Our Breakthrough Spotlight for June is Erica Kubitsky-Ledesma! Erica did an awesome job in our recent Memorial Day Meltdown Challenge last month as well as our Tactical Strength Challenge in April. She shares how mindset and community have been key to her success!
Breakthrough: So, Erica, thanks for chatting with us today! You have been on fire lately and super motivated… You just completed our Memorial Day Meltdown Challenge, and lost 9 pounds and 2% body fat in 4 weeks!! It’s been almost a year since you first joined us now. Can you share a bit about how you were feeling before coming to Breakthrough?
Erica: Well, I was very sedentary… lot’s of work, late nights, working on weekends, not very much of a life. I didn’t prioritize my health at all. Everything was work. But I actually got laid off and found another job that would allow me more time for myself.
Breakthrough: So that was your turning point?
Erica: Yes, I realized I was finally going to have the time to work out. And I was also turning 40, and I realized that it was time to do something to improve my life and not let it be all about work.
Breakthrough: How are you feeling now?
Erica: I feel great! I wish I would have made this change a long time ago to prioritize myself over just working. And I don’t think I could ever go back to that lifestyle again.
Breakthrough: That’s good! So, going back to your recent awesome results in the Meltdown Challenge, what do you think were some of the keys to your success?
Erica: First of all, having my husband’s support was very helpful.
Breakthrough: Yes, having support at home is really important!
Erica: But also having a plan in place for the meals each week helped a lot. Chopping vegetables ahead of time… that sort of thing. I also really wanted to focus on using quality ingredients, and shopping for organic foods as much as possible. And it’s not that hard to find, really. Even Costco has so many organic foods now. And focusing on eating cleaner and more natural, less processed foods was really part of a mindset shift for me. It made a big difference for me to care about a bigger overall picture of where my food comes from.
Breakthrough: That’s great! Were there any other mindset shifts that have been helpful to you?
Erica: Well, yes, another shift is wanting to take pride in the meals I’m making. Since we have the Facebook group where people were posting their meals, not only is it really helpful to see the things other people are posting to get ideas and inspiration, but I’m also proud to be sharing the meals I’ve prepared. I realized I can be creative and push myself to try new recipes, and then share them with everybody.
Breakthrough: Yes, you and some of the other members have become such great cooks! And it really is so fantastic to have people sharing on the Facebook group because we can all get inspired by each other’s healthy recipes.
Erica: The community definitely helped. And I’m really motivated even though the Meltdown Challenge is done, I want to keep going. I’m competitive and I like having a challenge!
Breakthrough: For sure! We do plan to keep using the Facebook group for inspiration in between “official” challenges to help keep everyone inspired and connected. So, we always like to hear our members’ “why” – the things that are your deeper reasons for prioritizing your health and fitness, and what keeps you motivated. Can you share a bit about that?
Erica: The main thing is that I had to get my health back. I’m on high blood pressure medication, and when I first joined I shared that my goal is to be able to get off of it. But in order to do that I need to lose the weight. And my weight is down now so I know I’m close and if I can lose about 10 – 15 more pounds I should be able to at least decrease the medication.
Breakthrough: Yes, that would be great!
Erica: I also played high school basketball, and I know what it feels like to be in really great shape. And I know I can get back to feeling that way again. I’m starting to see it in my body more and more. I love the fact that I’m starting to see my “old” body again. But the biggest part of my “why” is that I’ve suffered from massive bloody noses my entire life, and as I get older, they’ve gotten worse. I’ve had five surgeries, but there is no cure for it, it’s a genetic thing. But having Breakthrough where I get to work out with other people, but I’m doing a custom routine written for me, has given me the confidence that I can exercise just like everyone else. I know that here I can achieve my goals and learn new ways of doing things, but if I go to a regular gym or take a class somewhere, they aren’t going to customize a routine to fit me like you guys do here.
Breakthrough: That’s great to hear! We know that once people find the things that work for them and start to develop that confidence you talked about, they find they are capable of so much… For example, you competed in the Tactical Strength Challenge a couple of months ago, and you probably didn’t think when you started that you would be deadlifting a barbell, or doing kettlebell snatches.
Erica: Oh no… but I did!
Breakthrough: And we are excited to see what you do next! You’re motivated and up for a challenge! Thanks so much for sharing your journey with us, Erica! We appreciate it!
Erica: Thank you!