Tales of Inspiration #5 – Crystal
I met Crystal 1 1/2 years ago at Lifestyle Family Fitness. She had recently joined the gym, looking to get healthy. The first group fitness class she took was my Zumba class. And life has never been the same.
Crystal wasn’t always a big girl, but after getting pregnant, giving birth, working, and taking care of her family, the weight slowly began to creep on. She found herself at the heaviest she had ever been, weighing in at 300 pounds. I’m sure many women can relate to this scenario. You don’t realize you are putting on the weight until one day you look in the mirror or look at a picture and wonder, “How did this happen?” That is exactly what happened to Crystal. She looked at a photo and decided that something needed to change.
Once she had her mind made up, she joined the gym and began in a comfortable no-judgement zone: the group fitness room. This is where I came into play. Crystal came up to me before class and introduced herself to me. I happily explained the class to her, told her to give Zumba a few tries before she decided whether or not she liked, and to ask me any questions about anything at all. From then on, she was a staple in my Tuesday and Thursday classes. After about a month, I could tell she was losing the weight. She was moving easier and having fun. One day before class, Crystal told me that she had hit her first plateau – she was no longer losing the weight. She was at a stand still. Lifting weights is key to your weight-loss success, I told her. I gave her a copy of our group fitness schedule and showed her our BodyPump class days and times. We looked over what classes she could incorporate into her schedule. She immediately took my advice into action and started up with BodyPump (a barbell strength class) in addition to two Zumba classes a week. Crystal began to see results again.
After a few more months, she came up to me and said, “Josie, I’ve hit another plateau. I’m not losing the weight like I was before.” I asked her about her eating. My thought was that she needed to jump start her metabolism again. Her body was used to having this weight on her body and was fighting to keep it there. I advised her to give up breads, pastas, and grains for 1 week and to focus solely getting protein, veggies, and some fruit. Following my advice, she gave up these foods and immediately saw that her body was responding to the change. Eventually she began to add these foods back into her diet but in moderation.
Unfortunately, our gym closed down in November and we were bought out and relocated to another facility. With this take over, it brought changes to the group fitness schedule and changes to our actual class offerings. Crystal soon found her groove and added a Barbell Strength/Zumba double on Mondays, STRIKE! (a weighted cardio combat class) on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and Barbell Strength on Saturday mornings.
To date, Crystal has lost a little over 150 pounds. She rivals our Barbell Strength instructor’s lifting capabilities often matching her plate for plate in the squat track, back track, and bicep track. She goes out and runs 2 to 3 miles with her son, instilling healthy practices in him. She has now embarked in a 90-day challenge to lose that last 15 pounds to put her at her goal weight. I feel so privileged to be a part of her fitness journey, but it hasn’t been just about fitness. Through this whole experience I’ve also gained a very special friend. I love you Crystal and I’m so proud of what you have accomplished!