"She needed a hero, so that's what she became."
-Torianne Elizabeth -
I spent most of my life in pretty good shape. I wasn't necessarily muscular or athletic, but I was comfortable in my body and at a healthy weight. Falling in love, some poor eating habits, getting a little too comfortable, and a couple years later I found myself staring into the mirror at a woman I no longer recognized. I was at least 50 pounds overweight, from where I had always felt comfortable, and in a horrible state of depression.
I felt lost and as much as I wished for life to change, it didn't. I continued to sit, day to day, watching my two little boys play and not having the energy or drive to just get up and play with them, the way a mom should. I was suffering from a countless number of medical problems and aches and pains, some of which, the doctors couldn't even explain. Their solution was always to put me on more medicine that made me even more physically and mentally sick. What got to me the most, was sitting in the rooms staring at a screen, that said "Patient Is Obese", in bright red letters. Then they would send me home with discharge paperwork that stated they had counseled me on weight loss solutions, which they hadn't done even once in two years. I came to a point when I decided, I couldn't take it anymore. I wanted to wear a pair of jeans again for more than twenty minutes without ruminating about getting home to take them off, or having someone make a comment about me actually wearing jeans and not leggings. I wanted to jump on the trampoline again with my boys. Most of all, I wanted to feel comfortable and beautiful again in my own skin.
I had been a member at Riverside Health Club many years back, when I was pregnant with my second child and would take Heather's 9:00 am Group Power Class. I remember how much I loved it and thought RHC would be a great place to start beginning my weight loss journey. When I signed up for my membership, it was during the zero enrollment for Costco members and the woman at membership explained that if I checked in at least 10x a month, during my first 3 months, I would receive the 4th month free. Being a mom, and someone that loves to save money where I can, this excited me. I added up the cost of enrollment and the cost of one month's dues and divided it by a year. I realized that if I was willing to commit myself to at least 10x a month, I would have a membership at RHC for the price of one of the other gyms in town, that didn't offer anywhere near the amenities RHC had to offer.
So, I made the commitment to myself and dove in! I began checking in as often as possible, spending as much time as I could developing a routine and familiarizing myself with the equipment and classes. The women's gym and CrossFit gym, was where I spent a lot of time at first, practicing exercises, so I could do them in the main gym, without looking like I didn't know what I was doing. I tried Barre for the first time and loved it! Some days I would literally stop by just to sign in. I would walk around for a few minutes, so they wouldn't notice I was only there to check in, and then find myself putting in a quick 20 minutes on the Stair Climber. Most days though, I would just Pinterest the heck out of workouts. I was usually tucked away in some corner, going as hard as I could for as long as I could. I started with two days a week, which quickly turned into three, and then four. I started seeing changes but I knew I needed to change my diet. I began reducing my portions, because I knew I wasn't ready to give up the foods I loved to eat. I traded plates for saucers, and bowls for coffee cups. Then after a few weeks of doing that, I progressed to adding a couple servings of veggies into my diet each day until finally most of my cravings for junk had been pushed out. After a while, I noticed my body craved the healthier foods more and more as my workouts got longer and more intense.
The weight kept creeping its way down and it seemed that every time I walked through the doors at Riverside Health Club some member or employee would notice and congratulate my hard work. I began to feel like RHC was my home away from home. I noticed that people in my life who would criticize me about never wanting to get out and do anything, were suddenly making comments about how I was always on a diet, or that I spent too much time at the gym. I honestly felt like I was shamed for being overweight and I was shamed for getting healthy and doing what it took to stay on track. This just drove me to work harder and spend more time at health club, where people seemed genuinely happy to see me and applauded my success. I continued to set goals for myself until one day I reached my end goal, my comfort weight.
I did it, I was 165 pounds! I remember thinking, "so what now, is that it"? "Do I just settle here"? The answer was no way! What the heck I’ll try for 5 more pounds, and another 5 and another, until once again I was staring into the mirror, but this time it was at a woman who had lost 76 pounds and 27% body fat. A woman who was strong again both mentally and physically, and a mom who was able to climb mountains and spend hours outside playing with her children. This was the woman I loved and the woman I will continue to be. I can honestly say, that joining Riverside Health Club saved my life. A time at RHC that really stands out for me was meeting a member named Gloria, she remembered me and my son after almost 10 years. She treated me with so much kindness, when I was first starting my career at RHC. Her kindness, helped me realize that one small gesture or recognition can help shape a person's future. I hope that someday I can be this person in someone's success story.
I share my story with all of you because I did this all on my own, but it certainly wasn't without many struggles and injuries. Knowing proper form and working within the limitations of your body, while you get stronger, is so important. I didn't have anyone to explain or show me this and because of it, I suffered wrist injuries and for over 5 months and was unable to do anything with my upper body using body weight. I am so excited and proud to say that, I am now a Personal Trainer, Health Coach, Group Fitness and Water Fitness Instructor! Feel free to stop me if you pass me in the hall, schedule a free Coaching session or Personal Training consultation to talk about how we can get you to where you want to be! All it takes, is making a commitment to yourself and knowing that you are strong enough to keep moving forward.