Katie M, W3 Lawrence Member

“The difference between then and now is my support system. W3 has amazing coaches who I consider friends.”

Hi, my name is Katie and I was asked to share my journey. I was so honored, to yet again, tell my story. I began my weight loss journey on May 4th of 2012.

That is the exact date that I signed sokatiemartintestimonialpic1me papers and joined W3. I was hesitant at first, as I usually am when trying new things. But I’ve quickly discovered that nervousness can mean something amazing. After working out on my own for a few months on the elliptical machines, the pounds were melting off like butter. I then got up the courage to try some classes, I started with Zumba & I really liked it. Even though I was awful at first, that pushed me to try more classes. Pretty soon, I was a regular class goer. In June of 2013, the wonderful Kristy had convinced me to join the biggest loser challenge. And that introduced me to functional training. I was nervous and excited (I told you that would happen again and again). After a week into it, I truly felt a deeper passion for fitness. I was getting stronger & I could truly feel it. And I won second place!

I then continued functional until January of 2014. In February I started doing more research on healthy eating, and portion control. I thought I was doing great with my “diet” but you don’t succeed until you stop calling it a diet, it is a lifestyle change. Since starting my journey, I have lost 137 pounds, I went from a pants size of 24 to a baggy 12. My shirt size went from 2XL to a medium. I don’t have record of all of my inches lost, but I know it’s a lot!

I have tried diets and exercise since I was a teenager, but I could never keep up with it and always quit. The difference between then and now is my support system. W3 has amazing coaches who I consider friends. I feel I can talk to these women and they will actually listen & give great advice.katiemartintestimonialpic2

Perhaps you’re wondering what made me join the gym in the first place? Well, my boyfriend and I moved into an apartment on Lawrence and Maplewood, so I was right across the street, but didn’t step foot in there for a year. When I found out my sister was getting married and wanted me to stand in the wedding, that was it. That was my push. Growing up I was always the chubby girl, to the plus size woman. Hearing comments all my life that still make me cringe. I am no longer plus size, which to me, is a crazy thought. And the amount of confidence I had has sky rocketed. I am truly a new person. And I’ll admit, I do stop and look at myself in the mirror. But trust me when I say, it’s not because I’m cocky or shallow, but I am proud!! I am so very proud of how far I have come. And I am so happy that I have inspired others. Just recently I signed myself up for my first 5k & I am incredibly nervous. But that’s a good thing! I may not be able to run the whole way, but I will finish it. I also plan on becoming certified as a piyo instructor. I am excited to live my life and live it in the healthiest way I can!

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“Since my first workout in functional, I’ve been hooked. It’s so much fun!”

Hi. My name is Heather. I gained 70lbs with the pregnancy of my Son. And even more after.  I was tired all the time and my knees were hurting.  I was drowning myself in ice coffees just to get through the day. With being a single Mom, I wanted more energy.  I needed to lose my pregnancy weight. I started off with cardio on the treadmills and elliptical machines. I was doing the group fitness classes. I also trained for the corporate challenge and I ran it. But the weight just wasn’t coming off, how I wanted, and I was bored. After helping my Dad through his cancer fight and watching many young adults go through cancer, I wanted to learn more about nutrition. I watched people that were doing functional.  Their bodies were changing tremendously and they had so much energy. So, I decided to do functional. I wanted that change and energy. Since my first workout in functional, I have been hooked. It’s so much Fun!  When I first started, I couldn’t do a push up and it was hard for me to do lunges and squats. Every day in functional I grew a little stronger and I learned how to eat right. Now, I can do lunges and squats with no knee pain.  And I’m doing pushups.  I have more energy and my endurance level skyrocketed.  I’m eating healthier and eating real food. Thanks to Vince and Chrissy I have lost 60lbs in this past year. I still have a long way to go, but hopefully with doing one-on-one’s now, I will reach my goals by summer. I now have the knowledge and tools to never go back. This is a really good time to get into functional. You have Vince’s expertise in weight training and Chrissy’s passion for cardio.  We get only 1 body. So, let’s take care of it.

~Heather G.- W3 Member since 2010

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Congratulations, Rachel!

Dear Women’s Workout & Wellness:

It has been quite a journey for me at W3 Monroe! I joined in November 2011 in order to just be a little more active.  I could NEVER have imagined the results I would get from being a member of the gym.

In the past 15 months being a member of W3, I have lost 50 pounds and gone from a size 18/20 to a size 10/12.  The first picture attached is from October 2011.  The same girlfriend and I are posing in the second picture in December 2012.

Honestly, I can totally attribute my weight loss and fitness to the amazing staff at W3.  From day one, I felt welcomed and more importantly special to the staff there.  Instructors greeted me by name and always made time to answer my questions or discuss my goals.  My very first class at W3 was Cardio Flex with Jenny and her energy and enthusiasm really set the tone for my time at the gym.  It

made me want to keep coming back!  I sampled pretty much all the classes before figuring out what worked for me. I realized that I was a group fitness junkie, and that by taking classes and working out in a small group, I would be held accountable and kept motivated by my peers. The entire staff at W3 always encouraged and supported my workouts, even if they were loud or annoying. They never told me to stop, and worked with grace and flexibility to make sure I had the space and time I needed to accomplish my goals.

I can truly say that I wouldn’t be the person I am today if I hadn’t joined Women’s Workout World.  If I had any advice to give people looking to lose weight or accomplish fitness goals, I would say to JUMP IN!!  Find what works for you and go for it.  Always push a little harder and use the staff as a resource.  They are great! 

 

 

“At 40, I feel PHAB-U-LOUS.  That’s Physically Healthy and Beautiful; inside and out!”My name is Yulonda and I have been a W3 member since 2006.  My weight gain started almost 4 years ago after a chain of traumatic events.  Prior to that, I had been successful at maintaining a healthy weight by working out at W3.In 2009, I had major surgery, was nearly attacked on my way to work, battled depression and suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder.  This was the beginning of my downward spiral, both physically and emotionally.  As a result, I gained 55lbs and weighed 225lbs; my heaviest ever.In 2011, I signed up for the FUNCTIONAL program and crossed paths w/ an amazing trainer.  I trained hard, for a year, and didn’t lose one pound.  ((((WHAT?!?!?))))  No fault of the trainer’s; I was not honest with myself.  I would work out like a crazy person w/ her and go home and eat junk.  I now know that this is not the right equation.  It takes both exercise AND a proper diet to achieve healthy weight loss.

Spring of 2012, I had a close loved one comment on my weight gain.  It stung but I took immediate action.  April 2012, I approached my trainer and told her I was ready to get serious.  I told her that I wanted to lose 40lbs by my 40th.  She checked the calendar and said that’s 9 months away; totally doable but will take sacrifice.  I’m thinking, that’s only about 4.5lbs a month.  Yet, in the back of my mind I didn’t really think I could do it.  My trainer became my accountability partner.  She would check my food journal and weigh me regularly in addition to kicking my butt during our sessions.  Some weeks it was NOT nice.  (Think I fired her one week and re-hired her the next day.  LOL!)

Due to unforeseen circumstances, I was forced to finish my weight loss journey without my trainer.  I made a promise to her (and myself) that I would use the tools she had given me, remain focused and continue to FIGHT FOR IT.  I placed myself FRONT AND CENTER in the turbo kick, kickin core ball, hard body and body sync classes as well as to doing cardio and weight training on my own.  I’m happy to share that I exceeded my initial goal. To date, I have lost a total of 45lbs.  In addition to the pounds loss, I’ve lost several inches and gained serious muscle tone compliments of weight training.  I’ve dropped from a size 18 to a reg 12.  (The size I wore in my early 20s.)  At 40, I feel PHAB-U-LOUS.  That’s Physically Healthy and Beautiful; inside and out!  =)

My highlight was recently having the privilege to be in a W3 commercial.  (Yes, that was me!)  What an honor and compliment to represent W3.  This is testimony to just how far I have come.  The sweat and extreme faces in the commercial are real.  Nothing was staged!  I was not sprayed down with a water bottle and asked to pose for the camera.  It was not pretend, I put in work!  Before W3, I could not do a regular pushup, I struggled to do a sit up and I was out of breath after half of one class.  Yet, I survived a functional session, zumba and turbo kick back to back BEFORE they interviewed me for the commercial.  How’s that for stamina and determination?!

I would like to thank the owner and amazing W3 staff for offering a great facility for women to work out and achieve their weight loss goals.  I cannot forget the wonderful women (members) at W3.  You ladies ROCK!  I have formed many bonds w/ the women at the Monroe location.  Some days you force yourself to get there and you comment “I’m here!”  For you who say you’re here…thank you for (H)elping (E)veryone (R) emain  (E)ncouraged.  I personally am encouraged by the new ones who don’t know the moves in the classes YET they keep trying.  I’m encouraged by the shy woman who has never stepped foot in a gym in her life and may be timid because she’s heavier than her counterparts.  I’m encouraged by my more seasoned/gray-haired women who are like grandmothers to me and recognize that this is truly a way of life.  For all of you I say, stay the course, fight for it and continue to help everyone remain encouraged!

Sacrifice:

the surrender or destruction of something prized or desirable for the sake of something considered as having a higher or more pressing claim; to forfeit (one thing) for another thing considered to be of greater value.

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“Had it not been for the wonderful people here… I would still be 25 lbs heavier!”

I started coming to W3 about 4 years ago when one of my coworkers suggested we join since it was in our building. I had felt miserable after gaining about 30 lbs from starting my first real world desk job. I had danced in high school and college and never really had to worry about my weight until I found myself sitting for 75% of my day, eating awful fast food lunches, sipping
down sugar filled coffee drinks to survive the day and taking advantage of whatever food was brought to the office kitchen. I would get on a treadmill and starting out I could only run for about a minute and would have to walk 2 just to recover. I would take whatever classes my coworkers talked me into that day, but never really took anything too seriously. When they announced a new program called “Functional Training”, I signed up for the free sessions just to try it out. I was hooked from the first class. The trainers at the W3 Monroe location pushed me so hard that I started to really see changes in my body and my confidence. Since starting at W3, I have completed numerous 5 and 10k’s, the Warrior Dash, will be running my second Soldier Field 10 mile in May and will be competing in my first Crossfit competition in April. I also recently started weightlifting which has made all the difference. Ladies, you NEED to lift. If my pictures show you anything, it’s that you WILL NOT bulk up like a man – you will be lean, mean, confident and beautiful!

In August, I took on a Whole30 challenge (www.whole9life.com) and have been eating Paleo (caveman diet – meat, vegetables, fruit – no grains, flour, soy, dairy) ever since.  I started the challenge at 143 lbs and 29% body fat and as of December 7, I am at 118 lbs and 16% body fat. I wish I could tell you I had a secret, but there isn’t one. It has been all hard work and will power. Train mean and eat clean! Don’t look for a quick fix like a trendy diet or shakes/pills. Take care of your temple and it will take care of you.

I absolutely love W3. Had it not been for the wonderful people here, I would still be 25 lbs heavier, feeling trapped inside myself. If I could offer ANY advice, it’s to take advantage of working out next to women. Learn people’s names, say hello, make conversation, compliment and support each other!  There are some absolutely fabulous ladies at our gym and it will make you want to come back every day. Also, I have been documenting my journey in a blog (squatsandstilettos.wordpress.com) so check it out and if you see me in the gym, stop by and say hello!

-Jennifer Burns, W3 Monroe St. member

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“I did not see the results that I do from Functional Training”

Hi! My name is Jamie Willeford. I have been a member of W3 for 8 years. When I started I was over 400 lbs. The manager designed a workout routine for me that was safe and would not leave me feeling discouraged. Over the years I have taken many great classes, but I did not see the results that I do from the Functional Training. I have been taking FT for over a year now and can see and feel a major difference. For the first time in a long time I look forward to doing things outdoors. I am not ashamed to wear sleeveless tops or more form fitting tops. I have gone from a size 30-32 to a size 14-16. I am half way to my fitness/weight goals. I believe that I will succeed with the continued help and support that has never failed me before. The staff and trainers here at W3 as well as the wonderful people I’ve met by taking the classes all keep me motivated. Thank you all!!!

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If I could inspire/motivate one person…

Thursday, August 2, 2012, will be a day I will never forget.  I reached that goal of losing 100.5 pounds.  Now the true journey of my life will continue to maintain and keep that weight off.

Here’s my story….

July 3, 2011, woke up with my sciatic nerve bothering me, was very sluggish, and had no energy whatsoever.  I had to grocery shop to prepare for 20 guests that were coming over for a BBQ on July 4, 2011.  Then there was setting up, preparing food, and entertaining those guests on the 4th of July.  Because of the way I felt, I decided that July 4th, 2011, would be the last day I overindulge on eating and drinking.

July 5, 2011, I started my long journey to getting healthy.  I weighed in at 234 pounds, was very sluggish and slow moving, and of course had lower back problems from carrying all of that extra weight.  I set a goal to lose 100 pounds by July 5, 2012.  Unfortunately it took me a little longer than that, but none the less I am proud of losing what I did.   Someone told me to log onto sparkpoeple.com to keep track of calories, fat, carbohydrates, and protein that I was consuming each day.   To my surprise there were so many calories I never realized I was taking in.  Trident sugarless gum, 5 calories a stick, and I was chewing at least 5 or 6 sticks a day.  Regular coffee 2 calories a cup and I was consuming at least 5 or 6 cups a day with cream.  Coffee mate, 20 calories a tablespoon, and I was using maybe 2 tablespoons in each cup.  Wow!  I realized it was important to log everything I put into my mouth, plus weigh the portions of meat I was eating and measure out everything else I was eating.  And once I started doing that, it became a habit.  There were also inspirational articles to read, as well as blogs from other members of the web site who had to lose weight as well.

On August 29, 2011, two of my friends asked me to join them to check out Women’s Workout World.  So I did, and actually all three of us signed up.  We made a commitment that we would all go every day.  Well after about 3 weeks, I was the only one left committed to Women’s Workout World.  Both of my friends left the club for their own personal reasons, but I decided that after going every day, it became a habit.  Because of my commitment to log my food and finally commit to an exercise routine, I started feeling good.  The employees at Women’s Workout World would tell me I was looking good and noticed the weight loss.  That inspired me to keep going.   To this day, they are still encouraging me!  And that was what kept me going.  I have met several new friends at Women’s Workout World, and have even inspired them and motivated them to stay on track.  And just the same, they inspire me as well.  We talk about our ups and downs each day or week, but it is good to know they can see my results and that I inspire them to stay on their own journey and achieve their goal.
I did plateau several times during this long journey, but never gave up.  I was so determined to reach my goal despite the plateau’s, temptations, and going out whether it would be for dinner or to have a couple of drinks with friends.  I just had to learn that life goes on and I would have to change my way of eating.

I still enjoy desserts but those deserts consist of fresh strawberries with fat free whip cream, fresh fruit in season, or sugar free, fat free instant pudding.  I also will take a bite of pie or cake, only to realize that the first bit taste the same as the last bite, but without all of those calories in between the bites.
Today, I have the most energy I have had during the past year.  It feels good to walk into a store and not have to venture out into the women’s section of the store.  It is great to fit into a size 4, 6, or 8, depending on where the clothes were made.  I was wearing a size 22-24 which were getting pretty tight.  I felt so good to donate all of my clothes to the needy, but I did keep one pair of jeans to never forget where I was a year ago.

If I could inspire/motivate one person each week, every two weeks, or even once a month to keep on their journey, would make me feel great!    Three words that will always be in the back of my mind: DETERMINATION, MOTIVATION, INSPIRATION

~Maria Bertucci-Runge

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Overweight. Low self-esteem. Thought I could never do it. Here’s my story…..

Weight has always been an issue for me. Even as a teen my weight has always gotten in the way of me being more social, having the confidence and strength to hold my head up high and realize what power I had inside of me to finally shed the pounds and break out of my shell. I realized the weight was just a means of hiding. I woke up one morning and realized and even said aloud “Enough is enough!” Luckily I had a W3 in my town and it was the 1st place I went. I received a very quick sign up for a great price and had so many options I didn’t know what class or exercise equipment to use first!!! I’ve been a member over a year now and have lost a total of 50 pounds and I’m shooting for another 30 to reach my goal! Along the way I’ve met some great people! Both staff and members! The best part of my journey is I’ve gained so much confidence and feel so good about myself. I love working out! Zumba and Kickboxing class are my obsession! I always feel great the day after class!!! My story is much like so many women who simply need to break out of their shell and reach their own greatness but we all need help getting their and www has been my secret weapon! Everyday I’m “Taking my body to a higher power!” Thanks WWW!    Shelly L-

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Functional Training has made me stronger, I’m in the best shape of my life

My name is Linda and I am 56 years old. I never thought at my age that I would be working out with a trainer. I’ve always “worked out” but not to this extent. I have been participating in the Functional Training/Small Group Personal Training classes at W3 in Hometown. I feel stronger, more energetic and sleep better. Best of all I have “the numbers” of a 25 year old! My cholesterol is 133!! As many women know, when you get to be “middle aged” your body starts to change. But after taking Functional Training my body is becoming stronger, tighter and I’m building muscle. This didn’t happen overnight. I had to work at it and stick with it and within weeks I began to see RESULTS!! Of course, you should eat a balanced diet of healthy nutritious foods in moderation and exercise consistently in order to achieve your realistic goals. The staff has a friendly approach to motivate and challenge me. If you are one of the many women that need to be inspired to workout, then Small Group Training is for you! Having staff that is knowledgeable, fun and encouraging helps me get the most out of my workout and is what keeps me coming back for more. Participating in Functional Training has made me more conscious of how I treat my body. If you’ve always struggled to change your bad eating and exercise habits or simply don’t know how, stop procrastinating and check out the Functional Training program at W3. You won’t be disappointed!!!

Katie's Success Story, W3 Lawrence Member

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