For the month of April, we asked Shelley and Matt to write about their small victories since they have started with us. We wanted to know what they have been noticing about themselves, what has changed, and how they have been feeling since embarking on this health and wellness journey.
Here is Shelley's story about small victories:
September of last year, my journey of small victories began. Simply putting a foot in front of the other and committing to a lifestyle change was really my first step. From there, I built frequent goals to hit including exercise type, frequency, eating, sleep and weight loss. The later goal was my best motivator.
Right off, I cut sugar out of my diet. Friends of mine had adopted a keto lifestyle - a very low carb, high fat diet. It took awhile to get accustomed to no bread, no pasta, no rice - all of my favorites. I started walking on my own and bit, then tried a few local gyms.
I joined Wilcox in November and immediately loved the environment. I struggled through the first workouts but saw myself getting stronger and more confident. And, mixed with this regular exercise schedule, I hit my first goal and lost 20 pounds by Thanksgiving.
In December, I bought new clothes and started a Stitch Fix membership where you plug in your sizes and design preferences and each month a custom styled shipment of a fancy outfit arrived. (Since that time, I’ve had to change my size preference 3 times and each time I receive a package - the clothes are smaller and fit better.)
By Christmas I had lost 30 pounds. I felt stronger and more confident at the gym. My routine was solid and my weights were heavier. I stopped taking my prescription heartburn medication! For my next goal, I purchased a dress for a January work dinner that was a little snug.
January started and my husband started eating a low carb diet with me, which helped with meal planning. We started experimenting with different ingredients and banned sweets from the house. We both experienced off-scale victories together as our clothes fit better. I even wore my shirt tucked in! (I know that this is not a big deal for most people, but it is to me!). Plus my dress that I purchased in December for my work dinner fit like a charm!
In February, I decided to switch things up at the gym. Since I now slept better at night, I felt that I can start my workout day earlier. I signed up for 6AM and 7AM sessions where I can get in, work hard and then go about my workday. This was a big change, as I never had been a morning person! I’ve since continued a mix of early and later classes.
By then I was down 40 pounds and I was on to my next goal!
Planning for a Gala happening in April, I joined a group of women at The Henrys in February to shop for a dressy gown. In the past, I was very nervous about an event like this and I found that I couldn’t really shop off the rack. I was very pleasantly surprised that I could try on 8-10 dresses that I really loved! In the end, I picked a very bright color that was a little tight
March brought more personal victories. In the Strength Training sessions, I now picked up the heavier weights and pushed myself through more reps and different angles. I bought some new spring clothes and “shopped my attic” for clothes that I haven’t worn in 5 years! I even bought something that I always wanted to own but couldn’t fit in - tall boots! I was so excited.
I’m proud of my small victories, they really do count! Each one brings me closer to my ideal self.
Here I am in April, nearly 50 pounds down! And yes, it is a bathroom selfie.
I am officially 4 full months into my training program and have to admin that sometimes it can be hard to stay motivated and get to they gym, especially when it snows outside and all I want to do is stay in my warm house! That is why I made a list of things that are motivating to me. These are the things that are inspiring me to keep me going and to push through mental blocks (and snow days)!
1. My friends
“Share the Love February” was the great example of inspiration. I asked my friends to join me at Wilcox and without hesitation, everyone showed up! I woke up every gym day looking forward to introducing them to the place that I have given gallons of sweat to for the past 4 months. They gave it their all, kept up with the pace and (most) had smiles on their faces the whole time. I’m grateful for the opportunity to share those moments with my friends.
2. Sweat & the momentum of a great exercise session
I do believe that motivation gets you to the gym, but inspiration and perspiration keep you there! There is nothing more inspiring than that “groove” you get into during a fun group session. It may be the heavier weight that you can’t believe you lifted, the extra rep that you accomplished, or the time you beat. It may even be the person that you train next to… you may not know their name, but you notice that their clothing fits a little looser or they were trying boxing for the first time.
3. Fun and Play
Nothing motivates and inspires me more than fun! I can find fun in anything, like peeling vegetables, painting my kitchen, and brushing my dog. I internalize fun in my head… how many of these things can I do in a minute? Can I finish today? This all equates to every 45 second exercise at Wilcox, and I get to play with toys every time I go to the gym!
Who does not get inspired by music? Music is the tempo! I find that I skip rope to the beat and do some badass Lady Gaga lunges on the "dance floor" when I’m at Wilcox. But I have this thing for a song that I once loved...I now change the channel when I hear Thunderstruck (thanks Nick)!
5. The clothes in my attic
If I knew Marie Kondo and the Konmari Method of purging a year ago, all of the clothes that existed in tubs in my attic would NOT bring me joy. As a matter of fact, they stressed me out. Why would I keep jeans and dresses from 5 years ago? I knew that some day… some day, I just might fit in them. I moved those tubs 27 times in 5 years holding back the idea of “just donate them already”. Guess what my inspiration is? Those damn tubs. First I opened one and tried pants on THAT FIT. Whatever didn’t fit, I put in the next tub. A month later and I tried clothes in THAT tub, and guess what… THEY FIT TOO. Pretty soon, I’m going to try on the clothes in the next tub...but are shoulder pads still a thing?
6. The next Big Event and what I want to wear
This week, I went to a dress fitting at The Henry’s for the Friends of the Cross Center Gala. There were a dozen familiar ladies there of all sizes. Beautiful dresses are fitted, modeled, traded between dressing rooms, and discussed over desired style. I’ve never really felt comfortable (as a larger person) in a dress shop, but Molly presented me with a dress 4 sizes smaller than the year before….and it fit! The event is a month away and I know it will even fit better! I also love that 4 other Wilcox warriors in the room echoed the same sentiment!
7. Those social media before and afters
OK, we all look at them...the questionably Photoshopped before and after photos of people on social media. I want to look like them and be them, but I don’t like the green shakes they sell, the commercialized CDs they push, and the all-new-and-improved Thighmasters they invent. I want to read that they are real people who ate reasonably, lost weight slowly, exercised regularly, and didn’t have surgery or a magic pill to make it happen. I’m mostly inspired by challenge of transformation - I’m over trying to compare the journey because everyone is so different.
In the end, it is all about the high-five’s. From your trainer and gym partners after your workout, the ones from co-workers and family, and finally the one you give yourself at the end of the day.
I have a love/hate relationship with exercise.
I can go for months on a healthy exercise regimen that I truly like and then get easily side-swept into a different direction of unhealthy habits. Why? Because it is easier to fail.
Excuses as to why I am not exercising are easy to come up with: Work is busy, kids have sports, a dinner meeting, folks are in town, girl’s trip, freelance work or simply, it’s just cold to go outside. Each time that I put off exercising, it leads to another time I do it again…leading to another 2 weeks and then, well, I failed.
At my most unhealthy, I felt defeated. I didn’t go to the gym with a friend because it wasn’t a good time for my schedule. I didn’t walk with my friend because my running shoes are uncomfortable...and it was cold out…and...and. That is where “the gully” is on the rollercoaster. It’s the part of the amusement park where the track goes underground and out of the way. You are scared, you can’t see, and you have no idea where you are. It's unsettling and unhealthy.
Luckily I have great friends that have found a way to collectively help each other out. We share our exercises, our nutrition tips, and schedule time to work out together (thanks to Wilcox's "Share The Love" month). I am now on the part of the rollercoaster that is climbing up to the top.
I’ve found a consistent exercise schedule that I love, I am eating healthier, and
I am done making excuses.
Photo credit: Ed Troscianiec
Wilcox Wellness & Fitness' flexible schedule allows me to schedule any workout around a busy week. I love that I can go online and see what I have scheduled and take inventory of the number of workouts I need to finish the week. It makes it so easy. The training is also fun and the feeling after a hard workout is gratifying.
I’m in a good place right now. I’m setting reasonable diet and exercise goals and I’m bumping my workouts to the top of my priorities list. I truly feel like my best self when I’m exercising consistently, so I’m holding myself accountable and plugging each time into my Google calendar with the support of my employer and my family. And you know the tippy-top of the rollercoaster where you can see the sun and look down to on the whole park? That’s where I want to stay.
That downhill fall on the rollercoaster is way too scary and you don’t want to hear me scream.
Are you curious about our training program? Or our community of super positive, awesome people that are chomping at the bit to support you? Not sure you are going to like it? Not sure you can do it (you can, promise!)?
If you are someone who has been on the fence about making the commitment to a training program this TRIAL program is for you!
NOW is the time to see for yourself what we are all about.
Included in the 2-week trial program is:
PERSONAL TRAINING: 2-week UNLIMITED access to our Group Personal Training Program - we have over 100 sessions to choose from on a weekly basis run by certified personal trainers who are there to coach you to be your very best. (ProTip: just 3 sessions per week is the sweet spot for getting great results)
GOAL SETTING: A 30-minute goals workshop where you will discover the secret to achieving anything you ever wanted.
NUTRITION SUPPORT: Habits for Massive Impact - learn the 5 habits that will create the most impact in your life. (spoiler alert: 4 of them are nutrition related)
MUCH MORE: Over delivery is one of our core values - we love to under promise and over deliver to delight our customers.
All designed to set you up for success. You bring the great attitude, be fueled, and hydrated and we will take care of the rest.
"Just like me
It’s been nearly a couple of months now at Wilcox and all I can say is… it has been great! At first, the sight of all of the fit people throwing, pushing, jumping and lifting was intimidating!
Now I realize that all are just like me - working people who are taking time out of their busy schedules to get fit.
They are all figuring out the best time of day, the best class, their favorite group workout, their favorite trainer (note - they are ALL my favorite at Wilcox), and assessing their personal workout goals - and they all started the same way I did…. one class at a time.
My very first training session was GPT1. Each exercise was thoroughly explained by the trainer, including ideal posture and its purpose. From the first minute of this session 30-minute session to the last, I learned so much! I may not have done it stronger than the person next to me, I may not have finished the same amount of reps as the person next to me - but I did them all.
Fast forward to last week, about a month and a half later - I finished the 12-days of fitness workout with Katie! I would not have finished that 7 weeks earlier.
What advice would I give to someone just starting this training journey? Figure out who you are, what you can accomplish and do it on purpose. Start easy, learn the right way to train and then push yourself each day. Push your boundaries - do another rep, pick up a heavier weight or sign up for a harder class. I never would have thought that I would like boxing, but after trying it - I feel stronger!
For me, the hardest part of the Wilcox training program is over - I made changes to my lifestyle and I have stuck with it. I believe that I'm on the right track to maintaining a healthy lifestyle and hitting the targets I need to improve my health. I love my workouts and especially love the people who are encouraging my journey.
Want to start a training program at Wilcox? Start by walking through the door and meeting people... just like you.
Are you curious about our training program? Or our community of super positive, awesome people that are chomping at the bit to support people just like you? Schedule a call with us to learn more about how we can help you achieve your health and fitness goals.
From Empty-Nester to Healthy Goal Setter!