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Nadia Ellis, Personal Trainer & Fitness Coach
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WEIGHT LOSS SUCCESS STORY: Anna Jensen

59 pounds down and counting!

Obesity has always been a battle for me but, I must admit, never a priority. It wasn't a priority because it was a battle I believed I could never win. I had accepted my current situation as a permanent state of being. That all changed in 2008 when my daughter was born. My life was no longer all about me. I realized I needed to be around to take care of my daughter and that would require me to first take care of myself.

Throughout my life I would often try out the current fad diet hoping it was going to be the miracle I had been searching for. More often than not it would end in failure or any success would always be short lived. I was the perfect example of the weight-loss statistic that "95% of people who lose weight will regain it all back plus more". It came to a point where I thought gastric surgery was the only way to save me from living in a permanent fat suit. As enticing as the thought of surgery and finally being thin was, it didn't feel like it was the right option for me. I knew it would remove the symptom but not cure the cause.

After my daughter was born, I once again embarked on my weight loss journey. But this time I had an intense drive to succeed. This drive was a blessing and a curse all in one. It gave me the determination to tackle my food addictions and motivated me to learn as much as I possibly could about nutrition and wellness. My down fall was the intense drive turned into an unhealthy obsession, often resulting in an extreme cutting of calories and adding energy supplements to over compensate for the lack of nutritious food. I knew what I was doing was incredibly unhealthy, but I told myself dropping the pounds first was more important. I will switch to healthy eating after I get to my goal weight.

Needless to say extreme dieting is not sustainable and far from healthy. The pounds began to creep back on, slowly at first, but it quickly escalated. I once again felt depressed and defeated; but this time something was different. I did not want to become that statistic once again, I was not going to let me give up on myself and quit. I started over Monday after Monday usually to fall off track midway through the week, but I would always start over. I wasn't quitting, but it became apparent I needed to start fighting.

I began to look inward and reflect on my past attempts. What I discovered was although my intentions were in the right place; I was doing it for the wrong reasons. Also my past attempts at weight loss were not behaviors I would want my daughter to mimic. I need to be her role model, and the person I want her to become. My sister had seen my frustration over my past efforts and encouraged me to look into Snap Fitness with her. I was resistant at first, remember I really believed I was unable to exercise, but I knew I needed try something.

"If you want something you’ve never had before,
you’ve got to do something you’ve never done before"
– Drina Reed

I finally decided to join Snap Fitness while they were running a fitness study. I received a postcard in the mail about the study; one of the requirements said "does not currently exercise." They had my attention! I began to work out with one of their trainers and he taught me how to use the equipment and helped me feel comfortable working out in a gym setting. Most importantly he showed me I could exercise. The gym was where I needed to be. I realized my goal; I no longer wanted to lose weight to be thin, I wanted to be healthy.

I started to notice my physical capabilities extended well beyond what I had believed possible. My body began craving physical activity. I was finally letting it do what it was designed to do; move. I enjoyed the challenge and quickly realized I was strengthening much more than just my body, I was strengthening my mind too. I was ready to take things to the next level, so when Snap Fitness began running a Boot Camp class featuring their newest trainer, Nadia Ellis, I quickly jumped on board. I love working with Nadia, I have learned so much from her already. She forces me to continue to challenge myself, and bring up my intensity level. Working with Nadia in conjunction with adopting healthy clean eating habits was making my body feel amazing.

My "aha moment" finally came when I realized how blessed I am with a strong and able body. I had been allowing my gifts to go to waste. I began to think about how fortunate I was and ways I could nurture my gifts while getting to pay them forward at the same time. I just completed my first 5K, the 2012 Polar Bear Run for Autism. I've also signed up for the American Heart Association's Heart Walk and the Warrior Dash where I will be running as a St. Jude Warrior. I am looking forward to signing up for many more as well.

I know still have a long way to go but my head is in a much better place now. Physical activity is now an enjoyable regular part of my daily life. I am now able to focus on my progress and how far I have come, not how far I have to go. I have found confidence in myself and I am proud of what I have accomplished. I love to set goals and then conquer them just so I can set new and even bigger ones. For me there is no finish line to success. Wellness is a lifetime journey.


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