Before joining Breakthrough I knew I needed to do something – I was quite miserable being overweight and out of shape. But, I kept thinking…how was I going to fit in exercise when family and work take all my time?
Also, I was so out of shape, I was embarrassed to walk into a gym and I was not sure where to begin. I was also dealing with psoriatic arthritis and shoulder issues and figured there was no use joining a gym, I would be too limited for it to make a difference.
During my first visit to Breakthrough, Alexis took me through an entire workout. I was dressed for a workout, but did not think I would actually do much.
I was wrong…as the workout continued, I kept thinking I was going to fall out on the ground and not be able to move again. Much to my surprise, I made it through the entire workout!
Afterwards, I met with Chris. Chris thoroughly explained everything that Breakthrough has to offer and spoke with me about what brought me to Breakthrough and my goals.
I had not really thought about my goals and I certainly did not think someone was going to take the time to find out why I came and help me to articulate goals.
I spoke to Chris about my time commitments and medical issues and he assured me that we could work around them.
At the end of our meeting, Chris gave me additional documents to review and said to give him a call when I made my decision about whether or not to join.
I knew that if I did not make a commitment in that moment, I would not be following up. So, I told Chris I was ready to make the commitment.
He asked if I wanted two or three times a week – I said…go big or go home, I’m coming three times a week.
He asked morning or evening…I chose morning and could not believe that was coming out of my mouth.
I have NEVER been a morning person. I was the person who stayed up way too late at night working and was always the last one out of bed in the morning.
My husband got up earlier and woke up the kids for school; I stayed in bed until the last possible minute.
When I left the gym that day, I drove home wondering…who is this person that just committed to working out three times a week and in the MORNING!
Chris suggested I start PT for my shoulder and assured me that my workouts would still be rigorous, but safe.
He was right.
I am serious about my commitment to myself and Breakthrough. I include Breakthrough because the coaches invest so much in us, that I do not want to let myself or them down.
I owe it to myself and the coaches to, “Get up, Show Up and Never Give Up.”
When I need to travel for work, I rearrange my workout schedule at BT and workout while away.
My favorite part of Breakthrough is the small group workouts. I was in a bad place before starting at Breakthrough; I stopped connecting with friends and was not as outgoing as I had been in years past.
The small group was so encouraging when I first started; I did not feel as intimidated as I thought I would. I saw people of all shapes, sizes and ages and they all accepted me as I was and encouraged me as I progressed.
I made new friends and look forward to the workouts to connect with the group; I found that part of myself that enjoys being sociable. As a result, I found myself making the effort to reconnect with friends outside of the gym.
If I could have two favorite parts, I would also say the coaches. The level of expertise across the team allows for a comprehensive approach to being healthy and fit, mind and body.
In addition to their expertise, they truly care about each individual who enters their doors. They know who you are and take the time to ask if you need anything; they also push you when they know you can do more.
The level of accountability between the small group workouts and the coaches is exactly what I needed to get motivated and stay on track.
When I first joined Breakthrough, I would have said the biggest benefit was losing weight. Now, I would say the biggest benefit has been getting healthy; I eat much healthier and as a result, my whole family eats healthier.
My husband recently joined Breakthrough and we work together to educate our children on better eating habits and model this by providing healthy meals and snacks.
Without your health, everything else in your life can suffer. I’m not saying I am 100% healthy, if you consider my autoimmune, but the autoimmune does not define me or keep me from eating better and feeling better. In fact, I have learned about foods that can help to reduce inflammation and joint pain that I did not know before.
The second biggest benefit since belonging to Breakthrough is that I have a better balance in my life.
I used to work late into the night and hated getting up in the morning. I never felt rested. Now, as a result of attending the 6am strength workouts, I go to bed earlier, I make sure I block out time at work to do work.
I keep my evenings open to spending time with my family, and I have reconnected spiritually.
I look forward to getting up in the morning and working out – it is a gift to myself that I share with my family and friends.
The third benefit is the weight loss.
The weight loss not only makes it easier to look in the mirror and feel better about the clothes I am wearing, the weight loss has resulted in gaining strength and confidence through the workouts.
When I first started at Breakthrough and was given a MyZone belt, I did not wear it. At the time, my resting heart rate was around 100 bpm. I was embarrassed that my effort would show as green when I was still sitting on the floor.
When I did cardio, I was red in a matter of minutes. Now, I proudly wear my MyZone belt and strive to see my name on the MyZone Leaderboard.
I know that as I get stronger, my heart gets stronger, as well, and it takes longer to get to red, which is a good thing.
My resting hear trate now stays in the 70s; I have not seen it that low in years!
The weight loss and workouts have helped with my stamina; I have much more energy throughout my day and I am modeling for my children healthy habits at home by getting on the elliptical in between workouts. It also helps that I no longer snore…so Mr. Bennett does not have to raise our adjustable bed which then turned him into a pretzel.
My life is much more enjoyable since we began coaching together. I feel better about myself, who I am as a parent, wife, sister, grandmother and co-worker.
As I pay more attention to my health, I also pay more attention to the health of those around me.
I am excited that my husband and sister are now both Breakthrough members. My youngest son recently won a wrestling state championship from his hard work of eating right and exercising. My youngest daughter is returning to sports after a long year of physical therapy and more recently, a return-to-sports program with 1:1 coaching at Breakthrogh.
I was also happy to pay it forward by sponsoring a friend to join one of Breakthrough’s challenges.
I only keep healthy snacks in my office for my work group and serve healthy food at family gatherings.
Everyone is surprised to find that good food tastes good!
I keep a better eye on my team at work to make sure they are keeping a better work/life balance. I’m just more in tune with the people in my life; I want everyone to have the opportunity to feel good and be healthy. And…my older kids have to suffer through me sending them pictures of my name on the MyZone Leaderboard and more recently of Bob and I clearing our bands ☺
In return, they share their accomplishments with us – they cannot be beat by their parents!
One of my friends recently asked me what I am doing because she has noticed not only the change in my weight, but in my personality, as well.
She said, “One of my big struggles is figuring out how to fit it all in (which I know taking care of myself should be the priority but I always find myself pushing that off first).
My response: Believe me…you would not be alone. There are many of us at Breakthrough who joined the gym wondering how we would make it work with many responsibilities in our life.
I go in the morning to make sure my workout is a priority before I start the rest of my day.
There is support and accountability through small group coaching. You get to know those in your group and encourage each other.
The coaches know if you need a modification due to an injury and when you need a little push to get more out of your workout.
You get a full screening and wear colored bands so the coaches know at all times how to tailor your workouts.
If you cannot make your scheduled session, there is flexibility to join another session.
Breakthrough creates a personalized program that resets every six weeks.
I’ve met so many great people and have felt completely supported; I have never had this type of experience at any other gym.
If I knew I would look and feel the way I do after only six months, I would have done it years ago. Don’t miss the opportunity to give yourself the gift of health.”
We will always face obstacles in our lives, some life threatening, others that break us down. These obstacles are what make us stronger and help us to continue to grow.
It may not seem like it as we experience it in the moment, but we eventually pull through.
We cannot let those obstacles define who we are – we deserve more.
I deserve more. Breakthrough has given me the opportunity to stop and re-examine my life and my priorities.
I am choosing myself so I can be more to those I love.