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Planting the Seed

root SUP & Fitness Blog

Transformation Story: April

We decided that since root is about building a community of people

all working together to improve our health, wellness and well-being

that we should start sharing some of your stories with each other,

to motivate, inspire and connect each other.

Every month we will feature a member of root in our Transformation Story.

Our first transformation story features and amazing and lovely woman named April Kriz. She is a mother of 2 adult children, who finds the time to juggle a professional job with truly spending the time, and being committed to, her healthy living journey.

Here is what her trainer Cathy Pierce, had to say about April's journey:

When April began her journey with me, her hesitancy and nerves were very apparent. One of the first things she said to me was "This really isn't me. I don't really like to exercise."

She said this to me on a treadmill with fear in her eyes!

Over the next several months, April's confidence grew and she embraced trying new ways of moving her body. Her sessions were focused on stability of her core and joints, while doing movements that seemed fun as April doesn't "really like to exercise" remember?! Keeping things playful and fun really worked to keep April engaged and moving!

Many people start out like April, thinking that they don't like to exercise, so how did she change her mindset? What made her start, and keep going, and what can we learn from her experience? I am lucky enough to have had a chance to chat with April too, and here is what she told me:

What got you started on your journey?

My journey actually began on a trip home to see my parents. My mother has always been overweight and on this particular trip the toll it had taken on her body was apparent. Her knees, feet, and back were in bad shape and because of this she could barely walk. The thought that I could end up like this scared me and I decided I HAD to do something to make sure I aged in a healthier way.

What was the biggest barrier to your success and how do you overcome it?

I’ve had 2. First was cutting back on sugar. I am a sugar addict and I love anything sweet. I’ve had to learn to cut way back on them and use them as an occasional indulgence rather than a routine part of my diet. I still allow myself a weekly donut but this is a big improvement over what I did in the past. Before this journey, two donuts with a large mocha would have been a frequent treat, especially with Dunkin Donuts so close to my house! Second was adding movement into my life. I lived a very sedentary life and didn’t like anything that might make me breathe a little heavy and definitely not anything that would make me break out in a sweat. Cathy Pierce has really helped me with this and working with her one on one made working out a social activity, as well as a physical one. This has made it enjoyable to me. The accountability of having the one on one appointments has also helped me be consistent. Working out on my own doesn’t work for me.

What is your favorite workout?

This is a hard question. Root has so many new things and I love them. The aerial yoga is my favorite, I think. I like having the support of the hammock while I do yoga poses and hanging upside down and doing “tricks” is very fun. The aerial classes are more like play to me. Remember playing on the swings or hanging on the monkey bars as a kid? This is what it reminds me of. I even got my own aerial hammock at home so I could “play” at home too.

What do you think is the key to your success?

Having a support team. I couldn’t do it without people that encourage me, challenge me, and remind me why this is important. Those people, for me, are Cathy and Jenn (both of which know my story), my WW (formerly Weight Watchers) family that I’ve gotten to know over the past 2 years, and a couple of good friends who have been with me throughout the journey. My family has also been supportive in menu changes and my daughter, in particular, is a great shopping partner and tells me how great I look.

What’s one your next goals?

To keep this weight off!!!!! I’ve lost 105 lbs and I don’t want to gain it back. I’ve lost weight and gained it back too many times to count. This time I have a lot of things in my favor. I’m remaining in WW, and I’ve learned a lot of fitness activities that are fun for me: the aerial yoga, SUP, floor yoga, and weekly personal and group training. My husband and I have also taken up backpacking so that’s a lot of fun on the weekends.

If you could share a piece of advice with someone just getting started,

what would it be?

Ask for help. As I said, I couldn’t have done this on my own. Cathy and Jenn have so many opportunities from the classes, to the special events, and even the nutrition piece that Patty is offering. Take advantage of these offerings. Don’t be afraid to try some new things too. I was scared to death my first time on the stand up paddleboard but once I got out there, I loved it!

Do you have any addition comments or anything you would like to add?

Be kind to yourself. This is a journey and no one does it perfectly. We beat up on ourselves too often and this is counterproductive. I can’t tell you how many times I have come in to work out and Cathy has had to help me reset my thinking to a more positive mindset. Our biggest enemy is often ourselves.

If you can be your best ally, that will make the journey so much easier.

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