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Natural Awakenings San Diego

Freedom of Fitness: It’s a lifestyle, not a life sentence

Dec 27, 2012 01:14PM ● By Erin Lehn Floresca

Those looking to change their lifestyle and get into a pattern of healthy living in the New Year will want to get to know Sandra Blackie, owner of Freedom of Fitness in Pacific Beach. This phenomenally in-shape, driven and dedicated nutrition and fitness consultant knows what it takes to help her clients go from being fitness-free to fabulously fit.

The seeds for Blackie’s future career were planted when she was just a kid. “I was brought up in a family that didn’t teach me how to eat well,” she recalls. “In the seventh grade, I became aware that my body was too chubby.” So Blackie put herself on a diet consisting of just a few pieces of fruit each day for a week. Not only did she feel miserable, the diet backfired on her, causing her to gain back all the weight she lost and then some. “It’s because diets don’t work,” she says. “In order to effect real, lasting change, a person needs to transform their lifestyle.” And that is where Blackie’s expertise comes into play. Her motto is “It’s a lifestyle, not a life sentence,” and she lives and breathes that motto every day.

The fitness seeds were planted in her twenties when she was teaching swimming classes at a YWCA in Montreal. “I got the opportunity to take a women’s bodybuilding class,” says Blackie. “The instructor was a lean, athletic, muscular woman. I decided right then that I wanted a physique like that.” Soon, Blackie morphed into a competitive female bodybuilder that regularly won competitions and attracted lots of media exposure. “That first instructor told me that I had good genetic musculature,” she says. “Because of that, I was successful at bodybuilding right out of the gate.”

And also because of bodybuilding, Blackie again focused on nutrition, but in a much healthier way than she had in her youth. She proclaims she became rather fanatical about diet and nutrition. “While initially my motivation was primarily physical,” she says, “I just knew that when I ate right, I felt better and performed better.”

Her two passions, fitness and nutrition, combined so well she became an instructor so she could teach others what she had learned. “I firmly believe, based on my 27 years of experience, that I’ve found the Fountain of Youth.” Basically, it’s all about strength training and eating right. According to Blackie, when we hit our mid-twenties, our muscles begin deteriorating through the aging process. “Strength training can bring back the metabolically active tissue you’ve lost since that time and increase your lean body mass.” She also notes that many of us are victims of the food world. “The more you deprive and undercompensate with food, the more you will binge and Sandra Blackieovercompensate with food,” she says. 

Whether it’s focusing on fat loss, changing one’s body composition, or even delving into the world of competitive body building, Sandra Blackie creates personalized programs for each of her clients. And the best part about her programs is that the new learned habits stick. “When junk food junkies truly become clean and healthy, they don’t want to eat those burgers anymore,” she says. “They feel too good to want to go down that path again.”

Blackie is committed to doing whatever it takes to ensure each client’s success. For instance, she believes it is extremely important to know how her clients are fueling their machines so she has them keep food journals in order to assess their diets. “I want to know their nutrient intake. Are they drinking enough water and getting enough protein and fiber in their diet? If not, we make adjustments so they can see positive results sooner.” She has witnessed many of her clients energy levels soar within days—just from eating better. In fact, over the years, she has witnessed dramatic transformations with many of her clients. “I’ve seen so many people’s lives change for the better,” says Blackie. “And that is the most rewarding part of what I do.”

Blackie’s clients frequently experience improved digestion and elimination, clearer skin, a healthier outlook on life, weight reduction, more energy, decreased PMS symptoms, and more restful sleep.

She says her success rate is 100 percent if her client is 100 percent compliant. “Each person needs to show up and be 100 percent invested in their own health and wellness,” she says. Most of all, she wants her clients to enjoy the process.

“I love what I do. I really love helping men and women live in a healthier body at a healthier body weight,” says Blackie. “Allow me to touch your life.”

Freedom of Fitness New Year’s Personal Training Special

Got a fitness buddy in mind? Buy a personal training package at the regular price and a second person can join your session for only $10 extra. Gym membership, daily gym fees, or travel time not included.

Sandra Blackie sees clients at World Gym and Fitness West in Pacific Beach. She also does in-home visits as well. She offers a free 30-minute consultation to all first-time clients. To reach her, call 858-273-4151 or visit

Sandra says:
• Drink ½ of your body weight in ounces of water each day
• Eat foods that Mother Nature provides
• Increase your lean protein consumption