Two years ago, I had an epiphany.
I realized that I was purely existing and not truly living. I had a three-year old son that I needed to take care of and I didn’t feel like I was doing my best by being a good role model for him. I grew up an overweight child and it pained me that still, at age 36, I hadn’t yet figured out how to be healthy.
I almost always had the desire to be a healthy person, so much so that I majored in Health Studies in college and graduated with honors, although I could never get it to work in my life. One day, while driving, I thought to myself that I would probably be dead by 40 if I didn’t truly change my life. I decided that I needed to “Be There For Ben,” and from that day on, that has been my mantra and my motivation.
My journey began when I read about the Y’s Weight Loss Challenge Program in their program guide. See, I had been a member for years, but I only worked out a handful of times during those years. I used our membership primarily for the wonderful children’s programming. This time around though, I wanted to to make time for me. After all, if I wanted my family to be healthy, it had to start with me. So I registered for the class and, even though I was terrified, I took the biggest and hardest step of my life—walking through those doors. By doing so, I met Kevin and Lisa Hir, who, while I did not know it at the time, would change my life forever.
Their Weight Loss Challenge class was incredible. They are the “no nonsense, no excuses”-type but they GOT IT. They both had personal, compelling success stories that resonated with me. I knew I had to be willing to change if I wanted to have a better life for my family and me, so I committed to doing what they said, even if I didn’t want to for the entire 12-week program. This meant following a certain food plan and journaling everything I ate.
It also included weekly weigh-ins, an education session on nutrition and exercise and, lastly, weekly group workouts. With our first workout, Kevin led us in a HIIT (high-intensity interval training) style workout and I was terrified. I honestly did not think that I would be able to finish. He showed us modifications and, somehow, some way, I did it. After class, we huddled as a team and he told us he was PROUD of us. I broke down in tears. That was a life changing night for me.