Kathy Moureau, 50, says, “I am determined to accomplish my goals, even in the face of challenges. In the past, I looked at my hurdles as problems, but when I changed the word problem to challenge, I felt it was easier to see challenges as having solutions. Challenges are positive changes in the growth process.” Well-stated for a woman who has lost over 120 pounds, knocking 24” off her waist and going from a size 26 to 6. Kathy Moreau, a member at our Xperience Fitness – Menasha location has proven that she has indeed found solutions to her challenges…but don’t think her journey came without a few hurdles along the way. With each hurdle Kathy endures – she has continued to get better, is now happily and healthily running her life race, and sharing her story in hopes of inspiring others to achieve their goals.
That change started small with Weight Watchers and Wii Bowling and Boxing. “I began this regimen and the first week, I was out of breath within 20 minutes,” she said. But she didn’t give up. Kathy began building up her stamina little by little – she knew she was responsible for how she fueled her body and the activity choices she made everyday. She continued moving daily – even taking her workouts to the hills at the state parks on the weekend. These positive life choices were helping her lose some weight and this was really just the beginning of her journey.In May of 2011, Kathy saw a picture of herself at a wedding and didn’t even recognize the woman she was looking at. “Behind the smile were feelings of darkness, sadness, and worthlessness,” said Kathy, “and often those feelings were covered up with food. I was out of control, drowning in excuses NOT to exercise and eat right – yet, deep down I yearned to be healthy.” With several medical issues related to her obesity, something she dealt with her entire life, and the scale reading at her heaviest weight of 272 pounds, she knew she needed to make a change.
About a year or so later, in 2012, Kathy’s son, Aaron, asked her to sign up for the local “Turkey Trot” race held every Thanksgiving in the Fox Cities and she said she was in! A person’s mind is full of excuses you must overcome to accomplish a fitness goal – for Kathy, it was fear of failure, age, health, and money – but she ran anyway and participating in the race with her son opened up her mind to new possibilities. “I ran like my legs were set in concrete,” said Kathy, “but I finished and a whole new world opened up – I thought, if I can do this, what else can I do?”
That is when Kathy made the decision to join Xperience Fitness where she signed up to work with a Personal Trainer, Jessi. “Before working with Jessi, my workouts consisted of running and some body weight exercises. I didn’t have a focus of method other than to continue to participate in running events throughout the state,” said Kathy. Working with Jessi has taught Kathy the importance of nutrition – before, during, and after working out, how to get maximum benefit from her workouts while reducing the chances of injury due to poor form. “Jessi challenges my body and mind in each session and every day is a conscious choice to grow from these sessions together.” Kathy’s most recent measurements taken at one of her training sessions put her within normal guidelines for body fat for the first time in her life!
Kathy heads to the gym 2-3 times per week. In her mind, the best part about Xperience Fitness is the easy location, friendly staff, the salt-water pool, and the hours. At the gym, she likes working with her trainer, running, and weight lifting. Outside of the gym, Kathy enjoys participating in running events, kayaking, dancing, hiking, and biking on the trails throughout the state of Wisconsin. Her ultimate goal is to remain active well into her 90s, following in the footsteps of one of her running idols, Harriette Thompson, who set the record in 2014 at the age of 91 for the Rock ‘N Roll San Diego marathon. This year, Kathy hopes to set her own personal record in a 5k, 10k, and half marathon.
With the support of her husband and two sons, her trainer Jessi, family, and friends, Kathy has enjoyed her journey to lead a healthier lifestyle. Her biggest motivators are an awesome playlist, healthy competitions between herself and Aaron, fitting into clothes comfortably, and looking back and remembering where she started and just how far she has come.
Since running that first “Turkey Trot” in 2012, Kathy has felt empowered to accomplish anything she puts her mind to. She is proof that though people will face hurdles, they are capable of a better life through nutrition and fitness. The woman that once hid behind her smile sure does have a lot to smile about now!