Success Story's

True Story: How Kat Lost 85 Pounds In One Year and Kept It Off


Hi there. It’s Rocky, a personal fitness expert in Santa Cruz, California.

Today I’d like to introduce you to Kat, pictured here.

A few months back, I reached out to my clients to invite them to share what it’s like to work with me as their personal trainer.

Kat raised her hand and I’m SO EXCITED to share her story with you today. She’s so inspiring. Here she shares her weight loss journey: from what worked, what didn’t work, and what kept her going after she listened to that voice inside her that said: I need to make a change.

It’s all about that first step, friends.

I’ll let Kat take it from here...

Hi, I’m Kat. 👋   I’m a dancer who works in women’s health in Oakland, California. Rocky invited me to share my story about how I lost 85 pounds and have kept it off for two years -- and my tips for anyone who is struggling with starting or sticking to healthy habits in their lives.

I’ll start at the beginning.

A few years ago, I felt pretty lost. When I was younger, I was a dancer and athlete. I kept in shape (unintentionally) by getting exercise through dance and eating basically whatever I wanted. After I graduated college, things changed. I no longer danced regularly, started a 9-5 desk job, and took a medication for migraines that added to my rapid weight gain.

This was a downward cycle that led to depression… I knew I needed to lose weight, but I was so down on myself that I didn’t even want to dance anymore, even though I knew that dancing is something that I love and need.

I had never worked with a personal trainer before… and that wasn’t the first step I decided to take. I tried to do it on my own, by going running, which resulted in an injury that I still struggle with to this day.

The thing is, I injured my knee so badly that I could barely walk.

Oddly enough, that injury led to a major turning point.

My knee injury made me realize that all the years I spent watching Netflix and being lazy, I had taken my health for granted. This realization made me determined to change my life.

I had hit a low point. I was desperate to make a change.

I realized that, no matter what,  I was ready to commit to my weight loss.  

I just needed to find a way to make it happen.

I had never invested in a personal trainer before, so I had to do a little research. A quick Yelp search led me to Rocky, who is the top-rated personal trainer in the Bay Area.

Working with Rocky was a HUGE part of my success, because she really believed in me from the moment I first spoke with her.

Rocky called me back the same day and we connected instantly. I was worried that a personal trainer would be intimidating, but Rocky has a down-to-earth way of working with people. She’s an expert but she always makes me feel like I’m on her level.

Rocky believed in me from the very beginning. She’s like a fountain of positive energy and support.

At that time, I really needed the extra push. Rocky gave me that.

She knew that I was capable from the very beginning, even when I wasn’t so sure myself. I know it’s cheesy, but Rocky is so much more than a personal trainer. She is your partner in fitness.

Today I workout on my own, but when I was getting started Rocky helped me save a ton of time and wasted energy by getting straight to establishing a routine that worked for me. I needed the guidance, encouragement, and accountability, and I wouldn’t be where I am today without having worked with her.

I’ll be honest… I was nervous about investing in a personal trainer. My first and biggest concern was how expensive it would be. I invested in a full month with her (to save money on each session)... I’d never done it before and it felt a little bit like taking a leap.

Once I began seeing results I started getting really excited. Looking back, I can’t believe that I almost hesitated to spend that money. It completely changed my life and I wouldn’t be where I am today had I not made that decision.

I mean, at that time, I was spending money on all kinds of things -- clothing, makeup, coffee, going out -- but I’ve since realized that the best investment I could possibly make in myself is my health.

I have a rule now, actually. I’ll never regret spending money on my health.

I made this rule for myself after realizing that we end up spending money on our health one way or the other --  in the long run, on doctors visits, medications, and other things we put money towards to try to be happy.

When you’re healthy, it’s the best thing you could possibly have.

I don’t regret a single dollar that I’ve spent on my health.

One thing I didn’t expect about working with Rocky is the level of support and attention that you get, even when you’re not in the gym. She’s like a texting ninja and would get back to my texts right away.

Rocky encouraged me to text her when I did my “cardio homework” and would cheer me on when I’d let her know that I just did a 30-minute workout between our sessions together!

It was so motivating and awesome.

Rocky also had me sign up for My Fitness Pal, which is a free tool that allowed me to log my calories every day. She had me share my log with her so that she could give me feedback on changes I could make. This was a really big deal for me, to have someone support me in this, because for years, I tried crash diets and unrealistic plans that didn’t work. I had tried ALL THE THINGS. Sometimes I’d see a little bit of progress, but it never lasted. I don’t remember if Rocky said this — or if someone else said it to me — but the best diet is the one that you’ll actually stick with.  It’s true. Growing up in the South with a New Orleans family, you just drink everyday and that’s normal. Rather than telling me that I “shouldn’t” do that or need to cut it out entirely, she helped me dial back on just 1-3 drinks a week, if at all.  She really got me focused on drinking fewer days a week. She would never say ‘You can’t drink.’ She would suggest, ‘Try three days a week.’

Over the next year I dropped 85 pounds. I had to buy myself an entire new wardrobe. I moved from a size 18 to a size 10. My favorite part: I am dancing all the time again,

In the past few years I’ve gathered lots of weight-loss tips and tricks. My NUMBER ONE piece of advice I tell people who ask me how to start losing weight is this:

Don’t start a fitness journey because you hate yourself or your body. Do it out of love for yourself. Forgive yourself, and then invest in yourself. Put in the hard work because you know you deserve to feel good, to be happy, to have energy, to be strong, to be confident. Do it because you are excited to see your progress and reach your goals.

Rocky helped me have that kind of positive attitude and forward-thinking. She helped me set goals and reach them.

I found one fun trick online:  I put two jars in my bathroom. One jar had 100 marbles in it. Whenever I would lose a pound, I would move one marble to the other jar so that I could visualize my progress. It was a fun, motivating way to see my progress.

As I mentioned earlier, I had a knee injury from running. Rocky taught me different ways of modifying my workout so that I could get stronger without further injuring my knee. Another thing I loved about working with her is that she taught me how to get the most out of my gym time. Rocky switches up cardio and strength, and mixes in some cardio because you burn more calories and keep your heart rate up. She adapts the workout based on my abilities and limitations. She’s great with the TRX, which I still love to this day.

What sets Rocky apart is that this isn’t just a job to her -- she really cares and fully commits to you. She’s approachable, positive, and genuinely excited about my progress.

Anyway…  I wanted to share my story with you because 1) I love talking about this stuff and 2) I know how it feels to really want a change. I remember the contradictions I would tell myself -- I was ready for a change, but I’d come up will a million reasons to postpone,  or I’d tell myself, “I can’t go work out, I’m not in shape, I’m not ready.”

The first step is the hardest.

If you need some extra help making that first step, help is available.

I look at it this way: It’s like 50/50. I give myself credit, and I give Rocky credit. You can’t expect one person to change your life single-handedly, but if you’re ready to make a change, Rocky is the perfect partner to help you get there.

You don’t have to take that first step alone. 💗

Say yes to your personal fitness journey.

Story Credits

Photographs provided by Kat

Icon credits courtesy of Flat Icon

Rocky changed my life!!!

“Rocky has been my personal trainer for the past 8 months, and I also regularly attend her TRX class at Flying Yoga.  I love Rocky's dedication, enthusiasm, and ability to produce results quickly!  I am in the absolute best shape of my life right now, and I have Rocky to thank for it.  She not only helps you achieve results in the gym, but she also helps you change your whole lifestyle.  My eating and drinking habits have become much healthier because of Rocky's guidance.  I lost weight and toned my muscles VERY quickly!

Rocky is an amazing personal trainer, but she also teaches the best workout class I have ever attended.  Her TRX class at Flying Yoga is insane!  It is by far the most efficient hour-long workout you can find.  It combines both strength training and cardio, plus it is so much FUN.  Don't be intimidated if you've never tried TRX before - Rocky is great at giving new students guidance and hands-on training. “

Once you start working with Rocky you'll never want to stop!

Lisa D.


I used to live across the street from Inside/Outside fitness in Oakland where I would work out occasionally. My wife gave me a gift certificate for 3 personal training sessions with Rocky for my birthday in September.

I was skeptical at first, having never worked with a personal trainer before. Well that initial skepticism was very short-lived.  Here I am 4 months later a regular client of Rocky's, almost 25 lbs lighter, much stronger and feeling great.

Rocky has a contagious, fun, motivating attitude and I find I spend my week looking forward to our training sessions. She certainly knows what she's doing and is constantly coming up with new workouts to keep things interesting and challenging for me. I certainly recommend her.

Matt Lopez

Rocky is amazing!!!! 

“Over the years I have worked with many personal trainers and Rocky is by far the BEST I have worked with!  She is motivating, fun and knows how to push you to the max while still loving her!

I first came across Rocky in her TRX class at Flying Yoga, which she teaches Mon, Wed and Fri from 12pm to 1pm.  After getting great results in the class I decided I wanted some personal attention to zone in on the areas I'm still working on, like a 4-pack!  

Since starting my training with her I am more tone, I hit my idea weight and I am in the size zero dress that has been in my closet for the past 5 years, waiting to be worn!”

I am recommending her to anyone who wants to not only LOOK good, but feel Amazing!!!


“I've moved out of Oakland five years ago after spending practically my entire lifetime there.  (Minus a few stints in San Francisco and LA)  I do visit there on a regular basis.  When I was assigned there every Tuesdays for work, I was introduced to Inside/Outside Fitness in order to keep my workout regimen consistent. Though I no longer worked for that company that sent me out to Oakland on Tuesdays, I continue coming to Oakland on Tuesdays. “
“Rocky's boot camp class.  She takes the time to get to know her students well enough to know their limits so she can cater each exercise  to challenge them.  She is also mindful of their physical limitations such as injuries and health issues so that there's minimal risks from injuries.  Not only are her workouts challenging, they're fun to do.  Also her classes are small with less than 8 people per class so there's individualized attention. “ 

Honestly, I didn't really want to make this review as I really like the class to remain small.  Selfish me.


“I've worked with personal trainers in the past and do weight training on my own but working with Rocky was a breath of fresh air. She taught me how to add more variety to my routines and we also did a bit of TRX work and I loved it! After our workouts, my body was sore in places I had never been sore before.  After three weeks of training with her 2-3 times per week, plus my cardio on the side and clean eating, all of my work clothes was baggy on me...felt good :)

Rocky's positive attitude, energy and persona push you to try your hardest and kick your own a$$! Loved every session with Rocky! I would recommend her to anybody, whether your a trained athlete or a newbie.”


“Rocky is an inspiration. I regularly attend her TRX/ boot camp class at Inside Outside Fitness & look forward to the class. She inspires us to go to our limits and I always know I will receive a great workout, feeling stronger and uplifted.

One unique quality Rocky has is the ability to make you feel like you are receiving a personal lesson, even when there are 7 people in the class; she pays attention to your form and keeps cheering you on till the very end. She is one of the few teachers that I will arrange my schedule around so as to not miss her class if possible.”


“Rocky Helps people discover hidden treasures from within. Revealing their own unique gifts,

and unleashing their unlimited Potential” 


Rocky rocks!  In the past year and a half, Rocky has created an evolving fitness routine that works for and challenges me. Having worked with three other personal trainers I can say that Rocky has great depth and range in her training skills and knowledge of healthy fitness. She's positive and present--fun to be around.

As a life coach Rocky has helped me to navigate the early days of my recent retirement. And there's massage magic in her hands--pain gone!

Highly recommended.


“I knew I needed to make changes in my life in a serious way starting with my physical health. I can't say just how fortunate I am to have found Rocky. I've been training with her for a little over a month now and am beyond pleased with the progress I'm making. Seriously, I'm down two dress sizes. This is not an exaggeration by any means. Yes, it takes work and dedication, but having Rocky there to help guide me has been inspirational.

Rocky is sincere and passionate about what she does and pushes me to reach goals I thought impossible for far too long.

An added bonus, her massage sessions are fantastic. It's not often I do this, but I highly recommend her!!”


“Rocky’s extensive knowledge of training the physical body and its connection with the mind allows her to develop programs for you that will allow you to successfully meet your training goals, what ever they are.  Rocky’s systems of developing personalized workouts are tailored for the unique needs of your body.  Don’t believe me?  Try a couple of workouts with her and you will experience a noticeable difference in your strength and outlook on training right away, just as I did.  She’s extremely knowledgeable as well as inspirational, and a joy to work with.  That is a winning combination in my view.”


Rock on! *****



“Rocky is the most supportive, flexible, good natured and inspirational trainer that I have had the pleasure to work with…. And it is making a HUGE difference in my life.  Through her expertise and guidance I have been able to drop from a size 18 to a 10 for the first time in my adult life!  Plus I have lost almost forty lbs so far… a goal that I thought I would never achieve.

I couldn’t have asked or prayed for a better trainer… because she not only pushes me to go beyond my comfort zone but she continues to keep me accountable and remains supportive of all my goals…    Through this support I know that I will reach my lifelong goals and continue to discover the true “ME” that has been lost for so many years.”

Thank you  Rocky… You are the best! 


“I have known Rocky since 2005 when she became my personal Trainer at Gold's Gym in Santa Cruz.  She was the first trainer that I ever had that actually listened to my needs and paid attention to my body's abilities.  I ended my sessions tired and sore, but never hurt.  She developed great routines for me, and made sure my time at the gym was more than just a chore.
Outside the gym as a life coach, Rocky has truly helped me get my life moving in forward, positive direction.  On top of keeping me on track with my fitness goals, Rocky acts like my own personal cheer leader.  She has helped me clarify my goals, and gives me the support to believe in myself.”


© Rocky Suzanne Patten 2012