Most people know regular exercise can help prevent or manage many health problems and concerns — but sometimes that thought isn’t enough until you or someone close to you experiences a health problem firsthand. For Sara, diabetes runs in her family and the fear of developing it herself early in life was enough to motivate her to make a change.

With Sara’s mind set on becoming the healthiest version of herself, she joined the gym in August of 2014. “Every day things like walking and going up stairs were getting me out of breath quickly,” she said. “I was determined to change that!” – it didn’t come without some reservations, though. “I was so worried I wouldn’t be able to accomplish my goals and I was afraid I would fail,” said Sara, who had joined gyms in the past and never stuck with it. But at 23 years old and a starting weight of 172 pounds and 34.7% body fat, she had nothing to lose but weight or on the flip side, her quality of life as a young adult.

Being just 23 years old and changing some lifestyle habits wasn’t exactly easy for Sara. “My friends didn’t always understand what I was trying to achieve – they’d ask me to eat out or offer me food that wasn’t part of my nutrition plan. I had to learn to say ‘no’ and really take charge of my life in order to achieve my goals,” she says.

Thankfully, Sara has had a great support system between her parents and her Personal Trainer, Greg. “My parents have been my biggest support team – they understand what I want to achieve and are always there for me!” she said. “And as for Greg, he has helped in such immense ways that I can’t even put into words – he keeps me motivated to keep coming back and has been one of the most positive people to walk into my life.”

Sara’s support system, coupled with the positive changes she was seeing in herself made her journey forward far easier than

turning back or giving up. “Seeing the way I’ve changed over the past year is remarkable – I never want to stop making great choices for myself!” she said. She also does not have any more reservations when it comes to accomplishing her goals – continuously making new goals as she surpasses the old ones. At a current weight of 122 pounds and 17.7% body fat, Sara has lost all the weight she wanted to and is now more focused on toning up her body and gaining muscle. She heads to the gym 5-6 days per week and says the best thing about being a member at the gym is seeing all the friendly faces – “it’s so nice to be greeted in such a welcoming way – I’ve never met such friendly staff; it definitely makes you want to keep coming back!”

Since deciding to make changes in her life, Sara admits she is much more confident in herself and feels so much better. “I wake up easier, I’m less stressed, and I’m overall happier than I’ve ever been!” she says. Her family health history was enough to get her going, but how she feels now is what motivates her to continue the healthy, positive lifestyle.

When we asked Sarah to tell us why Xperience Fitness is “her” gym, this was her response: “I’m blown away with how much people care about my progress and I truly feel like every cares for my well-being also. Just walking through the doors…I feel like I can accomplish anything!”