Inspiration

I asked my mom, Darlene, if she would share her health and fitness journey with everyone and was so happy that she agreed!  I am so proud of her for working so hard, persevering and finally, after so long, looking after herself.  (Mom's sometimes have a hard time doing this!)  I hope you will be encouraged and inspired by Dar's story.  
 
 
Darlene's Story
For the past several years I have attempted on many occasions to lose weight. I have tried several diet plans without much success. I joined a well known weight loss program, not once but twice and both times my weight loss was limited to 10lb then the cravings began and I gave in and gained back more than I had lost initially. I was so discouraged and angry with myself that I quit going to the program and thought “what’s the point no matter what I do it doesn’t work.”
I also joined a women’s fitness centre where I was told that when I came there an “instructor” would be available to come from machine to machine with me giving me instructions on the machines purpose and how the machine worked. I was most pleased with this as I had never been to the “gym” before so I signed up. Well, after my third visit I did not return.  Yes, there was an instructor who when I asked for her help told me she’d be right there. I waited longer for her assistance then time spent on the machine.  Not only was it frustrating but it was difficult to watch all those young women in their spandex knowing that I didn’t look anywhere near as good in stretch pants as they did. I felt terrible about myself, my weight, my lack of energy and ability to see anything through.
 
 
So why am I writing this...
 
In October of 2012 while staying in Prince Edward Island where our family owns a home in St. Peters Bay Train’s Fitness opened at the local Elementary School which just happens to be right across the street from our place. With encouragement from the Owner and Instructor I started fitness classes three times a week and walking as many times a week as possible, usually three times.  Aaron told me it would get easier and that I just needed to stick with it and work at my own pace. So instead of looking around at everyone else to compare if I was keeping up I kept my eye on the Instructor and sure enough after a few weeks I was able to stretch further, finish the one hour class without stopping and my coordination improved significantly. It was at this point I realized that although I am 58 years old I am able to exercise for one hour without dropping dead. J
 
 
Aaron also introduced me to the idea of thinking about “a healthy lifestyle” rather than weight loss. I shared with Aaron that I like to count calories and that it seems to work for me. With this information Aaron instructed me on eating differently but keeping calories in mind. I want to mention a few changes that made an incredible difference. Oatmeal and fruit for breakfast no more than an hour after getting up so as soon as I had my much needed first cup of coffee, half a cup of oatmeal was next.  For someone who doesn’t eat breakfast this was quite an accomplishment.  
 
 
Aaron recommended that I eat smaller amounts more frequently which I did. A piece of fruit around ten am, then lunch, I generally had a favourite, the chicken Caesar wrap. Yummy!  A cup of green tea and one or to “kick it’s” around 3pm was so wonderful. Amber makes “kick it’s,” they’re a protein treat and they are delicious and hit the spot every time I think I want something sweet. I use to have a donut for an afternoon treat but considering it has 360 calories and the “kick it” has 60 calories, the kick it wins!  We generally eat supper around 6pm. This meal has lots of veggies, chicken or beef or salad, sometimes small amounts of brown rice or whole wheat pasta but most often served as a stir fry. Delicious!
 
I was now consuming more food in a day then when I was following my weight loss program. Food was tasty and I looked forward to my meals. I was ready to eat but not starving. I enjoyed my food and was no longer gobbling it up like I might never eat again. Cravings were all but gone and if I did crave something I found myself thinking about salad or chicken. If I was tempted in the evening then I would have a rice cake with either peanut butter and banana or cool whip. I found this jewel of a treat on the Trains Fitness website which I still visit frequently for recipes and new products or ideas to add to my routine.
In November I did a three day Shakeology Cleanse which was fantastic. The first day was a snap but day two was rough only because I am a coffee drinker, at least four cups a day so being the “I got to do it right kinda girl” I let myself have a headache which was ridiculous and unnecessary. Aaron reminded me,  one cup of coffee wasn’t going to make or break the Cleanse so I had a big cup of java and the headache was gone. Day three was not so bad because I knew it was the last day and I couldn’t wait to get weighed the next morning. Although the Cleanse is not meant for weight loss it is a “side affect” of the Cleanse, a side affect I can live with. I lost six pounds in three days. I couldn’t believe it because I had not been hungry or craving food for the three days. WOW! This made me even more enthusiastic about changing my eating and exercise routine and to choose a healthy lifestyle over simply losing weight.
Since returning to Ontario I have been challenged in both areas of eating and exercise. I have to tell you that both are easier with encouragement from my favourite Instructor and the group of men and women that I participated with in at Trains Fitness classes. Some days I have to force myself to go for a walk especially as the weather has changed and temperatures have dropped. Exercise, woe is me! I put my exercise DVD’s on and hope that I will find the motivation to join in. I manage three half hour workouts a week with two walks but I know I am capable of doing more and some days I have more success than others. J In respect to eating I replace my lunch meal with a Shakeology chocolate shake. I look forward to it every day, it fills me up and satisfy’s my hunger. I don’t know what I’d do without it.
I was enthusiastic when I first got home, wouldn’t miss a workout or change my eating habits then came Christmas. I’m glad to report that I didn’t gain nor lose over the holidays. But last week I weighed in one pound heavier and that was a boot in the patootie  I gained a pound. L
For the past 10 days I’ve been back full force. I’ve been exercising daily for 40mins and walking every other day. No more here and there Lindors for me.   My energy is picking up and I have more self will to keep going. After all I want to wear those new size 12 jeans I got for Christmas.
Now I know some of you might think, size 12, all that exercise and eating healthy just to wear a size 12? Here’s what you don’t know. While attending Trains Fitness classes and eating according to my Instructor’s advice I lost 20lbs. Since being in Ontario I’ve lost 5 more pounds plus an overall loss of 8 inches taking me from a size 16 to a size 12. Am I happy or what!  
 
Thanks Aaron & Amber and I can’t wait to get back to St. Peters Bay and Train’s Fitness.
 

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