January of 2006
Weight: 176 Lbs
Body Fat: 43%
August 1, 2006
Weight: 156 Lbs
Body Fat: 38%
How I Did It
My fitness story begins in January of 2006. A friend of mine had given me a couple of pictures from my 30th birthday (October 22, 2005) and I could not believe how I looked. I was out of shape and I just felt miserable all of the time.
I didn't exercise and it was a chore to even walk up a few steps in my house. After talking with a couple of people at work, a friend convinced me to talk with a trainer at the gym located close to our office. After much apprehension, I met with my first trainer and we discussed making some changes in my diet and getting started with a cardio workout to get me going.
I knew it was going to be tough to lose weight, because I had taken classes before and never made any progress. I wasn't comfortable working out in a gym because I was so embarrassed with my appearance.
My measurements ... I just couldn't believe what I was hearing. At 4-foot-10 I weighed in at 176 pounds and was at approximately 43% body fat. I started making small changes and setting goals for myself with the guidance of the trainer. By the end of July (seven months of working out) I had lost 20 pounds and started to work out with some of the weight training equipment, but wasn't sure about using weights. I didn't want to "bulk up."
We Found Anytime Fitness
My husband wanted to start working out with me and we couldn't find a time for him when my gym was open and he was available. We decided to check out Anytime Fitness, which was a new gym that was a few miles from our house.
I had done some research on their website and we decided to meet with one of the trainers after work to find out about the facility. We also met with the gym owners as well and I was a bit intimidated because all of the trainers and staff were fit and muscular. Something, I felt I would never be able to achieve.
We met with Lee Larson to discuss the facility and our health goals. He said something to me about weights and I pretty much blew it off - I thought the cardio equipment was awesome. My husband was truly impressed with Lee and the possibilities for us meeting our health and nutrition goals.
Early the next morning I met with another trainer, Tristan Larson, and he signed us up for our membership at Anytime Fitness. The next day we received a phone call from Lee, something about meeting up with him to get started.
My husband was excited, so we set-up a time in the evening to stop in again and meet with Lee. I couldn't believe this guy was calling us at home. What were we getting ourselves into?
My measurements, August 1, 2006: 156 pounds and 38% body fat. After meeting with Lee a couple of times, we decided to sign up for a training package and yes, I started using weights (I still thought the cardio equipment was awesome, weights whatever). By Christmas I lost another 20 pounds (in two months less than the first 20 pounds) and the weights were actually toning me up. I was noticing visible changes in my body.
And They Said It Couldn't Be Done I Just Didn't Believe!
January and February 2007, I was still working hard at cardio and sticking with the nutrition plan established by Lee. I was slowing down and feeling like I was not progressing as I should. I had been working hard for more than a year and just wasn't feeling like I was where I wanted to be physically.
For Valentine's Day, my husband, at my request, increased our training sessions. I really began to enjoy the weight training - leg day was my favorite! Each time I learned something new from Lee about the weights as well as nutrition-how each affects the body. This guy wasn't so bad after all.
My husband and I sat down with Lee and reassessed our goals and I decided to set a new goal. After a long discussion (and with Lee's confidence in my abilities) I decided I wanted to compete in a figure competition to be held in Kansas on May 26, 2007 (we were about 13 weeks out, so it was now or never).
Lee was sure I could achieve my goal by the date and if I wasn't comfortable I wouldn't have to go through with the competition. All I could do was try, what was there to lose.
I still wasn't sure, but thought it was time to finally set a goal with a date and finalize my health and fitness endeavors. We changed my diet and workout routines a bit and I (along with the support of my husband, Lee Larson, friends and family) began my 12-week journey.
Within the first couple of weeks I lost 12 pounds and really started noticing visible changes. The diet and workouts were pretty tough, but I did everything exactly as Lee had told me. I started to believe! I could actually see physical changes every day, something new. I was actually going to make my goal. That a feeling of accomplishment. I also decided to purchase a bodybugg to help me keep track of my calorie intake and expenditures.
The day finally arrived, May 26, 2007. I was ready. It was a great time. I had the support of my family and friends. Of course, Lee tried to keep me from completely freaking out backstage. All of the other competitors were very supportive and loved to hear about my accomplishments. I didn't fall in my high heals. I finally made it!
Training and proper nutrition allowed me to succeed in my health and fitness goals as guided by Lee Larson. All I had to do was put forth the effort to follow Lee's training and nutrition plan he established for me. I just had to listen and believe! Words cannot express the gratitude and respect I have for Lee and the changes that have occurred in my life over the past few months.
It was great to have support of the gym members and trainers. Lots of great people work at and work out at Anytime Fitness and are a great support group. Dot and Katherine -- the morning workout crew -- always there when I drug myself in to do cardio.
The evening members who always had positive reinforcement and kept me going when I didn't want to go anymore. All of my lunging and cardio companions that kept me on the equipment for the last 10 minutes when I thought I couldn't lunge or step anymore.
Tristan and Ann for all of the support you have given and helping us through some tough times. Thank you Hope, had it not been for your story, I would have never joined the gym and had a story of my own.
To my husband, David, when there is so much more going on in our personal lives with our families, you have always been supportive of me and made me your number one priority. I am truly grateful to have had you in my life and am looking forward to our future together.
Last, but definitely not least. Lee Larson, thank you for all of your time and care that you have given both Dave and I. You have gone above and beyond and made me achieve things I never thought possible. Thanks for making me believe and always believing in me.
Tanya S. Braa