the darkest period of my life. I never expected to see someone I loved so much to waste away from this disease.

This experience made me reflect on my own health. At the time, I was overweight and miserable. I knew I had high blood pressure and did not change my diet or even take the medicine prescribed to bring it in check. I was in my late 40’s approaching 50 and understood that I needed to make changes. I realized that I had no clue what health issues I would face. I did know that I needed to become as healthy as possible now in order to battle any and all health challenges in the future.

The first change I made was eliminating all sugary drinks and only drank water. For exercise, I started walking around my building at work a couple of times a day. Once I got used to moving, I started walking in my neighborhood and the local park.

I complimented a friend of mine who had noticeably lost weight and was looking fabulous. I advised her that I was trying to lose weight myself and asked her what she was doing. She told me that she was working with a personal trainer named Gail Williams. She encouraged me to work with her and even offered to partner with me. I did not think that I was ready for a trainer but took on the challenge anyway.

Gail wasted no time whipping me into shape. I never huffed and puffed so much in my life. In our sessions she pushed and challenged me to not give up. The biggest challenge and gift she gave me was making me accountable for my results. She always asked what results I was looking for. Followed by what I am doing to get there? She wanted to know what I was eating and what was I doing physically outside of our sessions. This drove me to make more changes. I joined the gym and started to make smarter diet choices. I started going to the gym 5 to 6 days a week. I cut out fried foods, bread, and fast food. I ate more salads, vegetables, and unprocessed foods. I then began to see the results on the scale and my clothes were fitting more loose.

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My starting weight was 243 pounds. My goal weight was 160 pounds. Gail did a weight check text every Sunday in which I would have to provide my current weight. I never wanted to give a negative report and always wanted to be down from the previous week. This incentive made me work even harder. There were weeks when the scale did not move. When this happened, Gail would review what I did as far as diet and exercise and suggest changes that would make the scale move in a positive direction. This encouragement always worked.

After a year of crying about burpees and mountain climbers during my sessions, I have lost 79 pounds and 6 dress sizes!!! I get compliments all the time on my achievements. And yes, I am asked all the time what are you doing? I tell them going to the gym and working with a great personal trainer. I would never have been able to accomplish this feat without Gail’s assistance. I am still motivated to maintain my healthy lifestyle, although I will indulge in not so healthy cravings now and then. I am currently working with Gail on getting stronger by adding more weight training into our sessions.