At the end of our most recent 8-week Shape Up Weight Loss Program, Stacy emerged as the winner, based on the impressive progress she made in terms of what she lost – 11.4 pounds, 3 inches, and 3.71% of body fat. However, she also won in terms of what she gained – confidence, physical abilities, an overall feeling of wellness, and what she calls her “non-scale victories.”

Read on to learn more about Stacy’s  experience in her own words.

Somehow I had become that person… You know the one, whose monthly fees to the Y had become more of a “donation” rather than a “gym membership”, if you catch my drift. I had known for a long while that I needed to do something to get back on track. I happened to see a post from one of my favorite instructors , Lisa, about the Small Group Shape Up Challenge. Knowing she would be my coach was good incentive and after getting the old, “If you sign up, I’ll sign up” from a friend, I took the leap.

I initially signed up thinking I was going to learn how to do workouts at the gym, in addition to me getting back to my running on my own. Imagine my surprise at the first group meeting when I found out that I had to log all of my food, we’d be learning about nutrition and there was going to be a lot more to it than just working out!  But I had already made the commitment so I decided in that moment I was going to give it 110%, whatever it took.

For me, my success with this challenge can be attributed mainly to 3 things – making “me” a priority, accountability and the group support.  At that first meeting, Lisa told us, “You have to make yourself a priority.  Look at working out like you would any other appointment. Life gets busy and things come up, we understand that.  But would you not show up to a doctor’s appointment?  An oil change? Any other appointment?  Treat these meetings and your workouts the same way.”  That stuck with me throughout the entire 8 weeks and continues to drive me today.  The points system that we used also helped me.  For me personally, it helped me keep myself accountable to “me” and to stay on track with the goals that were laid out for us. It was something I could visually see to mark my progress within the program.  Lastly, I had the support of my team (we had the BEST team!) and of the program participants in general.  That helped with the accountability as well, but it was also great to have others surrounding me with the same goals and same mindset.  An added bonus was I made some new friends that I could continue on with after the 8 weeks ended!

My biggest feat was changing my eating.  I LOVE eating…and not necessarily the healthiest stuff.  My first step was to cut out candy and mindless snacking.  I attribute much of my weight loss during the program to that small change alone.  I also became far more mindful of portion size and found, much to my surprise, I was NOT left feeling hungry!  From there, I was able to extend my focus to making some healthier choices as well.  (Thank you to Joy and Meg for all of their invaluable input on nutrition and mindfulness!)  Add in the workouts and voila!  Success!

While the decreasing number on the scale has been a nice victory, the biggest victories have been what they call “non-scale victories”.  I FEEL better, both mentally and physically.  This fact alone makes every second, every drop of sweat, every aching muscle, worth it! It’s also a nice bonus to find clothes are baggy – a good excuse to shop!  I feel accomplished when I realize I can complete an exercise that I couldn’t do before or do more reps of a certain move than I could do when I started.  (Hello pushups!)

I cannot say enough good things about this program or the coaches/instructors involved.  Clicking “register” that day back in April was one of the best decisions I’ve made in a long time.  I’m happy to say, I am back to having a “gym membership” rather than making a “donation”!  They said at the outset of the program – you are here to make a “life change”…and that’s exactly what I’ve done, thanks to this program.  #determinedtostickwithit

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