I want to share a couple of images with you. One is of me 2 months post baby #4 at 165 lbs (I am 5'5'') then 8 months later at 144 lbs. YES 8 MONTHS to lose 21 lbs!!!!! I am in the business of lifelong changes for lasting results. This is NOT a quick fix. I want to help you from the inside-out. For some of you, making the switch from soda, fast food, skipped meals and lack of exercise to my program, your going to see FAST results!! That is super exciting and MOTIVATING! But lets not discredit those of you in between. I have marathon runners, athletes, and even other personal trainers doing this program. They are not going to drop 8 lbs the first week. If that is you, don't worry, stay the course and I promise your results will shock you at the end. It might not be at 8 weeks, my journey per this pictures was 8 months and I'm FAR from done! It is so empowering to know that we have control over our bodies. You do NOT have to "accept" where your at right now if you don't like it. What we put into our bodies and how we treat it, will directly reflect how we feel. That in turn affects EVERY other aspect, and person, in our lives. Create a victory this week. DO NOT focus on what you cannot have but instead how great you feel.
The other is a picture of me on my honeymoon, about 3 weeks from my first marathon, at 155 lbs and a higher body fat percentage. Then post 3 kids at the time. The difference? CONSISTENTLY fueling my body with wholesome foods (and occasional treats, 80/20 rule), weight training AND having the right mindset. You see I have always been active. I have always "eaten healthy". But I haven't always had a good balance. ( More of this to come in a future blog post.) That is what I hope to teach you. I'm sharing these pictures to help inspire and show you CAN do this.
A story about Peas and Carrots……
I am going to start by saying, I will make a long story short.
Not so long ago, (maybe six years) and not so far away I joined a new gym in Lowell called Snap Fitness.
I was 54 at the time and I was not out of shape, but I was not in shape. I had been a runner for ten years but had never trained and wanted to be stronger and add some endurance to my running. Tabitha was a trainer at Snap and over the months we became acquainted and she offered to train a friend and I for eight weeks. So, we accepted, After all, she looked sweet and kind and harmless.
Well friends, that was the beginning of my relationship with Tab. After week one I knew I was in trouble. Her sweet, kind nurturing persona took a wicked twist. She was a serious trainer. Repeatedly I would remind her to take it easy, I was too weak for this. I couldn’t and wouldn’t do another lunge, squat, crunch or sit up. She would just smile and say. “That’s nice, now do three more reps of each, please.” By week five, I started reminding her that the AARP would not appreciate her brutality. She smiled and said that age was just a number. By week eight I knew that once we completed our contractual obligation I would be done training FOREVER. And I was for about four months. Then out of the blue Tab offered group fitness classes. Low Impact Strength Training. Yes, this is exactly what I was looking for. It would be done in a group. There would be lots of people for her to focus on and I wouldn’t feel singled out. I only fooled myself. She can focus on many people at one time and I learned early that slacking will not be tolerated. (Yeah, she shamed me in her nice, kind, nurturing way.) Funny thing, and this is the truth, I continued with these classes for a long time. I became motivated,
disciplined and stronger. (You can teach an old dog, new tricks!) …Yes, there was a huge generation gap between us, but as a wise person told once told me, age was just a number!. . I don’t know when our lifelong friendship was forged. Sometimes it is just hard to try and pinpoint Good Karma. One year Tab, Andy and I ran the Fifth Third River Bank Run, I had ran many, many 5K’s, but this was my first 10K. I must say it was exhilarating…I had achieved another goal. Tabitha had graduated to my life coach. She smiles when I call her that, but she is. She continued to offer classes. She even had a nutrition class at her home. If she offered it, I signed up for it. Tabitha knows her stuff and her passion rubs off on everything she does. At 59 I asked Tab if she would train for a half marathon with me. She accepted and even started a running group called, Run Because You Can, so that others could train and have an accountability group for support. We ran the Gazelle Girl Half Marathon. She ran like a gazelle and finished with a PR time (around eight minute miles I think) and then patiently waited for me to get close to the finish line and ran across with me.. I finished…not my best time but I happily crossed it off my bucket list…and yep, Tab was by my side…
That fall she offered one last class before she had to take time off because Ezra was due at Christmas time. It was bittersweet. I still remember her doing pushups when she was seven months pregnant…Yep, she is that amazing. I continued training and working out at the gym. I actually ran another half marathon in Philadelphia with my two daughters…I think the word I should use here is, priceless. It was a proud moment for me. Tabitha encouraged me all the way through the training. Yes, it was via messaging and Facebook. Does it matter how or where the encouragement comes from? Nope, she is just always there through thick and thin. Her gift to me is her encouragement, motivation and the ability to make me believe that I CAN do it.
Once I told her that we were like peas and carrots, (yes, I borrowed that from Forrest Gump). She is a lifelong friend.
She has asked me several times what my goals are. Always number one is to grow old gracefully. After that it is to just be as strong and fit as I can possibly be through the rest of my life. She gets me.
I love her. Janey
I have always been a fuller (bigger) woman and I have ALWAYS struggled with my self image, confidence and body issues.There has been a desire inside me to change. I wanted my outsides to match my insides. Over the years, my desire has fallen short. I haven't really been a yo-yo dieter but I have been one who would do "good" for short periods of time throughout the past 7 years, I would see some progress and then I would loose momentum. I thought I had a fairly good grasp of healthy foods and exercise, but boy was I wrong!
I met Tabitha the spring of 2014 and start taking her bootcamp classes. I had some success that summer and was feeling stronger and leaner going into the holiday season. Then I let life take over. It began a battle with letting that bad day end in drinks and food out, that said moment to become an excuse to eat "quicker" options. I would worry about others well being over my own. I sacrificed my health and happiness for others joy. By midway through summer of 2015 I had gained back the 20 lbs I had lost the previous year, and became even more frustrated. I struggled, and I struggled. I remember earlier this fall, I hit my limit. I hated looking in the mirror or any reflective surface. I didn't enjoy getting dressed for work or for any other functions. I would say I was in a constant state of being bummed. I started talking to Tab after class and shared how I just felt like I couldn't do it and why didn't my body change in the ways I wanted. I came to her class religiously but it began to feel pointless. I didn't feel stronger and I definitely wasn't in better shape despite the sweating every week. Then a great thing happened. Tabitha started an online program that I have taken and literally ran with. From the moment I knew that this was going to actually happen I started to become more aware of my eating again. Two weeks before the 8 week challenge began I was already on my way. I had 6 pounds gone and a few inches lost and then I read and read the words written out before me. It became my new focus.
At that moment, October 18th, 2015 I committed to make the changes I wanted, I believed and I felt I deserved. I had a plan from the moment it began, and I planned everyday. It was time for myself, time that I once believed I didn't have left in my busy day. Surprisingly I found the time, I prepped food and I cooked my meals. I stopped relying on quick food options that surround me and I just changed my mind set. I have made a commitment to myself to never be this way again. I now eat portioned meals of whole foods and I work out! The better I eat and more aware of what I put in my body the more it performs for me physically. In less than 5 weeks I have lost 14 lbs, and 17.5 inches from my body. Every part of me has lost! I am 1lb away from 20 pounds in 2 months. On top of the numbers I am stronger, my aches are few and far between, I have even found myself more productive in other areas of my life. I am happy and I am excited for what the future holds.
I would have never imagined sharing these pictures with anyone, let alone a group o people I don't know. But here is what my commitment has done for me, along with the support and motivation I get daily from others out there trying to make the same changes.
I met or exceeded every goal I set for myself during this 8 wk challenge & I couldn't have done it without the supportive and educational fitness & nutrition information from Tabitha. The biggest thing I am taking away from this is that consistency is key! I thought I was fairly fit when I started but knew my diet lacked consistency. I can tell from the before & after pics that I had a lot more toning up to do then I imagined. Keeping my diet spot on helped me see all of the changes in muscle definition. This challenge has encouraged my kids to make better food choices & convinced my husband to join the 2nd 8 week challenge in January. This is only the beginning!!
I am a mom of three with my youngest being 7 mos. I am also a current lifetime member of Weight watchers (which is how I lost most of my baby weight). When I started this program I was 5# below my goal weight, but still didn't have the lean body that I so desired. I've also been a runner for as long as I can remember, having trained for my 4th marathon as recently as this summer and fall. With all of that being said I have never had the physique that I currently have after just 8 weeks of the At Home Challenge. I have learned that it takes a fitness program that incorporates strength training as well as a diet focused on the macros to get the results that I am seeing now. I am so glad I took the chance and stepped out of my exercise/diet comfort zone. I look forward to the next challenge and only hope to improve! P.S.- I am only .4lbs. down from week 1 to 8! This proves to me that numbers aren't everything!
I can't believe how fast 8 weeks has flown by! Here are my final pics. Down a total of 2.2 pounds and 4.625 inches. I took my weight and measurements first this morning and the numbers were nothing alarming. BUT once I took my pictures and was able to SEE the results in my side by side it instantly put a smile on my face!! I am super pleased with my results and I FEEL so much better and STRONGER! Especially my core! My posture is SO MUCH better as well which I didn't realize until I looked at the pictures. Strength/toning was my goal and I definitely feel like I accomplished this! Another win...my specific strength goal was 12 REAL push ups and this morning in my final assessment I was able to do 16! All of my other numbers from the assessment improved drastically as well! I thought I was eating healthy and getting proper exercise before starting the program but clearly I was wrong! I always focused on cardio but I tell you what....STRENGTH TRAINING is where it's at!! I have learned so much about nutrition and exercise and am so excited to make this my new LIFESTYLE beyond the challenge. This is only the beginning! THANK YOU!!! - Dana Newman
I am feeling so great!! Ready to tackle the holidays and excited for the next challenge!!!
Thanks for EVERYTHING!! I was on a vicious downward spiral and this challenge came into my life at a perfect time to help get myself back in control. It scares me to think what I would look and feel like (after all the holiday junk) if it wasn't for you and this amazing challenge.
Also, THANK YOU for introducing me to 2 other amazing women ( Laurel and Katie) my accountability partners. It is crazy how I feel like we are true friends and we've never even met. They are such inspiring women and I am so glad to have met them through you!!! -Jena Laubscher
Total down in 8 weeks: 7.6 lbs and 15.25 inches lost
At the beginning of the challenge the thought crossed my mind to have my husband take the pictures, but I was to embarrassed. How sad is that, wouldn't let the person closest to me, my partner in life see me in a sports bra and workout pants. Want to know what YOUR challenge, YOUR guidance, YOUR support did for me? It gave me the tools to get my self confidence back. You will not see that as one of my goals, but it is the most important thing I am walking away from this challenge with. It must be pretty important because I am bawling at the computer typing this... Tabitha I cannot thank you enough. I know I did the work, but you need to know that you and this program was an answer to prayer!
In 8 weeks: Total down 9 lbs and 18 inches
In 8 weeks lost 15.5 lbs and 13.5 inches while gaining self confidence and STRENGTH!
This 8 week challenge group exceeded any expectations I had and lost 535.5 inches and 407.6 lbs TOTAL. Over half of the challengers then rejoined round 2 and are currently surpassing all of the above goals. What a blessing to have the opportunity to inspire others!