I have to admit - I haven’t always been 100% committed to health, nutrition and fitness. Three years ago, I fell off the fitness wagon - quit going to the gym and made poor nutrition choices that typically consisted of nachos and cheese before bed, bagels for breakfast and sugary treats at my leisure. The deadly combination of a poor diet and lack of exercise left me 15 pounds overweight, full of cellulite, no muscle tone and most importantly…unhappy. I was disgusted with myself! Why did I let myself go? I understood that an intervention was in order so I started to mentally prepare myself to invest some blood, sweat and tears into my diet and fitness.
One day, I bought a new pair of size 28 Sevens jeans off e-bay. The designer jeans arrived and much to my dismay I could barely squeeze into them…they were skin tight and whoa…I had a muffin top! I wore them to work and felt so disgusting and uncomfortable I cried all the way home. Shortly after that rude awakening, my good friend who was a Tai Kwon doe Champ and Tri-Athlete was tragically killed. I was so sad to have lost such an important friend so I decided to make him my motivation get in shape (along with those jeans). I realized it would be a long journey but when the going got tough and I didn’t want to hit the Stairmaster or weights – I thought of my dear friend.
Immediately, I changed my diet – cut sugar from my coffee, no eating after dinner, and treats were off limits. I educated myself on health and nutrition and did my best to make smarter food choices such as having a sweet potato instead of a potato, water instead of pop, and an apple instead of a piece of cake. I added more vegetables and lean protein to fuel my works. After each training session, I noticed an improvement: held cardio a little longer, did an extra rep, or lifted a little heavier. I was getting stronger and holder cardio intervals longer! I also noticed that my body was changing, my cellulite was melting away. Three months after I started my fitness routine I tried on those jeans and they fit!
The Talisman quickly became my second home – I felt good, saw results, I was feeling happier with myself. My schedule positioned me to be at Talisman at around 5:00pm. As I walked towards the weight room I would always notice the long line up of fit people decked out in lulu lemon ready to take some aerobics/step class. As it turns out ‘that class’ was a Ripped class! As the weeks and months passed the line up remained long, yet I stuck to my regular routine. Finally, I asked my friend, Erin if she wanted to try this ‘Ripped class’ with me because I surely didn’t want to go alone. The first class was an absolute shock to my system. High reps mixed with cardio interval training. WHOA! I stumbled out of that first class thinking my body could only handle one class a week at most. Well, one class turned to two classes and two turned to three and today I’m able to do two back to back Ripped sessions for that extra push! I couldn’t believe it but my waist line shrunk and those designer jeans are now too big! I felt…like the name of the class… Ripped! I was hooked! The Ripped program fine tuned my cardio vascular capacity where I could go from running for 45 minutes with periods of walking to running my first half marathon (although not in my goal time due to an injured knee, still an accomplishment). People started to notice that my body changed and would often ask me what I’m training for, and if I compete. I felt confident and wanted to be a fitness role model for those who are in the same position I was once in myself. One of those people who noticed was none other than Jari Love!
Jari was kind enough to offer me a spot to train for her new Ripped video series. I was flattered but overwhelmed by the Ripped ladies I was working out with – Lesley, Ellie, Laurie and our star…Jari! They are in incredible shape so I had to push myself harder to keep up with the intense practice session that could go on for four hours. I was in the best shape of my life at that point – I felt extremely fit and capable. I eat clean because I don’t want food that won’t provide me with proper nutrients or energy. Sugar and ‘bad’ carbs make me feel tired and sluggish.
Ripped changed my life not only with respect to my increased fitness level, but introduced me to a variety of different people and personalities. I’ve developed new relationships with other Ripped enthusiasts and our common bond is the challenging work out that we all love so much!