“Terrified, I will never feel this way again. I will get my life back…this was my first journal entry on February 4, 2012. My heart was racing, but it wasn’t from cardio. It was because I was afraid. I didn’t know what to expect that first day of group training, but I knew it was the first day of the rest of my new improved life. I cried the whole way to the gym, because I was excited and terrified at the same time. I felt like I was completely alone and questioned what I was doing. I was questioning myself, could I do this, would I embarrass myself, would I hold my team back and make people angry, could I really make a life change? That first day I was faced directly with my fears. We had to see how many sit ups we could do. Looking around, everyone was easily doing this simple task, but then it was my turn. I had one minute. This seemed like the longest minute of my life, as I laid on my back attempting to do just one sit up. Unfortunately, I was unable to do even one. I was mortified and realized how much I needed to change. One of my goals was to be able to do at least one sit up by the end of the challenge. Weeks went by and suddenly something clicked. I was sitting alone on my family room floor and decided it was time to try. Shockingly, I could do it! At that time I did two and decided to stop. Two days later I did eleven. Now I do five sets of ten! This is just one of the major changes in my life. I never thought I would be the person who enjoyed going to the gym. I go to the gym at least 2-3 times a day now. I can’t seem to get enough. I’m a realtor and I rearrange my schedule to make sure I get in my gym time. Before I started the challenge my drug of choice was Cherry Coke. The employees at Sonic knew me by my first name. I would get a Route 44 Cherry Coke when I was upset or even when I was fine. Now, if I feel stressed or upset I head to the gym and jump on the elliptical. I haven’t had one Cherry Coke and most importantly have no desire to anymore.

I am married with 3 awesome children, and always showed my love through food. I never realized how damaging I was being to my family. My bad habits would eventually become their bad habits, and I want so much more for them. Now I can show my love by jumping on the trampoline, something I would never do before for fear of breaking it, with my 8 year old son. I also show my love by doing Zumba and working out with my 19 and 15 year old daughters. My husband and I are going to do a half marathon together in September! These things they will remember for a lifetime as opposed to the package of Oreo cookies that could harm them for a lifetime. I never realized the eating habits I was creating. My family now knows that food is fuel, and we should put good fuel in our body to make it work properly. I know these facts should be common sense, but I can honestly say I never really looked at a label, except to see the number of calories. I now look at the entire label and actually understand it. When the challenge started I was a size 22 who dreaded shopping. Just recently I was elated to see I am now a size 14. What an amazing feeling to shop with my girls in a ‘normal’ store and actually be able to get something for me too! As I was waiting to check out with my size 14 dress in Forever 21 I was overcome with emotion and started to cry. My girls started to tear up too because we were so happy.

I can’t thank the incredible owners of Anytime Fitness, Stacey and Taz enough for having this program. Everyone was so helpful and always had words of encouragement. Kerry the H2I, did just that. She always had words of encouragement. The trainers are amazing. Arielle has pushed me to do things I never imagined I could do. With her support and encouragement, I am leg pressing 320lbs! I never imagined I would love lifting as much as I do. When I doubted myself, Arielle, always knew I could do it. She is such a motivator! I can honestly say that she saved my life. Ryan, another trainer at the gym always had something positive to say and pushed me during group workouts. He was always available to answer any questions and helped me when I injured my Achilles. I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to climb Mt. Trashmore with my injury at the last group workout. Ryan worked his magic so I could conquer Mt. Trashmore too. CJ came in the gym one day when I was on the elliptical and said he wanted me to be the most active member at the gym. At that time I was 4th. Just those simple words of encouragement inspired me to work even harder. I am now and have been for the last month and a half the most active member at my gym.

My entire mindset has changed. I go to sleep at night saying to myself…I am a fat burning machine! This has taken the place of my old negative self-talk. I feel like the last 12 weeks have transformed my body and my mind. Although, I still have a long road to go, I am no longer an inactive person, filled with self-doubt, letting life pass me by. I am now an athlete with so many possibilities that life has to catch up to me!!”