You hear it everywhere—working out is sooo good for you. But when it comes to our level of fitness motivation, let’s just say we aren’t bounding out the door to run a 10k. Luckily, there is a glimmer of light at the end of our workout tunnel: meet Paisley Meekin from Honest PT. She is hysterical, down-to-earth (she’s from Alaska, people!) and will work you o-u-t! Try one of her classes (or better yet, her upcoming 14-day boot camp for only $67!) and your skinny jeans will thank you. If you want to look and feel fab for summer spring (it’s getting warm out there!), Honest PT will help to make it happen.
E+E: How did you get started in this business?
Paisley Meekin: I have always been athletic. I’m from Alaska, like the weird kid Alaska. Bush Alaska. I was always outside playing as a kid, even in the snow, building igloos. Yes, we built igloos! I always played lots of sports and being healthy and active was always a part of my life. My mom was a crazy nutrition guru, she would make us eat that weird, nitrate-free meat that was grey. I was always so embarrassed eating my lunch in front of my friends at school. Ha! And she started a co-op out of our house with all organic food. So, let’s just say I got an early education on nutrition.
I always wanted to do something where I could get people excited to eat well and motivate them to improve their lives. My first job was as a trainer at this small family-owned gym in Alaska and I had NO idea what I was doing. I worked there for 9 months but I was post-college living at home and not happy. So I picked up all my stuff and just moved to Portland. I wanted to be in a city where you didn’t need a car. So, I picked Portland not knowing anyone. It was a good character-building experience and now I’ve built my own community of friends. (That was 5 years ago.)
I got a job straight away at Lloyd Athletic Club and my boss mentored me there for two years and I learned so much, but I was working my butt off and not making the money I wanted to. Luckily, since personal training is my jam, I had a few people in my life that really pushed me to open my own business. It was the scariest thing I’ve ever done, but I’m really fortunate that all of my clients followed me. April 1st will be my two-year anniversary of being in the Honest PT studio (located on MLK and NE Fremont). Now, I’ve more than doubled my business. It’s fun and very community-driven. We’re the local gym and have lots of wonderful neighbors.
E+E: What do you specialize in?
PM: I mainly do semi-private classes and boot camps. Very little one-on-one personal training. Semi-private are generally 4-6 people and boot camps are 6-10 people. And we love to go to outdoors!
E+E: (Laughing..) How does outdoor training go in Portland?
PM: Haha, people LOVE it; they beg me to take them back outside. People in Portland like to be outside. We go to Irving Park where it is covered and you are moving so you aren’t cold. We are going to do more outdoor stuff this April, like add early morning and evening boot camps outside. We also do Saturday morning Run Club starting at the Fremont Whole Foods at 9:30am. It’s a great way for me to meet more people in the neighborhood! And get people moving on their off days. My goal for the summer is to have 50 people running in a pack. All wearing these bright pink t-shirts I made that say “Team Shred”.
The other part of my business is nutrition coaching. With my training and bootcamps, there is always a big nutrition program that goes with it. I have a book that I’ve been writing for years called “How to Find Your Shape” and it’s the basic foundation of my whole program. It’s really focused on holistic health and whole food training. It’s not really about weight loss, but more focused on making your body really happy; balancing blood sugar and hormones, eating good foods. You may experience weight loss as a result, but it’s not the focus.
I will also do personal sessions with clients who need a nutrition coach, but it sometimes turns into life coaching and time management coaching. Most people know what food is healthy for them, but when you mix life in with eating, it sometimes gets stressful. Delegating and figuring out a proper schedule is all they need help with. It’s the best part of my job, it’s really fun. And that’s when I get to know my clients really well because I need to know each step of their day.
E+E: Do people tell you if they cheat or go on a binge of eating frozen yogurt all day?
PM: Of course! I really try to promote honesty—I mean, my business name is Honest PT. I try to set the example of that because I’m not perfect either. Like, I just ate a brownie; you have to be real. Especially as a mentor and educator, you have to be authentic about the way you are living and eating. I’ll tell my clients, “I had the worst eating week and it’s because of x, y or z. So let’s all learn from my mistake”. I try to create that community where people know where I am coming from so they feel comfortable. I also like to add fun recipes to my email blast to get people to cook healthy, creative meals at home.
E+E: Do you mainly train female clients?
PM: Yes. I do have guys, specifically my Tuesday and Thursday 8am group called the Dudes Group and a few clients Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. But I mainly train women; they are really more loyal and overall better clients. They always stay longer and are way more fun to hang out with when we work out. Men are.. (whispering) sorta wusses. For February, I had this fun class where I had each client bring their significant others to train for Valentine’s Day and it was so embarrassing!All of the women beat their male counterpart by a lot; weight-wise, cardio-wise, everything. I was thinking to myself “this is going to be awkward when they go home”. At one point, I looked over and the chick had a 20 pound dumbbell and her fiance (my client) had a 12. I might have created a little elephant in the room for those couples.
Now it’s your turn! Join Paisley and the Honest PT family (and the co-founders!) for a semi-private training, boot camp or every Saturday for a free running club! Need a real push? Try her 14-day Fat Flush, B’s Weight Loss Boot Camp (only $67). And you get her tactical nutrition book to blast through those pounds. Remember, it’s not a diet book, but more of a healthy food guide.
3500 NE Martin Luther King Jr Blvd
Portland, OR 97212