On December 27th, 2012 Karen was diagnosed with Breast Cancer. She underwent 2 surgeries and a port implantation, followed by 16 rounds of chemo and 33 radiation treatments. During her cancer treatment she became very sick, gained weight, and even became clinically depressed. In fact, Karen even says cancer was the direct cause of her darkest days. However, thanks to the amazing support from her family and medical team, she rallied back and pushed through this hard time. Ever after overcoming breast cancer, Karen still struggled with depression and her weight post-cancer treatment. Then one day, Karen decided it was time to make changes.
In January 2016, Karen decided to switch from the YMCA to Xpereince Fitness. Karen was in the process of transitioning her life back to normal after her battle with Breast Cancer. She says she needed to “get a grip on her life again.” When she started working out at XF, Karen utilized the pool and bike the most, as these are her favorite workouts. However, she was not seeing the results she was hoping for. Karen decided to take action into her own hands and ask the XF team about the Jumpstart Program. She was determined to feel better and believe in herself again. Karen started working with a personal trainer one-on-one and started to see results she was hoping for. After her first workout she said, “I realized how out of shape I was, as it was difficult to lift my gym bag.” At that point she realized she had made the right decision in choosing a personal trainer and joining the gym.
In fact, joining the gym was a turning point for Karen, as she said,
“The gym community helped me celebrate my successes, and helped me get through my stumbling blocks, but most importantly helped me believe in myself again.”
Karen lost 100 pounds by cleaning up her diet and working hard with a personal trainer. Her first personal trainer still checks up on her to this day. Karen is doing so well now that she even did her first triathlon in June of 2017. Not only is she enjoying life again, but she gets to enjoy outdoor activities such as hiking and kayaking like she never did before. However, most importantly, Karen is just in a better mood all around and has transitioned her life back to normal post-cancer treatment.
We asked Karen what was her biggest obstacle she faced during her journey and she responded:
“I stop thinking of things as obstacles. I’m just learning to work with my limitations and get past them. I would rather spend an hour at the gym now, than an hour sitting on my butt watching the news.” She also said, diet is an obstacle she faces because she loves sugar and carbs, as most of us do. Karen also said, “I’m the only person that can do it, nobody else can do it for me. Karen also repeatedly tells herself whenever she is feeling down or unmotivated,
“Just go to the gym, you will feel better.”
We also asked Karen what is one thing you would say to someone who is facing similar challenges you did and she responded:
“You can do it, but you have to do it for yourself, and it’s not easy. Although, it may not be easy, you will come to really enjoy it. You will feel like you are rewarding yourself.”
Karen also mentioned, “it’s so important to be believe in yourself, and the people here at Xperience Fitness believe in me.” “It would have been so easy to walkaway”.
Not only is Karen a breast cancer survivor, a member of XF, but an inspiration to others. As far as her life after cancer treatment, Karen will continue to be on hormone therapy for 10 years and have checkups every 6 months to ensure her cancer doesn’t come back. Throughout her journey, she even became an XF staff member working the front desk. Congratulations Karen on all your successes, the XF team is proud of you!