BY BOWFLEX INSIDER TEAM
In our #TransformationTuesday series, we chat with real Bowflex owners who have not only experienced major successes in their fitness journey, but have overcome major hurdles. This week we interviewed Tanya, a stay-at-home-mother of four children (and a doggie) who lost 45 lbs. with the Bowflex® Max Trainer® machine.
“I was ready for the change, I was motivated, and I knew sitting around crying and wishing my weight away wasn’t going to make it shed off. I had to do something, and I decided that I was going to do it.”
Tell us about the Tanya in the before-picture?
Tanya: The Tanya in the before-picture was unhappy. I hated taking pictures. As you can see, there’s no smile. With every photo I took, I just saw me getting bigger and bigger. Sadness and depression toward my outer image was taking a toll. I would laugh and be happy on the outside, making statements such as “I’m fine the weight I am”, when realistically I wasn’t fine with my weight at all. I kept telling myself, “I’m not too bad… I could be worse.” I was no longer loving myself, no matter how many pep talks I would give myself.
My health was terrible. I experienced GERD (Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease) and many other ailments with my digestive track including restrictions toward eating animal products other than seafood. Additionally, I had become Gluten Sensitive. I attempted to make some lifestyle changes in diet and exercise. My family and I would go on hikes, but my knee was giving me such problems. Even with a brace, I’d be crying because of how much pain I was in. I blamed the pain solely on the injury, but I knew inside that my weight wasn’t helping either.
Worst of all, the excuses I made were endless. “I have too many things to do at home. I can’t work out because my 3-year-old won’t let me. I can’t walk the dog because of my knee. I can’t eat the right way because the kids shouldn’t have to eat the same way as me.”
What inspired you to make this major change in your life?
Tanya: For my birthday, my husband and I participated in the Bubble Run. After the race, I saw my picture and cried…so hard. I was done. I hated myself in that photo with such a passion. I was ready for a change. I was motivated, and I knew sitting around crying and wishing my weight away wasn’t going to make it shed off. I had to do something, and I decided that I was going to do it.
After the run, I got home and browsed social media for motivational quotes. As if the Universe was talking to me, I found two that immediately stood out.
“If it’s not important to you, you’ll find excuses; if it is, then you’ll find a way.”
“How many Monday’s did you say you’d start?”
It’s no coincidence that once we found the machine that was right for me, I started the following Monday!
How did you first learn about the Bowflex® Max Trainer® machine?
Tanya: My husband promised that he’d purchase me an at-home workout machine for my birthday, so long as I was absolutely serious about my life change. I was primarily interested in ellipticals and treadmills because they provide the least impact on my knee. So when he came across the Max Trainer, an elliptical which incorporates HIIT (high intensity interval training), fat burning, and many other programs, he knew it was the right one for me.
What did you like about Max? Were there struggles along the way?
When I first started my fitness journey, I was using Max like an elliptical. I would get on for an hour at a time. After losing 20 lbs. (which was great!) my weight loss had begun to plateau. I wasn’t losing additional weight, and this began to frustrate me. I thought to myself, “I’m exercising, and eating right without cheat meals. Why am I not losing more weight? What the flip flop?”
That night, I decided to do Max’s 14-minute HIIT workout, followed by a light 60-minute workout. I was inspired by my ability to complete the 14-minute interval, so I added 3 more Max interval workouts that week. It worked! HIIT training helped me get past the plateau and lose additional weight. This inspired me to keep it up, and keep going.
I loved, loved, loved the 14-minute HIIT workout. I enjoyed that it was easy on my knee and that I could burn an enormous amount of calories in just 14 minutes. As soon as I looked through the rest of the programs I got even more motivated to start integrating more programs into my cardio routine. I also loved the heartrate sensor that you can wear to monitor your heartrate while exercising.
You mention the Keto Diet. Did you notice a significant difference once you were dialed in with this new nutrition plan?
Holy smokes, yes! There was a major difference. Now, my heartburn is basically non-existent. I no longer feel fatigued, my skin has cleared up quite a bit, and overall I feel great!
I didn’t choose Keto for the big weight loss hype that is associated with it. I chose it because it was the right route for my food sensitivities. The hardest part of the process was my gluten removal. It was a slow mourning process because just like anybody - I love my pasta. I just kept thinking that my sensitivity toward gluten couldn’t be true. So I would eat pasta, or have just one bread stick with my soup, and my body would be in absolute agony.
Within a week of starting the Keto Diet, my bloating went down so much! I started feeling energized, too. Keto has also helped me learn about replacing the gluten flours with alternative flours. I still love my sweets like anyone, so having the tools to make healthier dessert recipes is a lifesaver, also!
You look amazing in your after-photos! Tell us about the Tanya in these recent pictures.
Happy, happy, and more-happy! All the hard work, the persistence, the ups and the downs, I’ve conquered them all! I am the reflection I always wanted to see. I’m healthy, I have a routine down, and I can actually moderate myself on my own. I am consistently doing positive affirmations to keep myself motivated, and I no longer make excuses. If I find a problem, I look for solutions.
The change has impacted not just me, but my family too. By letting my children watch me exercise, I’ve found that they are more mindful about health and fitness. They understand that having too much of certain foods isn’t good for them, and they choose water over juice “because water doesn’t have any sugars.” I’ve also inspired my husband to start on the healthy lifestyle trek of exercising and eating right.
The greatest achievement of all is getting myself back. The bonus has been setting a great example for my children to make better choices for their own health.
Is there any advice you’d give to others starting their own fitness journey?
I understand how hard it can be to get out of your own head. The only way to push through those barriers is to just do it! Even small steps are huge. Working out for only five minutes is five more minutes than you did yesterday. Even if you don’t want to do any of the Max Trainer’s programs, it’s a great cardio tool. Just start peddling!
Stop limiting yourself. I was limiting myself because it was easier to sit on the couch or computer desk than it was to go exercise and make a healthier choice. My excuse was that I was a stay-at-home-mother of four children (and a doggie). I didn’t want to admit that it was my fault for not getting up and doing something about it.
Instead of thinking about all the reasons why you can’t do something, list all the reasons why you can, and how you can. Put positive affirmations everywhere - at your laptop, on your bathroom mirror. Motivate yourself because YOU’RE the one you’re doing it for - no one else. Don’t put it off if you’re ready to start. Just do it! Because...How many Monday’s did you say you’d start?