A year ago I embarked on a fitness journey that I now realize was so much more. It was actually a wellness journey that changed my life forever.
I’m not usually the testimonial writing type, but I hope my story resonates with someone out there who needs a little inspiration, just like I needed a year ago. I was a 46 year old woman who had gotten a little too comfortable with being “fat and happy”. All my life I had always been fairly thin…although I never saw myself that way. Battling with depression and anorexia in my 20’s, I can easily say I’ve never had a good relationship with food. I always saw food as either a punishment or reward…never as fuel for a healthy body. Well, the short story is that after the age of 40 I put on 40! I got to the point where I felt so bad I thought I had something seriously wrong with me and had even made an appointment to see a doctor. Here’s the actual list of symptoms I made on 3/7/16 in preparation for the appointment: fatigue, stiffness in neck, excessive sleep, headaches, intestinal issues, mental acuity…searching to find words, panic attacks. Sound familiar to anyone?
Then I finally paid attention to the sign that changed everything. Every day on my drive home from work I would sit at the stoplight at Robinson and Floyd in the Fan. I had seen this unassuming sign for “Richmond Wellness” many times and always wondered what this little place was. One day I literally told SIRI to remind me to google “Richmond Wellness”. That night I found my answer and this trainer named Aubrey was offering free “transformation sessions”. Well, I liked free and I certainly needed to be transformed, so I emailed her that night. And so it began…
I was skeptical…even thought to myself “why am I doing this..it’s just going to be one of those typical gym trainers who’s overbearing likes to yell a lot”. Wow, was I wrong!!! That night I met a really nice person who listened to me, didn’t judge me, and sincerely wanted to help me set reachable goals and help me get strong both on the outside and inside. That night I decided to go all-in and signed up for 3 sessions a week for 3 months. I was positive with this person’s help I could do this.
Let’s be real, the first few sessions sessions weren’t pretty. I had to come face-to-face with how out of shape I had let myself become. Aubrey made sure that I knew that every session was an achievement & something I should be proud of (a very hard concept for me to get at the time). I remember being pleasantly surprised that the workouts weren’t your typical gym workouts. (And, by the way, her sessions are always thoughtfully planned out.) It was eventually fun seeing that first little hint of muscle tone on my arm and being able to do a real push-up!
Getting me moving was step one. Getting my nutrition on track was the bigger hurdle. I always thought I could lose weight by just working out more, but my 46 year old metabolism soon let me know that wasn’t the case! Aubrey taught me that food is fuel and I began cutting down sweets (which I thought I’d never be able to do) and incorporating REAL food in my diet. I slowly changed my eating habits, but the key was that I didn’t have to deny myself or beat myself up for having a slice of pizza once in awhile.
So jump forward to today…
What I’ve learned on my wellness journey:
- It took much longer than I thought it would at the beginning…and that’s a GOOD thing. I secretly thought I could lose all the weight in 6 months and then go back to old habits. No! I’ve done it slow and steady and found a sustainable lifestyle with food and exercise that should last the rest of my life.
- The one-on-one training in a private setting was the KEY factor in my success and was well worth the expense. I needed that safe place where I didn’t have to compare myself to the 20 year old with the perfect body or be embarrassed when I couldn’t do a certain exercise. (insert joke here where it took Aubrey a good 20 minutes to teach me how to do a proper squat!!! My body just wouldn’t cooperate!!!) Not having to feel self-conscious was empowering.
- Little victories are SO important!!! Celebrate the small stuff and give yourself permission to not be perfect all the time
- Through being better to myself, I’ve learned to be better to others. Positivity is contagious!!!
- I could not have done this without Aubrey’s love and support. She has a passion (and gift, in my opinion) for making this world a better place and helping you be a healthier and happier person.
Good luck in your journey to wellness!!!