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Tatiana succumbs to University weight gain which causes her to feel like life is spiraling out of control…Her wake up call was a message from her doctor.

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It seemed as if everything was spiraling out of control. In the past 5 years of my life there have been many big changes. Moving to a new home, starting my first job at the age of 16 (which believe it or not carved out my entire life and career path.. who would have known!), starting my university career, engaging in a long term relationship.. basically creating the foundation for my life. I was always on the heavier side of the scale but it never bothered me because I was healthy. I felt good. But the stresses of life got the best of me. When I couldn’t handle the pressure anymore, I turned to food. A simple solution to an otherwise chaotic situation. Evidently, this was doing far more harm than it was good, which I would soon come to realize. The problem was that it was so easy to fall into the trap.


The university campus was filled with aromas of every kind of food you can think of.. and after hours of boring lectures and bus rides it only seemed logical to fuel myself before heading off to work.. but I was not making the right choices.

I tried to bring food with me so that I wouldn’t cave into buying the junk (because who wants to spend $10+ of your hard earned money on a stupid salad that doesn’t even have cucumbers..) but often times I was so rushed that I would excuse myself from being conscience of my health and just grab a quick bite to eat anywhere it was available. This worsened in the 2nd and 3rd years of school when work began to consume more of my time. Before I knew it, the damage of university weight gain had been done. In addition to that, I started dating my boyfriend. Things moved quickly and I started to meet his family… his Italian family… white pasta, bread, desserts. Even though I grew up in an Italian household, we did not eat like the typical Italian family. I think I ate more white pasta in those first few months than I had in my entire lifetime. I was not used to this and my body defiantly did not agree. Slowly these changes became a reality and before I knew it I had created a completely different lifestyle for myself, one which consisted of stress and bad choices. The problem was that it was masked by all the good things in my life.. my relationship, my family, my new family, my amazing job opportunity, my school accomplishments, among other things. All these things were good. I was busy and I felt like I was doing good things.

I was focused on everything else in my life (and everybody else) and I forgot to focus on one important thing… myself.

In August 2014 I realized that life couldn’t go on the way it was, it wouldn’t go on. I was exhausted, I couldn’t wake up in the mornings, my job performance was decreasing at work, all of my clothes decided to shrink. I had trouble focusing on any task at hand, whatever it may have been. My doctor was concerned with my weight and my blood sugar levels. With diabetes running rapid in my genes and struggling with daily life, I knew it was time to make a change to better my physical and mental health while I still had the choice to do so.I wanted to feel like myself again

DSC_9817I do not often remember dates, but I do remember August 20, 2014. This was my first meeting at Bodies by Design with Alex. I had been a member of the gym in the past for a short time but I knew that this time would be different. I was motivated and I was ready for change. I came to Bodies by Design, specifically for the training program, looking for support and motivation. I knew my goals and what I need to do to achieve them but I also knew that I needed that extra push to get myself motivated. Working with Alex over the past few months has been life changing. After only 7 months, I am already half way to my goal. I was a little hesitant at the beginning and realized quickly that I would have to change my attitude.

During one of my first few visits at the gym on my own, another trainer (Nat) said to me “you never smile” and it really stuck with me and helped me to realize how important it was that I change my attitude – in all aspects of my life I am a happy and positive person and I needed to bring that with me to the gym.

I was logging my food daily – this really provided an awareness of the types of foods I was putting in my body. More than anything, I found that it helped me to control potion sizes since I was measuring all of my foods. I worked out with Alex 2 times a week and was exercising on my own 2-3 times a week focusing on cardio. I never thought that I would enjoy the gym, but it became therapeutic. It allows me about 1 hour during my day to disconnect from the stresses of life and focus on myself, for this I am grateful. Bodies by Design provides a welcoming and comfortable atmosphere that promotes fitness and well being – exactly what I needed.

I am currently down 85lbs and I have another 15lbs to go. From there, I hope to continue with another 20lbs to reach my final goal weight. I hope to finish my next challenge and achieve my long term goal within the next year.

I am becoming stronger physically and mentally – this is only the beginning.
As I progressed, I continued to train and build my strength mentally and physically. Later, putting more effort into refining my diet and nutrition in order to create a sustainable lifestyle. I constantly make changes to better myself and will continue to do so throughout this journey.
There is always room for growth. I look forward to continued self development. I feel great!

Tatiana J

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Tatiana with her trainer Alex Wilson and Fitness Coach Kris Simpson

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