Member stories: conquering my roller coaster weight loss journey.

FFC Old Town member Bryce shares her inspirational weight loss story: triumphs and trials, her experience finding a trainer that fit her needs and everything she learned along the way.

Ever since my senior year of college I have been on a roller coaster of gaining weight and losing weight. I couldn’t go a season of being the same weight. In the summer of 2014, my sister got engaged. I knew that if I wanted to look good in the bridesmaid dress, I needed to lose the weight. I joined Weight Watchers for what would have been the billionth time and joined FFC Old Town for the first time. By the spring of 2015 I had successfully lost almost 50 pounds with the help of a trainer and nutrition plan.

That July I was let go from my job due to budget cuts and essentially gave up and returned to my old ways. I stopped eating healthfully and returned to fast food; I also stopped going to the gym. Within 16 months, not only did I regain the weight I’d lost, I gained an additional 25 pounds, for a total of 75 pounds. It was like a BOGO sale – ‘gain back 50 plus half more!’ You would have thought the pain in my joints walking short distances, falling to the floor with a large thump while squatting to play with my then 6-month old niece, the fact that people at Jimmy/Papa John’s knew my order by the sound of my voice or the realization that I was barely one size away from only plus-sized clothing would have encouraged me to lose the weight, but it didn’t.

One Foot in Front of the Other – The Journey Back to Healthy Habits

It wasn’t until I hit rock bottom and was fed up with my situation that I finally faced the facts and stepped on the scale in November of 2016. I should also mention that one of the main motivators to lose weight was due to my plantar fasciitis. I had been experiencing pain since September and when I saw my podiatrist two months later, he confirmed the diagnosis. I have flat feet and have been wearing custom orthotics since I was a child. The excess weight only flattened my feet more and contributed to the diagnosis. Once I stepped off that scale I was mortified and disappointed to learn I had gained 75 – making me now over 200 pounds. Seeing ‘2’ as the first number was extremely painful. I joined Weight Watchers the next day and entered a grocery store for the first time in forever. I didn’t want to rejoin the gym, though, because I was embarrassed to walk in and show that I’d gained back all the weight, plus more.

Related: read about what led up to member Eric’s life-changing decision and what impact it had on his health.

With the persuasion of my mom (because she knew I was so successful on my last weight loss journey) and the fact that it was a good stress reliever, I rejoined the gym in December that year at 13 pounds down. I signed up with a trainer (I’ve had 3 since I restarted). In my mind I was going to have a good connection with my trainer because I’d experienced that the last time, but sadly, that wasn’t the case.

Trainer 1 never ‘got me’ or understood my limitations (especially with my plantar fasciitis). I don’t think he ever thought I could successfully lose the weight; in some ways I don’t blame him, I wasn’t full committed, partially because I wasn’t the biggest fan and he didn’t motivate me. Every exercise I did was painful. I couldn’t walk over 3.2 mph on the treadmill without feeling winded; using the elliptical was nearly impossible. I felt truly defeated – it wouldn’t be a lie to say I hated the gym. After a little more than a month with Trainer 1, I started working with Trainer 2. I liked her more, but didn’t feel 100% comfortable with her. She was passive aggressive and I am the opposite; I avoid confrontation at all costs. She also spent more time looking at herself in the mirror, talking about herself and cleaning up the equipment than helping me. I never shared my concerns because I thought that was the best I was going to get and I avoid confrontation at all costs. She moved away and in December of 2017 I began training with Trainer 3, Eric, who met my needs.

Eric is by far the best trainer I have ever worked with – he is kind, attentive to my injuries and motivating. Before every session he greets me with a, ‘Hi champ – how was your day?’. He also has the ability to put me in my place, and I truly appreciate it. Professionally, I work with kids with special needs, and often am utterly exhausted when I get to the gym. As soon as he sees me, if he notices my face/attitude look defeated, he tells me to ‘fix my face and walk back in’, which totally changes my attitude. It’s the kick in the butt I need.

Overcoming Obstacles and Seeing Sustainable Success

As soon as I started working with Eric, I started enjoying the gym. I once noticed someone deadlifting and told Eric I wanted to do that one day – he said I could, but I didn’t believe it. He gave me the tools and I am forever grateful. The very next session we started using kettlebells to work up to a deadlift. After that, I practiced my form on the bar. Finally, he put weight on the bar, and I officially did my first deadlift. Over time, I was able to create a bond with Eric – he not only was my trainer, but became a friend as well.

Eric is by far the best trainer I have ever worked with – he is kind, attentive to my injuries and motivating. Before every session he greets me with a, ‘Hi champ – how was your day?’. He also has the ability to put me in my place, and I truly appreciate it. Professionally, I work with kids with special needs, and often am utterly exhausted when I get to the gym. As soon as he sees me, if he notices my face/attitude look defeated, he tells me to ‘fix my face and walk back in’, which totally changes my attitude. It’s the kick in the butt I need.

When I first started my weight loss journey, walking was the only exercise I did outside the gym. I used my Fitbit as a motivator to see how many steps I could get in a day. I would walk back and forth down the halls at my school during all my breaks and even at lunch. At first, I think my coworkers thought it was weird, but when they noticed I had lost weight, they would root me on and ask how many steps I was at. We did a Fitbit challenge to see who could get the most steps in for the month of April in 2017 – I won. It was during that challenge that I became motivated with Myzone.

Myzone for weight lossI remember going to the gym and getting on the treadmill because I wanted get the most steps for that challenge. I remember looking at the Myzone display screens and for some reason I was dead set on burning 1000 calories. Why? I couldn’t tell you. Maybe I just wanted to see how far I could go. Well after an hour and forty-five minutes of walking fast on an incline on the treadmill I hit that 1000 calories. I was so proud of myself I took a picture of it because I was in shock that I was able to do it. I have used my Myzone as a motivator to add more movement to my day. Before my sessions with Eric I’ll dance around my apartment, walk back and forth down the halls at school or climb stairs to gain MEPs. I have participated in three Myzone challenges. I was never motivated to actually win – the motivation for me is to be healthier and to be the best I could be.

Related: how Laura, despite living in Mexico City, sustainably lost weight with Myzone.

As I said earlier, I have never been able to maintain my weight. This time I am keeping the weight off. Part of it was knowing my “why” and “how”. My ‘how’ is through my workout and nutrition. I would like to think I eat pretty clean. I love fruit. Now, I’d rather have fruit than a candy bar. My fitness goals now include continuing to get stronger and add more tone. I am proud to say that so far, I have lost 80 pounds, and for the first time since I was a senior in college have been able to keep the weight off for many seasons.

My why is because I couldn’t keep riding the roller coaster of weight changes. I realized I needed to make my health my priority I needed to take care of myself. Now, I feel better about myself. I have more confidence and I carry myself differently. I am a happier person.

Post written by FFC Old Town member Bryce L.

I remember going to the gym and getting on the treadmill because I wanted get the most steps for that challenge. I remember looking at the Myzone display screens and for some reason I was dead set on burning 1000 calories. Why? I couldn’t tell you. Maybe I just wanted to see how far I could go. Well after an hour and forty-five minutes of walking fast on an incline on the treadmill I hit that 1000 calories. I was so proud of myself I took a picture of it because I was in shock that I was able to do it. I have used my Myzone as a motivator to add more movement to my day. Before my sessions with Eric I’ll dance around my apartment, walk back and forth down the halls at school or climb stairs to gain MEPs. I have participated in three Myzone challenges. I was never motivated to actually win – the motivation for me is to be healthier and to be the best I could be.