It’s never too late to start something new. And it’s never too late to become someone new. Just ask Deborah Stanton, founder and owner of MovingRoom Coaching.
“I was a late bloomer,” Deborah says of her younger self. Despite being a certified wellness coach, with certifications in everything from nutrition to barre, to cycling, to weight management, to pilates, Deborah says she wasn’t always a person who prioritized healthy living. When she was 28, she quit smoking and decided she wanted more from her life than the lifestyle she was leading.
“I was so anxious, so I started walking to quell the cigarette cravings,” Deborah remembers. “Walking turned into running, and running turned into a way of life. That shifted everything for me.”
Deborah notes that her passion for exercise didn’t come from seeing major physiological changes in her body or weight. It was the regular, consistent practice of taking care of herself that began to boost her self-esteem and change her perspective.
“Taking care of myself really evolved into something much bigger,” she says, “and I wanted to share that.”
It was at this point that all of the dominoes in Deborah’s life started to tip in a different direction. Because not only did Deborah start to experience the power of wellness; she started experiencing the power of community. After moving to High Point, to start fresh and live near a close friend, Deborah got a job at the Hartley Drive YMCA.
“When I moved here, I didn’t have a car,” Deborah says, remembering the “rebuilding” phase in her life. Her friend, and now Member Engagement Director at the Y, Kara Loggins, would pick Deborah up at 5:00 AM for her morning shift. To this day, Deborah can’t help but get emotional thinking about how much her community at the YMCA believed in her.
“They were like family. They wanted to see the best come out of me,” Deborah says. “I taught classes there for many years, built a client base, had a community garden there... I did all kinds of things there because I was told I could.”
Shortly after moving to High Point, Deborah also met Shawn, the man who would become her husband and one of her biggest encouragers. He was also serious about a healthy lifestyle, and he continued to inspire her. And it was with that kind of empowering encouragement that Deborah eventually began her own personal training business, starting first in the basement of her home.
The MovingRoom, the first iteration of Deborah’s business, started small – but the mission was strong. It was built on the foundation of friendships and the belief Deborah had come to know in High Point. She saw it as a gift to help someone realize that change is possible – it all comes down to making choices to move in the right direction.
“The obvious part of the name is ‘moving,’” Deborah says, laughing at how many calls she’s gotten to see if her business will help move furniture. But the name itself means more than simply moving your body for exercise. It’s about moving through bad habits, moving through obstacles, and moving through the old patterns of thought that hold us back from living our best lives.
“We’re moving past things, and we’re creating something new,” Deborah says. The mission of MovingRoom Coaching today is, “To help you connect your health to a deeper sense of joy, fulfillment, and purpose.”
And that’s exactly the kind of culture Deborah built at MovingRoom Coaching. When she had the opportunity to turn her business into an LLC and move into her brick-and-mortar almost three years ago, she knew she would be able to create an exercise experience that was unique and personal, yet structured.
“How can I create an experience that is going to help them continue when I’m not around, versus just having them count reps?” Deborah often asks herself. She encourages her clients to find their “why,” that connects their exercise to a greater purpose, long after they walk out of the gym.
Today, the business has evolved beyond personal training, and now is influenced heavily by Deborah’s passion for wellness coaching.
“A lot of what I do is helping people shift their mindset,” she says, “helping people set goals and manage their stress. I help people shift from, ‘I want to do this,’ to, ‘I am going to do this.’”
To do that, Deborah starts not with deadlifts and sprints, but with consultation and a conversation. She helps her clients explore what they want to do, what they want to add into their life, and what they want to be true of their life – rather than focus on the negative things they don’t want to do.
“We talk about what they want to do. That is essentially what coaching is,” Deborah explains. “Coaching is all about positive affirmations asking, ‘What is possible?’ When we focus on what is possible, it's not that the other things don't matter. But you build your self-esteem and confidence, and then you're able to make those healthy choices.”
The coaching process includes goal setting, taking a strength inventory, completing a detailed assessment of movement, stability, and mobility, creating a plan, and finally affirming their goals with a photo to chart progress.
Rather than obsess over metrics of weight loss or muscle gain, Deborah’s clients are encouraged to focus on a plan for long-term wellness sustainability.
“Our culture’s idea of fitness says you have to be perfect and push yourself really hard,” she says. “But it’s really about consistency. Consistency wins out. You can consistently destroy your life, or you can consistently create a new one that is amazing. And it all has to do with consistent habits every day.”
She also notes that wellness is about keeping promises to yourself. She cautions her clients not to set themselves up for “broken promises” by trying to transform everything in their life all at once. Instead, she helps them find one or two achievable goals to begin a change. Over time, as those small habits become consistent, they lay the foundation for bigger changes to be made. Sustainable change, Deborah notes, always takes time and patience.
“This space is about creating an experience for people that is positive,” Deborah adds, noting that if you don’t enjoy something, you probably won’t do it again – no matter how good for you it is. As owner of MovingRoom Coaching, Deborah said she finds so much freedom in allowing her clients to take their training at their own pace. She pushes her clients, but only to the degree of moving them towards their greater good, never through shame or discouragement.
Because 16 years later, what forever changed the trajectory of Deborah’s life path wasn’t just a faster mile run or more weights lifted – it was demonstrated belief from the people around her. It was the relationships in her life – from friends at the YMCA to her husband – that gave her the courage and confidence to change her life.
“I wanted to be that person for somebody,” she says. “I wanted to help somebody realize there are different things to do, better ways to take care of yourself, and better ways to respect yourself.”
And all it takes is a little movement.
“I wanted to help somebody realize there are different things to do, better ways to take care of yourself, and better ways to respect yourself.”
– Deborah Stanton
Discover our High Points,
The HPD Team