I am a 46 year old wife and mother to 4 beautiful girls. I had the privilege of being a stay-at-home mother all these years to raise them. My girls are my life and I would do anything for them. I would take care of them and put their needs and the needs of my family before myself. I thought as long as my family was happy that was all that mattered. I wanted to be a role model, someone my girls could look up to but I felt like I was slowly losing the battle. I wasn’t who I wanted to be. Life is tough and I had to learn how to be tougher. Through the years I would try diets and fail; honestly I was getting depressed and embarrassed of how I was looking that I couldn’t imagine going to a gym and working out because I was so self conscious. It got to the point where I was always the picture taker so I wouldn’t have to be in any pictures because I was ashamed of how I looked. If I was in any pictures I was hiding so all you could see was my face, even then you can tell I was forcing the smile and wasn’t truly happy. I was content with just being the photographer until my aunt passed away and we were making a picture collage. Looking through pictures I realized I was missing out on so many picture memories because I wasn’t in any of them. It was like I didn’t exist. My family on my mothers side doesn’t live past the age of 70, how sad is that? If that is the case then my life was more than half over. I knew then that I needed to make a change. I just didn’t know how to do it but I knew I had to try something. All I knew is I had to break that cycle and live way past the age of 70. I have a whole lot of life left in me and I want my girls to be able to look back on pictures and see that their mom was a part of their life experiences and not some person people only talked about.
Four years ago (2014), my oldest daughter begged me to try a kickboxing class with her. She had a free week pass and loved going. What kind of example would I set if I chickened out and said, “no I don’t want to go” so I at least tried. I sucked it up and off I went. Walking in the gym for the first time I was thinking, “I CAN’T do this, I am so out of shape, there is no way I could keep up with everyone.” Well guess what? I loved it! I met some amazing people that day who encouraged me to keep going throughout the class. There is something so rewarding about punching and kicking a bag. Every hit and kicked represented something that brought me down or a bad habit I wanted to break. All the years of making excuses and feeling sorry for myself, I let go during that hour. I FINALLY did something for ME! I couldn’t wait to go back again. A fire was lit inside of me that day. It was time for a new beginning, and boy was my life about to change!
Story continues below photo.
Fast forward to now. CKO has given me a life I never thought I could have. Not only have I have lost weight (30 pounds), I am healthier, stronger and have so much more energy. Over the past four years I discovered I love trail running, hiking, paddle boarding, obstacle course races and so many other things that I participated in that I use to only dream about. I have more confidence than I ever thought possible. Actually starting to be front and center in pictures and the smile on my face is priceless. On April 14th, 2018 I got the opportunity to be part of the CKO Transformation Show at Mohegan Sun. My transformation was not only about my physical appearance but also how I transformed my way of thinking about myself. I am WORTH it and my happiness does matter. Never in a million years would I have ever thought I could do something like this. I had to get WAY out of my comfort zone and put on a bikini for the first time in 24 years and walk across the stage and stand front and center for the whole world to see me. I did it though, and with a genuine smile on my face! It was an amazing experience that I will NEVER forget. For the first time in my life I was truly proud of all my hard work and dedication. I finally did something for ME!!
I’ve met some amazing people along my journey who inspire me each and every day. Especially Melissa, she is not only my CKO trainer but my best friend. She has been by my side since day one and continues to push me farther than I ever thought I was capable of. I can’t thank her enough for her role in helping me change my life. My journey is far from over, but I’m loving and enjoying every part of it. It has become so routine in my house that on certain nights MOM is at the gym and MOM is having a little “ME” time. I take 4-5 kickboxing classes a week at CKO WARWICK and CKO SKYLANDS. Yes, I’m a little addicted, haha. A fire has been lit inside of me and I want to see how far my flames can go. The people I’ve met at the gym are like family to me, the love and support I get from them is beyond what I ever thought belonging to a gym would be like. I love when members say they look forward to working out next to me in class because my energy keeps them going. It’s also a wonderful feeling when your kids say they are proud of you and love how I am in pictures with them now. I have coworkers, family, and friends reach out to me and say that I inspire them to get off the couch and take back their life just like I did. Who would’ve ever thought I could inspire anyone the way I was feeling 4 years ago? To hear people say I am an inspiration is such an AMAZING feeling!
Walking through the doors of CKO has changed my life in more ways than one and I’m forever grateful.