How A Tired Mom Became a Kick-Butt Personal Trainer
Carolyn’s weight loss and fitness journey is a true inspiration to all the mommas out there who sometimes feel like there’s not enough time in the day to take care of themselves and their families, too. Carolyn lost over 100 pounds at the Y, and eventually joined our staff to become the newest Personal Trainer at our Bob Temple North Side YMCA. We think her story is best in her words:
“When I tell y’all that the YMCA changed my life, it is not an exaggeration!
When I walked into that building (the North Side Y) for the first time for my first workout, I was scared to death. I was over 300 lbs and I had NO IDEA what I was doing. I had a wake-up call from God in December 2014, and I was scared to get started, but I knew that this time it had to be different. It couldn’t be another one of those ‘I’ll start next week/next month/next year’ plans that I had told myself for years. It couldn’t be another fad diet that works for a month and then doesn’t. It couldn’t be another lie I told myself. I had battled obesity my entire adult life, and at the time I was considered ‘morbidly obese. To say I was scared to walk into a gym was an understatement!
From the time I entered the doors, I have NEVER looked back or regretted the decision to get started! Within my first week I had the ‘older population’ (you all know the coffee drinkers and the retired guys who causally work out on their days off from golf) helping me with everything from showing me how to use the machines to simply shooting basketball with me while my daughter crawled across the gym floor! I have never once felt ‘less than,’ felt intimidated, felt judged, or felt ANYTHING other than love, comfort, and encouragement from this place! There were a multitude of times I wanted to quit and give up, but I had people that were counting on me to show up: the retired population who didn’t know my name but always smiled and told me they were glad to see me, the trainers who told me they were proud of me for showing up and bragged on my abilities (even though- looking back at it, they were just being nice! 😉). I eventually worked up the courage to start taking a few classes and then I had other class members holding me accountable. My kids FELL IN LOVE with the incredible Child Watch they offer, and if we missed too many days, I had the child watch workers messaging me holding me accountable! I had probably been going to the Y for 6-9months before Mindy (an instructor) started harassing me to come to her class! After weeks of her asking, I finally worked up the courage to try an Ultimate Fit class. I had never truly lifted a barbell in my life, but here I was in a ‘Crossfit’ style class! In Mindy’s defense, she promised me that if I didn’t like it, I never had to come back and she would still be my friend! There were probably 10 seasoned gym rats in the class and I never once felt judged. Everyone jumped right in and helped, encouraged, and pushed me! So now there were even more people holding me accountable!
Oftentimes people resist change because they focus on what they have to give up instead of what they have to gain. I have gained more than I ever imagined from this little gym. I gained some of my very best friends in this place, I gained confidence in this place, I gained happiness in this place, I gained true contentment, I gained knowledge, I gained a job I love, and the list goes on and on and on…but most importantly I gained my life back!
I don’t think that you can outwork a bad diet, and you can absolutely achieve weight loss without ever stepping into a gym, but when you realize how much work it takes to burn 100 calories, those double stuffed Oreos all of a sudden aren’t so good! Joking aside, working out isn’t just for people who want to lose weight! Working out and being active is great for EVERYONE! It instantly changes your mood, it helps you sleep, it increases your energy level, it lowers your risk for chronic diseases, it reduces stress, boosts your immune system, etc., etc., etc.
Speaking to the momma’s here…I know it feels like you don’t have enough time in the day for everything and working out is at the bottom of a laundry list of other unfinished task, BUT you.cant.pour.from.an.empty.cup! I wasn’t lying when I said their Child Watch is PHENOMENAL. Seriously, it’s the best! There have been times I’ve taken my kids to the gym JUST so I could shower and dry my hair in peace! Take the kids to Child Watch and spend an hour a day a few times a week working on YOURSELF! You will be amazed at how much better you feel, how much more energy you have, how less stressed you are, and how much better you sleep!
Even though you’ve spent an hour at the gym, you will have so much more energy throughout the day to do the rest of your laundry list! I promise!
There are classes ranging from Zumba, yoga, kickboxing, boxing, aqua classes, spin, Boot Camp and ‘Crossfit’ style, there is something for everyone! If your kids need to run off some energy, there are even kid classes for them to run and play and work out!
You will not be disappointed if you give the YMCA a try! If nothing else, they’ve got some great pools in Knoxville that are free for members! But, if you give it a fair shot and you commit to a plan and stick to it, I really believe you will not regret the decision to join! If you’re scared or nervous or uncertain or just want to check it out to see what you think, don’t hesitate to message me…I will be more than happy to go with you the first time or to walk you around and show you everything! And of course I know I’m biased, but we have some amazing trainers that would be happy to help you too! All it takes is stepping out of that comfort zone. It may be a small step, but that small step could end up totally changing your life like it did mine!”