“Three years ago, I barely recognized the person I saw in the mirror. I was regularly working 16 hour days, 7 days a week, and it showed. I have struggled with my weight after I quit smoking 23 years ago. The stress of working so many hours, a poor diet, and virtually no exercise, had me seeing numbers on the scale I had never imagined I would see. I felt old, weak and sick, and did I mention OLD?!?!?
I have made a lot of changes in my life since then. I sold my business, so I could work “normal people hours”, which greatly reduced my stress. I converted from a life-long meat consumer, to a vegan-leaning, purely vegetarian lifestyle. I found a true passion for hiking. I joined running groups, completed a couple of 5K runs, and started training for a half marathon. I struggle with asthma, and arthritis in my knees and hips, so I could not maintain the running, but it sure did feel great while it lasted!
As luck would have it, the Service Center where I work relocated to Edgewood in January 2017, right next door to Bodies of Empowerment! My life still had complications which did not yet allow me to fully commit the time required to transition back to the Toni I once knew. I talked to Nate early on, took a tour of the facility, but told him that it would be a little while longer before I could sign up – too much going on in my noisy life.
In late October 2017, I was finally ready. I knew I needed the attention and guidance of personal trainers who would work with me, and for me, with all of my unique health issues. BOE did not let me down. During this same time, I began going to physical therapy for old injuries and arthritis issues with my knees, shoulders, hips and right hamstring. Steve and I regularly discuss my PT exercises, and he has incorporated many of them into my routines, and for other members too! After four months of training with Steve, he is very in tune with how I approach a workout and how I strive to get the most out of the workouts he has designed for me. I focus on my form, and try to hone in on the targeted muscles, and if I’m not feeling it, he helps with slight adjustments, or we collaborate on what will work better for me.
I knew I had slimmed down, lost fat, and gained muscle mass, but without seeing the numbers drop on the scale, I was slightly discouraged. After my recent measurements, I was shocked with the numbers! I had not lost any weight, but the transformation in my body is undeniable (losing fat & gaining muscle). My stamina has improved more through this training regime than it had with running. I¹m training for longer hikes in the mountains. And, although I had half-jokingly mentioned the idea last year, I actually believe I CAN hike part of the Pacific Crest Trail someday.
I wasn¹t just ready for a change, I would not have lasted long without a change, and BOE was the catalyst for my transformation. I just turned 52 last weekend. I feel stronger, healthier and happier than I have in many years. Someone just told me that I look younger every time they see me therein lies the proof. I feel better, and it shows!”