Breakthrough Spotlight –
Our Breakthrough Spotlight for April is Ann Gillinger! Ann’s awesome attitude and 100% commitment are nothing short of inspirational. She lost two sizes during our recent Drop Two Sizes Challenge, and she is proof positive that you CAN get stronger and healthier, no matter what your age!
Breakthrough: So, Ann, you started training with us about 10 weeks ago, and just completed our Drop Two Sizes Challenge. Can you tell us how you were feeling before you started the Challenge?
Ann: Fat and flubby – haha! I just hadn’t really done anything in the way of exercise since I retired, except for my Silver Sneakers, which is good for you, but it’s more like “exercise light”. I’ve never really liked a gym type of thing before, so I was a little hesitant. But knowing that there was going to be a nutrition component to the program too definitely made me feel like this was something I wanted to do.
Breakthrough: What made you feel like now was the time to take action?
Ann: Well the main thing is we have a family wedding coming up this summer, so that is a big motivation to want to look my best.
Breakthrough: Sure – having an event coming up can definitely inspire us to make some changes, so that’s great! Was there anything you found surprising about doing the Challenge, or starting your training with us at Breakthrough?
Ann: Oh, a lot of things! I think I mentioned to you before that at first I was a little scared of training with kettlebells, and I had absolutely no experience working with them before.
Breakthrough: Right. We know they can seem a little intimidating at first when you see people swinging them, but we are on a mission to teach people how to use them safely because when you use them properly you get such a huge “bang for your buck.”
Ann: Yes, and that’s probably been the biggest surprise to me is that training with weights like this and using the kettlebells is doable. You just start with small steps…
Breakthrough: And now you’re doing things you probably weren’t sure you could do when you first started!
Ann: I did not think I could do any of those things, but now I am! And that’s huge for me. The people that I tell about it… when I say I swing kettlebells, they can’t believe it!
Breakthrough: Well they should just see you in action! So looking at the results you’ve achieved so far – getting stronger, losing two sizes – does anything specific stand out as contributing to your success?
Ann: Well, I think making the commitment to doing it. As the saying goes, “You’ve got to want it!” At the end of the day, it really comes down to that.
Ann: But there were lots of little things that helped, like keeping a journal. That really caused me to reflect on what I was doing with food and exercise. Also setting a goal for each week was helpful. And these are basic things that you could do on your own, but somehow you don’t… So doing it with the group as part of the challenge made it happen for me. And you guys, and really the whole atmosphere of the gym is so encouraging.
Breakthrough: Oh thank you! That’s great to hear. Yes, having a specific timeframe and accountability are big factors in success. And obviously you nailed it with the challenge and fit in your pants that were two sizes from where you started! Can you tell us how you are feeling now?
Ann: Really good! The pants fit, and I did lose 12 pounds during the 8 weeks. I feel healthy and I just want to keep going… that’s why I’m here!
Breakthrough: Yes! You still have the wedding coming up, and you will look amazing! Aside from that, is there any deeper motivation for why you are prioritizing your health and fitness? Can you share with us your “why?”
Ann: Well, I want to be healthy. As I watch my friends aging, some of them are infirm from things that they’ve had that have kept them from being very active. And things seem to be way worse as they’ve gotten older. I don’t want to be a burden to anyone. I want to be able to stay active and stay healthy as long as possible.
Breakthrough: I definitely think a lot of people can relate to that “why”! It’s a powerful thing to know you can continue to get stronger and healthier even as you age. And you are absolutely proof of that! Thanks so much, Ann, for sharing your story with us!