Lainie Messina didn’t always have this life.
Like so many people, she’s struggled with weight during her adulthood and through pregnancy. But at the age of 44, she decided to change her life.
2 years, 77 pounds, a budding fitness business, and a renewed confidence later, she’s never felt better.
“I had a mid-life crisis.” Lainie, who lives in Northern New Jersey, told Tech Insider. “I was approaching my 45th birthday and I thought, you know, I have high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and you hear about women who carry a lot of belly fat — and I had a lot of belly fat — are at high risk for heart attack. And I was in a stressful, high-pressure job.”
When Lainie’s job shifted a bit and she stopped having to commute to and from her office, she vowed to use that extra time wisely.
She was going to get fit.
In March 2013, Lainie began by signing up and training for a 5K. In the end, she wasn’t able to run much of it and walked the majority. But that effort led to regular trips to the gym. It also made her realise that if she wanted to really make progress — and lose 75 pounds — she had to change her nutrition. “Once I made that mental switch, everything just started to change and the weight just started to come off,” she told us.
Lainie tells us she swears by the popular calorie counting app MyFitnessPal to track her food. “Within weeks I started seeing a difference.”
5K’s became her thing.
She set up races months in advance and trained daily. Along the way, transformation happened.
Lainie lost 77 pounds, went from a size 18-20W to a size 6, gained a ton of muscle, and found a new hobby that would quickly become a passion.
Her daughters, now 12 and 10, are her biggest fans.
“I’ve gotten to the point where it isn’t even about what I weigh anymore,” she told us with confidence. “I finally felt like my outside and my inside matched. I always thought there was this inner badass inside of me but I hid it behind big clothes and I thought people couldn’t see it.”
She became so passionate about fitness, in fact, that she decided she wanted to help others find the motivation and knowledge to get healthy too.
“For 20 or so years of adulthood I was overweight and couldn’t crack the code,” Lainie told Tech Insider. “And now that I did and it was sort of a switch of the brain more than anything, I want to try and share that with other people.”
To do that, Lainie went online to create a fitness brand where she could help people get where they want to be.
Her social media presence began while following a popular fitness model who created a private Facebook group for people who needed motivation.
“I found social media was a great way to find like-minded people who were really helpful on the journey, they were motivating, they were inspiring, they were encouraging,” Lainie told us.
She started posting more actively in that group and noticed people liking her story and attitude. That got her thinking about being much more active in bringing fitness and social media together.
She’s incredibly active on her own personal Facebook with motivational status updates like this:
“For Facebook, for me, I looked at it as my way to be accountable. If I kept to myself what I was doing, it would be really easy to cheat myself. But if I shared it with other people I felt like I didn’t want to let anybody else down.”
She also has a very active Instagram account where she motivates others. As of this writing she has amassed 1,882 followers there and shows no sign of slowing down.
Here are the kinds of things Lainie posts:
I get asked often how do I stay #motivated every single day. The short answer is: I don’t. BUT…if I ever need reminding why I get up early almost every day to #riseandgrind and usually #sweat my you-know-what off, all I have to do is scroll my own IG and the profiles of so many others to remind myself…that I will get over tired. I will get over sore. I can get past it being too cold/too hot/too crowded/too hard. I can never give back my health. Not again. Not after I worked this hard to regain it. Not while I still get the privilege of making that choice. For me. And for my kids ❤️ ????????????????#inspiration #fitnessinspiration #weightlossjourney #weightlossmotivation #weightlossinspiration #transformation #mylife #youcandoit #ashletes #noexcuses #nopainnogain #dowork #bestself #chickswholift #womenwholift #girlswholift #girlswithmuscle #fitmom #fitfam #fitlife #weightlifting #bodybuilding #personaltrainer #upliftingtrainers #healthyliving #makeitcount #progressnotperfection
A video posted by Lainie Messina (@lmessina24) on Oct 13, 2015 at 11:11am PDT
This is a little more than half of what I did on #legday. I love to change things up week to week to keep it fresh, as there are an endless number of leg exercises I love/hate to do. I started with #barbell back #squats and while I am getting low I am not able to go as heavy as I used to. Maybe the distance #running is wearing my legs out. I then played around with my front squat set up as my wrists are what limits my weight so I tried to rack it lower and use the crossover grip. A work in progress. Then I did heavy weighted glute bridges on the smith, leg extension, hamstring curls, sumo squats, single leg presses (trying to create better balance between my legs as my left is way weaker than my right), lateral box step overs, KB swings and wall balls. I spent about 90 minutes and while I could walk out of the gym OK I hope to feel that good sore later today and tomorrow as I pushed myself hard today. #motivation #fitnessinspiration #ashletes #beastmode #girlswithmuscle #chickswholift #girlswholift #liftheavy #likeaboss #badass #fitfam #fitmom #fitnessaddict #goals #cantstopwontstop #noexcuses #nopainnogain #weightlifting #bodybuilding #trainhard #traindirty #weightlossjourney #womenwholift #strongnotskinny #personaltrainer #upliftingtrainers
A video posted by Lainie Messina (@lmessina24) on Oct 12, 2015 at 5:43am PDT
This is the best reason to start, to keep going and to #riseandgrind every day. While summer bodies are built in the fall, winter and spring, our pride in our bodies is in how we treat them every single day. #positivity #motivation #fitnessinspiration #ashletes #beastmode #girlswithmuscle #chickswholift #girlswholift #liftheavy #likeaboss #badass #fitfam #fitmom #weightlossjourney #weightlossmotivation #cantstopwontstop #noexcuses #weightlossinspiration #weightlifting #bodybuilding #pushpullgrind #trainhard #trainharderthanme #bestself #womenwholift #strongnotskinny #muscles #upliftingtrainers #realtalk
A photo posted by Lainie Messina (@lmessina24) on Oct 12, 2015 at 1:55am PDT
So, here’s the thing about my #riseandgrind this morning. I did my work…lots of it…but I felt my intensity was off. My #deadlift on the left showed a sloppy 225, for 1 rep. Failed on the second attempt. I told my videographer @janelledfgetsfit nope, can’t do it. However, I didn’t give up. I went again and in the bottom right still sloppy but done again. I didn’t have my belt, my converse, my versa grips nothing. But I had it in my head to #liftheavy and I did. I did a TON of other stuff not shown here like the sled, weighted box step ups, #barbell glute bridges, and abs too. My a$$US and legs are on fire. Two clients and now off to shower and my other job ???????? #motivation #fitnessinspiration #ashletes #beastmode #girlswithmuscle #chickswholift #girlswholift #ironaddict #likeaboss #badass #fitfam #fitmom #legday #bootybuilding #cantstopwontstop #noexcuses #gainz #weightlifting #bodybuilding #trainhard #traindirty #trainharderthanme #womenwholift #strongnotskinny #upliftingtrainers #nevergiveup
A video posted by Lainie Messina (@lmessina24) on Oct 2, 2015 at 7:02am PDT
She says she doesn’t want to throw it in anyone’s face, but she shares stuff that is unique or will help people. Things like new exercises, or things she thinks will motivate others to get healthy.
Lainie even does a little remote training through Snapchat, Skype, FaceTime, Instagram, and email for people who want to work with her but don’t have flexible schedules or live in other parts of the country.
Just recently she’s launched a business venture of her own, a personal training group called “Uplifting Trainers.” They have launched a Facebook page and are looking to get some traction.
It’s early in the company’s life, but they already have Lainie’s strong base of social media followers behind them. Time will tell how it all shakes out.
Lainie is proof that no matter who you are or where you’re from, you can change your life.
NOW WATCH: We asked an exercise scientist how many days you have to work out to actually see results
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.