Former Quitter, Current Inspiration

Submitted by: Channell Holmgren

Leeta's Success Story

I have never been very athletic when it comes to sports, but I grew up dancing and went to a very competitive performing arts high school. After 13 years though, it took a toll on my body, especially my knees. After graduating, I never danced again. I tried here and there to build a regular fitness routine, but nothing ever stuck. I had almost constant pain in my knees and couldn't find any exercises that helped; to make it worse, the best advice I got from doctors was "if it hurts, don't do it." Eventually I just gave up.

When I had my daughter 8 years ago, I gained 55 pounds during pregnancy. Though I lost most of the weight, I know what I gained caused further damage to my already weakened joints. Several years later, I started gaining weight again, and I'm not even sure why. I just became less and less active and steadily gained about 10 pounds a year over the last 3-4 years. When I did try to work out, I got discouraged quickly. One trainer several years ago even told me not to even try to run on a treadmill with my knee problems but to stick to other equipment.

During the summer of 2011, I started thinking about joining a gym again. I wasn't even concerned with how my body looked at that point, but I knew I was unhealthy. I was tired all the time, my stomach always hurt, and I knew it was time to do something, but I still lacked actual motivation. In January of 2012, two friends of mine mentioned they were going to check out a gym in town, and I asked if I could tag along. None of us even planned on signing up for a membership that day, but we all did and agreed we'd go together on a regular basis. We met with a trainer there who wrote out a 20 week program for us, noting our goals and listing what cardio and strength training we should focus on every day.

I didn't even start this year with a goal. In fact, I didn't even take any "before" pictures of myself because I never expected to see the results I do now, 8 months later. Little by little, I realized there was a lot I could do to succeed. I paid more attention to the types of foods I was eating and how often; I'm a vegetarian, so I have to be very conscious of getting enough protein in my diet. When I first started working out, I was exhausted and hungry ALL THE TIME.

In June, I started taking Channell's free to the community, Shape Up Reno Bootcamp, and I feel like that really kick-started my body. I had definitely made progress by then and begun losing weight, but I feel like my weight loss has been supercharged and much more steady over the last 3 months. I've only been weighing myself about every 3 weeks, and have been down 3 pounds each time the last several times I've weighed. To date, I have now lost 28 pounds since January of this year. I now feel like I have a clearer goal in mind, and for the first time it seems possible. A year ago I would have told you I couldn't run from my bedroom to the front door if my house was on fire; now I go for regular jogs around my neighborhood on days I don't make it in to the gym!
Age: 28

Pounds Lost : 28

Backstory: Mother, Wife, Tattoo Lover, Former Quitter, Current Inspiration

As I mentioned, I didn't start this because I was necessarily upset with how I looked, but I wasn't happy with how I felt. Now I feel healthier, I'm stronger than I've ever been, and I'm certainly not complaining about the 3 sizes I have shed!