2016 Spring Weight Loss Finalist
*Results not typical
In the past 90 days, I’ve seen so many positive changes in my life. Running a mile, running a 5k, running a half marathon, dancing with my nieces and being able to keep up with them – these are just some of the things that I’ve accomplished in the last 90 days, and I can’t wait to see what the next 90 days will bring.
Why did I decide to commit myself to 90 days of concentrating on myself and my health? I was spending a beautiful day with my nieces and nephew out on the deck. We had music playing and it wasn’t long before my nieces and nephew were dancing on the deck and, of course, wanted Aunt Danielle to dance with them. I got up and joined in on the dance party, but within 2 minutes of dancing, I became hot, sweaty, out of breath and uncomfortable. I couldn’t help but think that I should be able to spend more than two minutes just dancing with my nieces and nephews! My nieces and nephews deserve the world, and they definitely deserve an aunt who can dance with them instead of just watching from the sidelines. When I signed up for the 90-Day Challenge, I sat down with Brian to discuss my goals. I tried to play it off like it wasn’t a big deal, and like I just wanted to win, but I couldn’t help thinking about how I was 26 years old and was at risk for a heart attack. Wanting to be there for my family and to not be held back by my weight really propelled me to stick with the 90-Day Challenge, to change my life and ultimately by my good example, help change theirs.
Even though I was highly motivated by my goal to be healthier for my young nieces and nephews, losing 67.3 pounds in 90 days was not easy! My plan was to create a good routine and stick to it. My average day was: wake up at 4am, work out at Life Time from 5am-7:30am, leave for work, work 9am-1pm, lunch workout 1pm-2pm, return to work 2pm-6pm, leave work, TEAM fitness 7pm-8pm, grab an extra hour of cardio 8pm-9pm, drive home to pack a lunch and a gym bag for the next day, sleep, and repeat. In addition to the countless hours that I was dedicating to working out, I also knew that to be successful, I needed to change my eating habits. During the 90 days, my meals consisted of oatmeal, eggs, chicken, salmon, tuna, and all the vegetables I could eat.
One of the keys to my success was having an amazing support system. I wouldn’t be where I am today without them. My sister, Sarah, did the 90-Day Challenge and pushed me to do my best every day (ok, we may be a bit competitive…). Even though I officially had one trainer at Life Time, I would say I had a good handful of them pushing me along the way. Whether it was Tyler, offering a fist bump during my morning cardio, or Elise giving me the extra push I needed at night, it was so encouraging knowing that there were people around me who wanted to see me succeed.
Now let’s talk about TEAM Fitness and my amazing trainer, Tom. Tom made every workout challenging and fun (which is saying something since there were a lot of workouts over the last 90 days). I remember in the beginning, Tom would give us an exercise to do and the mantra playing in my head was, “I don’t want to, I don’t want to, I don’t want to….” When I started to slow down, Tom would never fail to say, “Get reps! Get reps!” While that may not seem like a lot to most people, that phrase helped change my inner mantra from “I don’t want to!” to “Get Reps!” With this simple change, Tom helped push me to go further. I started to find myself excited to go our TEAM Fitness classes and be quite literally whipped into shape by Tom. Tom likes to say that he can’t take credit for the 67.3 pounds that I lost, but without him I KNOW that I would not have had the motivation to do this.
Changes that I found in myself during the 90 days were miraculous. I went from barely pushing out a mile on the treadmill to running my first 5k (41 min 29 sec) in March. In April, my sister and I entered another 5k and I ran it in 34 min 11 sec. I wanted to continue to push myself and see the changes, so one morning before work I got on the treadmill at Lifetime and I ran 13.1 miles! I was amazed! Seeing my body able to do things that I wasn’t able to do a week ago, a month ago, 90 days ago, that’s what kept me pushing for more.
What am I going to do to continue success beyond the challenge? I am going to keep pushing myself further. I have talked with my trainer about possibly going up the TEAM ranks and going to Boot Camp or Alpha. I am training for the Detroit Free Press Marathon on October 16. I am signing myself up for things that will keep me training, keep me motivated, and keep me moving.
I want to inspire people. I want someone to look at me and say, because of you I didn’t give up! If my 90-day story can inspire one person who is out there feeling like I felt, I will be grateful. Please know that you CAN do this. You CAN change your life. It is hard, but if you keep pushing, even on your worst days, you WILL achieve it.