Family Status: Married
Occupation: Production Supervisor
Location: New London, Wisconsin
Starting Weight: 282 pounds
Current Weight: 206 pounds
Pounds or Inches Lost: I lost 76 pounds and 91 inches!
Mary’s Weight Loss Story!
In the summer of 2007, my father started to stumble and fall. His condition kept getting worse. My younger sister Lana decided to take my dad in. After fighting with him that he needed to get to a doctor to see what was happening, she finally made the appointment and took him in. In October of 2007, my dad was diagnosed with ALS (also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease). We did not know at this time what it was or what would happen. Months down the road my dad needed assistance while bathing and walked with a walker. A year down the road, we were doing therapy on him making him stretch and walk back and forth to keep his limbs working as long as possible. Therapy people came in and assisted and showed us what to do on the days where no therapist was coming. Eventually my dad could not walk and depended on us to feed, bathe, and clothe him. He had a disease that was non curable. We watched our dad who was the strongest man on earth just deteriorate in front of our eyes. There was no hope of him ever beating this nasty disease. I lost my dad in October 2010. He left behind a HUGE hole in my heart. Wondering where to go next, what to do next, who would be there to help and guide me through life?
In January 2013 we went on vacation to the Riviera Maya in Mexico. I had to buy all new clothes because of the weight gain that I experienced. Everyone went on side trips while I sat back with a friend. Thoughts ran through my mind that if I was to go, would they send me back or not let our group go because I was too heavy? I just opted to not go on the side trip to save myself and my husband any embarrassment. To walk the sandy beaches was very difficult . My husband walked every morning as I was sleeping because he knew that it was hard for me to walk through the sand.
My bowling game was declining to the lowest level in 20 years. Not only averaging below 200 but now below 190. I could not walk from my car to the plant (my place of employment) without stopping to catch my breath. I could no longer work in my flower beds because it was so difficult to bend over. I had to hire a girl to clean my house because it was so difficult to get on my hands and knees to wash the floors. Horse show season was just around the corner and how was I going to run with my horse at shows? My 75-year-old mother could push a wheel barrow full of manure to the manure pile without breathing heavy but I couldn’t? Everything that I enjoyed in life I either could not do or struggled to do. I used to lay awake at night wondering what I was going to do. Was I going to see retirement age at this rate?
In March of 2013, I had a doctor’s appointment to have my knee and hip looked at because I was in so much pain and had to get my prescriptions renewed. At this time, my blood work was good but there was concern that my cholesterol had jumped 40 points in 6 months. My doctor had instructed me to do something about my weight because I had gained 48 pounds since my dad passed away. Diabetes and heart disease was staring me in the eyes because of my obesity. I was at 290 pounds and 51% body fat.
One week after my appointment, I got a heart diet book in the mail from my doctor. At this point I could no longer take it. Depression was striking. I had no energy to do anything. I would have to try 3 times to get off the couch before even making it up. I literally broke into tears wondering if I was going to make it to retirement and how I was going to manage to live a normal life the way I was. Then I asked myself, “If Daddy would have had the chance to beat ALS by joining a gym do you think he would have?” Hell yes he would have! He had the greatest desire for life that I have ever seen. This was my sign to beat my issue with obesity. I did have the chance to beat it, unlike my dad who was dealt a card he could not play.
I signed up to bowl in a tournament in New London, Wisconsin in the beginning of April and talked to Adie Hilbert as to what she did to get into better shape. She then said, “Meet me at Anytime Fitness and I will show you.” We set up a 6pm meeting Monday April 8, 2013. Adie even texted me to make sure I did not stand her up. I was nervous and skeptical that when I walked in there everyone would be in the best physical shape and I would feel out of place. I am totally anti fitness and did not believe in a fitness center. I always thought that Fitness clubs were for bodybuilders and fitness geeks. My heart was throbbing out of my chest. I walked in and just stood there. We went over by the machines and then a personal trainer said that he would be right with me. I sat down and talked to him about the best options for me. The owner, Chris Polanco came in and introduced himself to me and welcomed me to the club. He wanted to make sure that I was not getting pressured into anything. He was very sincere and convinced me that this gym does not tolerate any misbehavior or anyone making fun of other people’s workouts or size. He wanted to help everyone regardless of what condition they were in. I immediately signed up because I realized that if I did not do something now, I would not see retirement.
I signed up and got my fitness consultation setup for Wednesday April 10, 2013. Now, I had to go home and discuss the challenges with my husband. He has seen me on so many yo-yo diets in the past 17 years that we were together and he wanted to make sure that my heart was in it this time. I knew at this time I had no other options. After the fitness consultation, I realized that I had no strength and that there was no wonder why my body was deteriorating. I was so miserable and depressed. I then signed up for personal training for 3 times a week for a year. Within 3 sessions with my personal trainer, I was told by him that he could no longer train me and that I had to take on a personal trainer by the name of Konrad Korth. I got the message at 4am on my phone at work. I was torn. I broke down in tears wondering how many times I would have a trainer back out on me and what the real reason was. Was it me? Was I too big of a challenge for one to take on? Many things ran through my head. I then texted Adie and was in tears. She reassured me that the change would be for my very own benefit and that Konrad was an excellent trainer. I did not know who Konrad was but I was very nervous going back there. I walked in and met him (after I cried all the way to Anytime Fitness). It was April 17, 2013. I started AGAIN with my new journey in life.
It was a setback, wondering how long would this guy keep me. Was I too big for him too? Would he pass me on to another trainer? Could he handle the fact that I was not in very good physical condition? Was it that I was too big to show any progress and might dampen their career? It was after my first session with Konrad that I knew he was the one for me. He was with me on the floor, hanging, sitting up, getting me off the floor helping me jump. The list goes on. I could not jump with both feet off the ground. I could not do the crab or bear crawl because my belly was so big. I could not do a full sit up or a push up. I could not hold a plank either. It was not that I did not want to, I couldn’t do it. Konrad worked with me in other ways to make me feel like I was making progress. I was hurting so bad that I lived on Advil and totally submerged my body in hot water every night to help relieve the muscle pain I was having. I could not get out of bed. I rolled out on my knees and then got up. I went 3 times a week and nothing in-between. I had the entire staff at Anytime Fitness cheering me on and I felt like I really belonged there. After my first month weigh in, I was ecstatic. I was down 6 pounds and 13 inches! I did this in 1 month with only 3 hours a week. How easy is this? Everyone gave me a high five and told me good job. It was the warmest feeling I had in years for myself. I met others that were next to me that also have the same problem that I had.
Success continued as I trusted that I had so much support and help at Anytime Fitness in New London, Wisconsin. I still had many roller coaster days. At my 3 month weigh-in (July) I was already down 17 pounds and 34 inches and I knew that I was going to be able to do it. Konrad gave me advice that if I picked up 1-3 days more per week on my own that the weight loss would really start to increase. I was worried that I would not know what to do when I came in on my non-training days. I came in that Tuesday to be greeted at the door by the owner and the trainers there. I felt like I was really a part of the family. They all asked every month how I did. Now how could I give up when I had so many wonderful people going on my journey with me? That is when emotionally I became the new me. I talked to my sister, Lana and she joined me in August.
In August 2013, I had my first closet clean out. I was in size 24 jeans and some size 22. My shirts were size 3X in women’s plus size. These hit the road. They went in a bag to be put in the donation box. At my August weigh-in I was down 31 pounds and 50 inches. We started the routine and I jumped across the gym. Konrad then puts his hand in the air to give him a high five. I looked at him with a huge smile on my face. He said, “You did it Mary!” I jumped with both feet off the ground and let out a yell that everyone heard in the gym. The excitement that day I can’t explain. Everyone including the owner Chris Polanco gave me a high five. I was between tears and more tears. Two weeks later, he had me jumping on boxes.
In September 2013, I needed new vacation clothes because we were leaving for Mexico the weekend after Christmas. I went and bought sizes that did not fit because I knew I would continue to progress and eventually would fit in them. I do not wear dresses but I bought one for New Year’s Eve in Mexico. It was 2 sizes too small but I loved it. In October 2013, I went in for my follow up with my doctor. I was sitting on the examination table and she came in and did a double take and asked what happened to me. I broke down and thanked her for sending me that pamphlet in the mail. I then told her what I did. She did the blood work on me and followed up in a couple of days with the results. Two days went by and results were back. She told me to call her and she wanted to talk to me. I called her to find out that my blood work was exceptional and that I was to go off 3 medications. When I added these medications up, it totaled $360 a month that I would save.
In November 2013, I went deer hunting. We had to walk across a 100 acre field to get to our stands. Now that is a ways especially with heavy hunting clothes on. I carried my gun and duffel bag across that field without stopping for a break. I got to my stand to notice that I was not all sweaty for once in my life. It was a great feeling. As I sat in my stand with the wind blowing across the fields I realized how lucky I really am to have such a great life. I went down my memory lane again and started to tear up realizing that I have a trainer who truly cares about me and my health. There is a gym owner out there for everyone! There are other personal trainers out there who do nothing but encourage us to get it done! And I also have a gym that I can go to where people actually care about everyone and are there to assist whenever you need help. It was almost like my dad smiling from up above telling me that everything was going to be okay.
I then joined the kickboxing classes on Thursdays with personal trainer Katie Polzin. We call her “Kangaroo Katie” because she really has us moving and is personal and encouraging. It is awesome and at the end of the session, we get coached on eating and stretching. She is truly sincere and helpful. I will continue these classes forever! Again, this is something I would have never done back in April because of my physical condition. It is the encouragement of the people and that place that got me going.
In December 2013, it was packing time. I had a lot of clothes that I could not wear last year because they were too small but kept them because I still liked them and wanted to wear them. Well, the trying on started. Wow! The clothes that were too small now were too big. I was amazed. My dress I bought fit me and looked awesome on. I was really getting excited now. I do not wear dresses but borrowed 2 from a friend because I really liked how they looked on me. I have to say, I looked great!
We get ready to leave for Mexico and I was really excited. Now, we always flew first class because the seats were bigger and I felt more comfortable. While in flight, I went back to visit with my friend and I could walk through the cabin without turning sideways. I then asked if I could sit in her seat. I sat in her seat and I fit! Again, tears of joy. I went back to tell my husband and he had the biggest smile and told me, “I told you, you have lost a lot of weight.”
We get to Mexico and sign up for side trips. My husband looked at me and asked what I wanted to do. I told him whatever he wanted to do I would do it. He asked, “Extreme Zip line?” I said yes. He had the biggest smile on his face. We scheduled it for Friday. It was the first time in my life I could walk the sandy beaches and keep up with everyone. It was the first time in my life that I packed exercising clothes on vacation. I got up at 630am every day to start my day out with 40 minutes in the weight room. This is just not me.
Tuesday 12/31/2013, we get all dressed up to celebrate New Year’s Eve. I put on my dress and my husband got tears in his eyes. He told me how beautiful I looked and how happy I looked. I started to cry and had to refresh my makeup. We went into the lobby to meet our friends and my girlfriend’s mouth just dropped open. She told me she has never seen me like this. I walked in there with so much confidence that she told me I was shining. We walked outside to go to dinner and the sky was loaded with the brightest stars that I have ever seen. I knew my dad was looking down at me. I thanked my dad for everything that he has taught me in life! I looked up and said, “Thank you Anytime Fitness for saving my life.” My husband hugged me.
Now came Thursday night. We are going zip lining on Friday. And was I nervous? Yes! I am afraid of heights and claustrophobic. So why would I go on this trip? I conquered so much in my life already, I can do this too. It is extremely physical my husband says. He asks, “Are you up for this?” I said hell yes! I lay awake all night thinking what if I don’t make it? What if I am too heavy? What if I fail? How am I going to pull off the height thing? Friday comes, wow here I go. We get there and I am all pumped up. We got up the mountain on Donkeys and had to climb to the first zip line. I literally ran up to the first line. The people we were with were in disbelief. I did it! I zip lined 10 lines, repelled 3 times and I walked across a single rope bridge. It was awesome! I did it!
We left on Sunday January 5, 2014 to come home. As I sat on the plane, I had a flashback of my journey that I am on. I had 3.5 hours to dream all about myself and pray that when I get back and test out that my results were going to be good. I started to cry. My husband asked what was wrong. I told him that I really missed my dad and wished that he was here to see what I did with myself. I told him that I went from almost dying to living life again. I have the confidence that I can do anything and cannot wait to help him with all the yard work and my beautiful flower beds again. He again told me that I look like a ray of sunshine and truly all the hard work and that gym has saved your life.
I get back to be welcomed home at our gym. They were so happy to see me and I was just totally amazed in the reception I got. It is where I belong! Now Friday is here, the big day. I was away for 7 days on vacation, so what is it going to be? I weighed in and I was down 9 pounds and 10 more inches for the month of January. Down a total of 60 pounds and 78 inches. I am simply amazed. On February 20, 2014 I was down 65 pounds and 86 inches. I feel wonderful. My goal now is the Sisters 100 pound weight loss club by 3/06/2014, 80 pounds by April 10 and 100 pounds by July so I can be crowned the national Anytime Fitness biggest loser for the year and be able to share my lifetime story with the world. I will be the next poster success story for Anytime Fitness. I love that place! It is a wonderful place where journeys are happening every day and people need to hear that it can be done with the support of the very caring people who Anytime Fitness has at their facilities. They need to know there are people out there that will help them create and live their own journey. I can honestly say that I cannot wait for the next chapter of this remarkable journey. It starts now!
Mary’s Weight Loss Interview!
When did you become unhappy with your weight?
March of 2013.
What made you decide to lose weight?
I could not get off the couch or even scrub my floors. I had to hire someone to clean my house.
What were the most important changes you made to lose weight?
I committed to a personal trainer working with him 3 times a week and also helped me with meal choices.
What was most challenging about losing weight?
Staying focused on what I was eating and how much.
How long did it take you to start to see results?
How long did it take for you to reach your current weight?
How long have you maintained your weight loss and how do you do it?
I am still losing weight and have not reached my goal weight yet. I will continue.
What keeps you motivated to continue your weight loss success?
My personal trainer holds me accountable. When I even think of not going, I can hear his voice.
How has your life changed now that you’ve lost weight?
I have more energy than I know what to do with. I am a happy person again and not as moody.
Do you have any advice for others who are trying to lose weight?
Get a buddy to workout with you and a personal trainer that is committed to you and your success.
How did ShapeFit help you reach your weight loss goals?
ShapeFit’s articles are very informative and I learned a lot about eating well. This website is so informational. I did not know it was out there until I started my fitness journey. I love it!
Mary’s Weight Loss Tips!
Weight loss tip #1:
Get a buddy that will push you.
Weight loss tip #2:
Watch your portion sizes.
Weight loss tip #3:
Find more Konrad Korth’s in the world.
Weight loss tip #4:
Go to a gym where you are encouraged to keep going.
Weight loss tip #5:
Don’t be afraid to say “I am way overweight” and take that first step.
Mary’s Weight Loss Eating Plan!
Advocare Bar or shake. Water and an Advocare Spark.
Tuna fish rolled up in a bed of lettuce with onion and pickle. Water and an Advocare Spark.
Meat of any kind (not fried or deep fried) and a vegetable.
Snacks or Mini Meals:
Fruit before 3pm. Carrots, celery, radishes.
Mary’s Weight Loss Workouts!
I do bodyweight training with high reps. Burpies, Push-ups, pull-ups. I push and pull with my trainer around the gym and also do lots of bear crawls.
I run for about a quarter of a mile and I do this 6 times. I also like doing box jumps, jumping rope and kickboxing.