What started as a weight loss goal has become a healthy lifestyle goal. Nick continues to challenge me and help me improve and reach new goals. I still track my food; I find that if I don’t, the scale begins to creep up.
Donna and I encourage and keep each other accountable. Having a friend with similar goals is very valuable – not everyone “gets it.” Donna does. When you embark on a major lifestyle change, and losing 82 pounds is a big change, you need to surround yourself with the right people to help you succeed.
On a very basic level, losing weight is about eating less and moving more. The most valuable things I’ve learned have to do with the details of that basic premise. I have also learned that it’s not about losing weight so much as being healthy. I have incorporated these details into my life. I continue to work at it and challenge myself, and Donna and I are always there to support each other!
“What started as a weight loss goal has become a healthy lifestyle goal.”
My weight and activity level has fluctuated over the years. I had joined gyms and Weight Watchers multiple times and would find some success but never really met my goals. In December 2011, due to poor eating habits and very little physical activity, I found my weight at an all-time high and my elevated cholesterol requiring medication.
As a cardiovascular nurse, I knew I was not headed down a good path. When Razor Sharp opened the Erie Street location I was finally ready for a change.
I worked out by myself for a few months and began tracking what I ate using the MyFitnessPal app. I made a little progress on my own, but I had so much weight to lose.
When I started working with Personal Trainer Nick Estep, things started to come together. With Nick’s help I learned to not just track my food, but to be concerned with the nutrients in food. I learned to not just exercise, but to exercise the right way.
“I’m NOT going back to that life.”
I joined Razor Sharp in October 2011, but it wasn’t until the following May when I finally walked in to work out. I had lost 40 pounds before, but then gained it all and back – and more. I couldn’t believe how difficult the mental battle was to get started again! However, with a family history of heart attacks – my father died at age 48, and two of my brothers survived heart attacks at 40 and 46, AND my mom survived one at 75 – I felt like I was a ticking time bomb.
So, I began working out 5-6 days a week. Still, the scale barely moved. Frustrated, I decided to add the weight machines at the gym and began using MyFitnessPal to track my food. That combination, along with consistency, finally started to pay off.
Another great help to me was doing this with Michelle. She and I had been friends and had jogged together on occasion since she lives near me. We became friends on MyFitnessPal, started going to the gym together when we could, and have been able to cheer each other on during this journey. She was working with Personal Trainer Nick Estep, and I saw her progress with strength training and toning. I was a stay-at-home mom at the time, so I felt I couldn’t justify a personal trainer when I wasn’t working.
In 2013, after losing 46 pounds, and my youngest getting ready to graduate from high school, I began asking myself, “What now?” My answer that spring was to take the classes required to renew my teaching license.
My weight loss gave me confidence to apply for jobs and interview. I was hired at a middle school in Racine in August 2013. It has been one wild ride, but the weight loss and energy I have from exercising has given me what I have needed to handle my job.
With a paycheck coming in, I decided to start training with Nick in July of last year. I felt like I was in a rut with my exercise and needed something different to keep me going.
This past winter, I gained about 10 pounds. As I saw the scale moving up, panic crept in. My new clothes were beginning to feel uncomfortable. Six weeks before Easter, I re-committed to using all the tools available to me – though I was still exercising, I had stopped tracking my food. I also shared this new dedication with Michelle for accountability.
At the end of six weeks, I had lost 8.2 pounds and was able to wear my summer clothes on a trip to Florida. I was so incredibly excited when everything fit! The combination of food tracking, consistent exercise, a friend who would come to my house to drag me to the gym (if necessary), some personal training, and an “I’m NOT going back to that life” attitude has been the key for me!