August 22, 2013 — This is longer over due so here I go. I have been a member of the 3RAC family since mid February and needles to say it has been and continues to be a great experience. The coaching staff here Nick, Natasha and Keith have been exceptional. Besides being knowledgeable, supportive, informative and motivating they are just all around great people. The personal growth in strength and confidence has been extremely rewarding, not to mention the growth that I have had the pleasure of witnessing in so many of my 3RAC family member inspires and pushes me daily. If you are sick and tired of the same old “gyms” and are looking for a place to come where you will not be judged but rather greeted warmly, encouraged, inspired and motivated, 3RAC is the place for you! – Chris Ledford
August 14, 2013 — After a year at Team Training and Crossfit with Three Rivers Athletic Club, I have yet to accomplish all of my goals. But this picture taken a week ago is motivation that I am getting there. I have only lost 20 lbs and it’s not noticeable to many people. Being able to crank out 20 (man) push-ups and run a mile in 8.5 minutes is just something that never even crossed my mind. With everyone sharing their successes lately and being so inspired, I thought I’d share mine. Even if its small thank you to all of the trainers at 3RAC and 3RAC CROSSFIT. You have all literally changed my life. I feel so blessed to be a part of your team. — Amanda Beam
While I would not call this an after pick more just a stop along the way to optimal health and fitness. The picture is of me several years ago at close to 450 lbs currently in the now picture I have lost about 175 lbs and added muscle for an estimate body composition change of about 190 lbs. Mere words seem to fail me as I will try to express my appreciation for my lovely trainers (Tracee Hanson, Shawnda Kerr, Keri Verhei, Madeline O’Neil) from Three Rivers Athletic Club’s Team Training and for the coaches (Nick Perkins & Keith Lansdale) at 3RAC CrossFit.
How do you thank people for day’s you might not have had love you might not have been able to share without their help? And for being able have more life in every day I’m blessed with? Somewhere on the road of life I lost a part of myself the happy and healthy athlete I once was faded into the distance replaced by sad unhealthy guy in the picture. The road back has been a long one but in Team Training I found the athlete again and at 3RAC CrossFit my fitness is improving every day! If I could send a message back in time to my former self and say one thing to him it would be “You do not have to do it alone sometimes the bravest thing we can do is ask for help.” The program at Team Training is not easy but it works! The help and support are designed with your individual goals in mind the path to health and fitness is well worn. Finally I would especially like to Thank all the many friends who I have had the privilege of training with each of you is an inspiration to me!
January 28, 2013
Since being a young child I’ve always struggled with being either over weight or obese. I’ve complained about it, got down on myself about it, blamed other people for it, tried to comfort eat my way out of it (I know right!!), but never really owned it and done something about it.
After my second child I made a decision that now was the time I was going to face it and win.
I joined Three Rivers Athletic Club because there was a range of equipment, a variety of group classes, the welcome was friendly and to cap it all…there was childcare!
During my orientation to the gym the trainer talked about Bootcamp (now Team Training). I imagined it to be way, way to advanced for me, maybe I thought in a year or two when I’m already fitter. But after asking more questions and watching a few episodes of the Biggest Loser, I thought you know maybe I can.
Beginner Bootcamp was an awesome mix of encouragement and challenge with both physical training and written education. I felt accepted at the place I was at but inspired not to stay there.
After completing Beginner Bootcamp I was seeing good results but I was a little intimidated to move on to advanced Bootcamp. The move up was a new challenge. There were definitely days I felt out of my depth but I knew I just had to keep on keeping on and doing the best I could.
After four months I had dropped 30lbs. I knew I was stronger, more agile and had greater stamina, but more than anything I was proud of myself for where I’d got to. I will never be the fastest or strongest but that’s ok because I’m still becoming the best version of me that I can be.
So here I am 17 months after that initial start and maintenance is now my biggest struggle. A lifetime of bad habits are very tough to break, the difference now is that I have the tools to be successful. It’s 100% my choice as to whether I use those tools or not. The awesome thing about continuing with team training is that the support and accountability are always there, so there’s no hiding, if you’ve had a bad week you just have to fess up, draw a line under it and start again.
I saw a plaque with a quote on it that I’m choosing to make my own “Some people dream of success, others wake up and work hard at it” Are you just going to keep dreaming?
“So, tell me how to lose weight!” I have been asked some form of that question more than 50 times in the past few days since my husband posted my “before and after” photos on Facebook. Honestly, if I knew how to answer that question, I would be wealthy and living on a beach in Hawaii. In reality, the answer is simple: burn more calories than you consume. It’s the actual doing part that gets confusing.
Many of you have told me that I have inspired you. I can’t express how honored I feel by that. It also makes me a bit uncomfortable; but I’m learning that only by stepping out of my comfort zone am I able to accomplish the things that are important to me … and sharing what I have learned has suddenly become important to me. So, I’m not an expert, but I do have some experience and thought I could share a few tips that have worked for me.
Here is the short version:
1) Become dedicated and develop perspective
2) Find positive role models and an encouraging support group
3) Count calories – log your food – keep track of portion sizes by measuring what you eat
4) Move – find something you can and are willing to do – and do it – every day
5) Find accountability
6) Track calorie burn
7) Gain confidence and new habits
8) Learn from the frustrating times, celebrate the good ones, and enjoy the journey
Now for the long version:
Become dedicated and develop perspective – Mark posted that it took me 16 months to lose 100 pounds. It actually took about 12 years. I went on my first official diet when my high school freshman was a toddler. I started the same diet again when she was in grade school … and again when she was in middle school. I bought a treadmill, joined a gym (twice), drank Slimfast, joined Weight Watchers, did Medifast, no-carb diets, belly fat diets, Biggest Loser plans … and they all worked. I lost weight! But somehow, over those years of “dieting” the 165 pounds I started at, still crept up to a very embarrassing 247 pounds. So what was different this time around? On my 43rd birthday I looked in the mirror and hated the person I saw. I felt not just fat, but ugly, depressed, unhealthy and full of self-loathing. I felt like my weight made me a bad wife and a horrible mother. I looked at myself and thought “enough is enough”! I guess I finally wanted to change badly enough that I was willing to do whatever it took to get there. I started looking at weight loss not so much as, “what am I giving up”, but “what am I gaining”.
Find a good support group – Luckily for me, about this same time, I developed a group of friends who were positive role models for me. They encouraged me – some shared ideas of how to eat healthier; others convinced me that even though I wore a size XXL sweatpants, I wouldn’t look silly doing Zumba; still others just listened and empathized as I shared my struggles. They made me believe in myself.
Count calories, log food, and track portion sizes – During this time I was still searching for that perfect diet that was going to magically start working for me. I wanted to eat healthy, but to be honest – I’m not a fan of most fruits, can’t stand seafood, and many whole grains make me gag. I am addicted to sugar, like a good steak now and then, and truly believe that pasta, bread and cheese are manna from heaven. Sure – some foods are better to eat than others. Some combinations will help you reach weight loss goals more quickly, or provide you with needed energy. But as I said before, what mostly matters is calories. You will lose weight if you eat fewer calories than you burn. If you eat more than you burn, you will gain weight – simple science. So, I started counting calories. Is that a pain in the butt? YES! Is it eye-opening? YES! Is it worth it? YES!!! I learned to start reading labels. Soon I realized the bowlful of cold cereal with milk I had just eaten for breakfast was actually the size of 4 servings. My 180 calorie healthy meal was actually more than 700 calories! I started weighing and measuring my food and making sure I only actually ate one serving worth. I also began to write down everything I ate. Everything! I kept a piece of paper in the kitchen and when I ate something I wrote down what it was, how much I ate, and how many calories it cost me. I also used computer programs, apps for my phone and now my bodybugg to help me keep track. There are so many different ways to log food – choose one and do it. Is there more to learn about what to eat that can help you be healthier … definitely! But like I said, I’m not an expert on these things. In fact, my understanding and views about the best ways to fuel my body are constantly evolving. So if you want more information – find someone who you know is educated on the subject and whom you trust to give it to you straight.
Move it! – So, that is what I do for the calories in side of the equation. Now, for the calories burned side of the equation – move! What works is going to be different for everyone. Find something you are willing to do, and DO IT! Better yet, keep trying new things until you find something you love to do. I started out walking … slowly. I got on my tedious treadmill every morning and walked. Then I upped the speed a bit. Then I tried going for a “jog” outside. I couldn’t even make it the .25 miles to the end of my driveway. A friend told me I should do a 5K – I laughed. She invited me to Zumba – I told her I was too uncoordinated. She persisted in asking, so one day I went. Was I uncoordinated – uh, yeah! Was it fun? Yeah! I started going once a week, then twice, then sometimes even 3 times. I was so impressed with myself! Then, a friend did Beginner Bootcamp. She told me it was “such a good workout” and I should try it. Again, I laughed … but then something told me, “You can do this.” So, I signed up. I’ve now reached a point where I love to exercise and try to get a workout in everyday – wow, now there’s something I thought I would never say!
Find accountability – With bootcamp, came accountability. I was suddenly turning in my food log, knowing someone was going to see what I ate that week. They also recorded my weight and I knew that would reflect my efforts for the most part. I have a love/hate relationship with my scale, but find it a reliable way to measure my progress. So … find a friend, spouse, personal trainer – whatever works for you – I’m happy to do it if you would like … but find someone besides yourself to be accountable to. Find someone who will be supportive, but also will not let you get away with lying to yourself. (I am so good at pretending that if I didn’t write down all 10 chocolate chip cookies I ate, then I didn’t really eat them).
Track calorie burn – I found it difficult to guess how many calories I burnt doing different exercises. Many of the computer programs and apps that help you record your food, though, can help you guesstimate how many calories you burn as well. I’ve also had a bodybugg for the past couple of months, which I love. You wear it on your arm and it calculates your calorie burn. Many cardio machines will give you an idea of how many calories you burn, but I find they tend to overestimate, so I always figure a little lower than what they say. I find that now that I am more knowledgeable, I can pretty much plan my daily menu around what I plan to do for exercise that day. And, if I want a special treat – fine – I just have to plan on working it off as needed. Back to that simple science – burn more than you eat.
Gain confidence and new habits – With the exercise and accountability, I began to lose weight more quickly. I also added supplements to my diet that helped with the process. All this combined to give me confidence in myself, which in turn made me want to exercise more, which made me want to eat healthier so I’d have the energy to workout like I wanted. Being fit has almost become my new addiction, but a good one. I have the desire to eat healthier. It is a bit easier to say “no” to the junk food. It is all just part of my daily routine and habits now.
Learn, celebrate, enjoy – At the beginning of this note, I said that this all started when my husband posted my “before and after” pictures. I put those words in quotes for a reason. Mostly, because, I don’t think there is necessarily an “after”. It is a journey. I may be at the weight I want to be, but I still want to get fitter, stronger, more toned and not let the weight creep back on. I still struggle. I get frustrated, crave sugar and have my days when I just want to stay in bed. You’ve probably heard me whine about them more than once. But … looking back, I see how much I have learned. I know it’s a long, hard journey. It is, however, possible, and that is something to celebrate and enjoy. Another birthday has since passed, but I no longer hate the person I see in the mirror. In fact, I’m beginning to like her.