My biggest fear is leaving my family at a young age. This fear comes from watching my dad struggle with his health since I was seven years old. At the age of 37, my dad had his first open heart surgery. He had three more after that and the fifth one took his life at the age of 65. He struggled with being a yo-yo dieter. He couldn't figure out a way to make his "healthy" meals enjoyable. As he got older, his health limited him from playing golf, which was his favorite sport. Through his struggles he managed to live a very enjoyable life, but in my opinion, 65 years old is too young to leave your loved ones.
Growing up my parents were very concerned about me following my Dad's health history as I began having cholesterol problems since middle school. Since then, I too became a yo-yo dieter. Not wanting to live the same limitations my Dad had, my goal in life is to be as healthy as I can be to try to live a long life with the people that I love.
My First Transformation in 2013
Shortly after my father’s passing and before IMAGO existed, I contacted Coach Huong and signed up for the 12-week transformation program for a few reasons. It was a time in my life where I wanted to focus on improving myself, physically and mentally. Two years after I had my first child, I still had not lost all the weight I had gained from my pregnancy. I always felt tired and I wasn’t happy with my strength or physical appearance. I owed it to myself to regain my confidence and to be comfortable and happy in my own skin again.
During this transformation, I averaged 3-4 days of fasted cardio and 3-4 days of weightlifting. Adjusting to Coach Huong's meal plans was initially difficult as it forced me to eliminate salt and sugar and made me learn how to use alternative seasonings to make my meals clean and delicious. I put my trust in Coach Huong and followed her program and as a result, I went from a size 10 to a size 2. At the time, it had been at least 9 years since I was a size 2. I was extremely happy with my results, and apparently my husband was happy as well - I got pregnant with our second child one month after completing the program!
My Second Transformation in 2016
In April 2016, two years after having my second child, I started working out at IMAGO more consistently mainly because I enjoy the exercises that Coach Huong puts together and I find my workouts more efficient at her gym as opposed to other gyms. During this time, I learned about the changes Coach Huong had made to the transformation program, especially with the meal plans. Given that I am around the age of when my dad had his first heart attack, I decided to sign up for the transformation program in August to mainly learn about the different meal plans that Coach Huong had incorporated in the program. My goal with this transformation wasn’t rapid weight loss as I had achieved from my first transformation. This time I wanted to focus on building strength, endurance and kicking off a new healthy lifestyle with delicious meals.
Entering the program I suffered from elbow tendonitis from carrying my son all the time. I was concerned that I wouldn’t be able to build much arm strength due to my limitations, but the Imago coaching staff proved me completely wrong. They informed me of exercises to avoid and showed me alternatives to build strength. After building arm strength, my pain subsided and I haven't had to wear my elbow sleeve again.
During my program, Coach Huong had me on a specialized workout plan that incorporated interval training on the treadmill. For fasted cardio, in addition to Coach's workout plan, I would complete the intensity programs from my home treadmill. After awhile I noticed myself getting stronger and stronger. I shared this with my husband and the night before the National Veterans Day Run he had convinced me to sign up for the 5K. I felt nervous about the run as I didn’t think I’d be able to run the entire race without stopping since I had not run outside in three years (and 8 years since I last ran a 5K), but my husband assured me that he’d pace me the entire race. To my surprise, I completed the run at a respectable time and still had energy to run longer. I was impressed with the endurance I had built and since the run, I have been motivated to improve my time and have been training for a 10K.
My transformation journey wasn’t easy as I was extremely busy. Aside from being a wife and a mother of two, I also work full-time, was at the tail end of my home remodel and was planning my sister's wedding festivities. Thankfully, I have a supportive husband that helped me stay on track. Coach also accommodated to my busy life. Coach made sure my meal plans were very easy to make and were meals that both my husband and kids would enjoy as well.
“I feel more energized and I am much stronger. I can also confidently say that I am more educated about nutrition than I have ever been.”
Exiting the transformation program, I dropped from a size 8 to a size 2. Although my size is the same result as my first transformation, I actually weigh much more due to muscle gain. This time around, I feel more energized and I am much stronger. I can also confidently say that I am more educated about nutrition than I have ever been. The nutritional information I learned this time around is much more sustainable than my first program.
Thank you to Coach and the IMAGO staff for your knowledge and encouragement. This is just the beginning of my life long commitment to a healthier lifestyle.