ABOUT US

We founded Sustained Strength after years of being involved in the health and fitness industry because we noticed an alarming trend—the health and fitness industry was becoming so unhealthy. The shift of the health and fitness industry to platforms such as Instagram has definitely come with benefits, such as a more interconnected community and easier access to information. But it also came with concerns and unrealistic expectations. Body image dysmorphia and eating disorders have historically aligned with unrealistic portrayals in the media and this is even truer now. Problematic fad diets and meal plans are being marketed and sold easier now than ever. People are promised quick fixes for weight loss by an influencer who looks amazing at all times (or so it seems).

The problem is, none of this is SUSTAINABLE. To achieve your health and fitness goals, your workouts and nutrition need to be incorporated as part of your lifestyle. This ensures that your results can be maintained for a long period of time—hopefully, for the rest of your life!

Here at Sustained Strength, we believe that, above all, you need to feel good about yourself and enjoy your life. You can eat a nutritious diet that will increase your overall health and fitness without having to give up the foods you love. You can strengthen your body, lean out and move better by incorporating your favorite fitness activities. You shouldn’t have to feel like you’re sacrificing your happiness for your health.

We believe that the solution to turning the health and fitness industry healthy again lies in education. We don’t want to just tell you what to do to lose weight or gain strength, we want to educate you on WHY you are doing these things. We aim to cultivate a community of individuals who understand their bodies and are realistic with their expectations of themselves. We have combined our different experiences and views on fitness, nutrition, movement and health to teach individuals from all backgrounds how to lead a healthy, sustainable lifestyle.

Our Team

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Meg Slater

  • Instagram

My Story

I had a pretty typical childhood—I grew up in a loving house, played a bunch of different sports, loved being outside and active. A defining moment came for me when I was in third grade. I remember looking at a picture of me and my friends at our school field day and thinking to myself “I am so chubby compared to them.” At only 9 years old I began to feel self-conscious about my weight and appearance. This feeling continued, even when I did start to thin out as puberty hit.

Softball was my sport of choice and become more competitive when I entered middle school. This was also a time when my awareness about my body heightened. Even though I was perfectly healthy, that’s not what I saw when I looked in the mirror. I started running because I “enjoyed it”—at least that’s what I told myself, but who really likes running when they first start out? I was undereating, thinking I could survive off of fruit, veggies and grilled chicken. I would go to the gym and do the elliptical until I hit the calorie number that I had predetermined for myself. I was getting skinnier and skinnier, I was always cold, and my hair was starting to fall out. I went to the doctor’s office for my yearly checkup and she brought up concerns about my weight and my activity level. That was the first time I heard the concept of the “Female Athlete Triad.” I brushed off her concerns, convincing myself that I was healthy. After all, I was just exercising and eating good foods.

This disordered behavior continued until I broke my hip during softball conditioning my freshman year of high school. My bones had weakened due to my undereating and over exercising, so when we were running and I did a sharp cut, my right hip bone peeled off, splitting into two pieces.  I couldn’t walk. My injury didn’t heal on its own and I needed a series of painful injections (that continued even into my college years) to return my hip to somewhat normalcy. It took me being unable to walk and unable to play sports for about a year for me to realize what I had done to my body.

After my injury, I needed to strengthen and heal my body. I started weight lifting and practicing yoga as ways to rehab as well as satisfy my need for activity since I couldn’t run or play sports. I will never forget how weak I felt during my first lifting session. My passions for weightlifting and yoga took off after this and I have been consistently doing both for nine years now. I read as much as I could about nutrition, educating myself on the importance of a sufficient, nutritious and balanced diet and how to achieve that. I had spent years hurting my body and now I wanted to help it and strengthen it.

My struggles shaped my future education and career choices; I knew I wanted to help others in a way that pertained to their health. I went to college and developed a love for science, anatomy, nutrition and exercise science through the courses that I took. I graduated from Ohio State with a B.S. in biology and continued my education in Ohio State’s Doctorate of Physical Therapy program. I completed two semesters in the DPT program with a 3.9 GPA, but found myself unsatisfied. I felt confined by the career path that I had chosen and decided to help people with a more holistic approach to health, combining my personal experiences with my knowledge of and love for the human body.

 

When looking back on my story, I believe that there are two reasons for my struggles: a lack of confidence and a lack of education. Weightlifting and yoga helped me gain confidence. I am happy with the way I look, but more importantly with how I feel. I am strong, I am healthy, and I can move freely without pain. As for education, the term “always a student” sums up my approach. Since my injury, I have been continuously educating myself through classes, certification programs, mentors, reading, broadening my experiences and various other resources.

I am thankful for my experiences because they shaped who I am today and the way that I approach health, fitness, and life. However, it is my mission in life to share my knowledge and experiences with others so that they do not have to harm their body in order to learn how to properly care for it.

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John Dickhaus

  • Instagram

I am a gym owner, certified strength and conditioning coach, personal trainer, and nutritionist with a passion for helping others reach their goals, whether it be an advanced athletic career or living a healthy lifestyle. I have been in the health and fitness industry for 15 years as a personal trainer and nutritionist for individuals ages seven to 55 years old, a personal strength coach for athletes (youth to professional), and a program strength coach for local high schools. I am experienced in strength training, athletic performance, NFL pro day and combine training, fat loss, group training programs, work-life balance, food-related anxiety, and meal planning. I have a passion for helping individuals reach their health and fitness goals to improve their confidence and self-worth. I love to spend time with my kids and girlfriend, read and train my clients.

My Story

I am a certified yoga instructor and personal trainer with a holistic approach to health and fitness. I graduated from Ohio State in 2020 with a bachelor’s degree in biology and continued on to complete two semesters in Ohio State’s Doctorate of Physical Therapy program before choosing to use my knowledge and experience to help others in a more all-inclusive way. I am experienced in strength training, athletic performance, yoga, long distance running, disordered eating and exercise, body image dysmorphia, hormone imbalance, autoimmune conditions and dietary restrictions. I have a passion for anatomy and how the body works, along with a non-restrictive and wholesome approach to nutrition. I love to read, laugh, teach others, be outside, and do anything active—especially when it’s outside!

My parents got me involved in weight training and healthy eating at a very young age (back in the day when Arnold Schwarzenegger used to drink raw egg whites). My dad taught me the fundamentals and form for lifting and my mom taught me how to cook for myself. I am thankful for my exposure to a healthy lifestyle at a young age as it was an important factor in developing the lifestyle that I live today—however, I know that a healthy lifestyle is able to be developed at any point in your lifetime as long as you commit to it.

I was extremely active growing up and, along with lifting, I loved to play sports, bike ride, rollerblade and get into trouble. In my late teens and early twenties, I survived off of a cheap yet effective “body builder diet” consisting of tuna, beans, plain chicken breast, baked potatoes, rice, and large bowls of fruit salad. At this point in my life, I weighed about 220-238 pounds with a 9% bodyfat. I played competitive softball for 16 years starting at 19 years old. Some of my favorite family memories were made playing softball but it also resulted in multiple injuries. I tore my rotator cuff when I was 23 years old and then everything but my ACL in my knee when I was 28. Both injuries required surgery and extensive rehab. After these injuries, I completely changed my training and eating. I realized just how “heavy” my body felt and started to consider the importance of longevity and sustainability with the activities that I did and the food that I ate. I guess you could say this is when I started to realize that I was starting to get old. Now, I sit at a bodyweight of around 190 pounds and pair intuitive healthy eating with circuit-style strength training, always making sure to listen to my body and prioritize its needs.

I used to get stressed out if I couldn’t make it to the gym or if I had to miss a workout, but becoming a parent forced me to reevaluate my priorities. I have three kids with one more on the way and my favorite thing to do is spend time with them and my girlfriend as a family. I learned overtime that it was okay to miss a workout, especially to spend time with my family, and that missing a workout wouldn’t destroy my progress. I strongly believe in flexible dieting—including Oreos and ice cream—and an overall flexible lifestyle. You can get the results that you want, lead a healthy lifestyle and still enjoy yourself at the same time.

I’ve had points in my life where I have had to balance multiple stresses, such as multiple jobs, a stressful home life, unhealthy relationships, finances, conflicting busy schedules, business stresses and more. These low points in my life have taught me something extremely valuable: your environment has a huge impact on not only your success, but on you as an individual. To be the best version of yourself, you need to surround yourself with people who love and accept you for who you are and who will believe in and support you in becoming what you want to be. Additionally, you have to have confidence in yourself and your abilities.

I worked in the business field for 20 years, but transitioned to the health and fitness industry initially as a personal trainer, which evolved to add in nutritionist, health coach and gym/business owner. The health and fitness industry requires more time and energy, but you get to do something that positively impacts other people’s lives on a daily basis. I love my job because I get a front row seat to watch the process happen. I am by my clients' sides for every step of the way—every victory and every setback, no matter how big or small. I see people becoming better versions of themselves every day, which is not only extremely rewarding, but also serves as a motivating reminder to continue my own personal growth.