Gainesville, VA

Stephanie V.

Stephanie’s Story

Over the years I have continuously struggled with not only my weight but my self-esteem.   In my younger years I never worried about my weight and I was a high school athlete in both track and swim team. This all drastically changed in the summer of 2012 when I was diagnosed with Thyroid Cancer. In August of 2012, I received the news that I was going to have to have a Thyroidectomy to completely remove my thyroid gland as part of my cancer treatment plan. After a year, and several rounds of radioactive iodine treatments I was given the news that I was cancer free.

Since 2012 my weight began to increase continually, my replacement thyroid medicine that I take daily and the removal of my thyroid, made it harder than ever before to lose any weight. Each year went by and I would look in the mirror and cry because I was so unhappy with my weight which made my self esteem go to a new low.  I was heavier than I was with either of my pregnancies, and I could feel myself becoming a person I did not want to be.  Since the surgery I tried multiple diet plans, different workout regimens, but although they took of some pounds here and there it was never more than 10 or so, and I would gain it back.

We had moved to a new area and the gym selection was very slim and I was not excited or motivated to workout. In 2018 we heard the news of the new Life Time opening and it was only 4 miles from my house.  I told my husband that all I wanted for my birthday that year was a Life Time membership.  We visited the preview center and met with Tyler, and I got my birthday gift.  The coming months while the club finished construction, I think I drove past weekly, if not daily to check on the progress because I could not wait to be back in the Life Time family.

In March of 2019 Life Time opened. Walking through the doors for my first workout I was nervous as I had not consistently worked out for several years and was not sure where to start. My confidence level was at an all-time low. I will never forget my first Barbell Strength class with Cetta and her infectious attitude and motivation got me through the first Group Fitness class in years, and I was hooked. I religiously took her classes every week.  I soon after met Becky, the Group Fitness Studio Manager and her talents and positive energy were enough to make you want to walk through those doors and try all the new classes.  I attended Zumba with Emily, Spin with Shelby, Flow with Emily D. and continued through many classes until August when I joined Life Time Run.  Lindsey encouraged me to move out of my comfort zone and try something new.  Lindsey coached me and motivated me to run my first race in 28 years on the day before my 45th birthday.

Slowly but surely my motivation and confidence were increasing but now I wanted more. I met with Stan, for my onboarding training session, and continued to work with him doing mobility training sessions where I fell in love with Normatec compression in The Zone.  Kelsey greets me every morning with her smile and her listening ear during each session I do. I continued to meet so many amazing “family members” at Life Time and once again felt that this was the place that was making me a better person in all aspects.  I had my first facial and massage in the Spa, I met Greg the LifeCafe manager and his positivity and hard work is amazing.

I wanted to push myself even harder through the holidays, so I met with Stan and I decided to join the 60day to keep myself accountable through the holidays.  I started my first 2 week D.TOX, and went completely out of my comfort zone and signed up for GTX classes.  I meet with Shelby to talk about nutrition. I completed my first AMA testing, and I decided to try Natalie’s Burn classes at 5:00 AM.  My first reaction was that I could never get up that early and make it to those classes, but after one class with Natalie, I knew I was wrong.  My first Burn class pushed me in every way, physically and mentally. Natalie’s a true motivator, without her pushing me every day to levels I never thought I could accomplish I would not be where I am today.  My confidence and motivation increase each morning with Natalie and I now attend her Burn classes daily Monday through Friday.  On mornings where I think I can’t get up and workout,  I think in my head but I will miss Sofia’s smile and hug when I walk in at 4:45 and Natalie will text me by 5:01 saying where are you and you better be on your way. I never miss a morning with Natalie, my confidence after seeing the weight loss and body fat changes are my motivation to keep pushing.

I am truly grateful that I not only am committing to a healthier way of life physically, but also mentally. Today is my final weigh in and I am down 20.8 lbs. and 7.2% body fat in 60 days. This 60day has changed my life, inspired me to be a better me, and I am doing it.   This challenge is only the beginning of my journey and I can’t wait to see where I go from here.