In just five months, Christine's weight is at an all-time low (she's dropped 20 pounds!) -- and her self-confidence, energy, and happiness is at an all-time high. Here's her story of transformation.
1. Tell me a little bit about your starting point. Where were you when you first came to The Studio (MDR), and what was your goal?
If you were to ask me six months ago where I would be today, I would have never imagined I'd make it this far. I was going through one of the most difficult times in my life and I let it take over me. I was no longer the positive, motivated, and physically fit person that I prided myself in being. Luckily, my humanitarian trip to Africa came at the perfect moment. It was a life changing experience that filled me with gratitude and I came home I determined to get back to "the old me." Over the course of two months, I'd gained 13 pounds and was at 141 lbs, the most I have ever weighed. I was upset with myself for gaining weight, and I felt insecure and defeated. I needed to get back into my exercise routine. I had done Pilates in the past, but wanted something that was at a faster pace. I remembered walking by The Studio (MDR) a few months back and thinking "WOW, that looks like Pilates on Crack ... PERFECT!" I remember my first class like it was yesterday. I couldn't do 90 percent of the workout and was sore for three days. I can't thank all of the trainers enough for their constant motivation and being so patient with me!
2. Can you talk a little bit about some challenges / setbacks you faced along your transformation journey?
The biggest challenge in my transformation process, besides the actual workouts, was getting stronger mentally. I had such a strong fear of failure and I focused on everything I was doing wrong or couldn't do. But I made a commitment to myself, and no matter how nervous or insecure I felt before each class, I showed up. After 2 months, I felt so much stronger, but the scale didn't budge. I was working out the hardest I ever have in my life and sweating so much, how could it not be working? I gave myself a motivational pep talk, a pat on the back, and decided I would keep showing up, and take a break from the scale. As I got stronger, I pushed myself to take class. In that time, MDR challenged me to stop focusing on the results and embrace the journey. He inspired me to focus on my accomplishments and how much stronger I was getting each class. I started to become aware of those little accomplishments, and as they were adding up, I found myself becoming more positive and leaving each class with a sense of pride and accomplishment. Three weeks later, I stepped on the scale and was 10 lbs lighter! Learning to let go and to stop thinking too much -- not only changed my workouts, but it also shaped how I started to view my life. I started to let go and be fully present in the workouts, being able to push myself harder and harder each time.
3. What are some of the biggest changes you've seen since you started working out at The Studio (MDR)?
Physically, I am in the best shape of my life. No matter how hard I would work out in the past, even after months of Boot Camp and personal trainers, I was never a person with strong arms. I've never been able to do a full-on pushup ... until now. And I can even do more than one! My arms and abs show definition, and although I have always had a butt, it's changed shape and completely lifted. I noticed that my body started seeing more significant changes when I made a commitment to changing my eating habits. I haven't completely cut anything out, but I have significantly reduced my gluten, sugar, salt, and alcohol intake and started drinking A LOT of water. All of these changes have led to the biggest change I've noticed: how I carry myself and how I feel about myself. There's something about taking care of my body like never before and owning it that made me come alive. I can't remember an exact moment, but somewhere in the fun I was having and strength I was gaining, it was as if a light switched on, and I was a whole new person. I have finally come to know my worth and what I deserve. My confidence is at an all-time high, I have more energy, and I'm extremely happy, fulfilled, more patient, and at peace.
4. Can you describe a personal victory you've had in class? And did that moment help you outside of The Studio (MDR) as well?
There are four things that I am especially proud of accomplishing thanks to the The Studio (MDR). The first is committing myself to keeping my appointments to class and going to each class, even on the days it seemed unbearable. If I am not able to make a previously scheduled class, I make sure to schedule a different class that week so that I don't cheat myself. Taking action and holding myself accountable are seemingly small victories that helped propel me to bigger victories.
The second victory is tackling the French Twist. I never thought I'd be strong enough to move that carriage, and it's still no easy feat. But every time I feel that burning squeeze, a little victory march is going on inside my head.
The third victory is completing a class without any modifications. Like I mentioned earlier, for the first month I couldn't do 90 percent of the class. Being able to actually complete a class without any modifications was beyond an amazing feeling. I remember thinking, "If I could do that, I can do anything!" Seeing how strong I was getting, class after class, became increasingly addicting.
And finally, one of the biggest accomplishments of my life: I HELD THE 5-MINUTE PLANK! When I started at The Studio (MDR) five months ago, I couldn't hold a 30-second plank. When my instructor mentioned the 5-minute plank challenge a few months ago, I really had no intention of attempting it, thinking there was no way I could ever do that. It was just for the advanced people. The day approached and the thought of holding plank for 5 minutes no longer scared me, it excited me. And at that moment, I knew I was a transformer. During the plank, my mind thought about giving up at the 3-minute mark, when my body started shaking. I heard a voice in my head saying, "Your mind gives up three times before your body does, don't drop!" and then I quieted that inner voice, told myself to finish, and finished the 5-minute plank! It was a huge accomplishment for me. There was nothing that could wipe the smile off my face that day.
5. Where are you now, and what are your new goals?
After five months at The Studio (MDR), I feel like a new person. I exceeded my goal and have lost a total of 20 lbs, now weighing 121 lbs. I never would've guessed that when I walked into that hot pink studio, I would not only change my body, but I'd also change the way I feel and think. So amazing! In 2013, my goal is to finally have amazing, rock-hard abs, to continue to push myself harder, to work to perfect my form, and to keep transforming. I hope to inspire as many people as I can to create a transformation in their own lives. I can't thank Lisa, Ken, Lindsay, Mary, Natalya, and Jessi enough for the inspiration, motivation, coaching, enthusiasm, and dedication you bring each and every day. The year 2012 started with a lot of chaos. But, thanks to The Studio (MDR), it ended as a year of transformation. Make the commitment to yourself, you deserve it!