Hello! I’m Gemma Rayne Fountain.
I’m a wife to a wonderfully supportive husband and mom to three incredibly rambunctious children filled with an abundance of energy and love. I am also a Certified Health Coach and Exercise Physiologist with over 20 years of experience in the health industry. To say I am happy and completely at peace with my life is an understatement, however this was not always my story.
struggled with my weight, self-esteem and body image for 20 years. I battled silently with post-partum depression and am still recovering. It took me time and hard work to get to this place of contentment that I am now in. Hopefully, by sharing my story, I can help someone reach their dream much faster than I did.
I was born in the United Kingdom and my family moved to the U.S. when I was 9 years old. My parents worked long hours which meant I spent most of my time at home, alone. There wasn’t much food in the house but what was there was not healthy. And, a girl’s gotta eat, right? When I was hungry, I ate the junk, because that’s what was available.
I was a pigeon-toed chubby kid with an English accent, huge coke-bottle bottom glasses and a permed mullet for a hair “style”. True story. Add to that my eccentric and theatrical personality, and, well, I wasn’t one of the ‘cool kids.’
The summer before 8th grade I decided that I did not want to be the chubby kid anymore. I started exercising every morning to the TV workouts of Gilad Janklowicz and Denise Austin on ESPN. I babysat to make money and took myself to the store to buy food that I thought was ‘healthy.’
Being young with no one guiding me, my desire to be thin took a wrong turn and I developed a very unhealthy relationship with food and my body. Sometimes only eating an apple a day for days on end and competing with my friends to see who could weigh the least. It was soul crushing. I remember times when I would finally eat a meal but the process of digesting the food was excruciatingly painful to my body.
I once again realized that I did not want that to be my story and I slowly began eating again. I didn’t know what ‘eating healthy’ meant though. So I quickly gained weight past where I desired to be.
In my attempt to be thinner and also learn how to be healthy I became a vegetarian. At the age of 16 with no guidance and no clue how to cook or what a healthy meal even looked like ‘vegetarian’ meant lots of fried foods and dairy. While these sound awful alone, I am also allergic to dairy, but didn’t realize it yet. So, I was bloated, gassy, lethargic and miserable. I didn’t figure out why for quite some time.
At age 18 I joined a gym and started learning how to lift weights and do fitness classes – I was IN LOVE!!! I still had no clue how to eat so despite how much time I spent in the gym I didn’t look like the other girls in the gym who looked amazing but worked out less than I did. I quickly became a certified Group Fitness Instructor and started teaching classes, I got a job working the front desk at the gym, and then I became a Certified Personal Trainer.
I fully immersed myself in the fitness industry. I was leading others on their fitness journeys each day. I was coaching others to be mentally and physically healthy but I was not these things myself. I had all the proper certifications but I didn’t look like I was fit and I felt like a fraud. I thought I was doing all the right things to lose weight and look strong, but I was frustrated and confused when I didn’t see results. I was down right sad about the way my body looked.
People judged me based on my size due to my profession because I didn’t LOOK like a fitness trainer. In my desperation I turned to diet pills, energy drinks, and whatever ridiculous product was on the shelf at the “nutrition” store. The result? I ended up heavier and more miserable than ever.
For 15 years, not only did I struggle with my weight, I struggled with my body image, my self-esteem and my confidence. I remember getting dressed to go out and looking in the mirror, despising what I saw and feeling like a stuffed sausage. Then just cancelling plans, throwing on sweat pants and sitting at home alone, eating more.
For 15 years I cancelled plans to attend birthday parties, weddings, and other social gatherings. I couldn’t be there for the people I loved because I was so ashamed of how I looked. For 15 years I wouldn’t go to the beach, even though I grew up less than 5 miles from one of the most beautiful beaches in the world.
I was desperate to change. I wanted to be healthy and I wanted to LOOK healthy. I wanted all my hard work to pay off.
When I was 29 I started to learn about food, protein, quality carbohydrates and the power of nutrition. I started eating MORE food, but it was the RIGHT food. I cut out dairy and sugar and paid attention to how, what and when I ate. At the age of 30 I looked in the mirror for the first time and loved what I saw.
Sounds like that’s the end to the story, right? Wrong.
I had spent two decades being the kid with the glasses, the permed mullet, the girl who was a little rounder at the gym. All of a sudden I wasn’t any of those things. I was the woman at the gym that other women wanted to look like. And let me tell you, that was a psychological mind fuck! Pardon my French.
I had to do a LOT of self-work to own my new reality. It was not easy. I remember, at the age of 32 I had decided to leave my job managing a gym and grow my own business. Sounds awesome, right? However, it was 2010 and the worst economy since the Great Depression. So, in a nutshell, I was broke AF. I got a call from a friend who did some fitness modeling. She couldn’t do a big job for the Home Shopping Network and wanted to know if I wanted it. I said yes, I had no clue what the job was but I needed the paycheck. 2 days later I was on set at the Home Shopping Network to do 11 live fitness product shows in 24 hours with Tony Little to sell the Easy Shaper. I was to be one of the fitness models using the product on air. I felt like a total fraud, I knew that this would be a one-time thing. They’d see me and realize that I wasn’t a fitness model and would never hire me again. So I better have a fun time for these 11 shows and then laugh all the way to the bank with the fat paycheck because, jokes on them, I just made some money ya’ll.
I arrived at HSN and walked into the green room where all the other ‘models’ were getting ready and I almost pooped my panties. These chicks were all SOLID! They looked great. I had to ask for help putting make up on because I had no idea how to apply it properly. I put on the supplied out fit and went out on set feeling like the odd one out. I did my thing, I had fun, I had some great laughs and rocked out 11 shows in 24 hours.
Two crazy things happened next… 1.) The show planner asked me if I was available for another show next week. I figured they were really, really struggling to find models, and I said yes. More money for me, right? And 2.) I had recorded the shows. I went home to watch them and, to my surprise, I didn’t look like the odd one out on a set full of fitness models. I looked like one of them…… Holy shit balls! I am a freakin fitness model.
I kept getting booked to do shows for Tony Little. I even co-hosted some with him. This caused me to have to dig even deeper inside myself and do the hard work to change the way I viewed myself, my inner monologue and so much more. And I did it. I did the work. I faced all the ‘elephants in my room’ and it changed my life. For the first time in my life I loved the way I looked and was able to own it.
Fast forward a few years. Baby #1 arrived in 2012 – cue post-partum depression but, I did the hard work and managed to get back in shape about 13 months later. Then Baby #2 arrives in 2014, cue baby blues. I managed to get back into shape in about 16 months. Cue baby #3 in 2017 and post-partum anxiety. I am currenelty juggling life with three small children and I’m having a very challenging time getting back in shape. It’s 19 months since he was born as I write this and I’m just now able to start focusing on getting back to exercise. But I’m doing it now. Results are very slow coming, but I’m just going to have to keep on plugging until I get where I want to be.
So, I’ve been on a massive roller coaster with my health, fitness and relationship with my body. I’ve been many shapes and sizes. I’ve tried too many unhealthy ideas, fads and products trying to find the secret to results. I’ve allowed my insecurities to seriously affect my life in an unhealthy way. But, you know what? I have never given up on working toward something better. I’ve worked so hard you guys. I’ve taken the classes, read the books, listened to the podcasts. I’ve seen the therapists and cried with friends. I’ve journaled and I’ve prayed, I’ve failed many times but I’ve come back and triumphed. I’ve done it and so can you. Just don’t give up! Keep searching, growing, evolving and transforming. If you need a hand to hold and someone to guide you I’m here for you lady. That’s why I do this for a living. YOU are the whole reason for this website.