Medical Student from Portland, Oregon, USA

This past spring of 2017 I was at a really low point. I had gained 18 kilos since a bad breakup 2 year prior, and was so uncomfortable in my own skin that I was starting to be antisocial, not wanting to go out and feeling like I couldn't figure out how to eat correctly or exercise right.

I literally couldn’t fit into any of my clothes. I tried doing no carb diets, working out all the time; then I would quit and go into a new phase, eating only raw foods or only meats.  It was all so erratic, unsuccessful, and totally demoralizing. Then I met Dora.  I knew the first time I talked to her she cared about helping me regain my confidence, lose weight and feel like myself again.  She really listened to me- she wanted to know all about ME and my life. I never had a trainer like that before! She was so focused on helping me and investing time and energy in me from the first time that we met, and I instantly felt like she was someone who would stand by me and help me the whole way.  I think that is one of her ultimate strengths is that she truly believes in her work by setting an example of a balanced lifestyle, and knows how to show other people how to achieve that in their own lives. 

 Dora started with me from the very beginning focused on technique and safety.  Everything I learned she watched and corrected me, making sure we minimized any risk of injury.  Her knowledge is vast and her understanding of human anatomy and body physiology impressed me-  she was able to explain why we were doing certain weights and how it would help my body mechanics and strengthen me long term to help with long term weight loss.  But she didn’t stop with just working out; we did food journals and Dora tracked my patterns and for the first time ever, I saw the repeated small things I did with snacking and trying to eat less and then overeating, and I was able to consciously learn to be prepared for each day, eating and taking it slowly but making the right choices.  This whole time I honestly felt so fat- that sounds bad, but I just was so overweight and Dora never made me feel like I was beyond help or that I should feel bad for having let myself go so far.  I think that’s a common feeling for women like me who decide to finally work our way back to health- is the shame of your own body.  Dora’s strength not only lies in her knowledge and fitness acumen, but also in her empathy and kindness, which I have felt since the first day I started working with her.  There was no shame or embarrassment.  Knowing your trainer cares about you more than just a number or a measurement is what kept pushing me forward; Dora is a driving force in my health journey not only as my trainer, but also as a friend that I truly know cares about my success.

The truth is, I have worked with quite a few trainers in the US and in Croatia, but I have never met one who is as able to relate to her clients, stand by them and teach them with so much knowledge and understanding as Dora.  Her work is truly something she puts her whole heart into, and it shows.  Not only is she an incredible role model for lifelong health and wellness, but she is able to communicate that to people in all different chapters of their lives as she did with me.  I know she could have given me a pre-made workout and diet plan but she didn’t, everything was custom to my current abilities and she was always tracking my progress and very in tune with continuing forward toward long term weight loss and health. 

I can now say that less than 6 months after I started working with Dora, I have consistent eating with no “banned” foods- it’s all about making good choices and choosing the right foods to fuel your body, but I know I still can have foods that I never allowed myself before like carbohydrates; the difference is I understand now when and how to eat them so they won’t derail my progress and I still feel satisfied and not deprived. I have strengthened my body through consistent workouts and even when I am not able to get to a gym, I have ways to watch how I eat and staying active so I don’t get derailed when life happens.  I am down 12 kilos and more than that number, I feel so much better in my own skin.  I am more comfortable in my own clothes; my clothes fit better, I look more toned and mentally I feel clearer and stronger by making the right food choices. 

To anyone who ever felt like I did; whether it be overweight, or even just in a rut that you can’t get out of and you have no routine with eating and exercise and want to feel better: from my experience, Dora is the highest recommendation I can give you.  She doesn’t let her clients down.  There is a way for everyone and Dora finds that way and walks with you on this journey to improve your life through health and well-being.