As a young adult, I had always been proud of my figure, but as I grew older, my weight slowly grew too. At the age of 54, I had reached a weight of 190 pounds on my five foot, three inch frame. In 2008, I joined Owings Mills Merritt Athletic Club. I didn't go regularly and when I did go, I didn't push myself to exceed my comfort zone.
In the summer of 2010, I had extensive dental work done. I lost about four pounds from not being able to chew. The weight loss motivated me to ask a girlfriend about dieting. I had never been on a diet in my life -I wasn't particularly interested in following a bunch of rules about calories. After all, I consoled myself, I was actually a very healthy eater. My problem was portion control. I loved to cook and I loved to eat my own cooking! I ate to comfort myself. But, I did some research and found a diet I could live with. I started counting calories and tweaking my beloved gourmet recipes to lower the fat.
Group Fitness Camaraderie
I worked up the courage to try a yoga class with Charlie Beall at Merritt in hopes of easing the stress caused by my chronic dental pain. It changed my life. I loved Charlie's low-key attitude and relaxed style of instruction - no intimidation. I loved it when Charlie brought out his flute at the end of every session and played softly, elegantly, while we meditated. I was so out of shape that I could barely do any of the moves. But, I loved the camaraderie of the group. Seeing the friendly faces of the same people every week motivated me to keep coming. I stuck with my diet and maintained a steady weight loss.
The Lifestyle Change
I loved my yoga class so much that I added BodyStep, BodyPump, and BodyFlow classes to my weekly evening routine. My weight-loss accelerated. This June of 2011 I actually “broke the 120 pound barrier,” so I feel as if my goal is finally, completely achieved. I’ve never felt better in my entire life. Thank you all, so very much, for accompanying me and supporting me on this journey to fitness over the past eight months. If you had told me last summer that I would be greeting this summer with a slim, strong body, I would never have believed it. And as an added benefit, when I visited my doctor this week, my blood pressure was down to 100 over 70, so I may be able to go off my blood pressure medicine soon, one of my original goals for losing weight. Dreams do come true! I am living proof.
Lynell Tobler, Merritt Athletic Clubs member since 2008
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