Check back again – Nick’s story coming soon!
“He doesn’t really know me”. “Pick out a stupid picture, whatever.” “Sure, like that’s going to be me.” “I come from a long line of short, heavy, but strong, tough women from northern New York, my build is what it is.”
I’ll do this, but it’s not going to make that much of a difference. I mean seriously, I’ve only gained 6 pounds since the last challenge. Ramblings of a stubborn woman, who is never wrong…
Flash forward 13 weeks. Better than I was before, better… stronger…faster…(oops that’s the six million dollar man intro, that’s ok, it applies!) Humble? Uhmm, No. Thinner? Sure. Stronger, leaner, harder, Most Definitely.
May have been slightly, mistaken. It’s hard. Nothing worth anything is ever easy, I know this. Loren says if it were easy the gym would be packed. If it were easy we’d all look like that darn picture.
My trainer does know me. My trainer does know what “buttons” to push, how to motivate, how to cultivate an attitude of determination and never surrender. My trainer is Terrance Bond. Staying fit will always be a continuous journey for me. Working out with Terrance at Anytime Fitness provides me the tools and strength to make this journey. It can’t be about “just this one goal” it has to be about the process, the direction, the focus. What is measured can be repeated. This journey will take my lifetime and the tools I gather along the way will help me stay on the path.
It’s hard. But the ends justify the means, right? I look good. I feel good. Did I mention I look good? Pushing me to the limit is not easy. I’m stubborn and whiny. “What’s the baby gonna do”?, “why are you holding on?” “if you hold on, the fat holds on.” Just a few of the little sayings Terrance has. Interjected at the right time, weight gets lifted, jaw tightens, breathing is labored, calories are burned and fat is shredded…
It’s hard. But it’s harder alone. Thank you, Terrance. I have more work to do and there is always the journey. For now , I know that I don’t have to travel alone.
“Overweight, chunky, thick, and my favorite “big-boned” had all been used to describe me while I was growing up. There is no nice way of putting it, I was heavy and had been most of my life. While I was pretty active and competitive in sports, playing basketball, soccer, softball, and volleyball, I was by no means the picture of perfect health. It was hard being the heaviest one in my group of friends and never feeling comfortable in my own skin. I realize I have had body image issues since I was in Middle School trying diet after failed diet. In fact, I think I have been “dieting” since I was about 12 years old. Who diets at 12 years old?! I have tried the Slimfast diet, Sugar Busters, and even found some success with Nutrisystem (only to put the weight back on), but nothing seemed to teach me the fundamentals of healthy eating in combination with exercise.
I think my final breaking point was after I re-gained 40 pounds that I had lost on Nutrisystem in College. I knew that eating pre-packaged meals to lose weight and keep it off was no way to live the rest of my life. One day after Zumba, I heard a previous Challenge veteran talking about the Body Challenge and how much success she had with the program. After bombarding her with questions about the exercise routines and diet I thought “Maybe this could be my solution!” As it turns out, it was one of the BEST things I have ever done for myself.
When I originally signed up for the Challenge I set what I felt was a reasonable goal weight of 160. I figured if I made it to 160 I would be around my post-Nutrisystem weight, which at that point was the thinnest I had ever been. I wanted to be able to feel confident about myself and tighten and tone everything. I honestly wasn’t 100% sure what I would be able to accomplish in those twelve weeks, but I knew it would be better than feeling sorry for myself and trying to wish away the weight. What I never thought would happen was meeting my goal weight and looking so incredibly different! I went from a starting weight of 188 pounds and a size 12 to 154 pounds and a size 6! I’m the smallest I have EVER been in my entire life! I am still astounded by the results. Someone actually referred to me as “little” the other day, little! I never thought the “big-boned” girl would ever be referred to as little. The combination of healthy eating, cardio, and lifting has transformed by body completely! I have definition in my arms and legs, a much smaller waist, no more love handles, and best of all… no stomach rolls! Not to mention I am in the best shape of my life. Half way through the Challenge we ran the Falcon 5k and I managed to place second in my age group. If you asked me back in September if I would ever run a 5k, let alone place in one, I would have called you crazy and then taken a bite of extra cheesy pizza. Even after reaching my goal weight I am still so incredibly motivated. I have since lowered my goal weight even more and have no intention of giving up. I even want to participate next year to keep myself motivated and in check.
The Challenge has given me a whole new perspective on dieting and exercise. While I enjoyed exercise before I started the Challenge, my love for it has grown tenfold. My daily visits have become something that I look forward to and I feel lost when I’m not in the gym taking a class, lifting, or doing extra cardio. I find myself scouring the internet for 5k’s to run and maybe even 8k’s in the near future. Of course the other important component to my success was the diet. The diet portion initially had me very scared. I’m an extremely picky eater and I thought the diet would be difficult for me to follow. Although I was scared, I threw myself in to it and watched my diet completely transform. I eat and actually enjoy healthy foods I wouldn’t previously have given the time of day. I’m eating more fruits and vegetables and I have even dabbled in the world of tofu. Yes, tofu. Tofu noodles were my savior during the Challenge! Low in fat and carbs, these babies taste just like regular pasta when a little bit of seasoning is added. When I go to the grocery store I now know what nutritional information to look for on foods and what I should avoid. I have learned the difference between good and bad carbs and I also managed to grasp the concept of portion control! That has always been my biggest adversary in the dieting game. I know what 3oz of Chicken looks like and I’m actually full after eating it! I’ve also become somewhat of a low fat/low carb recipe wizard in the kitchen. My co-workers especially seem to appreciate my healthy cooking. In fact I have started a healthy eating trend at work. Far gone are the days where the other graphic designers and I would go out for lunch. Now our break room refrigerator is full of cutesy lunch boxes filled with healthy lunches and snacks. We all keep almonds and fruit on hand to fight the hunger cravings and resist the temptation of the monthly Birthday celebrations. No cake for us!
It’s amazing the support I have received from USA Elite trainers, the other Challengers and staff of Anytime Fitness. I don’t think I would have been anywhere near as successful without them. The veteran Body Challengers and Anytime staff were always encouraging especially if I didn’t see the numbers I was hoping for that week or just felt exhausted. They would make sure I knew how great I was doing with words of encouragement and comments like “skinny girl.” They even tossed out suggestions like, “make sure you’re drinking ALL of your water every day,” or “try cutting back on your carbs a few days out of the week.” It was also great sharing recipes we all discovered on Pinterest. It was like Christmas when I would come in the gym with a new recipe or another Challenger would have healthy cookies for us to try. All of those early morning lifting and cardio sessions before work would have become monotonous if it weren’t for my team. I could count on them to be there with me and for me. They are like an extension of my family and I must say we ROCKED this Challenge!”
“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!!”
“Although I did well last year I entered the 2013 Total Body Transformation because I am the person that needs a challenge to get and keep me going. Also, my ‘new’ wardrobe was getting tight again and I swore to myself that I would never be large again. After last year’s challenge I really wanted to jump right back into the TBT. I also want to make my ‘SAILOR’ proud.
My goal was to start my downward weight loss journey, to get healthier and be able to work out hard. My attitude changed greatly. I don’t care right now how much chicken or protein shakes I eat, or how it tastes: food is only ‘fuel’. I learned to shop on the outer sides of the store.
When I had to shop for large size clothes the smaller sizes always looked so much cuter. Now they fit, however, there is no cute stuff in my size again (LOL).
The truth is I can’t wait to work out with Michelle four times a week. It worked well for me to change trainer, just like Loren told me. BTW, Michelle kicks b….
There are 3 words when you prepare: planning, planning, and planning. It is the whole key, and of course, giving up my glass of wine or margarita. I quit drinking and found another solution like Crystal Light Margarita mix that tastes just as good with no calories. Also, vegetables are your friends and dressed up they taste great.
I still go out with my friends, and I just eat clean. You can always have a couple of bites without eating more than the other people. Eat every 2 hours and you will never ‘over’ eat.
Like I said, I just can’t wait to workout with my trainer. I love her energy and support. We had a one-on-one contact and I could call, text, or send her pictures of the things I was eating, or the outfits I wanted to buy. Even when bought new outfits for the glamour shot, I asked Michelle which one to wear for the pictures. She knows the goals of everyone, not just the contestants in TBT, but other people in the gym too. She uses this to encourage you and meet your goals.
To USA Elite Trainers, Anytime Fitness Redmill, Cj, Kay, and Michelle thank you for all the support and the push to stick with it.”
“It’s hard to put into words what this challenge means to me. In one word this challenge means life. Before I started this challenge I was a terribly unhealthy 320 pounds, the heaviest I have ever been in my entire life. I couldn’t run around with my kids for more than five seconds before I was winded, I couldn’t tie my shoes without a struggle, I couldn’t enjoy Busch Gardens thoroughly with my family because I couldn’t fit on the rides, I couldn’t stand for longer than 20 minutes before needing to sit back down, and the list goes on and on. This challenge has given me my life back!! I’m now able to run around with my kids, we can all jump on the trampoline together, I go jogging with my husband regularly, I can actually fit on roller coasters now, I can tie my shoes so much easier, and I COMPLETED A 5K!!!! I never could have completed a 5k before this challenge. I’m finding out new things I can do that I couldn’t do before every single day. In the beginning of this challenge I could barely do any squats or lift any weights, now I’m doing squats all the time and lifting 5 times what I could. This challenge has been life changing. I have learned how to eat properly and the importance of exercise. I will take these lessons with me for the rest of my life. My quality of life has improved tenfold. You can’t put a price tag on that. My goals for the challenge have be reached and passed. I gave myself a goal of losing 55lbs during this challenge and I lost 57, more than I ever thought possible. This challenge has given me the motivation to keep going and continue to meet even more goals. My next goal is to lose 50 lbs by my birthday in August. I have signed up for two more 5k’s this year and have started training with my best friend to complete a tough mudder challenge in 2014. I feel like I can do things now that I never dreamed of and it’s all because of this life changing challenge. Seeing my children’s excited faces that I can play with them more actively now, and my husband’s proud smiles, and my parents and friends telling me I’m inspiring them, are the sweetest rewards in all of this and mean the world to me. So I say thank you to everyone in the challenge and all of the amazing trainers. This has been the best group of people, the amount of support has been astonishing, and the results from everyone’s hard work have been amazing to witness. While I still have a long way to go, this challenge has transformed me completely. I am forever changed because of these last 12 weeks.”
“Hi, I’m Heidi Batten, and thirteen weeks ago I entered the Anytime Fitness Body Challenge. If it weren’t for Tonya Russell, I would not have entered at all. Tonya challenged me to do it so I entered not really giving it much thought. Honestly I figured “what the hell,” because I will try anything. I really didn’t know what would happen and if I made it through the entire program I might actually lose a few pounds.
I’ve finished the challenge and I am actually amazed that I lost close to 25 lbs. My next challenge is to make it to the Fitness Level of Body Fat Percentage. I really am motivated to keep on this journey of working out and eating healthier. I have found that I can make better choices, I’ve really cut back on my alcohol consumption, sweets, and snacking. I feel as though all the cardio I’ve been doing has helped my Asthma a lot not to mention when I’m upset or stressed going to work out seems to put me in a better frame of mind.
I must thank Tonya for getting me on this path and Steve for pushing me when I was being lazy and his constant motivation with his little voice saying to me “no hands on the treadmill”, and to Nick who always has something nice to say and is so very supportive of all the Kempsville Team.
The Trainers were just amazing, I just can’t put into words how much they meant to me on my path to a healthy life.
I truly believe I would not have gotten very far in this journey if it wasn’t for them but I must also praise my teammates from Kempsville. We had the most cohesive team not to mention the most supportive. I know I did my very best on Team Challenge Days at Mount Trashmore because I didn’t want to let anyone those folks down. Vicki always had encouragement whenever I saw her and never hesitated to call and let me know how well I was doing. I am just so grateful I was able to be with all the great guys and gals that were on my team. No matter if I win anything I did make some pretty nice friends along the way.
I want to thank Stacy and Taz for sponsoring the Challenge and all the staff at Kempsville as they made it happen for all of us and they just have a phenomenal staff.
Now it’s the end of the Challenge and I am amazed at how far I came, I did reach a personal goal, which I did not have when I started. I have finally fit into a pair of my favorite jeans that have been waiting for me to on over the past several years. I had a the hardest time trying to find something in my closet that actually fit the new me for my Glamour Shots since what I was going to wear was actually to large to wear and they were not just a few short weeks ago.
I seriously cannot believe how far I came since I’ve always have been the Fat Girl and now I’m not.”
I have been very fortunate to never have a true weight issue. In my 20’s and 30’s if I put on a pair of jeans and they felt a little tight I would watch what I ate for a couple of days, do my usual aerobic routine and in a few days the weight would be gone. Well, once the 40’s hit the weight did not come off so easily and I actually had to work at losing weight. I had been a member of Anytime Fitness almost since opening day, but no matter how often I went to the gym I was neither losing any weight nor gaining any muscle. So I decided to take the leap with a Personal Trainer, Ryan Bielat, And USA Elite Trainer. I had never worked with a trainer and did not quite know what to expect. Not only did Ryan push me to do the extra rep when I really wanted to quit, he taught me the correct way to plan out meals by eating the right foods, taught me the best times to eat, boosted my confidence and encouraged me every minute of each session. I worked out with Ryan for three months and thoroughly enjoyed every session. During one of the training sessions Ryan and I discussed the upcoming 2011Total Body Challenge. I was hesitant to commit at first because I did not think I would enjoy the whole group workout and questioned whether I would have the stamina to keep up with the group. Eventually, Ryan wore down my hesitation and I signed up. Not knowing what to expect, I attended the information meeting then anxiously waited for the first Saturday workout session. Words cannot describe how excited I was after completing the first workout. It was tough, but I had survived and it really was not as bad as I had anticipated. Now, I only had 11 more weeks to complete. But honestly, the weekly group workout had plenty of variety, was geared to all levels of fitness and a lot of fun. Like the name of the challenge, Total Body, all of your body parts were put to the test each Saturday for 12 weeks.
I did not enter the 2011 Total Body Challenge to win. I entered the challenge to continue a productive workout routine, gain more stamina, and tone up my over 40 body. But more importantly I was able to spend 12 Saturdays with a great group of people who made getting up early a lot of fun.
Originally I wasn’t planning on entering the body challenge. It was only after my trainer, Ryan Bielat, kept pestering me to enter that I agreed. I’m glad I did. After training for a year at anytime fitness, I had lost focus on my nutritional and fitness goals. I figured by paying money to enter the challenge, it would keep me motivated. My goal was not necessarily to win, but to improve my overall fitness and health. At forty-one years old, I don’t think I’ve looked better in my life. Hearing the trainers and fellow contestants tell me how good I was looking was a huge motivation. Especially Jody, Rich, Robert, Tammy, and Alex. Working out three or four days a week with former champions Bill Garvey and Bart Morrison was a huge factor in reaching my goal. Those guys know what they are doing and offer great motivation on a daily basis. My trainer, Ryan Bielat, gives great encouragement and is always there for me. He is always pushing me and offering advice. For me, the body challenge is just the beginning. I still have more fitness goals I want to reach. I know with the support and help of the staff and members of anytime fitness, I will reach my fitness goals. Six pack here I come!!
Kimberly lost 21 pounds! Full story coming soon.