They say a picture is worth a thousand words. What a true statement this was for me. My journey began back in November of 2017 when I went on a Thanksgiving get away with my husband. We spent 4 beautiful nights in Portsmouth, New Hampshire and walked and explored downtown. We took a walk down to the water with our dog and we exchanged photos. It wasn’t until I got home that I truly looked at those pictures and had to face the fact that my weight had gotten out of control and there was no denying it. Then came Christmas and my famous birthday “month” where I would literally eat and drink my way through the month of February. I kept that photo from New Hampshire and looked at it often – with pure personal disgust.
Fast forward to March 2018. I kept reading my friends’ D.j. Redding-Collins Heidi Currin Carole Burney Jones posts on Facebook about their personal successes and how much they appreciated the Fitness Asylum’s community, like no other, and what it’s brought them personally. I had actually received an email (maybe it was Facebook Messenger, I can’t remember) about a year earlier from Carol telling me about the 12 Week Body Challenge – before the Hudson location was open. Little did Carol know that her email was the beginning of me stalking Bonnie and the Fitness Asylum for months on end.
I have a background in fitness and owned and operated a continuing education company that provided training workshop credits for group exercise organizations — AFAA and IDEA. In addition to operating the company, I also developed classes to prepare individuals to teach group exercise and ultimately become certified. I personally taught 5-10 classes a week during this time. I was fit as hell and never thought that I would not be rock solid. Again, the world would have a different plan for me. I injured my ankle and it never fully recovered which was the end of my group exercise teaching sadly. I remember to this day that I felt my metabolism would never change and I could still eat as though I was burning calories (although not working out). So every year I would see my weight increase and when I looked in the mirror I could convince myself that I still looked fit – even though I was buying larger sizes, baggy tops, and hiding under an all black wardrobe and bathing suits that had skirts to hide my thighs.
Fast forward again to the year 2012 and the birth of our first grandchild – a boy! What a proud moment this was for me and for our entire family. And then in 2015 the birth of our second grandchild – also a boy! How was I going to keep up with two boys when they came for visits, working full time, and always too tired to exercise? I spent the first 3 years of our grandchildren’s lives not being able to get on the floor with them and when I did, unable to get myself up without holding on to a table or chair. It was embarrassing to say the least. After all I was pushing on in years so maybe it was expected that I should just accept the fact that this is what happens when you “get old”. But not so fast – this girl still acts like she’s 35 and believes the body is still 35 also. It was time to put up or shut up. Either I was going to turn this life around or I was going to die an old fat lady. I was not going down without a fight.
After months and months of looking at the Fitness Asylum Facebook page, their website, reading about all of their programs, seeing first hand the before and after transformations, I made the decision that would literally change my life. I was going to join the 12 Week Body Challenge! I went home and talked it over with my husband and he was more than supportive – he joined with me! We felt why not do this together and support each other in the journey. I vividly remember the day we went to Hudson to weigh in – we were both wondering what we got ourselves in to. The week after our initial weigh in, we went to the Body Challenge kick off where we saw literally hundreds of women and men who were doing the exact thing we were. We no longer felt alone. That morning at the Kickoff, we listened to Bonnie talking about the program and why it works. We took notes, read the package, and set our food macro-nutrient goals. We started our food prep and wondered how we could be eating all this food and still be successful. Little did we know that the science of the program was proven and we began to see results personally. The pounds began to fall off and it was exciting for me to think that I could possibly return to teaching. I love to dance and took the plunge to get my Zumba license. My goal is to return to teaching once I achieve my personal weight loss goal of 70 pounds lost. With the help of The Fitness Asylum, I am close to that goal. I have 27 pounds to go and will easily meet that goal before the summer is over. I want to return to Portsmouth New Hampshire this year and take that same walk to the water and take the same photo and not be ashamed to look at it.
The habits that I have learned through Bonnie’s coaching are priceless. I may know exercise form and function from my training days, but I never took the time to truly learn that nutrition plays 80% of your success. If you have ever felt hopeless and wondered how you can get your body back again, I encourage you to look no further than The Fitness Asylum. You will never be judged and you will always be praised for even the smallest accomplishments. This is a family like no other where you will always BE THE CHANGE.
Big hugs to everyone who contributed to my change. #Bessties #Spring2018Challenge