I started training with Karen in May 2016 – when I started my journey. I had joined Weight Watchers the week or two before, and knew that I could not just walk on a treadmill like I had done so many times in the past. I needed a trainer to help guide me to true lifestyle changes. I was determined that this time was going to be it – the last time I was going to lose a lot of weight and really keep it off.
I let Karen know that I was looking for someone to teach me, guide me, and help get me started. She was able to work with me so we made the most of our time together, and she taught me! That was the most important part – she taught me how to increase my strength and how to do things on my own. We worked on reviewing my eating habits – the what, when, where, and how. I joined Weight Watchers to find out how much I should be eating and to start some better habits (I switched over to using the My Fitness Pal app once I became diligent with writing everything down). That was a great habit that Karen taught me, and it is now truly a habit – if I eat it, it gets written down. Yes, even the “bad” stuff.
Karen helped me find a workout that was good for me. We quickly incorporated HIIT training and we worked through creating workouts that would keep me motivated and see results. She taught me which workouts work which areas of the body, so I could switch things up as I wanted to. Since I’m a creature of habit, I stuck to my same routine each week. On Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays I would do my HIIT routine. On Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays I would work on cardio. For over a year and a half now I have followed my routine and going to the gym six days a week is part of my schedule. I work full time and have three and five year old, so while I am always on the go, there aren’t many reasons why I would miss my time at the gym. If I have a really jam-packed day, I may have to get up at 5am and work out. My schedule usually allows me to go to the gym during my lunch, and Karen taught me that it’s about the quality of time spent working out, not the quantity. I knew I was limited to 30-40 minutes each day, so we worked out a plan where that time was truly utilized to its fullest.
In the course of just over 11 months, I lost 90 pounds, 60 inches, and over 16% body fat. I have maintained the weight loss for nine months now and I have learned so much! First, I learned that I really do have an addiction to food. I wish I could say that now all I want to eat are fruits and veggies, but that’s not true. Karen and I identified that the maintenance will be the hardest part for me – that this will be a life-long journey and every day will present struggles. Planning has been key to my success. I take the time to food prep and plan out my week. I generally eat the same thing for breakfast and lunch, and plan different dinners. With that said, I do not deprive myself. I still have margarita nights with my friends, and get ice cream with the kids. I just incorporate it better so it’s a one-off and not a routine. At the ice cream shop I’ll choose to get mine in a cup instead of a cone. I’ll order the smaller margarita and ensure the waiter brings an extra ice water. These are things that I have to focus on for the remainder of my life to maintain my weight. It’s not always easy. My cravings are still there – I just have to be creative about dealing with them.
This past winter I started to get bored with my routine at the gym, so I reached out to Karen and set up some additional sessions with her to learn new things, techniques, and exercises. While my weight has fluctuated (sometimes as much as gaining 8 pounds), I know what I need to do to get back to my goal. And I would still like to lose a few more pounds – but I’m happier where I am, I’m healthier (in so many ways!), I can play with my kids without getting winded, and I just feel better.