Catalyst 4 Fitness

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Weight Loss Success – Julie S

Real People. Real Progress. Real Weight Loss.



Tell us about yourself. My name is Julie Shelton. I am 40 years old and work as a Staff Accountant & Contract Administrator. I have been overweight pretty much all of my adult life. It wasn’t until the Fall of 2006 when I finally got serious about my health. At that time I was diagnosed with tongue cancer and had to have surgery to remove part of my tongue. Because of this, during my recovery my food/diet was a bit limited so I started losing weight. When I realized that I could survive on less food portions, I continued losing weight. I also began incorporating exercise into my routine by using workout DVDs at home. I lost about 30 pounds but then stayed at that loss. The good news, I didn’t gain, the bad news, I wasn’t losing either. During the summer of 2012, my Grandma, who I was very close with, became ill. She suffered greatly in August and became hospitalized, eventually moving on to hospice where she later died. This was a hard time for me, so working out moved to the bottom of my priority list. I was very unmotivated when it came to getting back on the fitness train so I knew that I would need help. I decided to try out Boot Camp classes through the Anderson Park District, which is where I met Sharon Chamberlin. A few weeks in, Sharon started talking about her Metabolic Explosion Training class in her studio and so I decided to give it a try. Shortly thereafter, I decided to start Sharon’s Meal Plans. I wanted to do this plan to teach myself a better way of eating/feeding myself.

What were your goals? Initially, when I started the Meal Plan, I wanted to lose about 15 pounds. When I got close to reaching that goal, I wanted to lose an additional 10 pounds then maintain the loss. I also wanted to improve the strength of my core while also toning this area.

You’ve lost 20 lbs., dropped 5% body fat, and lowered your BMI by 3 points. You’ve kept this off since January 2013. Looking back, what are your thoughts? Did you think you’d have this much success? Going in I knew I would be successful as my mind was focused. I just was not sure how quickly I would meet my personal goals. Losing weight and finding a healthier life balance with food and exercise were my main goals. I started my workout/fitness journey with Sharon at the beginning of September 2012, and by October 2012 I was using her Meal Plan. By the end of December 2012, I met my initial weight loss goal. After hitting that mark, I was still able to lose additional weight.

On a scale of 1-10 with 1 being easy and 10 being hard, how hard has this been for you? On a scale of 1-10, I would give this process a 2 as it really wasn’t all that hard once I was focused. The key is to maintain a weekly workout schedule and do a little bit of planning ahead when it comes to meals for the week.

Knowing what you know now, what would you do differently? My eating habits would have been much different. Now, my mind thinks more in the fashion of what can I eat to fuel my body.

What are your greatest fitness accomplishments so far? My strength, especially as it relates to my core – holding plank, side plank, and T ups for longer lengths of time. Also, improvements, although small, with my push ups.

What do you enjoy most about fitness? Feeling energized and accomplished when I complete a workout.

What motivates you to maintain a healthy lifestyle? Feeling better about myself and having higher energy levels that make me more productive. I also want to set a good example for my family. The women in my family have always battled weight, and several are currently experiencing problems with it right now. I am hoping that I might inspire or help them to make changes towards a healthier lifestyle

Have tried fitness and nutrition plans in the past? Why didn’t they work? How is this plan different? I have not tried other nutrition plans in the past. I did have a gym membership in the past, but there was never anyone there to motivate or encourage me to keep pushing myself.
Are you still able to go out with friends and be social? I do go out with friends. I just have to be a bit smarter about it. I do try to plan ahead so that when I know I am going out with friends, I can make that my “cheat meal” for the week. With my change in size, I find that when I try to have bad meals or several beers in an evening, I get very full & uncomfortable so I don’t like to do that.

What do your family and friends say about the “new you”? Everyone has been complimentary. People that haven’t seen me in a while are usually surprised at how fit I now look.

What advice would you give to others who are hesitant to start?  Those who are having trouble committing?  Those who need accountability? Focus on something or someone that personally inspires you to be your motivation. For me, I think of my Grandma and she helps to push me through. Not only do you need to be ready for the physical aspect, but mentally you have to be committed to the challenge. You have to want to make a change. Find a friend, or better yet a trainer that can encourage you through the process. For me, when working with Sharon, I feel like not only am I accountable to myself but I am accountable to her too. As much as I don’t want to let myself down, I don’t want to let her down either.

How do you feel now that you’ve kept this weight off for so long? I feel great! My strength, flexibility, and stamina are very much improved. I am in better physical shape now in my 40s than I was back in my 20s. I especially enjoy going shopping and looking at medium or small tops instead of the old me that had to get large or XL, not to mention buying size 10 pants, skirts, and dresses when at one point in my life (about 7 years ago) I was wearing a size 18.

What is the best part about working with Sharon? She encourages me to try new things that I may have previously thought that I couldn’t do. She brings positive reinforcement to working out which I like.

Are there any other comments you would like to share? My experience with Sharon has been great. Joining her Boot Camp and MET classes was one of the smartest decisions I have made recently. Sharon’s Meal Plan definitely made the difference for me. Prior to meeting Sharon, I was exercising but my body wasn’t changing because my diet was not good. The Meal Plan helped me learn the balance on what I should be eating with each meal during the day. I still use it now. I do modify it a bit from time to time, but I feel like I have found the path to help me now maintain my weight loss. I am proud of myself and my accomplishments and I can not wait to see what the future holds.

Thank you Sharon for your guidance. It’s been awesome!!




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