As a child growing up in a large family, we ate mainly bread, rice and potatoes. And we also had dessert every night! I was always active in sports and so was able to maintain a fairly healthy weight throughout my childhood.
As an adult, though, my weight began to yo-yo. I would gain weight and then lose weight. Before my wedding I lost 30 pounds and weighed in at 112 pounds. But the weight kept creeping back on. I was always on a diet trying to lose weight. In September 2012, I weighed in at just under 180 pounds — the same weight I had been when I gave birth to my daughter 13 years earlier!
I felt horrible. I was tired all the time, not eating properly, stressed from running my own business and coping with elderly parents who were not well. I began to have chest pains, numbness in my left arm and I had intense pain in my lower back and down my left leg. I felt like I was falling apart. I underwent a series of tests and thankfully the doctors found nothing wrong with my heart. I had, however, severely pulled the muscles in my lower back and left hip, which was causing the pain. The pain at times was so severe I could hardly walk. I had to take painkillers just to do my Christmas shopping!
On January 1, 2013, I took a good look at myself and realized I didn’t want to live like this anymore. I was turning 50 in May and I felt like I was 80! I have a 13-year-old daughter whom I want to be able to do things with and see grow up. I wanted to lose weight but was afraid that if I did the wrong exercises I might hurt my back even more. I have participated in the Woodbridge MS walk annually, where Bodies By Design employees guide participants during the warm-up. After the event I went on the gym’s website, saw the GRIP program and the free consultation offer. I wrote down the phone number, took a deep breath and called. It was the best thing I ever did!
I met with Kris Simpson, who introduced me to a trainer named Santos for my preliminary assessment. I could hardly move my left leg, as the muscles were extremely tight. Although I didn’t qualify for the GRIP program because of my injuries, I was determined to lose weight and to walk pain free. Finally, after getting the go-ahead from my specialist and family doctor, I began my “Journey to Wellness” on February 20.
I began training with Santos and Alex twice a week. Initially, my workouts consisted mainly of stretching my muscles to increase flexibility. Both Alex and Santos are extremely knowledgeable with the workings of the major muscle groups and they taught me stretches to perform daily in conjunction with my sessions. They also introduced me to their online nutrient coaching tool to help me gauge what I eat and the nutrition it provides.
With the help of my trainers I have lost 25 pounds and 15 centimeters off my waist. The pain in my back is now manageable, as I continue to get stronger every day. Thank you Santos and Alex for keeping me motivated. I am determined to keep going. I know my goal to walk pain-free is within reach.
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