Transforming Estelle: 50-lb Weight Loss the Sum of Small Efforts
By Estelle Cooper, Member of ClubSport San Jose
If you've ever lost weight, you know it typically starts with looking at yourself in the mirror, seeing the few extra pounds that have gathered around your waist, and wanting a change. In my case, no mirror was needed — my body was telling me I needed a change. I was depressed, overweight, hypertensive, on blood pressure medication, and suffered from frequent headaches and body aches. Losing weight was no longer optional for me, it was necessary.
One day, while dropping my son off for his swim lessons at ClubSport San Jose, an advertisement for an REV32 Info Night caught my attention. I attended to learn more about ClubSport's signature weight loss and nutrition program, and my name was drawn in raffle for a free REV32 four-week summer session. The timing couldn't have been any better!
I showed up for my first REV32 class a few days later, and if anything could open my eyes to just how out of shape I was, this class definitely did. I weighed in at 180 pounds, my visceral fat level was at 19, and I couldn't do one sit-up (or one of anything, for that matter) without some sort of assistance or modification. Luckily for me, Chris Wulff and Jessica Phillips, my REV32 trainers, knew exactly how to ease this newbie into a workout.
There were a few seasoned REV32 vets in my group who served as inspiration for me — I admired their accomplishments and hoped, wished, and dreamed of being as fit as them. With the vets as motivation, I pushed myself and somehow made it through those first few workouts. Red-faced and out of breath after each class, I felt amazing nonetheless.
Once they felt I was ready, Chris and Jessica helped me take my fitness to the next level. Chris pushed me to lift heavier, squat lower, and give him at least two more push-ups even when I didn't think there was any more to give. He always took the time to make sure my form was correct.
I was getting the exercise portion down pat, but when it came to the nutrition portion, I'll admit that I wasn't the best student. I was making small changes to my diet, but my weight loss was slow and steady (emphasis on slow). That's when Jessica really stepped in. She cracked down on me and held me accountable to my nutrition plan and made sure that I submitted my food logs on a timely basis.
My newfound commitment to food-logging helped me see exactly how many calories I was consuming, where I was over overeating healthy fats and fruit, and what nutrients I was lacking. Careful analysis led me to increasing protein and reducing simple carbs, and then everything came together like matching puzzle pieces.
With my fitness and nutrition finally in sync, my weight loss kicked into high gear and I began to drop weight dramatically, but most importantly, in a healthy manner. People were noticing and this motivated me even more!
When that first session of REV32 ended, I signed up for a second, and have re-enrolled several times since then. Not only do I enjoy the workouts, but the camaraderie of the small group classes and the support from the trainers is unparalleled. Despite every REV32-er being at a different fitness level, everybody encourages and pushes each other to keep going. I had no idea just what by body was capable of.
I'm now at my target weight and, amazingly, my depression and hypertension is gone. I'm down to 130 pounds and my visceral fat is now at 7, a whole 50 pounds and 12 visceral fat points lower than where I started. Now my goal is to gain more muscle, even if it means being heavier than my target weight, since I know a few extra pounds of muscle look different than a few extra pounds of fat.
Looking back through my weight loss journey, I've learned that success, especially when it comes to becoming fit, is the sum of small efforts repeated day in and day out. It's about staying active and improving your diet every chance you get because establishing good habits will allow you to achieve and maintain lasting results. It's about knowing that mistakes will happen, but that you have to brush them off and get back to your routine. And it's about always ending your workout with a high five, even if it's just to yourself!