Nancy Carlson
Author Archives: Nancy Carlson

Shining the Lights On Elizabeth!

DId you ever meet someone and just know they had this drive, a determination, a hard working attitude that doesn't quit? That is Elizabeth. I'm so proud of her. She's been training with the 5am crew since the beginning of the summer. She is knocking it out of the park to Make It Happen.   

"I had to make a change in my work out routine, so I stepped into the doors at Get Fit New Hampshire. I sat down with Coach Nancy and we talked about my fitness goals. I told her I needed to lose some body fat and be the best I can physically be in the Army. The first few days were extremely challenging waking up extra early and trying to look alive in front of my new work out buddies! By the time the second week rolled around I couldn’t wait to go to my next class even though I couldn’t walk! Seven months into this program I can run three miles without even thinking about walking, my glutes and quads are a lot more toned then when I began which has always been a struggle for me.

Coach is always there for me on a personal level or a physical level. Nancy is always putting heavier weights in front of me telling me to lift it! Sometimes I don’t think I have that ability then I try it, what’s there to loose besides a little weight? Once I give it a shot and am able to lift it, I get this since of pride that I can accomplish anything the world throws at me.

I love Get Fit I'm always after my friends and family to at least try it with me. They'll customize your work out. There are always extra challenges you can do too. I tried the 21 day detox and now when I eat I’m constantly asking myself where did this come from? Do I have enough protein? Eat more veggies! Anyone who wants a great family to hang out with or a challenge, Get Fit is right for you!"

Elizabeth surprised herself and me by shaving a minute off her run time and increasing all her other scores in her latest PT test. I'm proud of Elizabeth for serving us and our country.

Coach Nancy

Shining in the Spotlight – Amanda

"I joined Get Fit because my muscles don’t like to work right. And arthritis was catching up to me. What?! I thought, seriously, I’m 40. I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to move when I got older. So I joined. I was inspired by a wonderful friend and the changes she made. I thought let’s just see what I CAN do and we’ll go from there.

I’ve learned a lot about myself since. First, I was afraid to move. I spent those first few classes terrified I was going to hurt myself. Did it hurt? You bet! Did I hurt myself? Absolutely not. In fact, I feel better than ever! It’s the little things I notice. Like running up the stairs. Helping lift heavy stuff and I think "that’s not that heavy". Being on the go all day and then not being sore that night. Getting my chicken feed and saying "nope, I can carry it, thank you anyway!" I even got a compliment on my pushups recently!!

Today I got my 2 years strong shirt from Get Fit NH. I've accomplished so much and am looking forward to more. The last two years have been all about the letter P. Perseverance, persistence, patience, protein and produce. I have hurdles to jump this next year and I will meet them with the letter S. Strength, support, steadiness. Thanks Coach Nancy for helping me see I can do it. Cara Wiley you're my hero and role model!!!"

Keep that smile, Amanda - it's contagious!

Amy and Chichester Massage are in the Spotlight

Its always the quiet ones. Amy is one of those quiet people. She gets to training, gets her things ready, finds a space in the room, (she doesn't need a special spot), and she gets right into work. Her quiet demeanor inspires the rest of us. Its no wonder that after getting to know her she reveals her profession as the owner of Chichester Massage. She has a calming effect on my usually stressed and hyped up self. I'm so thankful for Amy. 

"Wow! I can’t believe it’s been 8 years training with Get Fit NH. When I started the building in Epsom wasn’t even complete and we trained outside in the yard with the chickens. So much has changed in those 8 years.

I started training after meeting Dean and Nancy in a business referral group that I had joined to promote my business Chichester Massage. As a massage therapist their integral training program made sense to me combining cardio, core, strength/resistance exercises to maximize the potential of your muscles. The best way to refer someone to a business is to try it yourself so I decided to give it a go. I did not struggle with maintaining my weight but I became winded very easily and felt pretty weak so my goals where to improve in those areas. I remember being very sore in the beginning but also excited as I noticed my energy increase, endurance and strength develop so everyday activities were easier.

At age 38 I felt like I was in the best shape of my life thanks to Get Fit NH and then I became pregnant. I was worried that I would lose all I had gained but I soon realized it was the best thing to set myself up for success. Despite my age my doctor didn’t consider me “high risk” because of the shape I was in and the training actually prepared my body and the baby for the birth process. I trained until the day before I had my daughter, with modifications of course but I believe that had a huge impact on the ease of my pregnancy and getting back in shape post baby.

These days I struggle with balancing the responsibilities of being a mom, wife and business owner but my main goal is keeping up with my 4 year old and being a good role model for her with healthy eating and exercise. There is no better role model for me than Nancy. The way she “makes it happen” is such an inspiration to me that I truly have no excuse not to. I love the support of the 9 am ladies. Everyone encourages each other and even when training is challenging there is lots of laughter. Get Fit NH has been a wonderful asset to me both personally and professionally. I have been a massage therapist for 19 years and keeping my body strong and healthy has contributed to the longevity of my career. I am so thankful for their support these past 8 years and look forward to training with them for many years to come."

Amy has taken ownership of her well being. She is working through the struggle of career, wife, mom, social activities all while striving to keep her fitness and health. Its not easy. Amy knows and feels the struggles we face. As owner of Chichester Massage she offers all those in the Get Fit NH Family a 10% off massage services. I've taken advantage of her offer and reap the benefits. I am so glad Amy chose and continues to choose Get Fit NH.

Coach Nancy

Brookford Farms CSA Pickup at Get Fit NH Is Continuing

garlicveggies.jpgI don’t want you to find out about this too late. Brookford Farms has been delivering boxes of vegetables all summer long, and they are not done. Become a CSA member and you can pick up your box of veggies and goodies after you train? A one stop shop – cool beans. 

As you probably know we are huge fans of CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) and have written on the topic quite a few times, so when Get Fit NH Superstar Carlene Ruesenberg told me about the Brookford Farm CSA I was excited to pass it on. But there is more here than just information. Hold on…..

There is nothing fresher, tastier, and yes even more friendly to the environment than having local produce grown by local farmers. For those of us who don’t have the time or talent to grow our own veggies, getting involved in a CSA is like gold!

This is where it gets exciting, Get Fit NH is sponsoring a pickup place for Brookford Farm’s CSA. You will be able to pickup your veggies at Get Fit NH in Concord.  For those of you out in Epsom, Coach Nancy will bring your food to the Epsom gym for pickup there as well. I would say that’s perfect for everyone!

Brookford Farms has an easy registration process. They have different packages to fit your family’s needs. While registering simply check the box for Get Fit NH Concord as your pick up place. Your veggies start arriving on October 24th, 2016 – March 12th, 2017.

You can register using this link    Brookford Farm CSA Online Registration     

If you need help please contact Jodi at or 603-742-4084

Thanks Carlene for doing all the legwork to Make this Happen!

The Sawyers Earned a Spotlight

saywersI love hearing ‘ah ha’ moments. You know, those special points in time that transformed a life for the better? There are so many different and amazing moments that change a person for a lifetime. I think I like to hear them so much because I don’t have one. I grew into healthier eating. I slowly gravitated towards being more fit. It was a process for me. Now I am being encouraged by others with similar stories to my own. Hearing that our 2016 Sizzlin’ Summer Slimdown winners had a similar story thrilled me. Kellen and Carolyn Sawyer motivated each other through the six weeks of S3, but they are tackling S3 2.0 with that same determination. I’ll let Kellen tell you how it all got started.

“We first came to Get Fit NH (GFNH) a few years ago, with Carolyn starting almost 5 years ago and Kellen starting 3 years ago.  Carolyn first started when she was invited by another member, and she finally got Kellen there a little over a year later, after lots of asking.

Our initial experiences were similar, we were both a little intimidated by all the new things to learn and by the pace of the trainings.  Carolyn did quite a bit better, as she has been athletic her whole life and active, and was able to adapt to the changes rapidly.  That’s not to say she didn’t have her sore days, and the days when her legs were so tired it was an effort to walk up the stairs, but she stuck with it.  Kellen saw all of this and wondered why on Earth she was going through all of this as he watched from the comfort of the couch.  That made it a harder sell to get him to go the first few times.  HCarolyn S 4e had it rough as well, as he had not been regularly active for too long.  The first few weeks were really difficult and tough, but he stayed with the encouragement of Carolyn, and especially Coach Nancy.  The biggest things we learned after the initial 2 weeks was it was important to try, no matter your limitations; we actually felt really good after training; and to beware of Fun Fridays.

Now, all these years into it, we are both feeling better than we have in some time.  We’ve both lost weight and kept it off and increased our strength and flexibility.  We have a better understanding of what to expect, and are more willing to push ourselves a little harder every time we go.  The challenges in training are always evolving, so we don’t tend to get bored with repetitious exercises.  We both push each other and encourage each other on the harder days, and keep each other accountable to go.  At this stage, we really look forward to going and occasionally have to compromise on how many times a week we each get to go.

Overall, our combined experience has been wonderful.  Everyone at all of the training times have been really awesome, especially the 6:00 PM Epsom session.  We were welcomed into the Get Fit family by all of the people whkellen Sawyero train there and by all of the coaches.  Getting to be a part of GFNH has changed our lives for the better, and we look forward to being part of the family well into the future.”

Taking steps, moving forward, one change at a time, has proven to reap abundant results over the long haul. To the Sawyers and to everyone that is progressing slowly or having those ‘ah ha’ moments- Keep Making It Happen.

Coach Nancy





Shining the Spotlight on Shannon!

shannonShining the Spotlight on Shannon is not hard. She has made her way into the hearts of so many at all the different training times in Epsom. If you’ve trained with her once, you know her. Her smile is contagious and her work ethic is supreme. She has that “Make It Happen” attitude. She has had struggles; the kind that many would let derail them totally. Shannon just kept on smiling and trekking on. Shannon is getting married soon. Her soon-to-be husband is serving our country in the military. Shannon will be moving to be with him. I am going to miss her more than she realizes. She has not only inspired those she trains with,  she has also inspired her coach. Thank you, Shannon!

“Throughout my whole life, I’ve always suffered with weight and the ability to eat healthy. One day, I decided to take charge of my life, however, not in the healthiest of ways. I chose to not eat, seeing that was the reason of my weight problems/esteem issues. In my twisted mind, I thought I was doing an amazing job along with losing about 55 pounds in about four months. I should’ve been happy, but I was striving to always lose more or wasn’t happy how different areas of my body looked. As life got in the way, and as most people told me, you’ll gain it all back and I did. That brought on new discouragement. In the next few years, I battled with eating habits and becoming obsessed with everything I did/didn’t eat and doing 2-3 hour work outs at the gym. It would get so bad, no one wanted to eat around me due to my criticizing every ounce of food that I’d ingest and couldn’t keep up with my crazy gym obsession. I was going down a scary path and didn’t know how to pull myself out of this turmoil.

That’s when my noShannon for Celynew-fiancé came into play. He pulled me out of this vicious cycle I’ve put myself through for years and put me back on focus, to the point, I weighed almost 200 pounds. I started falling into the same patterns. This time though, I wanted to change, this is when I decided to speak with my doctor, and to my surprise  I’d been suffering from depression and anxiety. It explained all the negativity about weight, my micromanaging  myself, and my food intake. After some hard work, I started to feel like myself and found that I enjoyed working out. However, I wasn’t looking to spend 3 hours at the gym, where you see girls wearing makeup and doing their hair BEFORE working out. I sat down determined to find a different way to get myself healthy and back into shape. That’s when I found Get Fit NH. shannon copy

As I filled out the forms, I was half excited and half anxious, as probably any new comer feels. I walked into my first class scared out of my mind. Everyone was so welcoming and I felt like I actually got support from others along with my coach (Thank you Nancy). I can tell you the first two weeks, I couldn’t wait to go home and call my fiancé, who was on deployment, about how amazing this place truly is. I was sore everyday, and shy, at first (I know some of you have a hard time believing that now). I was a sponge, absorbing everything insight, including how to eat properly. I also found out that a lot of my own workouts were either done incorrectly, or harming myself.

I now proudly announce I’ve been with Get Fit NH for two and half years. I was taught how to get proper nutrition and how to safely work out without causing more harm to myself. I don’t get proud of myself very often, however, I am proud of myself for pushing through the mental and physical struggles and eventually overcoming them. Even when I fell on my knee while at home at the beginning of this year, I didn’t let my injury keep me from the gym. I hobbled my way through the gym with crutches and refused to let people help me as I dragged weights on the floor, until Nancy gave me the stare down. I may struggle with a little weight gain here or there, however I proudly can say, that I am okay with it. As a kid, my father always said to me, “Can’t means won’t”, and I never truly understood that meaning until I’m staring at the pull up bar, or starting a 5K.

Shannon C 2yrsI can’t thank all the coaches enough, ones in Concord and in Epsom for helping me to push myself and especially Nancy, who has always held me accountable on showing up and making sure I push myself each work out. Also, thank you to all my fellow boot campers. You all are true inspirations and I have been so blessed and honored to have met all of you. I sadly won’t be able to get my three-year shirt, because I will be moving in the middle of August to finally be with my husband after five years of a long distance relationship. Leaving Get Fit NH will be very difficult but I will definitely take the lessons that I’ve learned at Get Fit NH and keep applying them to my life. Thank you Get Fit NH for all you’ve done for me, you will never understand how much it truly means to me.”

Good luck, Shannon, and congratulations to you and Mike!

-Coach Nancy


My New Shoes

Cara is one of our shining superstars in Epsom and here she tells you a little bit about her journey with us:

“Shoes. Many women get excited about new shoes! There are shoes for different outfits! Boots…high heels…sandals…the list goes on! We talk and laugh about shoe addictions! I remember some of my favorite shoes which represent moments in time. Some of my favorites my shoeswere my shoes I wore on my wedding day…and shoes I wore at my college graduation…I LOVED those shoes. My babies first shoes. Some represent memories, milestones, and emotions tied to special events in our lives. Since those mile stones some very special shoes found their way in my life. The shoes I bought when I began to take my health seriously. They are just an average pair of sneakers but represent so much more to me.
Looking back , my journey began after 2010 when I had reached my highest weight ever close to 300 pounds. Take a good look at that picture, it’s not pretty. Today I’m over 100 pounds down . I started with Get Fit NH July 2013 after spending a year trying to move more, walk and build a foundation so I could even get into a gym without dying. I didn’t buy any new shoes for that. I just thought I would try . The workouts absolutely leveled me to dust each day. I hurt a lot and it was difficult to move both in and out of the gym. I was sore for weeks.
It was the coacheme before 2010s and my classmates cheering me on that kept me from walking out. About 3 months in I decided my old falling apart shoes were not cutting it and bought some new shoes. They represented hope and the possibility of reaching my next goal. They gave me strength and energy to power through to the end of those last seconds of each part of the workout. They held me up, and got me step by step to each goal I set.

Although I was attached to those shoes, I recently retired them to the basement into the pile of yard work/camping/other shoes. They have lost their tread, shape, and are more like a sock now and an old best friend. They will still be there if I need them, but they have a new purpose now.

I have new shoes now. They are bright pink and happy, light and springy. They hang on to my feet so I can keep working hard. I have separate shoes for the gym , shoes for hiking, and shoes for runningme today 2016. All 3 are my favorite new shoes. These shoes are all about that what I once thought was impossible, is now possible. They are about where I am going next, the mountains I have yet to climb, and the miles to run and walk…and to keep pushing forward. I would and could give away every other shoe in my life to have just the ones I need to move in …to continue to keep moving forward in my steps to a healthier me.


Keep up the great work, Cara!

-Coach Nancy

March Madness Epsom Style

March Madness isn’t just for Basketball

photo-145During the month of March we turned up the action in Get Fit NH Concord and Epsom. Things were hopping and a bit crazy. For the first time ever Concord had a challenge completely different from Epsom.

In Epsom each training time battled against all other training times in a sled push challenge. While we had some veterans push the 135 – pound sled, others pushed for the very first time. What a great feeling to drive that much weight down the length of the gym and back. For each lap they earned points for their team. As a coach there isn’t a better feeling than seeing huge numbers rack up as the month went on. There were numbers from 2,565 pounds to 76,275 pounds pushed through the whole month. Dan from the 6:15 training time pushed the most with 565 laps during the whole month. The prize? Take home dinner cooked by Coach Nancy. Team 6pm won this challenge with a total of 1928 laps pushed and a whopping total of 259,200 pounds pushed in March. With that number they would have pushed 43,200 elephants back and forth in the gym. Now that is Madness.

Congratulations to all. And enjoy your dinner 6 pm!

A Spotlight Read Through Tears

fingerprint-with-question-mark_318-42454 copyI don’t like to cry. I also dare you to have read this and not shed a tear. A tear because this is real life. This is a life shared with me. A life that has hurts and pain, struggles and shadows, along with joys unspeakable. This story is laid out openly for us to feel, see, and experience as we read the pain of struggle for years. The life is real, but for now the identity is secret.

“It’s complicated. My relationship with food, exercise, and general health has always been complicated and exhausting. I was one of those kids who, one day realized I was different. I had no idea until I went to school and I was called names and was ostracized because I didn’t look like my peers. I was fat. I didn’t even know why I was fat – I was only 5 years old at the time! But I was, and it gave people license to focus on my appearance and comment without any regard for how that might make a child feel. My parents started me on my first diet at the young age of 6. I ate eggs, bacon and wheat germ each morning and for the rest of the day drank some kind of concoction with nutmeg in it. I lost weight quickly – almost as quickly as I lost interest in this crash diet. I still can’t stand the smell of nutmeg and it’s been 54 years. They wanted to help me and did the best they could, spending lots of their hard earned money on weight watchers, diet centers, exercise programs, etc. My weight became a focal point for them and an obsession for me. My life consisted of dieting, starving, binging, losing weight, gaining weight, exercising in a healthy manner and exercising compulsively. My weight and body sized fluctuated greatly and my self-worth was associated with my appearance and the number on the scale. It was a hard life and as I aged, I kept losing the battle. I didn’t think about my health and to be honest, just didn’t care. When I would lose weight, my father would ask me if I felt better and I would tell him that I did, but I really didn’t. I just felt a frenzied need to not be fat so I could be as good as everyone else. Otherwise I was different and a walking target for people to verbally shoot at.

As I became older I began to look at things differently. The obsessive thoughts of weight and dieting began to lose its fuel and I became somewhat hopeless about my situation. I didn’t know what to do – I couldn’t stick to a diet for very long and if I did manage a short time and lost weight, I would immediately regain the weight and increased body size. It was exhausting and disheartening at the same time. I began to struggle with blood pressure and blood tests indicated the need to monitor my cholesterol and triglyceride numbers as they were above normal. I was challenged with significant body pain and attributed it to arthritis or I thought I might have something like fibromyalgia. I don’t like to go to the doctor in spite of having to go every 6 months for my blood pressure, so I never said much about the body aches. When I did mention it, I was told that it was to do with aging and arthritis.

Several years ago I walked into Get Fit NH in Epsom. I did my 2 week introduction and thought I was going to die. Nancy greeted me with a chipper good morning and a broad smile at 5 am and I immediately thought she must be crazy. I looked around at these people and thought that they were looking at me and judging me. I also could not understand why they were smiling and talking to me. I just wanted to do this and get it over with. Within minutes I realized how out of shape I was and how hard this was going to be for me. I had no idea what planks were and thought that a squat thrust was something indecent! But, I hung in there, even after I threw up out of my nose one morning. I cleaned it up quickly and pretended nothing happened! I also realized that these people were kind and supportive and that Nancy’s positive interaction was genuine and caring. That was interesting to me, but still not enough.

I slipped in and out of Get Fit for a few years and finally returned about a year ago. I still struggle with training consistently and the physical and emotional issues around my weight, but I am beginning to understand what Get Fit is offering. It’s up to me to accept it. There are so many classes and groups that provide a support system and assurance that I am not alone in this struggle. The focus on health has been a huge shift for me. I still struggle with my weight, but at this point I actually care about my health. I am taking my test results more seriously – something my doctor is happy about and something my dad would be relieved with. Last August I had a blood test and the results were concerning. For the first time, I saw the word Pre-diabetes in the results. My glucose levels were at a 110 and although it did not suggest Diabetes, it did indicate that if behaviors were not changed it is likely that I would be dealing with this in a few years, if not sooner. That scared me. No-one in my family has ever had diabetes and I don’t want to be the first, if it is something I can avoid with life style change.

In November I participated in the 21 day detox. I found it challenging but I learned a great deal and continue with many practices from it. Dairy is nearly nonexistent in my diet now. I drink lemon with water each day and I drink a great deal of water daily. I try to stick with a Protein Produce & Water template, but will be the first to admit that I am not as disciplined as I should be. I try to go to training at least twice a week and I try to walk on the other days. I do the best that I can. I don’t go on diets anymore; I work on habits with Nancy and my group.

My body aches have diminished and it is so much easier for me to move than before. I just received my newest blood test results and would like to share the comparison from August 2015 to February 2016. In August my total cholesterol was 237 and it is now 194. My LDL Cholesterol was 152 and it is now 124. My Triglycerides were 177 and they are now 112. Best of all, my glucose was 110 and it is now within a normal range at 88. Although the glucose surge had been new, the cholesterol and triglycerides were an ongoing problem and I am shocked and delighted to see the changes.

Get Fit NH, Nancy, and my peers are the stable force in the craziness of my weight and health issues. They are unwavering, dependable, and supportive. I can bounce back and forth, but I can always come back to their unconditional acceptance and understanding. There is no judgement or criticism. For me, Get Fit NH is a safe place.

As I said at the beginning, it’s complicated. But today I am hopeful and not hopeless. I am energized and not exhausted. I am empowered and not victimized. And if my dad were alive today, I would delightfully say “Yes Dad, I REALLY do feel better!!””

Read this again. Do you see yourself in any of this story? Encourage this person, encourage yourself, encourage me, and encourage others. Share your story. There is strength in numbers.

Coach Nancy




Bright Lights are Shining on Sonia

Sonia Cormier grayIn July 2013, when I came to Get Fit I was at my highest weight ever, didn’t like what I saw in the mirror and I was tired of feeling sick all the time. I had to keep buying bigger clothes. And then there was the acid reflux medication I was taking for the last 10 years, I didn’t want to take it any longer, for one it was expensive and two the list of side effects was scary, miss a dose or two and I was miserable for the next 2 days. Enough was enough, I just had to do something, I couldn’t stand myself anymore.

I was so nervous walking through those doors that first time, I knew I wasn’t going to be able to keep up or even do half of what they wanted me to do. I never participated in group sports or activities of any kind and it had been years since I did any sort of regular exercise. I was afraid I was going to walk in and see all these ‘gym’ type people, all in perfect shape. But it wasn’t that way at all, there were people of all shapes, sizes, different fitness levels. Coach Nancy and everyone else were so nice, helpful and supportive. With Coach Nancy’s help I was able to modify the exercises so that I was able to do them. No one there knew me but they cheered me on, told me I was doing great and helped when I didn’t have a clue. And they notice when you don’t show up, keeping you accountable.

After the first week I knew I could keep doing this, it wasn’t easy but it was fun and more important I wanted to continue. I felt like I belonged there, like I was part of a family, everyone is looking out for each other and challenging each other. My clothes started getting looser; I could go up and down the 2 flights of stairs in my house and not be out of breath. I had more energy and wasn’t so tired anymore. I had to have my husband make new holes in my belt several times, and I still have it as a reminder of where I was. It wasn’t just about the exercise, they also taught me about nutrition and how important it is, most of which I knew but was not practicing or changing habits. It’s when I started taking part in the nutrition challenges that the weight really started to come off. Because I changed the way I was eating, by November of 2013 I was no longer taking the acid reflux medication and that was a huge milestone for me.
photo-138I’m in my third year now and I can’t imagine not coming to Get Fit every day at 6:15am. It’s the best part of my day, it’s only for me, my time to take care of myself and not worry about anyone or anything else, except of course which heavier weight I’m going to pick up next and when I can ring that bell again. Last year I signed up for The Rock & Race, The Color Run, Get Fit’s Strong Man/Woman competition, the Mudderella, to name a few. Things I never would have imagined I would or could do. I can’t wait for the next challenge.

gutsy gals1My favorite part of coming to Get Fit is the coaches and the other members, they make it fun, we are a family and we all look out for each other. Coach Nancy challenges me to pick up heavier and she genuinely cares how I am progressing. I never thought I could be this athletic, I didn’t know I had it in me. I’m stronger and more confident, in and out of the gym, than I ever imagined. I’m so happy I took that chance and signed up for the FREE 2 week trial period. If I can do this anyone can!




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