Ten years ago, Felicia Shelton, a human resources assistant at Torrance
Memorial Medical Center, received a Mother’s Day gift that changed
her life. The then 46-year-old mother of three got a gym membership she
admitted was “at first intimidating.”
But after working with a trainer and taking different classes, Felicia
became hooked. Today she is in peak physical shape and happier than ever.
Pulse spoke with Felicia about her strategies for staying fit and happy..
What is your weekly workout routine?
I love the classes at the gym. They offer body works and abs, cardio kickbox,
spin, step, yoga and boot camp. I know it sounds like a lot, but some
days I take two classes. For example, I might take cardio kickbox and
body works and abs the same day. I’m also on two bowling leagues
during the winter months.
Did you always have this routine, or did you try other workouts to find
what felt best for you?
When I started going to the gym I would work out alone, alternating between
weights and cardio. I felt like I was getting a good enough workout, but
one day I saw someone working out with a personal trainer, and they were
doing routines using focus mitts. It looked fun and I wanted to try it
even though the girl who was doing it was half my age. I signed up and
had two sessions a week for one year with the trainer. In time I saw progress,
and I felt like I could do anything!
When do you usually work out?
I usually go to the gym after work unless there’s something scheduled
in the afternoon. Then I will go in the morning. But I like to end the
day with my routine, because when I get home, I’m just euphoric.
I sleep better, and the next day just goes better. It has that effect on me.
Let’s talk about food: What is your favorite breakfast?
I usually have oatmeal and vegetarian sausage, but every Friday I treat
myself to the
chilaquiles from Helena’s Café at Torrance Memorial.
What’s your favorite dinner?
Salmon and steamed vegetables. It sounds so boring but is so good.
Do you sacrifice any guilty pleasures to stay in good health?
I do make some sacrifices. I avoid fried food, but I would rather work
out more and enjoy some of my favorite foods every once in a while, like
jellybeans. I can’t give those up.
What advice do you have for others who are just starting out?
If you join a gym and they offer a fitness assessment, make sure you take
advantage of it. If you can’t afford a personal trainer, take the
classes. It’s a good way to get proper instructions on body mechanics.
Don’t worry about what others are doing and their fitness level.
Your workout is for you.
Do you work out with family members or friends?
No, I don’t work out with family members, but I have made friends
at the gym.
What is the best ‘effect’ from working out? Physical, mental,
attitude, energy level?
Wow. For me working out has physical and mental benefits, improving my
attitude and energy levels. No matter what kind of day I have, once I
make it to the gym, I feel so much better after I finish my workout. I
spend a few minutes in the sauna, because it’s so relaxing. I feel
healthier than I did 10 years ago! Sometimes I have to remind myself how
old I really am.
In my department, Human Resources, we have a lot going on. People often
tell me how calm I seem. They don’t see me getting stressed. I think
I handle things differently, and it’s definitely because of my healthful
eating and exercise. I feel ready to take action, like I could save someone
from a fire if I had to.
Are you married, have kids, grandkids? If so, how many?
I have a fiancé, John, who is the healthiest person
I know, three children and seven grandchildren: Dwayne Jr., 13, Makayla,
9, Erinn, 8, and Brooklynn, 5, who live local. Laila, 11, Theodore III,
10, and Mikayla, 6, who live in Fontana.