In order to be successful in achieving any goal, it’s important to have a strong support system. And that’s just what Carmel resident and personal trainer Jill Ortiz provides for her clients.
Ortiz, who grew up in south Boston, has been an athlete her entire life, having played field hockey, basketball and softball in high school. In college she majored in economics, while playing softball and golf.
After graduating, Ortiz landed a job at Cushman & Wakefield in the marketing department, and her career began to take off.
“I worked my way up the corporate ladder,” she said. “They paid for my MBA. I just kept climbing until I hit a six-figure salary.”
When the opportunity arose to join a company in Mount Kisco, Ortiz took it, even though it meant a pay cut. However, she again began working her way up the ranks and eventually held a CEO role.
During this time, Ortiz said it was difficult to enjoy her success.
“I was just kind of surviving,” she said. “I was also kind of miserable in my own skin, after having two kids.”
Ortiz, who has stopped playing sports and was desperate for a change, walked by a spa that was promoting liposuction and was romanced into quickly signing on the dotted line.
That was a decision she would end up regretting.
“I had an awful liposuction procedure,” she said. “I regret every second of that and every dollar of that. It was the only time in my life I took the easy way out.”
Through a co-worker, Ortiz then discovered Beachbody, and after two months on that program she lost 15 pounds, learned portion control, and found that she could commit to the “do-able” workouts.
“I felt like my face thinned out, my body… I went from a size 12 to a size 6,” she said. “And everybody in my office saw and they wanted to join.”
So Ortiz became a Beachbody coach and knew right away “this is the lifestyle I want.” She said she wanted to run her own business from home and have more time to spend with her family, all while doing something she was passionate about.
“I wanted to help people,” she said. “I wanted to stop any woman from making the mistake I made with plastic surgery.”
Ortiz began utilizing her lunch hour, and her evenings after her kids went to bed, to build her business by making a prominent social media presence and networking with as many people as she could.
“I only lasted at my full-time job one more year,” she said.
While Ortiz was enjoying her new career, and all the perks that came with being her own boss – such as being able to put her kids on the bus – she had to figure out how to make up for the income gap. So she decided to become a certified personal trainer and fitness instructor and started teaching classes at gyms in Putnam and northern Westchester counties.
On Feb. 2, Ortiz will celebrate her five-year anniversary of becoming a coach.
“I just want to be known in the community,” said Ortiz, who said she would like to get into corporate education and speak about health and fitness to large groups .
Meanwhile, Ortiz is continuing to coach clients who are giving the Beachbody a try. Her team name is Driving Force Fitness & Nutrition, and her slogan is “Getting you back in the driver’s seat.”
Ortiz said the secret to success is in the group support system she has set up for her team. With Facebook groups and easy-to-use apps, clients can have their choice of daily 20- and 30-minute workouts, swap recipes, and share their triumphs, and struggles – which is something Ortiz knows all about.
“I find myself struggling all the time,” she said. “I don’t restrict anything. I just make it work… I eat chocolate three times a day.”
However, that doesn’t mean Ortiz is going to go easy on her clients. “My goal is to push you beyond your perceived limits,” she said. “That’s what people look to me for – that push.”
And through it all, she will be there to support you. “My business is sharing, and listening, and inviting others to join me,” said Ortiz. “Sharing is making yourself vulnerable, and that’s how you make change.”