Friday marks my one year anniversary as a member at Orange Theory New Tampa; over 140 classes attended and 13 pounds lost. After struggling to find an exercise program that I like, my husband told me about a gym his friend mentioned. I scheduled my first class and not having any idea what to expect I walked into what would soon be a new lifestyle. I had belonged to a national gym chain for over 11 years and never felt like the staff knew who I was or cared that I was there (this does not include the instructors of the classes I attended, they were terrific!). Surprisingly, at my first visit to Orange Theory I was greeted by one of my sorority sisters who was a sales associate at the time. She got me fitted with my pod (heart rate monitor) and off I went. I had no idea what to expect but the next hour flew by! Twenty six minutes on the treadmill doing intervals, then off to the rower and weight room for the other half of the class. I don’t remember how many calories I burned that day, but I knew I was hooked!
Over the last year, I have participated in two weight loss challenges and Hell Week (attending 7 straight days of classes). I have been challenged both physically and mentally. I have learned that I am much stronger than I ever thought and on the days when I don’t want to push myself, the trainers are there to help. Every trainer is wonderful but because of my schedule, I always end up in Abdul, Hope or Blaze’s classes. Each of them have taken a personal interest in my training and helped me reach my goals. Our gym is like a family; each member is greeted by name when they arrive. We are involved in one another’s lives and support and encourage each other. I have made several new friends and reconnected to old ones.
When I joined, I weighed 138 pounds and by December I had reached 143. According to my BMI, I was overweight. In January, I decided I had enough so I signed up for a weight loss challenge. I was assigned a coach who reviewed our food log every week and we had to weigh in every Friday. In 6 weeks I lost 7 pounds and went from a size 8 to size 4! I never thought joining a gym would change my life, but it has. This past May, I became a Certified Nutrition & Wellness Consultant and started my own business! I have been blessed to help others apply what I have learned to their own lives.
I share this with you not because I want you to run out and join my gym (although it would be great if you did), but because I want you to find your “Orange Theory”. Fitness can be fun and once you find something you enjoy, it becomes more than being just about weight loss. Get out there and explore; there are many options available!
I can’t forget to acknowledge the rest of the staff at OTF New Tampa who make everyday fun! Zach, Denielle, Raj, Alexis and Dominique; thank you for all you do!