“I am a 53 year old woman who needed to learn how to take care of herself. My quest to become more healthy and fit came with a bit of shock. At the age of 49 I was told that I was having a heart attack. The moment of truth had hit me. Yes, you are overweight. Yes, you are out of shape. Yes, you need to take care of yourself. All of these things I was not ready to do and didn’t know how to go about it. I had a choice. Learn or not live long. I started out with cardiac rehab at St. Mary’s Hospital. I was watching more carefully what I was eating. I saw a nutritionist through the Hospital and the Mediterranean diet was their plan for me. After cardiac rehab was over I continued to walk daily for an hour in the morning 5 – 6 am and stayed on the same diet. I was doing quite well for about two years.”
“Not quite 3 years after my heart attack my knees hurt, my back hurt, my feet were giving out and I was not doing well at walking anymore because my body hurt too much. I went to the physical therapist and they gave me some exercise, that didn’t really help. I started going to a chiropractor. That helped a bit, but he continued to tell me to do these exercises to build my core and lose weight. I was getting more and more frustrated listening to him. He treated me for a maximum of 5 minutes, $75 and off I was with no real results other than more frustration. I needed more help. I decided on a diet provided through my health insurance and I had to get in shape. I decided to go to Anytime Fitness. The cost was similar to that of Curves. They showed me around. I liked the fact that I could go anytime. I was introduced to a fitness trainer. I was totally intimidated by working out with all these buffed men and thin women.
I met my trainer, Erika. She was very personable. She made me feel unbelievably comfortable and I didn’t feel like a total “blimp”. She was encouraging and supportive. She knew what I needed and started from where I was at physically. I enjoyed working out more and kept my appointments because it was fun and because I was paying for it. Several things started happening. Working with Erika had a 3 fold change in me. The first part was that I am enjoying working out. Erika is a great listener and is fun to be with. I listen to her stories and she listens to mine. She keeps on laughing and makes me feel good about me. The second part is that I feel healthier. Working with Erika has helped me become stronger. She has worked on my balance. At the beginning I felt like I would fall off of everything. I was unsteady and not able to hold myself. I can exercise and move with more confidence. I think I was always stronger than what I was given credit for, but without balance and being able to carry myself, it didn’t really matter how strong I was. As I was getting stronger and more in shape I was losing weight. I was on a Very Low Calorie Diet and with the exercise and working out, I was feeling much better. My back didn’t hurt anymore; I could sleep at night without waking up because my body hurt. My feet didn’t hurt anymore; my shoulders are not hurting as much. I can roll over in bed, sleep on my side and not wake up because I am in pain. My knees hurt yet, but that is nothing compared to what the rest of my body was feeling like. Losing weight and getting in shape is not easy. It is another job. I realize I can not retire from this job. Working with Erika is making this job fun and manageable. I am proud of myself and feel good about myself. I have a long way to go yet but with her help and continuous work on my part, I know I can keep it up. I need to keep this way of life. I need to keep records of my food intake, my exercise program and continue to make time for myself.” -Chris