In July 2015 I started my 6 month journey to weight-loss surgery. On January 11, 2016, I had the vertical sleeve gastrectomy done. I lost weight with the surgery, but I didn't change my way of eating or my mindset about food, so the weight was very slow coming off and I was still pretty miserable. Since starting the Club Reduce program at West-Land Clinic 10 weeks ago, I've changed my eating habits and I've started exercising regularly. It's really helped the weight come off, and I feel better, as well.
What's been the biggest weight-loss challenge?
Definitely overcoming food addiction. Especially sugar.
What's been the biggest weight-loss reward?
Getting to go off medications. I've been able to quit taking 7 medications so far (1 cholesterol, 1 blood pressure, 1 stomach, 4 diabetes). And hopefully, I'll be able to stop taking even more before the year is out.
How long have you been at CrossFit Latrobe?
I've been going to CrossFit Latrobe for about a month. Dr. Westerbeck talked me into trying it out.
What was your biggest CrossFit fear?
That I would be judged for having no clue how to do anything, because I'd never exercised except for a treadmill or exercise bike before. Also, I have social anxiety, so I get very timid and uncomfortable around new places and people; the first few weeks were pretty nerve wracking until that settled down.
How'd you overcome it?
The patience of all the trainers. Their willingness to stick beside me and guide me through things when I have no clue or can't wrap my head around a particular movement or lift technique. The scalability of the workouts also went a long way toward convincing me to keep going. And every single person I've met at CrossFit has been kind and welcoming. That really helped the anxiety settle down.
What would you say to people struggling to overcome their own fitness fears?
For those struggling with their own fears, my advice is just go give it a shot. The more you put it off, the more time the doubts have to stew inside your head and the less likely you'll be to ever do it. That first step of going/trying could be just the change you need to light the fire inside you.
What has been the biggest CrossFit reward?
Every time I go, I find something new I can do that I never thought I could before. And that just makes you feel good about yourself, you know? That little lift of confidence you get, I think that's the biggest reward for me.
What can you do that you didn't think you could?
I can lift a bar with weights on it over my head. I never thought I'd be able to do that, ever.
What would people be surprised to know about you?
I love to crochet. I made all of my friends scarves one year for Christmas, and I've made several hats and a few blankets, as well.
How would you spend a million dollars?
New house, new car, and pay off bills. If there's anything left, it goes into savings.
Describe yourself in three words.
Awkward. Silly. Loving.
The best piece of advice you've been given?
Never give up, never give in.
If you could go anywhere in the world, where would it be?
Either Ireland or Australia/New Zealand.
Where do you see yourself in another year?
I imagine being at or close to my goal weight, becoming stronger and able to do some of the things I can't right now, and I definitely see me still doing CrossFit.