I had constant knee and back pain due to my weight and Lisa wanted to get back into running.
Lisa had encouraged me to sign up for a summer boot camp with the Altoona campus which I did, but I hated it at first. I would show up at 5am out at the SEP football field and dread every minute of it. I would conveniently oversleep and miss class. I had all the excuses down pat. That is where I met Matt. As he would attest that first summer was awful and left a lot to be desired. I knew how to workout I just did not want to commit to doing it. Matt never stopped talking to me or trying to encourage me to give more- whatever my more was at that time. I continued to half-hearted go to workouts and then Matt introduced me to kettle bells. HELLO beautiful. I enjoyed the cardio without running and I enjoyed lifting the weights. This was a match made in heaven for me. While I was in the back rooms playing with kettle bells Lisa was out on the trails or on a treadmill running.
The next summer I convinced Lisa do try this class with me. She didn’t like it at first. She thought they were awkward and she would just like to run instead. She didn’t need “muscles” and it was messing up her hands. I remember she started out using a 15 pound kettle bell. Matt kept working with her to determine what her goals were and what motivated her to be in class every day. I will say the first few months or so that we did classes together were weird. I was better than her at some things and she was better at a lot of thing than I was. We are both very competitive (LOL) so we were not sure how well this was going to work out. We were really pushing each other but I found that my weight was always holding me back from going faster or being able to do little things like pushups from my toes- all things that Lisa had started doing.
We really wanted to start a new lifestyle so In January 2013, I did a 24-day challenge and Lisa gave us soda and sweets. During those 24 days, I lost 25 pounds and I was down to 305 pounds by January 31. We continued to really watch what we were eating and the weight started to come off of Lisa, but I was still struggling. We decided to look into the weight loss surgery option as a tool. Lisa was my “support” person and in fact set a goal for herself to lose 20 pounds. In March 2013 I had the surgery and have been losing weight ever since. When I weighed in on the day of surgery I was down to 295. Throughout the process Matt has encouraged us and worked with our diets to get enough calories and protein to allow us to continue working out at the level that we needed to lose the weight efficiently. I am almost to my goal weight and 18 months later now weigh 179 pounds. I am also down 10 pant sizes- half of me is gone. Lisa also surpassed her goal- she has lost 34 pounds and 8 pant sizes.
Lisa and I are now generally always partners not because we like to be together all the time, but the gym has really helped us grow in our relationship. We continue to push each other to become better and stronger. Lisa is still faster at some things than I am but I am stronger (or at least that is what I tell myself). LOL
We make it a priority to get to the gym 6 days a week, often for 2 workouts per day. If we are not in the gym and are traveling Lisa keeps several of Matt and Julie’s work outs in her purse, which have been dubbed the dreaded “purse workouts”. We do them in the hotel room, the campground, our parent’s house- basically wherever we are. There are not many days that go by without us working out. We no longer do it because we feel obligated to be there, but because we LOVE doing it. Working out and being healthy has become a normal part of our routine! We are constantly working for new ways to challenge ourselves and reach a new goal.
We just celebrated our 7th wedding anniversary. Since we do spend so much time together at the gym, and this is the place that was key to helping us become better, stronger and more fit we had pictures taken here at Brick House.
If we could give one piece of advice to the new member or to the reluctant member it would be to let Matt and Julie know your goals and what motivates you. They are here to help and encourage you to become better and stronger too. We honestly couldn’t have accomplished all that we have without their support. We would also say to NEVER give up. Keep coming back even when you don’t feel like it- actually, especially when you don’t feel like it. We promise that it will get easier and you WILL start feeling better. Nothing is more rewarding than seeing the results of all the hard work you put into it.
We will see you in the gym!