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12 Week Challenge Ends April 11 – Summary Post – April 15, 2016

So today is Friday, April 15th and I am feeling great.  No depressing thoughts or sadness going on in this girl today.  My body is tired from working out all week.  In fact Joe just said “Every part of my body hurts.”  We had great workouts all week.

At Gold’s Gym there are age categories and men/women divisions.  I am in the 50-59 women’s age group.  I really don’t know if there are prizes.  I am just finding out that if you place in the top 3 you attend an awards ceremony.  I didn’t know all that going into this.  There is one more group that ends their 12 week challenge on Monday, April 18.  Then I suppose the judging begins.

I lost 33.5 pounds and 18.25 inches and I believe 2% or 2.5% body fat.  I do not plan to stop any time soon.  I’m in this for the long run.  I honestly didn’t believe I would lose any weight, but my trainer believed he could help me.   He took a lot of his own time to think through the best food program and the best exercise program; for that, I am eternally thankful.

Many of you remember me throwing in the towel a few years ago and saying this has got to stop!  I honestly felt like I had no control of my life and that I was going to die young if I kept on that track.  I quit the second job.  We stopped running a Bible fellowship.  I slowly unloaded all my volunteer duties and then by May 2014 I started working on my health.  That is when I tried a Weight Loss Center recommended by my rheumatologist.   I was successful at first by being put on a strict low calorie diet (1000 or so calories).  I was told not to exercise because I would be hungry.  And then I was given a bunch of supplements (actually I bought a bunch of their supplements) that would help me with weight loss.   This never made any sense to my mind because I thought diet and exercise should be how to lose weight, not pill popping.

Every week that I met with this weight loss center, I told them I physically could not take all of these pills.  Could they please just narrow it down to one or two.  Each person I talked to said I needed all of these.  That got pretty frustrating.  And then Joe was diagnosed with scoliosis.  That took over our lives and I stopped going to the Weight Loss Center.  From August 2014 to May 2015, it was all about Joe.

The surgeon had told Joe that just because he was fixing his spine, that was no guarantee for no back pain.  He would especially have to have a strong core for the rest of his life to help with the no back pain.  So Joe asked to go back to Golds.  We signed him up for some personal trainer sessions with a trainer named Zach.  We fully communicated with everyone there what Joe was recovering from.  Trainer sessions were about 50.00 an hour and after 20 – I just could not afford it.  That is when we were told about the NLP Program (Next Level Performance).  It was much more affordable and we were able to work out with a trainer in a semi-private setting 5 days a week as well as attend group classes.  By now Zach had moved away and Joe had a trainer, Mana.  Mana began working with Joe and I joined too so Joe wouldn’t have to be alone.   I think this was August 2015 that we joined NLP.

As soon as I joined, I went every day – once a day with Joe.  I did this faithfully through December and really saw NO weight loss at all, but a lot of health benefits.  This is where I met Ryan (my trainer).  He saw something in me – I don’t know exactly what – but he told me that if I wanted to do the 12 week challenge, he was sure we could be successful.  Like I said above, I didn’t really believe that because I had worked out August-December with no weight change.  But I signed up on January 18th.  I told him I could commit to 1 hour semi-private training, 1 hour cardio, and 1 hour of class a day.  Now I was one of the heaviest people in the classes and a LOT of modifications were needed for me to feel successful but every single person I have met along the way was very encouraging to me.

At first on the nutrition I was told to EAT.  I have been conditioned my whole life that eating makes you fat, so this was very difficult.  For the first six weeks at least, I had to eat 1800-2000 calories a day.  I would start my week doing well with the eating, but I weighed myself every day.  And if by Wednesday, my weight hadn’t changed, I cut my calories because I thought I wasn’t eating enough.  I was NOT doing a good job of obeying my trainer.  By now Dave had joined NLP too, and my trainer told Dave to get rid of the scale(s).  Dave did this immediately and I swear I thought about the scale/weighing myself at least 30 times a day.  But results soon followed.

Every week I lost something – some weeks were better than others; but I saw progress every single week to the point of 33.5 pounds gone now.  It’s been quite a ride.  I’ll make sure I continue to keep you posted as I continue on this journey.  Now I have to decide if I am brave enough to show you the before/after photo.  Only a handful of people have seen this.  But if I do win, I guess it will end up on the wall at the gym – then modesty be damned at that point.

There’s the progress!

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