Stairs used to be a major challenge for Cathy.
It’s not easy to express all that’s happened since the end of 2012 when I decided to join a gym.
My health was changing. I didn’t like how I felt.
The results of my annual blood work were cause for concern. If I didn’t make some changes I was likely to develop diseases that are prevalent in my family.
It wasn’t a pleasant prospect.
I was apprehensive, nervous, perhaps, even fearful. I had chronic issues with my right leg and hip due to old injuries. I was often in pain. I walked with a noticeable limp.
When I tried to be active the old injuries would flare.
It was a frustrating, vicious cycle of weight loss and gain.
Goggles – One of Cathy’s favorite pieces of exercise equipment!
The gym near my house had a pool…and I loved to swim.
It was time to join!
Swimming became my ticket back to activity. It was refreshing to once again move through the water.
Meet Dan, the trainer who helped Cathy meet and exceed her health and fitness goals!
Shortly after I joined the gym, I also knew I’d need quite a bit of guidance.
I made the decision to work with a trainer.
I had no idea how pivotal that decision would turn out to be!
I met Dan at the end of January 2013.In the time I’ve worked with Dan I came to appreciate a number of things about him.
First and foremost, he listened to me. He listened to my concerns and understood my goals to improve my blood work, and, gain strength in my hip and leg. He encouraged and challenged me, celebrated victories with me, made sure I was safe, and, always treated me with respect.
I couldn’t have asked for anyone better.
I also continued to swim. After a few months I started attending yoga classes, and classes with yoga, tai chi and pilates. I was delighted to move my body so freely once again since I used to practice yoga before I sustained all my injuries.
My husband and I also worked on meal planning. We still continue to do this.
By August 2013 I had lost 50 pounds! My blood work was improving. My level of pain was decreasing.
This is a pair of pants Cathy wore at the end of 2012. It’s quite a reminder of all that’s occurred and what she achieved!
I was determined and motivated to keep going!
All the while Dan continued to challenge me.
Fast forward to June 2014.
I have discontinued taking several medications.
Soon, my doctor will be evaluating me to see if I can let go of the last one!
I’ve lost 82 pounds, since I started this journey, and “lots” of inches. This translates to seven clothing sizes!
Sometimes I still have to process all the changes that have happened.
Cathy’s two walking partners, Al and Mija!
I am stronger and more flexible than I’ve been in a very long time.
I now enjoy walks with my family and long walks on my own.
The limp I used to have is very rarely seen any more. The pain in my leg is finally manageable.
I’m starting to run!
People who I’ve known for years have walked right by me because they no longer recognize me!
I am deeply humbled that several women decided to make changes in their lives because they’ve seen all I’ve endured and accomplished.
I’ve always been honest with them.
It’s hard work. There’s no magic solution.
I tell them to discuss any possible health concerns with a doctor.
Know what you’re battling so that you can face the challenge realistically.
“When the going gets tough, stop and think about everything you’ve already accomplished.” – Cathy – 2013
Get educated…and don’t be afraid to enlist the help of qualified professionals to help you meet and exceed your goals.
Know that you’ll have ups and downs. There’s nothing wrong with that, and there’s nothing wrong with you if this happens!
There will be well-meaning people who will try to get you side-tracked – “Are you sure you don’t want to eat that?”
There will be people who are jealous and mean-spirited -
“Why are you still doing that? Aren’t you done yet?”
Seriously. I’ll repeat that. Ignore them.
This is your journey, your story, your health, your well-being, your life.
Oh, and I will never be “done.”
There will always be a new challenges, new goals, and new achievements.
Remember, always remember through the ups and downs (and you will experience them) that you are important.
Cathy and Dan take a pause before a workout to take this photo, and the photos with her old pair of pants!
Keep going forward, even if it feels like you’ve taken a step back. It’s okay to be frustrated once in a while.
Through it all, have fun!
…and yes, Dan still raises the bar by continuing to challenge and encourage me!
I can’t say thank-you enough for all he’s done to help me stay strong and keep going!
He says 90% of the accomplishment is mine. I don’t know about that.
I am astounded, grateful and humbled every day at what I am able to do. That is not an exaggeration.
I’ve reclaimed a part of my life I thought was lost, a part of me that was active, energetic, and healthy.
So what’s next?
It’s time for me to keep going forward! There’s so much more to do – at the gym and elsewhere!
It’s time for me to continue my personal journey to be the best that I can be.
“Be your best everyone! It’s worth the work that it takes to achieve your goals!” Best wishes, Cathy