TRACY // IT'S NEVER TOO LATE TO MAKE A CHANGE!

Four months ago, if I asked my “former” self the following questions, it would go something like this:

  • Could you make the changes needed to lose over 20 lbs.? “No, I don’t have the discipline.”
  • Would lifting weights be something you would even try? “Nope, I’m not even remotely athletic or interested in doing anything which involves sweating.”
  • Does exercising everyday sound even possible? “EVERYDAY?  Who has time?”
  • Do you dream of going down from a size 14 to a size 8?  “Nope, not even in my dreams! Ha!”
  • Could you ever be the weight you were in your early 20s, before you had kids?  “I’m 50 yrs. old, that was a lifetime and 2 kids ago. Definitely not happening.”

Now, I’m generally a pretty positive person, but when it came to my health/appearance/body, I had just come to accept that I’m middle aged, and getting healthy and strong was just too hard for me.

My “turning point” came when I returned from a European vacation not able to keep up with all the walking.  I was miserable and tired the entire time.  I realized that the way I was living – what I ate, the lack of exercise, working too much – all of that was literally “killing” me.  I needed to make a drastic change.  I needed help.

I prayed about it, and remembered Sarah from church.  She told me her story about her transformation and how she’s living healthily and so much happier, so I reached out to her.  She told me about Imago’s transformation program.

The past 4 months at Imago have been absolutely wonderful.  There is no magic pill or potion.  The program involves changing your diet, exercising, and lifting weights – and a lot of hard work!  Coach Huong and Sarah provided all the guidance, support, and encouragement I needed to make changes.  

  1. First was meal planning and portion control.  I stuck with the meal plans, and never felt starved.  Coach would incorporate suggestions I made for any flavors I was craving – Mexican, Thai, Japanese.  I learned to prepare meals in advance and store them in single serving portions.  This greatly ensured I always had a healthy meal to eat, and would not just grab whatever was convenient.  
  2. Second was incorporating exercise into my schedule.  I learned to wake up at 5am every morning to workout.  I’m not a morning person! But now I look forward to my workouts because when I’m done, I feel I’ve accomplished something right at the start of my day – it sets the tone for being productive the rest of my day.
  3. Third was not being afraid of lifting weights.  The personal training sessions really taught and showed me how strong I could be.  Sarah and Coach showed me proper technique so I wouldn’t get hurt.   They also encouraged and pushed me past what I thought I was capable of – I trusted their expertise and was pleased with how my body got toned, and my “shape” actually changed!  I always thought my body shape was “out of my control”.  Some people just got the genes to have a better shape.  But lifting weights opened my eyes to see you can literally change your shape.  Whoa!  What a revelation!

With these changes, I saw results every week during my weigh ins.  When you follow the program, you see results!

TRACY12WEEK

 

Now that I’ve completed the transformation program, I couldn’t be happier!  Coach and Sarah were the answer to my prayers!  I’m literally in the best shape of my life… all 50 years of it.  Even when I was young, I never felt as strong or disciplined.  With what I’ve learned from being at Imago, I am equipped to continue healthy living for the rest of my life.  Here are the lifestyle lessons learned:

  • You can still enjoy food, going out, parties – you don’t need to starve yourself.  Just eat appropriate size portions and make healthy choices.
  • Keep moving with something you can maintain and enjoy.  For me it’s exercising on the treadmill with my favorite playlist.
  • Keep challenging body – incorporate new moves or use different weights.
  • Healthy living lowers my risk for heart issues, diabetes, hypertension, and knee problems which all run in my family.
  • Most importantly, IT’S NEVER TOO LATE TO MAKE A CHANGE!  Four months is such a small amount of time to make a permanent change in your body and life, no matter your age!

Tracy

OVERALL INCHES LOST: 16.75"

OVERALL WEIGHT LOST: 21.8 LBS

Jen Z // A Transformation from Struggle to Strength

I’ve always struggled with my body shape and weight, I never felt comfortable in my own skin. In 2016, I had a particularly tough year at work and began eating everything in sight. I used food for every situation: stress, anger, sadness, and as a reward. I felt like I “deserved” to put unhealthy foods into my body, but these foods never made me feel happy. 

My weight slowly creeped up to numbers higher than I had ever seen before while I tried to ignore my pants growing tighter and tighter. I told myself it was okay that I unbuttoned my jeans as soon as I got in the car after work or that I had to peel them off once I got home. I tried making better choices in my diet and occasionally taking a spin class, but I wasn’t seeing any results. I finally gave in and bought the next size up in jeans. That was the day I realized I needed to make a big change in my life. 

I tried making better choices in my diet and occasionally taking a spin class, but I wasn’t seeing any results. I finally gave in and bought the next size up in jeans. That was the day I realized I needed to make a big change in my life. 

I had heard about Imago Fitness Studio from one of my spin instructors, but I was always too scared to pull the trigger and sign up. I saw all these ladies’ amazing results on the blog, but I was worried that I’d fail like I had so many times before. I never imagined that I’d end up a success and would be sharing my own story on here. 

 

When I first joined Imago, it was a huge adjustment. I went from hardly ever cooking and always ordering the unhealthiest item on a restaurant menu to meal prepping all my meals 7 days a week! It was hard to say “no” to food in social situations but I’d just order an iced tea and no one was phased. 

To me, there are two things that make Imago really special - the community and the customization. 

Community: When I first started my program, Coach Huong and Sarah told me that I was joining a family, but I felt like such a newbie that didn’t fit in around all these strong women. Little did I know that these women would be the ones I cried to when I was going through personal drama and asking for advice on how to perform certain lifts. Honestly, I can’t wait to get into the studio to see these ladies and they keep me accountable and excited to keep pushing. 

Customization: Your transformation program will be totally customized for YOU. My trainer, Sarah, noticed that I had a weak core and needed to strengthen other areas, so she is working with me to build it up during my 12-week program and beyond. Sarah and Coach Huong will work with you to target the areas that you need. The same goes for the diet plan: don’t like kombucha? - they won’t put it in your plan again (I’ve learned to love it though!) Traveling? No problem! Imago will work with you to adjust your plan.

I first walked into the doors of the studio feeling my absolute worst - stressed with work, hating my body, and just feeling bad about myself all around. Thanks to Imago Fitness, 12 short weeks later, I walk into the studio feeling strong, healthy, happy to see my Imago network of friends, and with a new job! I can’t wait to continue this fitness journey and to see where the next 12 weeks take me. 

 

Thanks to Imago Fitness, 12 short weeks later, I walk into the studio feeling strong, healthy, happy to see my Imago network of friends, and with a new job!

A huge thank you to all the Imago babes who supported me through the start of my journey! <3


Jen Z

OVERALL INCHES LOST: 10"

OVERALL WEIGHT LOST: 17 LBS

Rachel // "Finding my stride..."

Before I started the program, I was pretty active and trained for marathons and went to the gym regularly. After training for 3 different marathons, I began to have knee problems from so much running that I had to stop. I’ve also had some success in the past with losing weight on my own through diet and exercise but it was never consistent; especially my diet, so my weight would fluctuate. I would workout regularly but couldn't really stick to a meal plan. When I went to the gym, I shied away from lifting heavy weights because I felt like I couldn’t lift heavy and stuck to light weights. I became a cardio bunny and stuck to spinning because it was easier on my knees and also did HIIT workouts but I just wasn't getting the results I wanted. Disappointed in myself, I began to binge eat and my weight slowly started to creep up and my clothes began to feel tight. I started feeling uncomfortable in my own skin and that's when I knew something had to change.

"Disappointed in myself, I began to binge eat and my weight slowly started to creep up and my clothes began to feel tight. I started feeling uncomfortable in my own skin and that's when I knew something had to change."

When I started the program, I was worried that I wouldn't be able to stick to the meal plan. As a self-proclaimed foodie, I absolutely LOVE food and trying new restaurants and cooking new dishes. I was also worried about how time consuming meal prepping would be that I just couldn’t imagine adding another task to my never-ending day. However, my worries slowly subsided because the meals were quite tasty and if I craved something, Coach made it happen -- ice cream and cookies on my meal plan?! WHAT?!

As a busy mom of 4, life can definitely be hectic. Finding balance between raising children, working full-time, and nurturing and maintaining a healthy marriage is no easy feat. I work swing shift (11:30AM - midnight) and usually not in bed until 1:30AM or 2AM and wake up at 6AM to get ready and drop my kids to school. But because I work 12 hour shifts 3 days a week, I had 4 days to meal plan, workout, and manage the household. I usually meal prepped twice a week -- on Sundays and Wednesdays. During the first few weeks, I had to get the hang of meal prepping and as time went on, it became easier and I found that it only took a couple hours to cook 4 days worth of meals.

My workouts usually occurred in the mornings after I drop the older kids to school and during my 15 month old's nap time or before work. Luckily, I have a gym within walking distance of my apartment. My youngest would go down for his nap in his stroller and he would be fast asleep next to my husband and I while we worked out (out of harm's way of course!).

These past 12 weeks were definitely not a walk in the park. Throughout the program, I've gone to social events, family vacation, and even done a day trip to the snow. But I've been able to stick to the meal plan during these events by planning ahead. Before going to social events or parties or dining out with family/friends, I would eat my meal beforehand and drink water throughout the event. When we went away for vacation, I cooked all my meals for the weekend and brought it with me. When my husband and I did a day trip to the snow to snowboard, I brought my meals with me as well. I would heat my meal at the gas station and ate it on the road.

The Transformation Program has made such a positive impact on my life. It has changed my mentality for the better. Meal prepping has actually made me feel more organized during the week. Knowing exactly what I’m eating and having it readily available has been such a life saver. With the guidance of Coach and Sarah encouraging me to lift heavier during our PT sessions, I feel stronger, healthier, and have more energy. I no longer have knee pain when I run. I relied heavily on coffee and drank 3 cups a day before I started the program. I now find that I only need 1 cup a day and no longer feel that afternoon slump. More importantly, I feel comfortable and confident in my own skin again.

The Transformation Program has made such a positive impact on my life. It has changed my mentality for the better. More importantly, I feel comfortable and confident in my own skin again.

Thank you to Coach and everyone at Imago Fitness. I am forever grateful for your guidance and support during my journey. Because of this program, I have the tools to continue my fitness journey and crush new goals. I am well on my way on becoming the best version of myself.

 

RACHEL

OVERALL INCHES LOST: 8.5"
 

A Physical and Emotional Transformation

I’ve had some success training and eating on my own but I was never consistent. Every time I made some progress, I’d sabotage myself with poor eating. I would slowly gain the weight back, plus more. The situation got worse when I returned to school full time, about two years ago. I was working during the day, then would commute an hour and be in class from 6pm until 10pm, three times a week. I was completely stressed out and I knew working out and healthier eating was the solution but I didn’t have the mental capacity to contrive a plan for myself. I was only eating 2-3 times a day, mostly processed and fast foods. I told myself I would focus on my health and fitness right after graduation. Just before graduation, I got a new job and delayed the start further. 

I knew if I continued on my own, nothing was really going to change. I was tired of feeling sick and tired. I needed help.

I finally reached a point where I was disgusted with myself. I was the heaviest I’d ever been, most of my clothes barely fit. I knew if I continued on my own, nothing was really going to change. I was tired of feeling sick and tired. I needed help. My friend was raving about Imago and her trainers for almost a year. She thought I’d really enjoy training there. I had tried one of Imago’s fitness classes, Pop Pilates, last year and I had a blast. But I was still was apprehensive about signing up since I already had another gym membership. Not that I was really going much! 

I started the 12 week transformation program in January. During the first week, I had to get the hang of meal prepping and working out again. With Coach’s easy and tasty recipes, I was well on my way. After the first ten days, I felt energized and was less bloated. There were a few vacations and business trips that felt like it held me back but Sarah and Coach taught me not to be too hard on myself. I just started again the next meal or day. I really like that my meals changed often enough, so they never got boring. I looked forward to each one. Weight training also included a lot of variety. In the past, I easily got bored doing the same routine repeatedly. 

 

 

My journey with Imago Fitness has truly been transformational, physical and emotional. For me, the key was consistency, accountability, and variety. I achieved all my goals and can’t wait to conquer new ones. I now crave the gym. It gives me the strength to get through the day and relieves stress. I don’t crave the same junk food I once enjoyed. If I am out with friends, I am better at selecting healthier alternatives or even choosing restaurants that have those options. I’m excited to continue on my fitness journey with the great foundation that Imago has helped me build. 

I’m excited to continue on my fitness journey with the great foundation that Imago has helped me build. 

 

 

KASHANA
OVERALL INCHES LOST: 7 1/4