I had always been a thin person. I never really had to work hard at the gym to stay in shape, or maintain my size six figure.
However, after I had gained 75 pounds each with two pregnancies, and some additional weight after my second child, I was no longer that thin person. I had avoided being photographed, stepping on a scale, and even spending time in front of the mirror since my second son was born in October of 2011.
I was faced with the reality of my weight gain when I was placed on a medication that was distributed by the person’s weight.
I could not ignore that I was 215 pounds. My size 16 clothes were tight, and I could no longer carry a basket of laundry up the stairs without becoming short of breath and fatigued. Playing with my five year old, and two year old sons became a chore. As a registered nurse in the emergency department, I struggled making it through my twelve-hour shifts without back and knee pain. My family and I joined The Hockessin Athletic Club in May 2012.
I was overweight, unhealthy, and out of shape. Since I never worried about my food habits or workout routines in the past, I was completely new to losing weight. That first year, I would go to the gym “when I could find time.” I would do the same workout routine from before my weight gain, and was beyond frustrated when I was not losing weight. I did not realize at the time that there is a huge difference between losing weight and maintaining weight. I tried a few of the large group fitness classes, but became discouraged when my endurance could not keep up, or just not knowing how to keep correct form. Plus, it is intimidating to walk into a large room with very fit people. So I would return to my comfort zone of walking on the treadmill and doing some work on the circuit machines.
Feeling out of control, and basically giving up on being me again, in late July of 2013 a trainer approached me while I was on the treadmill. I had not worked with a personal trainer because financially it was out of reach. She asked if I wanted to try a class called FIT.
She explained how it was a small group, high intensity class, and the first one was free. I heard small, and free, and said “why not!” I was completely out of my element. Being clueless as to the majority of the exercises in the class, I began to feel intimidated and ready to run out of the class. However, small group fitness allows for each exercise to be demonstrated, and assistance was provided when needed, just like a personal training session. I loved how I was learning different types of exercises, and could incorporate them into my own workouts outside of class. The class went for forty- five minutes, and I struggled the whole way!
That class, and the trainer, Dina Moore, changed my life. I was able to pull through what seemed to be the longest forty- five minutes of my life with the support and encouragement from Dina, and the amazing group of people in the class.
When I got home that night, I made a promise to myself to go back the following week. The extra push came with Dina texting me every week to return. I loved how she gave me the confidence to believe in myself.
I lost that confidence, and with FIT it was slowly coming back. I wanted to focus on my endurance and strength. I did not want to become obsessed with my number on the scale. I thought to myself, if I am sweating and making progress every week, the weight would come off. When I started Dina’s class I could barely swing an 8-kilogram kettle bell for thirty seconds. Today I am able to swing a 24-kilogram kettle bell for a minute! The thought of stepping up onto a twenty- four inch box jump was daunting, but now I enjoy the challenge and success of jumping onto a forty- two inch box jump. Bending down to pick up a barbell was a struggle, let alone lifting the thing. Today I can clean and press eighty pounds! As time passed and I became stronger and had more endurance, Dina began to guide me towards different group fitness classes. I then fell in love with the kettlebell classes. Being taught by all personal trainers, it was easy to ask questions, and keep good form.
I now go the gym five days a week mixing cardio and group fitness classes. I look forward to seeing the different personal trainers that have encouraged, inspired, and supported me to be healthy! I anticipate the exchange of a fist pound, “you got this girl,” and the feeling of accomplishment drenched in sweat leaving a class by Dina Moore. It truly is amazing to fit into clothes I have not seen in over six years, but the most exciting is the shape and strength my body is in today. I have been very lucky to meet so many wonderful people during my journey. I do not worry about the number on the scale anymore, because to me, what is most important is being healthy and fit.