My interest in FA first started when I saw Christine Kallenberg’s pics from her first Bikini Challenge. I thought “WOW! She’s just a normal person, I CAN DO THAT!!” I’ve been in the fitness industry for a long time, teaching group fitness this time (did a stint back in my 20’s also) since 2007. I have known for some time that my nutrition needed to be dialed in, but would do well during the week, and eat whatever and drink whatever on the weekend. Add to that a failing marriage, four kids, and my weight kept going up. Then divorce, single mom, my “me” time was a little lacking. Then the kids got a bit older and I got back to the gym and started teaching. Dating, partying, running many half marathons, three marathons, a few century rides on my bike and one sprint triathlon, I thought I was in pretty good shape, but was NEVER happy with my body.
Thanksgiving 2016, a friend of mine, Dawn McNally, mentioned Fitness Asylum, that she goes there and said her first thought when she first went was “Julie Bates would LOVE this!” So I checked out the website, started looking at the before and after pics from the Body Challenges and the Bikini Challenge. I began READING the testimonials of people who did the Bikini Challenge, and was looking for people my age (after all, I’m NO SPRING CHICKEN!!). And when I ever saw some that said something about being 52, 53 or in their 50’s, I decided then and there I was gonna do it. So I first joined the holiday challenge December 2016 knowing I’d be doing bikini in January.
HOWEVER, I went into this challenge WISHING for a body like the girls in the pictures, but VERY SURE that my body was going to be one of the few that wouldn’t respond to whatever was coming my way nutrition/workout wise. After all, I ate pretty well, and still carried quite a bit of extra weight. I thought, well, I’ll be happy to go on stage at 135 or so. That will be awesome! I weighed in at 152 on kickoff day, January 22, and hit the stage May 20 at 119. I was totally amazed what my body looked like, how amazing and strong and confident I felt! The most amazing thing, though, was the friends I have made along the way. Like-minded, life-long friends who love to be healthy, do fun/silly things like eat fish for DAYS ON END to reach our ultimate goa….. bucket list type goal! (not to mention the boogie cake consumption here and there!!)
I am so thankful for the Fitness Asylum family I now have; Bonnie for being an amazing coach and her knowledge and expertise in all of this; the crazy, fun, push-you-when-they-know-you-can-be-pushed instructors. It’s a crazy ride, one you will be sure to feel so unbelievably proud you took!
Thanks Bonnie! I really didn’t think I’d do this well.