Be part of the Form & Fitness movement to improve health and fitness.
After I had my daughter at age 21, I realized I was not healthy and wasn't setting a good example. At first, I did strength training and cardio, which challenged me in different ways. It took me 1.5 years to lose 60 pounds, and I gained the confidence to run my first half marathon in May 2017. One of the things that I do now is track my food and eat an 80/20 diet. Advice I would give my peers would be to START - just start! It's worth it and you'll wish you had started sooner. I am thankful I found Form & Fitness!
Young. Dumb. Naive.
Those were three words to describe my life before I became a mom and fitness professional. I was one of the girls that would starve myself, work out harder than my body would like, and binge on some type of junk food because I would soon work it off later that day.
It wasn't until I graduated with a Bachelor's Degree in Kinesiology and began my career as a fitness professional where things started to change.
However, at times I still fell into my old ways where I would binge and work out hard at times. This really affected my body and health to the point where it was hard for my husband and I to get pregnant with our first child. We soon found out that my thyroid was affected, which led to difficulties getting pregnant. This made me think that it may have been due to my naive decisions in my past, which made me feel guilty.
Soon after balancing my thyroid levels, we had our first daughter and from that point is where my life changed for the better! Now my health goals are not to be skinny, rather strong physically and mentally for my daughter and myself. I want her to grow up not wanting to be the skinniest or prettiest, or worried about her size, but to have the confidence to conquer the world by being strong, smart and unstoppable!
Since the first day of walking into Form & Fitness and starting a workout program with Ryan, I have gained knowledge and confidence in my body. My goal at Form & Fitness was to feel strong and develop a habit of discipline to achieve my results. Ryan has taught me numerous programs, one specifically related to my profession. His patience, along with the creativity of workouts keeps me motivated, resulting in physical and mental progress. I am continually impressed with the ongoing education the gym provides, the cleanliness and the ability to communicate with the members regarding their needs.
I joined Form & Fitness in May 2014. I continuously ate when stressed at home or at work and was gaining weight. I knew it was time to a make change. I wasn't as active as I wanted to be. I had a hard time keeping up with my children and wanted to lose some weight. When I first started to work out at Form & Fitness, I mainly focused on cardio. I wanted to build up my endurance and breathing. My goal was to get my weight down to 150 pounds (or more if I could). It took me three years to meet my goal. Unfortunately, I thought I was eating healthy, so I focused on exercise only. The weight loss came only after joining the Form & Fitness Transform U Program in April 2017 and learning about nutrition and how it impacts my training. I can now lift heavy objects, play tag with my kids, sit on the floor with my legs crossed and play more active sports like basketball and tennis. The advice I would give to my peers would be write down achievable goals for both exercise and nutrition - start small daily goals and then gradually work toward bigger goals.
Stop doing. Start being. Be present. Master every task. Live life.
The biggest change for me was in 2017, when I had my third baby. Within three-and-a-half years, I have had three boys. People always tell me "you are crazy," or "I have no idea how you do it," or "you sure have your hands full." I am the first to admit, it's no easy task. Raising children is extremely rewarding and truly a blessing, but it does have its challenges as a working mom.
I am a social person, so I knew my job at Form & Fitness would be very important to me after my maternity leave. I've learned that between work and raising three children, it's all about balance. Setting goals for myself, making daily lists and taking one day at a time is the best I can do to maintain this balance. We all have our bad days, with guilt or anxiety hanging over us: am I doing enough for my boys, my husband, my co-workers, my clients? I have to remind myself that I can't do it all at once, just be patient. Set your priorities, make goals for yourself and live life in the moment.
Life as a mom has made me a better person. I am more open-minded, thinking outside of the box, and I am putting the important things first. Be there when someone needs you. Stop doing and start being. Be present. Master every task. Live life.
Of course, there is no way I could do this without my husband. I give him so much credit for being my rock, and being there for me financially and emotionally.
My motivation to start exercising and getting healthier was to change around my lifestyle because there are a lot of health issues in my family. I also wanted to feel good and look good! One challenge I had to overcome was pushing myself hard enough to actually see results! Oftentimes I would lack motivation or not push myself enough. Eventually it got to the point where I gave it my all and that's when I started seeing results. Positive effects exercise has had on my life is that I no longer am tired or insecure and I have a ton of energy! I also have encouraged other family members with health issues to start exercising and I want to obtain a personal training certification soon. One thing I did in the past that didn't work was my very consistent exercise routine. Form & Fitness classes have pushed me to switch up my workouts so that I can challenge myself in different ways. I absolutely love the classes!
I had been a runner for about 40 years and have completed probably a dozen full marathons and maybe 20 half marathons. All became my past, when working in my yard in July 2009, and I did something that damaged nerves so that my right leg was unusable. I went from running 10 miles in the morning to not being able to walk in the afternoon. For months, I was only able to walk with a cane and with a conscious effort to move my right leg. I eventually got back to about 95% use of my leg, which is about where I am today. For two years, I had a goal "to get back in shape," but all I did was get flabbier. I finally decide that I need a BHAG (Big Hairy Audacious Goal) - which in my case was "hike the Grand Canyon rim-to-rim within a year. This is when I came across Form & Fitness and Ryan Murphy in 2012. Ryan was aware of my goal and pushed me to my limits. I reached my 12-month goal, which was to get in proper shape for the Grand Canyon rim-to-rim; I got there in 9 months! In my 71st year here on earth, I was able to easily climb 294 steps to the top of the Bunker Hill Monument in Boston with my 11-year-old granddaughter. One thing I live by: always remember that today is a good day to have a good day. Don't pray for an easier life; pray to be a stronger person.
Growing up, I wasn't athletic, I didn't eat well and I had low self-esteem. But once I got to college, I started to change my habits. I got into sports and began focusing on maintaining a healthier diet. I ended up going a little overboard and lost too much weight, so I knew I needed to change what I was doing to bring me to a healthier weight.
Since then, I've found it's better to focus on how working out makes you feel internally rather than just trying to look better outwardly. Focusing on looking better will only get a person so far, and I have found it's easier for people I've known to give up on getting fit when that's their only goal. You have to find what makes you excited to move every day and want to make yourself better than you were the day before. Every day I focus on what I can do to make me feel healthier and stronger - which includes a good diet, my training and my recovery - so that I can continue to do the activities I love for many years to come.
Let me explain the picture. It's my mom and I. When I look at pictures of my mom and when I talk to her, I know I am an OVERCOMER. I am strong, I am so blessed, and I am so worth it. My past does not determine who I am; it is only a part of me that has made me the person who I am today. Here is my story! I am almost 58 years young. I did not grow up in a happy home. Compliments were not given out. We were too fat, too thin, not pretty enough, not smart enough.
I did not have much self worth, did not feel as if I were "good enough". Now when I think about it, I guess others could see that I felt that way about myself, so that caused others not to treat me well.
10 years ago I lost 184 pounds that I had gained between the age of 40 and 45. I kept if off for a while, but soon things happened in my life.
My brother-in-law and mother-in-law both became extremely sick. My husband and I took care of them at home. My son was overseas in Iraq, his wife and children were here, and they needed our help. My parents also needed financial help. I took on extra jobs; my husband had to sell the family business and took on a 3rd shift job. I gave up my music, my bible study and my workouts. Well, the weight I lost was coming back on again.
Back in August I decided this was it, I was going to stick to a good eating and exercise plan. It's not easy to do for me as I am up by 4:45am, take out the dog, get myself ready for work, go pick up my husband from work, I then go to work 8am-5pm then work my other job 6-11. Working 7 days a week does not leave me with a lot of time. I am trying to squeeze in anything I can: elliptical and a 15 minute DVD.
I start my day with prayer and I end my day with prayer. Once I realized that I am worth so much more that I was giving myself any credit for, things fell into place. I have had a revival in my soul. It starts with a changed mind. Getting rid of the "I cant" in my life. I turned my someday into today. I turned all of my maybes into I have Faith. I may not be where I want to be but Thank God I am not where I used to be.
If you asked me ten years ago where I would see myself in five years, I would have answered, "Training."
Training has its obstacles and rewards. A challenge I had to overcome was to be an extrovert. It was hard for me to get out of my shell and comfortable with being uncomfortable. However, with every obstacle there are rewards!
Training requires a lot of work and sacrifice. The fascinating thing is, it pays off. I see people grow, flourish and regain some of their youth and function. They can pick up their grandchildren and they can also swing a kettlebell.
I love what I do and where I am in my life. It's very impressive what I am able to do with my knowledge and hard work. Being a trainer requires a lot of sacrifice, but in the end, giving up your time for a greater good is very rewarding.
I joined Form & Fitness back in 2015 after graduating from college and taking a job in Cedarburg. Around the time of joining, I had gotten into a routine of working out every weekday. I was gaining muscle weight, eating healthy and I was motivated to live a positive and healthy lifestyle. Around the middle of 2015, I developed an ulnar nerve injury in my right elbow (due to rock climbing) that transformed into multiple surgeries over the next two years. This resulted in completely eliminating the ability to work out my upper body. The following two years were spent between doctors, rehab and specialists before I had my final procedure the day before Thanksgiving in 2017. Since then, I have been back in the gym full force and am finally able to work out again. Through the difficult times of the injury, all I wanted to do was get back in the gym. To see all the hard work and muscle mass melt away over the two years was difficult to handle. But the support of family, friends and staff members at F&F gave me encouragement not to give up and keep searching for a solution. Even though the first few weeks were difficult to start over completely, I know I am finally back on track to where I was in 2015.
Message behind it all: Never give up. It would have been too easy for me to give up on being active and fit after all I've dealt with. The only thing that kept me going was the hope that eventually, everything would work out the way it was supposed to. Seeing yourself lose around 25 pounds of muscle mass after spending over a year putting it on is devastating. But understanding that you have the support, staff and facility at F&F to get you back to where you once were is reassuring and motivating.
When and why did you join Form & Fitness?
I joined F&F in January, 2018. I had been wanting to eat better, lose weight and get more fit for a while, but was having a little difficulty getting going. Our next-door neighbor had great success working with a trainer at the Mequon location and spoke very highly of F&F. My wife offered to buy me a 10-pack of sessions hoping it would give me a starting point to get back in shape. I figured I would match her and go for 20 sessions. I had an initial appointment with a trainer that ended up being a discussion to get to know me, my fitness struggles and my goals. I felt like we hit it off pretty well and I could see myself working well with him. I ended up getting 40 sessions and have appreciated every session so far.
What have you overcome since joining the club? Results?
The main thing is that I have regained some lost confidence. I had been running a good amount and was fairly fit, then I injured my knee and needed surgery about five years ago. After that, I never really got back into running or fitness and started packing on some weight. After the birth of our son (four years ago this month), I found it even more difficult to motivate and find the energy to start losing the weight... so I just put on more weight. I didn't want to join a traditional gym because I was ashamed with how I looked and felt like I should get into better shape before I could even join a gym. Since joining F&F, I've lost close to 40 pounds! Although I would like to lose more, my body shape has improved, I've packed on some muscle, my clothes fit better and I am generally feeling much better about myself. I truly enjoy lifting and how it makes me feel, and I am motivated to continue my fitness journey.
What is your favorite thing about Form & Fitness? Why?
My trainer, Peter. I feel he took the time to understand my goals and he put together a plan that has been successful for me. He has pushed me and supported me since Day 1. He really helped me with the motivation and accountability I needed. He provides good feedback, great information about fitness and nutrition, and has taught me a lot. He has also accommodated my schedule when things have gotten hectic. I've always felt comfortable and capable at F&F and even though I am working hard when I am there, I can honestly say that it is a fun experience. I look forward to the days that I get to come in!
What else should we know about your story?
I'm 41, married with one child, and live a pretty hectic life with a lot of work and home obligations (don't we all). I must have forgotten this somewhere along the way but I have again realized that if you want to make something a priority, you have to make the time for it to happen. I'm grateful for F&F for helping me with that.
I started my journey at Form & Fitness on November 13, 2017. Why “my journey” you ask? I had a goal to get motivated and lose the weight I had gained. My goal was to lose 35 pounds off my 232-pound frame. I had injured my back in 2010 and the injury stopped me from weightlifting until recently. Over an eight-year period, I tried many other ways to keep in shape - yoga, resistance band training and just plain old walking. During this period, I continued to have back issues and then a car accident caused me to have my last surgery in April of 2016. The car accident and ensuing surgery caused me to stagnate for the last couple years. I gained weight from lack of cardio, eating too much and just plain ignoring anything healthy.
After encouragement from my physical therapist, I joined Form & Fitness with a goal. It has been seven months and I have surpassed my goal with plans to lose more weight. I swear I have left two five-gallon pails of my sweat in that gym using the cardio equipment and some of the weight machines. My confidence has returned and so has a portion of my independence.
My favorite part of working out though? When I finish, I get to spend time with the crew at the juice bar. They make me a tasty treat and welcome me like I am family. Over the past few months, I have learned a lot about many of them. They are fun, hospitable and knowledgeable. My workout journey begins with a happy “Hello,” and a “See you tomorrow Dee, goodbye.”
Something else you might find interesting about me... During my last back surgery, I lost vision in both of my eyes. I have been blind for the last 24 months of my life. So, what is success to me? It is the conquering of any goal you personally set for yourself as an obstacle to overcome. Getting back into shape is a huge step towards regaining independence. Thank you, Form & Fitness, for making my life better!
"I am a UWM student and my Mom is a memeber here. I get a month-long membership over winter break when I come home. There is a full range of equipment here, not like at school where there are just machines and weights." - Spencer Graczyk
"I came into Form & Fitness to check it out and met some really wonderful people. It felt very professional. It was not like any gym I have been to before." - Erin Knapik
"I was very reluctant to join as I have not been very active the last few years. The atmosphere here is wonderful. I feel at ease when I come, and will continue to do so!" - Chris Skopek
"I joined Form & Fitness a little over two years ago. It is the best club I have every belonged to! There is so much variety here. I come four or five times a week, and continue to learn week after week." - Jane Jones
"I came to Form & Fitness on a whim, and was blown away with what Form & Fitness offered. I took my first Group Power class, and the rest is history. I've lost over 50 pounds!" - Scott Waligora
"I came to Form & Fitness because I wanted to continue to work out and keep my mind mentally sharp. From the time you walk in to the time you walk out, people are extremely courteous. It's like a second family." - Linda Short
"We joined Form & Fitness because we wanted to continue to do the things we wanted to do. We visit National Parks every year, and we are not quite ready to trade in our hiking boots for tour bus tickets." - John & Michelle Sladky