by- Tara Cappa
I have always struggled with my weight. As a young overweight adolescent to an even more overweight adult it has always been a losing battle. Granted I had my ups but had even more downs as a result of my yo-yo dieting and exercise. My detrimental ways came to a head when I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes in late 2007. It was an obvious red flag that I was out of control and needed to make some serious lifestyle changes. But it was quite some time before I had my “moment.”
One day in the summer of 2009 I looked at myself in the mirror and could hardly recognize what I had become. As I stated before I was never a thin girl, but the person staring back at me was not at all what I could have imagined. It was then that it became clear that it was time to kick this unhealthy lifestyle for good. At 215+ pounds it was a decision that had to be made not only for myself but in order to see my son grow up and not miss a thing. I knew my health would suffer greatly if I kept on the same destructive path. So as I had done so many times before, I started with a combo of cardio and dieting and was very successful as I had been in the past….but I knew I needed to take things to a different level. I started communicating with Shawn O’Brien through Facebook. Having lived down the street from Shawn all my life, I was hesitant and slightly embarrassed to discuss with him my situation. Once I did, it was the best decision I could have made.
Excel Fitness was holding their own “Biggest Loser” contest and Shawn thought it might be a good thing for me to look into. I joined the program on February 1st of this year and have not looked back since. As part of the contest I was able to meet with Shawn on a one-on-one basis and he helped me with a workout and diet regime. Even though I had been succeeding with weight loss he helped me to realize that I was going about things in the wrong way. He developed a workout plan that included both cardio and weight training as well as helped me design a healthy eating plan.
Once I got back into the gym, I realized how much I loved the weight training and how much I had missed it!! For the three months of the competition I had a great support system between the other contestants and the encouraging Excel Fitness staff. I started the competition at 164lbs and 34% body fat and ended at 138 lbs and 26% body fat.
The contest was the just the beginning of what was to come. I was so grateful that I had the chance to be a part of something so positive and did not want it to end. I became so comfortable with Shawn that I decided I wanted him to train me personally on a weekly basis. In June I begin meeting with Shawn weekly and we took off running utilizing the tools I had been given the previous months.
I am currently down another 15+ pounds and even more incredible is that I have dropped to 18% body fat. I have made the healthy eating and exercise a lifestyle change and could not be more happy with my results. Of course I have my days when I want to just give up and go back to the old me but I always think about what Shawn and the rest of the Excel staff has helped me to accomplish and do not want to let them or myself down.
I am sure you have heard the old saying if I can do it then anyone can, but I am living proof that it is a very true statement. With the proper guidance I truly have “exceled” and am looking forward to a healthy and prosperous life!