My transformation journey didn’t start just 60 days ago. It began seventeen months ago with the Fall 2015 90-Day Transformation Challenge. I am what would be considered a “small person” (thanks to Mom and Dad), but my body had drifted to a point that was…well, not as small. My pants didn’t fit and my upper body was heavier than I was comfortable with. When my family moved from Chicago to Des Moines in 2012, I traded my twice daily, one-mile sprint between the train and office for a 20-minute drive to work. I’m sure being in my late 40s didn’t help my condition, either. It didn’t take long for my body to notice the difference. I refused to buy bigger clothes to accommodate a bigger body. But I didn’t have a plan for making things different.
I was mesmerized with the before and after posters of women that successfully transformed their bodies in prior Challenges. One day, I decided to stop staring at the posters, get out of my comfort zone, and join the 90-Day Challenge! I also decided to augment my Saturday morning Zumba class with training focused on body conditioning and strength training. I mentioned my interest in personal training to Jennifer, the metabolic specialist, but expressed concern about the cost. She suggested TEAM Fitness as a cost-effective alternative to personal training, with small group classes that met three times a week for strength, cardio, and circuit training. Jennifer informed me that Cody Tilk had just started a TEAM session and that I was welcome to try it out. The next day, I showed up to Cody’s class, worked out with the team and was immediately hooked.
During the treadmill warm-up, Cody would review our fitness logs and make suggestions on our nutrition and life habits. This was my favorite part of the workout. “Eat more protein! Get more sleep!” were his typical recommendations for me. The camaraderie of the people in my class, the attention from the coach, and the accountability that comes with having someone look over your shoulder and expecting excellence were incredibly effective for me.
I continued to do Zumba on Saturday mornings, which was eventually replaced with Katrina’s Dance Jam class. As I became stronger through TEAM, I added a second Dance Jam class to my Wednesday night TEAM session and took the Sunday afternoon Zumba class with Kristi whenever possible. On a good week, I had six different workouts – three TEAM and three dance. Work travel and kids’ activities were the only conflicts that would force me to miss a workout; otherwise, I consistently made my classes. I closed out my first 90-Day Challenge a few pounds lighter and with an improved body fat percentage. Most importantly, I was fitting back into my clothes. After that, TEAM, dance and the Challenges became my new normal.
After a year of TEAM and in anticipation of a trip to Mexico with my husband, Cody suggested adding the D.TOX program and dry saunas to my routine to get my body “bathing suit appropriate.” The D.TOX program was easy to follow and the results were GREAT. For the first time since having my third child ten years ago, I was comfortable in a bathing suit (though I will never be thrilled with the stretch marks).
After Mexico, I was still motivated to keep transforming my body. I entered the Holiday Challenge, but was focused on increasing lean muscle mass and less bothered with dropping body fat. Because I stuck with the D.TOX diet, I continued to experience steady weight loss and reductions in my body fat percentage. To my surprise, I was faring well in the Challenge. Cody suggested I keep up with my workouts and tweak my diet – eat more protein, stay clear of sugar, and drink water like there’s no tomorrow. We targeted a body fat percentage of 7%, but I was able to do a little more, which was another pleasant surprise. And here we are…
Looking back over the past seventeen months, I have to credit my progress to both Cody and all the people that were with me working through their personal transformations. TEAM assessment days would be unbearable without support from the TEAM members, such as Dixie, Janice, Carey, Jean, and Wendy. Bustin’ a move in Dance Jam and Zumba with Katrina and Fabiola and being a part of the energy that comes from people letting loose while sweating up a storm are the highlights of my week. Chillin’ in the sauna after workouts with Mary, Lori, my good friend Joelyn, and the women that share their fitness stories bring it all together for me. Yes, the women’s sauna is a place of great knowledge sharing. And, most importantly, my husband and three kids have been incredibly supportive and truly understand how important it is for me to stay healthy and strong not only for me, but also for them.
I will continue transforming my body to keep feeling strong and eventually look stronger. I will keep crushing it with the gang in TEAM, dancing with Katrina whenever I can, and trading fitness stories with the women in the sauna. Life really is good!