I was a mess when I landed on Jennifer’s doorstep. I was recently
divorced and had lost nearly everything in the process. I had a non-functioning
thyroid, chronically high stress levels, three painful blown discs in my neck
and to top it off, I’d been undereating for years without even knowing it. I
couldn’t sleep, I was irritable, I had terrible neck pain and my overall
outlook on life was very negative and defeatist. The word Eeyore comes to mind.
Physically, I had ballooned back up to the same weight I was right before I delivered my son 9 years prior. I was bloated-looking and completely lacking in muscle tone and endurance. I knew I needed to change and take better care of myself, but I had no idea where to start. I knew I needed help. I needed exercises modified while I treated my neck issues and built up my endurance. I needed to be watched so I learned to do things the right way. I needed to be sure I wouldn’t end up worse off than I already was.
Jennifer told me my journey would not be easy, but if I showed up and did the work and tackled one thing at a time, everything would get better over time.
I believed her. I stuck with her and her tribe of wonderfully supportive women. April 2017 marks my two-year anniversary of training with Jennifer. Here’s why I plan to celebrate it!
I’m strong now! I can lift all kinds of heavy things I couldn’t before. I started off struggling with 10-pound dumbbells and I lifted 185 pounds last week! My neck doesn’t hurt like it used to now that I’ve developed muscles to support it and worked with our in-house physical therapist at THINK. Since 2015, I’ve lost almost 25 pounds (ALL fat) and built lean muscle; I’ve lost 2 pant sizes / dress sizes. I’m sleeping a lot better, my stress is more manageable and I am in general a happier and more confident person.
I see someone who looks pretty dang good for 44. A fighter. Someone who didn’t give up. Someone who still shows up 3, 4, 5 times a week and gets the work done. Someone who understands that unless and until I take care of myself, I can’t take care of the people and things that are most important to me.
Some people are fortunate – they can drop a bad habit or two
and lose weight quickly. Quitting smoking, cutting out alcohol, soda or sweets
and then increasing activity can be enough for some people to see significant
weight loss very quickly. But none of those things were an issue for me. It
took me a very long time to change my relationship with food and to build up my
endurance to where I could shed fat and start building lean muscle. It was
REALLY difficult to trust the process and just keep going.
Jennifer kept me accountable and was so supportive and encouraging while I struggled to learn and adapt to a healthier way of life. Without Jennifer challenging me, celebrating my successes and helping me learn from my failures – and there were many – I wouldn’t have come this far.
Training is part of my life now. It’s the one thing I do that’s just for me, and I don’t ever make excuses not to go. I would literally rather give up food or shoes or whatever than give up the few hours I devote to self-care every week. I love our THINK family. They are my people.
That I didn’t give up when I didn’t see instant results. I knew not to expect them, but deep down everyone hopes the pounds and inches will just fall off like they do on those silly TV commercials. That’s not how it works most of the time, especially when you’re in your 40s and have other health issues or life issues going on.
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