As with most of us, life just happened. I was married, divorced with an ex-husband who continued to move further and further away with our two children, then re-married with an additional two children. Tragedy struck when my son was killed by a drunk driver on 8/30/2001, two weeks before 9/11. I was working at American Airlines at the time. Five years ago my husband and I became legal guardians of our granddaughter, Leia.
In 2012 I underwent surgery on both of my feet, leaving me with mobility issues. My husband and I went on a cruise – I used a wheelchair. We visited Disney World with our family and I rented a scooter. I became a full blown couch potato and the pounds packed on.
When I was younger I ate what I wanted when I wanted. I never knew the meaning of “eating healthy”. I wasn’t gaining weight, so why should I be concerned with eating healthy? When the Des Moines Life Time Athletic club opened I weighed almost 200 pounds. I was reluctant to apply for a position, thinking there was no way I would get hired at a health club when I was so overweight. To my surprise I was taken on as a Life Café supervisor. I love my job so much.
At the time my goal was to work out, learn about fitness and take care of myself. I was having a difficult time getting motivated – one excuse after another. I didn’t want to pay for a trainer and I was convincing myself that there weren’t classes I wanted to attend when I wasn’t working. I joined most of the 60 and 90 Day Challenges, but never followed through with any of my health and fitness goals.
Fast forward to early 2017: Life Time trainer Frank Fazio offered to train myself and anyone else from the Life Café during the previous 60 Day Challenge (big shout out to Frank – he is wonderful!). Working with Frank got my wheels turning – I was beginning to become interested in pursuing my weight loss goals again. My success was cut short when I eventually fell back into my comfort zone of not being active and not eating well.
This was around the time that Molly Severson joined the Life Time family as a personal trainer. She was motivated to gather employees from all departments and get us active and on the path to achieving our health and fitness goals. With encouragement from Molly and my other team members I was finally getting the workout “bug”. We are currently working out three times a week. Beyond our TEAM workouts I am working out on my own with techniques that I’ve learned from Molly. I am also keeping a close eye on calorie counts and nutritional information, leading to smarter and healthier diet decisions.
I am reminded daily of the progress I’ve made! Clothes that I had given up on as I was gaining weight were fitting again, my energy level has been through the roof, and I’m consistently getting positive comments about the way I look. It’s a feeling I’ve never felt before, and I absolutely love it! I have a hard time believing 60 days ago I was 20 pounds heaving and two sizes bigger. I haven’t been this small for 15 to 20 years!
I still have a long way to go to reach my total health and fitness goals. My plan is to keep training with Molly and continue down the road to a healthy body and lifestyle. My success has been contagious – I’ve finally convinced my husband to join Life Time, and my dietary choices have caught on with my family. My granddaughter has noticed a big change in Nana! I am so thankful to Life Time, Frank, Molly, my fellow team members, and the 60 Day Challenge for giving me the opportunity and motivation to get healthy!
What am I going to do now that the 60 day challenge is over?… I’M GOING TO DISNEY WORLD!