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Amy’s Story of Health + Happiness Glory!

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Since first embarking on my journey to discovering health and happiness one year ago, I’ve lost 34 lbs, 14% body fat and 6.5 inches off my waist!

I am down 3 clothing sizes, am physically doing things I initially couldn’t (push-ups, reverse lunges with weight, kettlebell swings, etc.) and I FEEL GREAT!

— RF WARRIOR AMY

MY HISTORY AS AN EXERCISE “YO-YOER”

I have 3 wonderful children that I adore.  They are 7, 4 and 2 and keep my husband and I very busy.  My family and I moved to Ohio about 3 years ago from Iowa to start a new chapter in my career with consumer insights.  I currently work in a corporate office and my expertise is in product insights (food.) This basically means I sit in meetings all day and talk a lot.  Additionally, since my expertise is in product insights, I have the honorable duty to evaluate/explore/eat lots of food. 

Tough job, right?  Oftentimes, I put in some pretty long days or need to get up early and work from home.  Needless to say, it doesn’t take long for my butt to start to take the shape of my chair!

About 12 years ago, I decided I needed to re-start some sort of consistent exercise routine because I was in my second year of college and probably gained 30 pounds.  Chinese food at 2am was sooo good.  I also loved (love) beer and nachos so you do the math – calories coming in were WAY more than calories going out!  I started running because it was cheap, and I could do it anytime.  In the beginning, running really wasn’t “my thing”.  I remember thinking “People do this for fun?  You have to be kidding me”.  But again, it was an inexpensive way to get some exercise. 

Like many people who start out despising it, I ended up falling in love with it.  Nothing is better than going outside on a beautiful day, putting some tunes on and zoning out for a while.  Not to mention, I was losing weight the more I ran. 

Over the past few years, friends have asked me to take fitness classes with them, which I obliged but never enjoyed.  I always found myself comparing my skill level to everyone else in the gym and inevitably, felt discouraged. Thinking “I’m never going to be able to do that.  My body doesn’t stretch that way…blah blah blah”, I just kept running.  Running, unfortunately, did not mean I was the healthiest person – even though that’s what I was hoping for.

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It’s fair to say a majority of my life my weight, along with my nutrition and exercise habits, fluctuated.  It was an ebb and flow of being overweight, losing the weight and repeating the vicious cycle – hence the reference as a “yo–yoer”.  

When my body grew tired of running, I would take time off without supplementing with another form of exercise (see excuses above.)  Suddenly, the pounds would reappear (the weight always seems to creep up on you!). 

I honestly cannot think of a time I was consistently eating healthy, exercising and keeping weight off longer than a year or two.  Sometimes it was only months.

— RF WARRIOR AMY

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CREATING A MINDSET FOR HEALTH AND HAPPINESS

When it comes to mindset, mine is an “all or nothing” mentality. It’s either going to get done perfectly or not at all.  I am either going to be good at it, or it’s not happening people!  For me, the notion of being “healthy”, translated into running, running, running and ordering salad sans dressing and cheese.  Inevitably, I’d break and eat a cookie or pizza. 

Maybe this has never happened to you but I’d find myself eating that one cookie and thinking “I’ve had one might as well eat the whole package…I’ll try again tomorrow…I’ll start dieting again tomorrow”.  

This would leave me feeling like crap, running less, eating more, gaining weight, realizing it was too much weight and…wait for it…running and repeating the whole process over.  For those of you that have experienced or are experiencing this – IT IS EXHAUSTING and FRUSTRATING! Oh, did I mention it is also expensive?  You know how you get rid of the “big” clothes when you lose weight because “I will never be that big again”? I am pretty sure I have cycled through that at least a handful of times in the last several years.

Sorry, this can be somewhat of a “downer” to read and you might be cringing but I think it’s a reality we all face.  The good news and what made this entire process REALLY REALLY cool is FINALLY learning how do it differently by adopting a new mindset (which is also kind of fun!).  How did I manage to figure this out with the support of Results Fitness ? Keep reading and side note – if you ever want to know how I ended up at RF just ask!  The short answer is a best friend and a couple of Social Saturdays.

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MY 5 ESSENTIALS

First and most important, it really is all about mindset.  Results Fitness has this motto “If it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you”.  I remember reading this when I first stepped into the gym and thought “That’s badass!”. 

Unfortunately, reading it didn’t result in an immediate change in my mindset or attitude regarding how I would transition into a “healthier me”.  Truthfully, it took time.   And personally, I find that when you struggle, it’s important to remember the journey won’t always be easy but, discovering health and happiness is worth it! 

Most importantly, since joining the Results Fitness Community, I have learned an incredible amount about myself and how to overcome challenges.  If you are reading this and thinking you, too may need to hit the brakes and shift your mindset,  here are my 5 essentials when it comes to discovering and sustaining health and happiness:

#1. Stop comparing yourself to everyone else!

It’s about you and your goals.  Yes, sometimes comparing yourself to others or someone you admire can create internal motivation but for me, at least in the beginning, it manifested into frustration and often made me push too hard too fast.  My body just wasn’t there yet.  It took me about one month of hearing Coach Josh tell everyone to work on “form first” to figure out I needed to start focusing on myself, not others.  And honestly, once I was able to zone in on what I was doing, I started seeing changes in my strength (and body), and my mindset adapted a positive outlook toward this new thing I was trying.  It seems so simple, but it’s easy to be intimidated or envious of what others can do.  In the end, what someone else could do didn’t achieve my goals for me and it won’t for you either.  Use the time you spend thinking of someone else and start improving yourself (or encouraging the other person, whichever).  I promise you won’t regret it.  In fact, you will start seeing changes in yourself that you didn’t think were possible!

#2. Repeat this: “At least I showed up.”

There was a critical day for me in my early months at RF where I left feeling underwhelmed and really bad about my performance after a group workout.  This is tough; especially when exercise should make you feel good.  I called a close friend who has always taken care of himself (both nutritionally and physically) figuring he’d understand my struggle.  Needing to vent, I whined and complained quite a bit to him.  His response: “Yep, I get it.  But hey! At least you showed up and that’s what matters!”.  HUH!?  He was right though – I totally showed up.  That little statement resonated with me so much because it made me feel good about the effort I put forward.  Reminding myself to “show up” has really helped me stay consistent with exercising; allowing positive changes to happen.  The coaches will tell you this, too: “Just show up!  Maybe you can’t give 100% but you are doing something”.  A friend of mine likes to say, “At least my ass isn’t on the couch”.  So true, right?!  I still have days I think “I could just sleep in or I am a little sore today how am I going to do this” but I get to the gym, warm up and make it happen.  Sometimes I can’t push those sleds as fast as I did two days ago while other times I do it even faster.  Every day you show up you are getting a little better and that’s what matters.  You aren’t giving up on yourself and you are being consistent.  Bottom line – this means you will continue to improve!

#3. Challenge yourself to improve one exercise or thing at a time

Training at Results Fitness involves learning several different exercises every month and there were times I found myself trying to master everything all at once.  However, I have since discovered picking 1 or 2 things to really push myself on allows me to improve faster versus trying to improve everything simultaneously.

For example, my goal in August was to never do a push-up on my knees again.  The first push-up exercise we had, I could only do 1 regular push-up and am sure my form was horrible.  I told myself it was fine since the only way to get better was to keep trying. EVERY TIME we did push-ups, I would avoid going to my knees.  

By October/November, I could do several pretty consistently.  Now when the coaches say “…and if you want to make it more difficult, throw in a push-up”,  I do it!  The first time might be a little rough but 1 time will turn into 2 and then 3 and so on.  There is no way you can improve on something if you don’t try to do it.  I can’t tell you how much this has helped me challenge myself in ways I can actually see results without burning myself out.

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 #4. Nutrition is a key component of sustainable health and happiness  

Results Fitness really supports a holistic approach when it comes to health and fitness.  While most of what I’ve shared is specific to exercise, I really have learned how important nutrition is.  As you’ll recall from my all or nothing mindset, I’ve either been all in or not at all when it comes to nutrition and decided this year was the time to focus since I was eating unhealthy.  Once I felt like I had found my balance for exercise, I was ready to  FINALLY figure this nutrition thing out. 

In November, I started working with Coach Matt on improving my nutrition habits.  His big thing is “one step better”.  In the beginning, it was a little frustrating but slowly became easier and easier to eat healthy without worrying I was depriving myself of my favorite foods.  Every day I would try to make at least one meal a little better and be more mindful when I ate -no more working through lunch or skipping breakfast.  At the start, I didn’t completely give up things I love like ice cream or energy drinks but I did start to add more vegetables in my diet and prepare more homemade food.   

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Before focusing on nutrition and meeting with Coach Matt,  I probably ate processed food daily, maybe multiple times a day, and now I only eat it maybe 1-2 times per week.  I’ve also completely stopped drinking energy drinks and diet soda (I was a one Monster a day kind of girl). 

Leveraging everything that I’ve learned, I continue to make daily changes and paired with my workouts, am seeing amazing results.  I’m getting stronger, leaner, feeling healthier and have way more energy than before. 

— RF WARRIOR AMY

Another thing I am learning – and strongly encourage you to do the same – is giving myself slack if I stray from my diet. 

Throw perfection out the window right now and try not to overwhelm yourself with too much change at once.  If you keep incorporating small changes, they will be much more sustainable for you, and you know what that means, right? Bye, bye yo-yoing!

#5. Do it for fun, not because you have to  (Oh, and make friends, too!)

This point should probably be #1.  I learned you have to do what works for you and what is fun for you.  I love the workouts and the community at Results Fitness. If you like to mix up your exercising, do it!  I still love running and have to get a run in or I start to feel a little “blah”.  If you are new to RF or considering trying it out, my advice is immersing yourself in the community either through Facebook or by getting to know fellow members you work out with.  It took me a little while to “warm up” to everyone but once I did, it made going to class so much more fun. 

And FUN = SUSTAINABLE. 

I look forward to seeing the smiling (maybe a little sleepy) faces at 5:30am every day.  Building relationships and really engaging with others means you will have all the support and fun needed.  I mean seriously, who wants to keep doing something that’s not fun?  Plus, when you have a bad day, someone will be there encouraging you to keep going.

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THE RESULTS OF HEALTH AND HAPPINESS

I am happy to share that shifting my mindset and adopting these 5 essentials have profoundly impacted my success in achieving my initial goals:  Take care of myself so as my kids grow, I can stay a very active part of their lives’ (get stronger, build bone health).  Secondly, get faster and build endurance for running.  Lastly, build muscle and tone.  Spoiler alert – I never really had a goal weight in mind.  It was more about seeing change in how I felt and sustaining the changes I adopted into to my nutrition and exercise habits.  Looking at my “numbers”, the cool factor is how they consistently keep dropping.  There is no fluctuating like there was before, and I am continuously improving.  All of which, I am so thankful for!

As of March, 2018, here are some of my transformation highlights since first embarking on my journey to discovering health and happiness one year ago:

–Lost 34 lbs, 14% body fat and 6.5 inches off my waist

–Down 3 clothing sizes

–I can run a mile in 7:30 and have shaved a minute per mile off my half marathon pace

–I am physically doing things I initially couldn’t (push-ups, reverse lunges with weight, kettlebell swings, etc.)

–I FEEL GREAT!

Above anything else, the training and nutrition philosophies at Results Fitness work!  You just need to put in the effort, cut yourself a little slack, have fun, and listen to the coaches!  Don’t worry, they won’t forget to tell you that!


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