My journey began a little over a year ago. I had tried many diets and either failed the diet or failed to maintain my new lifestyle for any length of time. My 40th birthday was approaching and I had recently been diagnosed with moderate osteoarthritis in both knees and high blood pressure. I thought I had made peace with my larger stature and vowed not to let it affect my life. That was until my mobility was affected and I could clearly see that the path forward would be an unhappy one.
I finally got to the point where I was ready to be real with myself and acknowledge that I was not able to do it on my own and so I began to look for support. I dropped in on Denise and was immediately sold on her no-nonsense, healthy approach to diet and exercise. There would be no gimmicks, no eliminating entire food groups, no supplements, and no injections. It was clear that the focus would be on learning how to have a healthy relationship with food and to lose weight while maintaining my lean body mass. It almost seemed too simple! I consider myself a pretty intelligent person, someone who is determined and hard-working. Surely, if it was that “easy” I should have been able to achieve lasting weight loss on my own?! One thing I learned about myself through this journey is that I’m not a particularly patient person! I thought I knew what to do… but I was clearly lacking the ability to trust the process. I found that when I did as I was instructed, consistently and accurately, the magic started to happen. I began to lose weight slowly and steadily. First 10 lbs, then 25… when I hit 50 lbs, I was jumping for joy! Everything became easier. I probably could have quit then and there and been more than pleased with myself, but because I had momentum on my side and I signed on to lose 100 lbs, I continued. Over the course of a year, life happens! There are birthdays, vacations, holidays, illness and the occasional crisis… the works! It is so easy to become complacent and enjoy one too many treats, let loose a little too often and lose sight of the goal. This is why the weekly meetings were crucial to my success. Every seven days I had to answer for my results. I also had the opportunity to troubleshoot, discuss the emotional aspect of weight loss, take non-scale measurements and learn about nutrition! Denise was always lovely. Her professionalism and experience shone through regardless of the challenge. I am so grateful to have both her and my trainer Kirk on my team. Gradually, as the weight loss added up everyone started to notice and their encouragement helped push me through each challenge. Soon my support system grew and I finally started believing that I would reach my destination, What a great feeling!
What I did not realize when I started out, was how crucial a role personal training would play in my journey. I was very self-conscious and had limited mobility due to my arthritis, but Kirk designed a program perfect for me. With a lot of patience, good humour and cheerleading he led me around the gym incorporating the right mix of exercises to help me grow stronger muscles as the extra layers of fat melted away. My workouts were powered by the right nutrition, an adequate amount of healthy foods, precisely timed, portioned and customized to my likes. The first few weeks were tough, but after a while, it became second nature. Soon, I started to crave activity. Carving out time for myself became easier and the exercise helped me cope with stress. With every pound I lost, walking and working out got easier, and at one point I decided that I was “sporty” and that I loved the feeling of lifting heavy things. I couldn’t even look at myself in the mirror when I started. In fact, I turned my face when Denise tried to show me my “before” picture. Now, I check out how my biceps are coming along while brushing my teeth.
The highlight of my journey has been reaping the benefits of my hard work. Notably, clothes shopping in non-plus size shops, fitting nicely in an airplane seat, discontinuing medications, having stamina and strength to keep up with my family, making new friends at the gym, reversing the metabolic damage done with previous crash diets, fixing my relationship with food and ultimately changing the path of my life forever. So, I (along with my family) sincerely thank you, not only for the motivation to see my goal through to the end but for creating a welcoming environment in which ANYONE can work towards their dreams. Back In Balance Fitness and Nutrition; a sparkling diamond in the rough!
With sincere gratitude,