When I called Becca for this interview, she told me, “I was so excited that Kristine (my trainer) thought of me for this, but I almost cancelled. I read some of the other stories and thought, ‘I can’t compete with this!’ I voiced my concerns to my Mom who helped me realize I had overcome so many things over these past two years and if I can help someone else get through their own personal struggle, it’s worth it. I began to piece together my history and realized I DID have a story to tell.”
Becca’s journey to the Q Program at Xperience Fitness was not an easy one..
“I married and had my first child about 2 years ago. These were definitely highlights; but what’s transpired over the last two years of my life has been utter hell.”
Becca was what one might consider an older candidate for pregnancy. On top of that, she had a history of endometriosis, an incredibly painful uterine condition. She had surgery to remove scarring from the endometriosis. It was successful; she was able to get pregnant with her first child around the age of 40. Not long after, she lost her baby. A year later, she found herself pregnant again and this time around, the pregnancy proceeded normally.
“I wanted everything natural in my birth. However, I ended up having a C-section and developed an infection. My newborn ended up in a NIC unit in another hospital while I was hospitalized for my infection. I was in and out of the hospital for months after that. They couldn’t figure out why I wasn’t getting any better. It was terrifying. I thought I was going to die. I even asked my husband at one point, ‘Should I make a video for Beckett? I want to make sure he knows his Mom.’. I was away from my son for the entire first month of his life.”
Around 4 months later, Becca developed pneumonia. Mold was discovered in their home and this was thought to be the culprit. Beckett also ended up in the ER in March of 2016 with an illness they also suspected was due to the presence of mold. They needed to change their living situation, causing more distress for the family.
Then in September of 2016, Becca made an appointment with her doctor to see what she could do to improve her health condition-she had high cholesterol, and in general, her numbers were just bad. She struggled to give her son baths and with some of the other normal, everyday activities a parent does to care for an infant. “I thought, I can’t go on like this. I’m only 40 years old. He deserves a Mom that’s active.”
Her doctor recommended a weight loss drug to help her along. She willingly gave this a shot, only to end up in the ER a month later with arrhythmia. “I thought to myself, how DARE I go for this quick, easy fix.”
She stopped taking the medication and began to feel better. Flyers began to arrive announcing that Xperience Fitness was opening a new gym 8 minutes away from her. She signed up before the facility even opened.
In December of 2016, Kristine Duffy was assigned as her personal trainer. Becca was weighed, measured, and her body fat was calculated. The results showed she was at extreme risk for obesity. This was devastating news to hear. Kristine encouraged her, “You’ve got this! You can do it!”
“Her positivity transformed me. It helped knowing that she had been in my shoes, had overcome similar obstacles. Sure, she yells, she whips you into shape; not in a way that you hate her for it, but in a way that motivates you. She’s my little angel; she’s a little fireball.”
As of today, Becca has exceeded her goals; she’s down 15.2 pounds (averaging 4 lbs./week) and has lost 15” overall.
“I believe in ‘short term sacrifice, long term goal. I look at the big picture, not the here and now. I’d read it takes 66 days before a new behavior becomes a habit. It’s tough (to stick with a routine)-it’s tough to be ‘selfish’-I believe it’s the curse of a mommy. It’s really tough to make this a habit but I am determined.”
She finds motivation in the numbers – not just the ones that show up on the scale; when her weight is plateauing, she can see how the muscle mass is changing or how differently her clothes fit.
“I haven’t worn jeans in forever, and did for the first time again recently. Before that it was all leggings and tunics. Just today I was able to wear a dress I haven’t been able to wear since before Beckett was born! These are the things that motivate me. I just feel so much better.”
The best parts of the journey for her have been when others actually take notice of the changes that are taking place within her, both physically and emotionally.
“Kristine will point out parts of my body and say, ‘I see it here!’. Working with my husband assembling some furniture, I was lifting things over my head and he remarked ‘Wow! I like fit Becca!’ I used to be all gloom and doom, but this program has really changed my daily attitude.”
Her workout routine currently is the Q – 3 days/week with an occasional run added to the mix. Depending on the version of the Q , it consists of working out for 10 minutes at each designated station: circuit training, treadmill, rowing, TRX and free weights. A heart monitor is worn and when you’re told to go to the Q, you need to increase your heart rate to the 90% range; the program is about increasing and decreasing your heart rate throughout the routine. During her first 40 minute class, she burned 800 calories. The calorie burn continues that night and throughout the next day, offering her maximum benefits without being in the gym for hours.
“Everyone’s numbers are on the board, (for The Q) so we are all motivated to improve our own numbers and ‘beat’ each other!”
Becca has offered these tips for others traveling this road:
- Don’t drink your calories! I’m on a 1200/day calorie diet. I’d rather eat those. It was hard to give up my lattes, but black coffee or water have become my replacement.
- I record everything I eat and drink in a notebook along with my weight and measurements. You’re a lot more accountable when you have to write everything down.
- I immediately brush my teeth after dinner. NOTHING tastes good with toothpaste breath-it helps to keep me from snacking afterwards.
- I prep all of my meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner) once a week. This has been a big help. When I’m starving after returning from work and the gym at 7:30PM, I can grab something quick to eat that’s healthy.
- I use Rocco DiSpirito’s books (Now Eat This) and I’m eating like a QUEEN
- Bring your water with you, bring a towel-you’ll be dripping with sweat
- I bring my protein shake along for post workout and eat a healthy dinner when I get home
- Your groceries bills may go up, but your medical bills and fast food expenses will go down. I look at all the money I’ve saved from fast food and coffee shops and the health benefits that I’ve gained as the upside to this!
Becca’s found a lot of positives in this new lifestyle change. It shows in her attitude, the way she looks and the way she feels.
“I find I don’t even have a taste for many of the foods that are bad for me that I’ve liked in the past. My body feels satisfied and actually enjoys the healthy food I’m eating. It’s hard to feel good about anything when you feel bad about yourself. I’m not sluggish and rundown. I just feel good. There’s a bounce in my step! I’m sleeping better which causes me to focus better. It’s amazing how it’s all so intertwined.”
We can all learn a lot from Becca’s journey; no matter what life throws your way, find a way to make it work to your benefit. Thanks Becca! You are an inspiration to all the lives you touch.
Photo credits: Family photo by Amy Jane Riederer, workout photo by Ann Fuelle Photography, with enhancements by Optimal Digital Marketing, Inc.