Montana’s #UNSTOPPABLE Journey

woman smiling in before and after weight loss photos
In just over one year, Montana lost 52 pounds and gained confidence and a healthy lifestyle.

On February 23, 2018, Montana’s life changed for the better. Montana had been struggling with her weight since high school and at her heaviest, weighed 212 pounds. After attending a presentation at her work on the benefits of a healthy lifestyle, Montana decided that night she would reclaim her health and start the journey towards a new lifestyle.

Montana was at work on February 23, 2018, when a chiropractor came into her office to talk about the importance of living a healthy lifestyle. Because there was the offer of free food and it was an hour Montana did not have to work, she went. Little did she know the presentation would have such a significant, lasting impact on both her and her fiance, Austin, even though there was not necessarily a specific thing the chiropractor said that inspired her desire to change.

Montana and Austin began working out at Xperience Fitness five days a week for three months straight. Through doing both weights and cardio and changing their diets, they began seeing a difference. However, because life can get in the way, Montana stepped back from going to the gym for a little while. It was only when Xperience reached out to her that she began her fitness journey again.

Setbacks and lessons learned

As with any lifestyle change, there will be setbacks. Montana learned the hard way, very quickly, that weighing herself every day, and sometimes even weekly, was detrimental to her progress.

woman and her fiance smiling in weight loss before and after photos
Montana and her fiance, Austin, began their health journey together. Since changing their diets and adding exercise into their daily lives, Montana has lost 52 pounds and Austin has lost 85 pounds.

“You want to see you’ve lost weight at every weigh in you do, but you’re not going to,” Montana explained. “What’s important is that you want to see an overall decline over a period of a month. [It] doesn’t matter if you spiked up during those couple weeks in that month, that’s not what you want to look at, you want to look at the overall progress.”

When Montana felt like she was not progressing fast enough, she turned to her fiance, friends, and family for support. Montana has also been more public with her struggles and weight loss journey, which she said has contributed to her success.

“From the beginning, I was a bit more open this time about my weight loss journey,” Montana expressed. “That actually helped me a lot, because in moments of doubt, I would post my struggles online, and I would have an outpour of support back from friends, and even from strangers.”

Along with being public about her journey, Montana believes she has stayed committed to her lifestyle changes this time because she entered this journey with more confidence and determination.  

Noticeable progress

It can be difficult to notice your body changing when you see yourself every day. Montana began taking pictures of herself after she started lifting weights and started to notice a huge physical difference in her arms and stomach, the two places she wanted to tone the most.

Now, not only has Montana lost 52 pounds, she feels both mentally and physically incredible. Montana has taken depression medication for a lot of her life and was diagnosed with epilepsy when she was five. Since she began exercising and changed her diet, Montana’s epilepsy and depression have improved significantly.

woman smiling in weight loss before and after photos

Montana said she could not have lost the weight without the help of her friends, Cayla, Shy, Katlynn, and Kayla. She says one of the most important assets to have in starting a new health journey is a support team.

While she is proud of the weight loss and lifestyle change she has achieved so far, Montana hopes to keep setting and reaching new goals. She finds inspiration in watching her idols and friends achieve the goals they set for themselves.

“I also make sure I stay on track with my meal plans and just a healthy lifestyle in general,” Montana said. “I honestly don’t know how fit and active I could be if I didn’t eat right.”

Xperience has been essential to her continued progress, Montana said.

“Xperience helped me progress a lot by being a very positive and friendly gym, having lots of equipment that I could use, very convenient hours, very reasonable membership prices, and lastly being close to my home,” Montana conveyed.

A year into her new lifestyle, there are certain things Montana wished she knew before she began her journey. Montana’s advice is to take a lot of pictures throughout your journey, so even when you are not seeing progress in the mirror you have physical evidence your body is changing, to not restrict food groups because it can result in cravings and overeating, to drink a lot of water, to ask questions when you need help, to commit to eating healthy while working out, and, most importantly, to realize that your health journey will not be perfect, it is natural to slip up, but you cannot let that deter you.

“I am now confident, I am now happy, I finally feel like myself,” Montana expressed. “You really don’t know what happiness is until you are comfortable in your own body, no matter what you weigh.”