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Before & After Motivation

Dec 27, 2011 08:31PM ● Published by Anonymous

Tracy had signed her mother up (long distance) for membership in a health club that included sessions with a personal trainer. “My daughter has a Ph.D.,” Ilene says proudly, “She gets things done.”

Indeed she does. That membership to Big Vanilla was the beginning of Ilene Wellens 80-pound weight loss. And, proving that there is hope for all of us, she started the process at the age of 64.

“When I was 18, I was a size seven,” Ilene laments. Then she married her husband of 47 years, Arnold. “I was pregnant within three months and the weight started to go up.” Two great kids, (there’s also son Eric) and four grandchildren, were worth it all, but the time had come to change.

Ilene accomplished this wonderful transformation with a combination of effective tools. First was personal trainer Mika Bartlinski Braswell who was always there to encourage. Secondly was picking up a copy of The Zone Diet by Barry Sears. Based on the glycemic index, The Zone, with its workable breakfast, lunch, dinner, and two snacks-plan, fit well into her lifestyle.

But perhaps the most important element was the camaraderie and peer support she received in a health club setting. “I didn’t know anyone and was older than most, so at first, I’d just work out and go home. Then I started to make friends (some not much older than my daughter) and going to classes and working together on programs like the 90-Day Challenge. Meeting people and being part of a group made all the difference for me.”

The now 66-year-old Ilene had just come from a spin class challenge when we spoke to her, something she couldn’t have imagined two years ago. Christmas 2011 will be a very happy holiday for Ilene Wellens and her family.

If you have your own Before & After story to share, please email Sarah Hagerty at

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