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What's Up Magazine

Before and After Motivation

Nov 28, 2011 11:47PM ● By Anonymous

Irene’s assault on the Chesapeake Region caused the August 28th event to be canceled, leaving the born-again fitness buff disappointed by undaunted. When you’ve turned your life around like Rachel has, it’s tough to get too disheartened.

“I was 40 pounds overweight for a woman of my height [5 feet, 4 inches],” she says. “I used to be a healthy, athletic teenager, but after having three children, I began to slowly add the weight over the past 13 years.” She admits experiencing the highs and lows of yo-yo dieting—losing and gaining the same 15 pounds repeatedly. But it wasn’t just a size issue. “I was suffering from depression, anxiety, exhaustion, and a general feeling of the inability to make a change for myself after failed attempts at diets and exercising on my own,” she explains.

The solution for Rachel, who works for a software development firm in Annapolis, was a personal trainer. Enter Jim Cleveland, a fitness coach at Fitness Together in Severna Park. “I do strength training three-days a week and cardio at least three to four days a week,” she says. “Not only does my body look and feel great, I have discovered that exercise is my favorite hobby, not a necessary evil!”

And Rachel isn’t the only one to have benefited. “I have included my husband [a financial planner] and children [ages 13, nine, and six] in my exercise regime and we take walks, jogs, and bike together now.” And she’s discovered a secret workout source she’s willing to share: “I used to drive the kids to their various sports practices and I would sit and watch and wait. Now I drop them off and hit the track, trail, or path wherever it is they are practicing.”

A healthier diet is now, of course, part of the family dynamic. “I have made changes in my eating habits as well, which has inspired my husband and children to also make better food choices.” In fact, her husband has dropped 15 pounds himself.

The biggest changes, however, have been in Rachel’s sense of well being and confidence. “The feelings of depression and anxiety have been replaced with feelings of strength, self worth, and achievement!”